The art of finding a cheap flight deal…
Before we begin, I want you to know that NONE of the links to these companies are affiliate links. I do not get any sort of payout or kickback for my recommendations on this page.
These are resources I use, and I want to pass along the knowledge to you. It’s up to you what to do with it!
The fire at Notre Dame has been a devastating reminder to make travel a priority.
If you would like to make travel a priority too, you don’t have to break the bank to do it!
Cheap Flights When You Have Some Flexibility
Each of these options below are email services. They send you email alerts about flights from your home airport and surrounding airports.
You need to be willing to be flexible with your travel dates and destinations. You also need to act fast when you see a deal to a destination that’s on your list!
My Next Vacay
1st month free
Money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied after 6 months
Created and run by Naveen & his wife Shaylee
I paid my $25 for the year, I get emails with flight deals multiple times a week. Sometimes I get multiple emails in one day 🙂
I booked a flight to Europe for a month this summer for SUPER CHEAP because of one of their emails.
You can be on the free email list at first to give it a try.
You’ll only receive 25% of the flight deals (and not the best ones), but it’s a good way to see if it’s something you will want to sign up for.
I’m on his free list right now, and he still sends through some great deals.
Once you’re on the free email list, you get emails offers to upgrade to premium for 50% off also.
Scott’s Cheap Flights
Premium is $49/YEAR
You can start out with a 14 Day Free Trial.
Scott’s Cheap Flights has built up a pretty solid reputation. I know quite a few frequent travelers who swear by his premium email list. You can get on the limited email list too, but you’ll miss a lot of stuff. Something is better than nothing though! You can always start out with the free options and then upgrade as you get more serious.
I just signed up the other day, so I am still doing the 14 day free trial. Stay tuned for updates, but so far I am pleased!
Cheap Flights For Specific Dates And/Or All Travel
Google Flights is my go-to when I have a specific location and specific dates in mind. I usually start all of my flight searches here.
I love it because you can put in your city and you can see which dates have the cheapest flights. You can put in a general location too like “Florida” and get a ton of suggestions on dates and airports with the lowest prices.
Keep an eye out for additional fees (like baggage fees and seats). Also, keep an eye out for layovers that include a change of airport!
This is a phone app, and it’s free! This is always one of the first places I turn to when looking for flights too (usually because I’m on my phone when a travel idea strikes)!
Basically, Hopper uses a whole lot of flight data from the past to make predictions about when prices will drop or rise. You can use the app to see which travel dates are cheaper, and you can “watch” flights. “Watching” a flight sends push notifications through when prices drop or are about to rise.
Other Sites to Be Aware Of
I am wary about Skiplagging. I am bringing it up because it’s a “thing,” but I don’t feel right about it. If you want to piss off airlines and possibly ruin your reward status with them/get banned, then go for it. If you’re not super careful about doing this, then that might end up happening to you.
Skiplagging finds flights that are cheaper because your destination airport is actually a layover airport. With skiplagging, you book the ticket, but then leave the airport instead of getting on your connecting flight. Essentially, you miss the rest of your flight. You can get in trouble with certain airlines for missing flights and not notifying them. You also can’t check a bag because it will be checked through to the final destination. You have to book separate tickets because when you miss one leg of a flight, the rest of your booking will automatically be cancelled. (Your return flight home will be cancelled, which is why you have to book separate tickets.)
You can check out Skiplagging here: https://skiplagged.com/
Skyscanner is a search engine, but watch out for weird OTA sites (Online Travel Agencies). Some of them don’t have good (read that as any) customer service. I have seen people turned away from the airport counter before because they booked their ticket through a third party/middleman/OTA site. I trust sites like Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline, etc, but there are some iffy ones out there. Do your research first.
When you book directly with an airline, your ticket is confirmed and issued almost immediately. With an OTA, they have to reach out to the airline to make sure that the ticket they sold is still available (and available at that price). If you’re trying to snag a mistake fare (Scott’s Cheap Flights is great for that), you definitely want to book directly with the airline. Also, it’s a law in the US that US based airlines have to refund you 100% of your ticket price if you cancel within the first 24 hours after booking. If you book through a third party site, they don’t have to honor that rule. Just a few things to keep in mind…
For my peace of mind, I like to book direct.
This is another search engine. Again, beware of the iffy OTAs.
More Handy Sites
Airfare Watch Dog
You can set up alerts for destinations you want to watch.
For Checking on Flight Status
Score Cheap Flights with Credit Card Reward Points
Chase Sapphire Reserve
Earn 3x rewards points on travel and dinning. Redeem points for 1.5x the value when you redeem through the Chase Portal. Get a $300 travel credit every year, lounge access, Global Entry, and so much more!
American Express SkyMiles
This used to be a great value, but not so much anymore. All of the airlines seem to have devalued their points within the past few years. You do get a free checked bag and priority boarding though. This card is a good way to get your feet wet, and there is no annual fee for the first year!
Always sign up for the airlines rewards programs too. It’s free, and you never know when those miles might come in handy…even if you don’t normally fly with an airline. Things change.
An important note: You have to be responsible if you are travel hacking with credit cards. There’s no point in doing it if you’re going to put yourself in a tight spot financially by not paying off your balance each month.
Check out all the details on Travel Hacking with these Credit Cards >>HERE<<
Packing Light Saves Checked Bag Fees
Basic Economy tickets are the cheapest, but you’ll pay extra fees to choose a seat ahead of time (could be a deal breaker for some). You’ll also most likely get charged for checking a bag.
Do you really want to lug around a big heavy suitcase anyway?
If you’re going to Europe, plan to lug that suitcase around up and down subway stairs, steep staircases in accommodations (lifts aka elevators aren’t all that common), and down cobblestone streets.
I’m still personally working on this one, but I’m challenging myself to do it for my flight to Italy in May!
I also booked a ticket to Europe again this summer, and it’s a basic economy ticket. That means I’m only bringing a carry on for that trip too! Eek! I’m gonna make it work!
A few packing tricks/tips
Packing cubes are a GAME.CHANGER.
Pick up a shampoo bar from Lush to cut down on liquids.
My favorite dry shampoo is a powder! (There are restrictions now on powders too, so make sure to grab the travel size.)
Invest in a travel blow dryer. Just make sure that it’s dual voltage!
Check out all of my travel accessory recommendations >>HERE<<
And make sure you grab a copy of my Carry-On Packing List down below 🙂
Check Neighboring Airports And/Or Major Hubs
For example, flying out of Detroit is more expensive than Toronto, Chicago, Cleveland, etc. It’s worth a look sometimes. Especially if you’re traveling with a family.
It’s also super cheap to fly from DTW to Boston on JetBlue, for example. So I look at flights out of Boston and see if I can find a cheap flight connecting me to Boston from DTW.
Try Group Discount Travel
Like Costco Travel! With a Costco membership, you can get vacation package deals (flight, hotel, etc.). It’s worth looking into this option as well!
If you have tried out any of these options before, or if you end up trying one out as a result of this post, please let me know! I love hearing from you.
Love, Alyssa xoxo
Grab a copy of my Carry-On Packing List for Free as a Thank You for your support 🙂
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