Travelling by flights and flying to your favorite holiday destination will get pleasant and remarkable for you only if you get to arrange the flight at a cheaper and better rate. But as cheap flights are not that easily available to one, you get to find these quite rarely and when finally you get one, the fun and satisfaction automatically gets doubled.
We’ve all experienced the tiresome, repeated searching when trying to book the cheapest possible flights to any given destination. With endless search engines and continually fluctuating prices, the approach to frugal flight booking is overwhelming. Here’s some key tips that will save you time, frustration and most importantly money when booking your next flight.
1. Keep your searches top secret
You’re not crazy for thinking that a flight price has changed after searching it a few times in your web browser. Based on the cookies in your browser, flight prices do increase when a particular route is repeatedly searched, as the site wants to scare you into booking the flight quickly before prices get even higher. Always search for flights in incognito or private browsing mode to see the lowest prices.
In Google Chrome or Safari, incognito is enabled by hitting Command (or “Control” if using PC), Shift, “N”. For Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer, hit Command (or “Control” if using a PC), Shift, “P”. This will open a new browser window where your information is not tracked, thus not inflating prices as you search. Note: if you’re using an older version of OS X, open Safari then click “Safari” in the menu bar, and select “Private Browsing”.
Your cookies are reset each time you re-open an incognito window. So if you want to start with a clean slate for each flight search (so your previous searches aren’t “remembered”, potentially inflating costs), close all your incognito windows, open a new one, and then perform your flight search.
2. Use the best flight search engines
All search engines have inflated flight costs as part of taking a cut from the airlines. Some search engines (e.g. Expedia) consistently inflate much higher than others (listed below). It pays to familiarise yourself with sites that offer the best prices.
Use These to Book
- Skyscanner (our #1 choice)
- AirFare Watchdog (good at finding sale & error fares – see tip #11)
- Cheapoair (U.S., Canada, U.K.)
- Exclusive coupon for Thrifty Nomads readers: Up to $25 off with promo code THRIFTY25 for 2+ passengers
- JetRadar (includes budget airlines, which many search engines don’t)
- Google Flights (good search tool to quickly compare flights – not always best prices)
Although we’ve listed broad search engines here, note that many do not include budget airlines. If this is what you’re after, do an additional search for regional budget airlines (we’ve listed as many we know of further below).