Before I started this blog, I decided to ask my friends on my social media what are some of the issues they encounter when it comes to traveling. Two of the answers that came up the most, aside from time, were:
1. money – “plane tickets are so expensive!”
2. destinations – “the airlines always offer the same cities.”
In fact, most people start searching for a plane ticket when they’ve already compromised with when and where they are going, which gives them fewer chances of finding cheap travel deals.
On a previous post, we talked about How to Find Cheap Airfare using simple strategies; now we are going to complement those strategies with the different tools and resources available because you can know how to fish, but it won’t help much if there aren’t any fish in the water. So knowing where to look for fish, it’s just as important as knowing how to fish.
All travel strategies can be summarized in one simple rule, be flexible when possible. That means dates, times and destinations. Too many demands for us regular folks with time restraints and responsibilities, not to mention the uncountable variables! Another part of the problem is that we always look for plane tickets in the same places, for years sites like Orbitz, Kayak, and Travelocity have dominated the online travel agencies. They are the most advertised and the ones everyone knows about, and while once they revolutionized the way we book travel, these search engines have stayed behind. So, yeah! Finding a cheap travel deal, it’s so frustrating and time-consuming that you might as well be looking for Big Foot at the same time. But what if you had tools that will ease the entire process while helping you find flexibility? Well, search no more and get ready to bookmark my top 5 websites for finding and booking cheap airfare.
Fly Cheap with These Five Websites
I fly cheap to travel more, and this is my go-to site and my starting point. I just love this search engine because they don’t sell anything, no package deals, no car deals or plane tickets and it’s a free service. It is mainly a search engine that looks through hundreds of websites, low-cost carriers and airlines simultaneously to give you the best results and redirect you to the company selling the tickets. My personal experience with Momondo has been pretty good for finding low prices; sometimes when I make a flight comparison, I still find lower prices.
One of my favorite ways to start a flight search is by using their Trip Finder tool; it allows me to search with as little or as much flexibility as I wish. You can search for flights to do anything, anywhere and anytime as well as set up your budget. The Trip Finder is one of my favorite features because I find destinations that I haven’t thought about before that fit my budget. I believe that if you have a passion for travel and want to visit as many places as possible, it doesn’t matter the order in which you go.
Another tool I find useful to choose the dates of my flights is Momondo’s Price Calendar. It’s good for strategically picking your travel dates, sometimes moving your trip a day or two on the calendar can mean a big difference in savings.
Try it now! The best way to get familiar with these tools is to use them.
Skyscanner is a lot like Momondo, in the sense that it searches regular and low budget airlines at the same time. I like using the two websites side by side to make price comparisons and feel confident that I’m booking the cheapest airfare at the time.
I also like the different search features which are great for inspiration and simplifying a search. So, let’s say you have three or four days free, perfect for a quick trip, maybe to an island or a city nearby; you can browse through the Weekend Getaways section for a quick booking. Skyscanner flights also include Popular Destinations, like Bangkok On A Budget or you can check out the Monthly Deals for last minute flights and cheap flight deals.
And if that is not enough, you can select your home airport and click on Search Everywhere, and it will provide a list from low to high prices of available deals.
I love that this is a Google product. I mean who’s better at searching stuff than these guys, right? It’s fast, easy, incredibly flexible and you just know it’ll keep getting better. So, mainly there are two ways of using this tool, one is by exploring the map, and the other is the flight search engine. Both useful and great for inspiration. Travel has changed a lot over the years and so they way we purchase tickets and go on vacations and Google, gets it! This tool is all about discovery.
The map allows you to search large areas and different destinations at the same time. It’s like getting a bird’s eye view of the different routes and find international flight deals which make planning a multi-city trip a lot simpler. It’s as easy as specifying your home airport and dragging the map to select your search area, then click on the different airports for routes and prices. Sometimes Google will also suggest similar itineraries that will save you money.
The flight search engine it’s just as flexible but has a different approach. You can customize your search by dates, places or interest allowing you to be as specific or as broad in your search as your need. The search engine can also sort your results by pricing, carriers, time, duration of the flight, the number of stops, wifi on board and even connecting airports. In my opinion is the easiest way to plan a route according to your needs and budget, because you have everything you need in one place! Recently they have added features like direct booking and rail services to purchase train tickets, which I find useful to compare prices and choose the correct mode of transportation in a multi-city trip. Touring a country by train can be significantly cheaper by train than flying. Although it is only available for North and Central Europe, Spain and Italy.
Overall Google Flights is one of the most user-friendly search engines out there and planning a trip is easier, nonetheless, still has a lot of room for improvement. Some airlines don’t return complete results or won’t specify add-on fees for baggage or seat selection, which is very common on low budget airlines. So, the price you see might not be the final price.
ITA Matrix is a software by Google, one hundred percent designed to find airfares. It is used by most online travel agencies and airlines to feed their search engines, making it the perfect tool to find cheap flights. And of course, it powers Google Flights.
The software is easy to use and very efficient. Plug in your home airport, destination, departing date and length of stay to get results! I like to see the calendar for lowest fares, and since I’m flexible, I like to make use of this tool to save a few bucks.
Remember: Being flexible with your dates can mean significant savings.
So if ITA Matrix is the “source” of all popular flight search engines, why go anywhere else? Well, for me, there are two main reasons. One is that I like to make price comparisons, always! It’s a step I never miss because you never know which websites may throw a better deal, plus I like to feel confident about my bookings so that I can move on and not check again.
The second reason is that you can’t book directly from ITA Matrix. So, once you’ve found an airfare you’re happy with, you’ll have to search it again at the seller’s portal to make a purchase. Chances are you’ll also find it at a different site that runs on ITA, so it’s like removing an extra step.
I like this website because of its simplicity and creative search engine. You can search a flight to anywhere, anytime with its Quick Search feature and easily get great, budget friendly results. It’s as flexible as it gets.
What makes the website so versatile is all of the things it offers. Has a ton of different categories for destinations and about five ways you can choose dates. It also has a Deal Radar, Deal Alerts and the Adioso Academy that teaches you how to be better at flight searching. Fun and easy! Give it a try.
So, those are my top five when it comes to flight searching. If you have other favorites please feel free to search them in the comments below and don’t forget to share if you like the content!