There’s one question that all travellers are looking for the answer to, and that is — “How to Find Cheap Flights?” — which is something that is extremely important when budgeting for a trip. The answer is not one-size-fits-all. The first thing that should be noted when looking for cheap flights is that not all flights are indexed with just one service. You have to search multiple services to find the very cheapest and best (shortest) flights out there.
It’s also good to be flexible with your flight dates as well as with your destination. Let’s say you want to visit Paris, you should look for flights in the UK or Amsterdam as well, since the cost of taking a service like Megabus from the UK or from Amsterdam is around $20US, though if you book a week ahead and on a Wednesday you can get fares as low as $6US.
My favorite search service is matrixitasoftware as it allows you to search multiple possible destinations at once, so you could search every airport in Europe at once if you wanted.
If you don’t care what airport you depart from or arrive at type in your ideal destination and then click on nearby, then choose 300 miles. If heading to Europe I’ve found that choosing Paris allows you to select close to every major airport in Europe. A good way to find the cheapest days to fly is to just search for single flights or for 0 day return flights.
itasoftware is owned by Google so it should just keep getting better and better. You can also use Google flights, it currently only indexes flights from North America at the moment though, but there are plans to expand.
Another website that allows you to do broad searches of flights, such as anywhere in Europe is mobissimo .
Some people like to use kayak as you can see the costs of flights from where you are to anywhere in the world. I don’t find it too useful.
One final global scanner that is becoming interesting is bing travel, it’s not too bad.
An economy scanner for Australians is adioso, though it only indexes flights within Asia from Australia, sometimes you can get return flights to Osaka or Narita for $300. Another cheap carrier for Australians is Scoot, they offer extraordinarily cheap fares to Bangkok, China and Kuala Lumpur.
If you’re determined to find the cheapest flight, don’t forget to subscribe to the weekly newsletters that travel discounters provide — Flight Centre for example has a great one, and they also provide a “Lowest Airfare Guarantee” if you book through them.
Now some of the very cheapest fares unfortunately aren’t indexed with any of the above flight searchers, such as those flights under the Oneworld Alliance which includes airlines such as Finnair. These flights can be extremely cheap so it’s a good idea to check them as well.
Have any suggestions? How do YOU find cheap flights? Leave your comments below…