Flight Hacks – can save you a lot. In the last four years, I have visited 30+ countries, and all this was possible because of these simple flight hacks, which I have used to book my flight tickets.
1. CLEAR YOUR COOKIES
Clear your cookies in between searches. Or use a different browser or “Incognito” window in the browser, where cookies will not be trackable. I have noticed that when I hide my identity, the suggested trip is often $20 to $40 cheaper than the ones shown on my daily used Chrome browser.
2. INCOGNITO WINDOW
If you don’t have or don’t like other browsers, always use Incognito Window. First, clear the cookies and then use Incognito window for your booking. Alternatively referred to as Private Browsing, InPrivate Browsing, or a Private Window, Incognito mode is an Internet browser setting that prevents browsing history from being stored. Usually, when you visit any web page, any text, pictures, and cookies required by the page are stored locally on your computer. Additionally, any searches or forms that are filled out may be saved in autocomplete fields. Incognito mode forgets this data when you close the browser window or doesn’t store it at all.
3. USE VPN
One of my favourite cheap flight hacks is to use a VPN service.
You have to know that most travel companies are charging you the price based on where they think you live and work. Let’s say I search for “Brazil to Los Angeles” from Los Angeles. The prices are usually high. But if you used a VPN and pretend that you are searching from Brazil, the rates are usually a lot lower.
At the moment I`m using NordVPN service, and I`m satisfied with them so far. It starts from $2.99 a month if you take the three-year plan.
4. SIGNUP FOR AIRFARE ALERTS
Not everyone has time or knowledge on how to dig out the cheapest flight deals. But, I do, and I would like to help join my free mailing list and receive the cheapest flight deals.
5. BOOK WITH OTA AND NOT WITH AIRLINES DIRECTLY
OTA – Online Travel Agents.
OTA`s can pass savings to us because they get incentives and discounts from major international carriers.
Some of them can sell tickets for the same price as they get from carriers. There are three main reasons for that:
1. Discounts to new members. There is a vest competition in the travel industry. To attract new members, some OTA`s can give you a one-time discount deal on tickets. And they will try to earn money from you on your next purchases from them.
2. Deals with credit card companies. If you spend more – you get better deals from credit card companies. Some times OTA`s can give you a discount if you use one or other specific credit card.
3. Different business model. OTA`s tries to make money selling add-ons for you such as flexible dates, travel insurances, car parking, transfers, etc.
6. USE SKYSCANNER
Skyscanner is the best aggregator ever. And it should be your number 1 website when you are starting searching for a flight. He has the biggest database of OTA`s, and usually, you can find cheapest tickets there.
7. USE MOMONDO, KAYAK AND JETRADAR
Never use only one aggregator searching for tickets. Always check prices on few aggregators. You will be surprised, how much you can save with this simple trick. These three should also be on your list:
8. CHANGE A COUNTRY AND CURRENCIES
If you are usually searching for tickets at Skyscanner.COM, go to Skyscanner.IE and check the same price there. Be aware that currency also will change. These currencies changes may help you to save $10-30 per booking.
You can find bellow example where I compare same prices on two different domain names. At Skyscanner.COM price is $381 and at Skyscanner.IE price is €326 or approx $369.
Few seconds and $12 saved instantly with this flight hack.
9. USE CURRENCY EXCHANGE FRIENDLY DEBIT CARDS
If you are willing to book tickets in different currencies, then your credit card is not the best choice. Instead get before debit cards such as Revolut, N26, Transwerwise, Monzo. Those cards don’t have a currency exchange fee and also has a better exchange rate than regular credit cards.
10. USE LAYOVERS AS AN ADVANTAGE
This flight hack is my favourite because in one trip you can visit two or three new cities or countries. Some airlines are offering a free more extended layover at the specific city. Use it as your advantage to see a new city or country for one ticket price. Most common layovers are 8 to 24h but some times you can find and up to 72h.
Here is an example of how you can get a free 24h layover at New York for no extra costs.
11. FLY BUDGET AIRLINES
I love to fly with budget airlines if the flight is shorter then 6 hours.
Here are some popular budget airlines:
Air Canada Rouge
Sun Country Airlines
Hong Kong Express
Air New Zealand
12. BEWARE OF HIDDEN FEES
Most airlines (budget especially) and OTA`s have hidden fees. These include carry-on fees, credit card fees, online customer support fees and on and on.
If you are buying direct from airlines, usually you can not avoid those fees. But always check the price with a few different airlines which are flying the same route. The price which looked more expensive at the beginning with one carrier can be lower at the purchase page with another carrier.
If you are buying from OTA`s and the price, have changed, then go to 2nd cheapest deal and try luck there. Not all OTA`s has hidden fees. And 2nd deal can be cheaper at the end than first.
13. AVOID BOOKING FEES
Booking fees are standard practise on most of OTA`s and some Airlines. But most of the time you can avoid fees depending on the payment method you use.
There are usually many different payment methods, such as debit/credit cards payments, direct deposit/bank transfers, Paypal, Poli, etc. At least one of those payments methods will be free. So don`t rush to buy with the first payment method they offer you, always check all options.
14. GET YOUR MONEY BACK
Have you ever been bumped off a flight? Did you know that you may be eligible for some compensation from the airline?
AirHelp or Skycop can advise you of any potential compensation and help you apply for it. You may even qualify for a refund if your ticket price drops after you purchase!
15. TRAVEL CARRY-ONE ONLY
This flight hack will save you a lot! When first I started to travel I usually travelled with carry-on + 23 kg check-in luggage. And I have noticed that most of the time I only have worn a handful of items while everything else just took up space in my bag. But it never was a problem because at this time check in baggage was always included in the price.
Nowadays, there is a lot of budget airlines, and check-in baggage is for the extra cost. Furthermore, regular airlines started to sell “Basic Economy” tickets where only carry-on is included in the price.
I become a more minimalistic packer, and that helps me to save a lot.
16. BOOK ON WEEKDAYS
My experience shows that the cheapest tickets are on weekdays. Because not only you work on weekdays, but also and marketing specialist of airlines companies. Because of that most of promotions, discounts and error fares are on weekdays.
17. DEPART ON WEEKDAYS AS WELL
The cheapest days to depart usually are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
18. DON’T ALWAYS FLY DIRECT
If you want to save a couple of bucks, consider looking for multi-city routes. Sometimes, taking a long layover or even landing in one destination then taking a budget carrier to your final destination works out cheaper. Mix and Match airlines to help you find the best deal. Although it takes a little more time and effort, it is more often than not worth it.
You can see an example below how one short stopover can save you €100 if you decide not to fly direct back from New York to Amsterdam.
19. CREATE YOUR OWN COMBINATIONS
If you’re willing to have a long layover, there’s a chance that flight search engines won’t show you all the combinations that might work for you. Try searching for each flight separately to make sure you’re not missing anything.
20. AVOID PEAK TRAVEL SEASON
Don’t travel when everyone else is. Not only will the flights be cheaper, but the queues shorter, too. Instead of summer, travel in spring or autumn, when the weather is still lovely but the prices are lower – and avoid the crowds while you’re at it.
21. BUT IF YOU STILL HAVE, THEN FLY ON A HOLIDAY
Booking during the holidays can be expensive unless you depart on holiday. Most people don’t travel Christmas Day, Thanksgiving, or New Year’s. Because of that prices are usually lower to fly on those days then a few days before or after.
22. BOOK AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE
If you are planning an international, continental flight, cheapest flights are usually 5 to 9 months in advance.
If you are planning domestic, or not continental flights, cheapest are usually 2 to 3 months in advance.
23. BE FLEXIBLE WITH DATES
The flexibility to travel on another day can result in dramatically lower fares. Always check flights +/-3 days earlier and later or your original planned date.
24. IF YOU CAN NOT BE FLEXIBLE, DON’T WAIT TO BOOK
Rarely ever do airline tickets get cheaper as your departure date approaches, especially if you need to fly on a certain date. Budget airlines typically offer low rates as a baseline price, and as these tickets sell, the remaining ones increase in cost.
25. USE ALTERNATIVE AIRPORTS
If you live near a few airports, it is also often worth it to check the price of flying out from other smaller hubs. Although it takes a little bit more time, travelling by bus to a different airport can save you a couple of dollars. Weigh out your options and see what works best for you.
26. BE AN EARLY BIRD OR A NIGHT OWL
The key to getting the lowest fare is to fly when others are not. These times will vary by route, but early-morning and late-night flights are generally least favourites among the majority of travellers.
27. CONSIDER BOOKING OPEN-JAW TICKETS
An open-jaw ticket is an airline return ticket where the destination and/or the origin are not the same in both directions.
See the example below where you fly from New York, USA to Quito, Ecuador and back from Quito, Ecuador to Toronto, Canada just for $182.
28. CONSIDER HIDDEN CITY TICKETING
Sometimes a flight that connects in a city you want to go to is cheaper than flying directly to it. So instead, you book that cheap flight which connects in your desired city and hop off there, not taking the ongoing connection.
Be aware that you have to fly only with hand luggage. Otherwise, your checked baggage will go to the final destination.
29. CHECK ONE-PERSON FLIGHTS FIRST
Even if you’re booking for the entire family, be sure to do a separate search for the flights set to one person first. Many airlines hike up prices when you’re buying several seats at once.
30.BUT ALWAYS BOOK IN BULK
Always book a return ticket if it’s possible. One two way ticket will cost you less than two one-way tickets.
You also can take advantage of multi-city flights. If you book all these at the same time using the multi-city search function on Skyscanner, you’ll save some serious cash.
31.GET PRICE ALERTS
If you found a ticket but you think that the price is too high for you. Go to Skyscanner or AirWatchDog and Get Price Alerts. You will receive a notification to an email when the amount will change.
32. FIND THE CHEAPEST PLACE TO FLY
If you are not sure where you would like to go but have holidays already planned. Or you want to grab the cheapest possible tickets. Go to Skyscanner, use the “everywhere” option and select “cheapest month” or add a specific date to see the best deals.
33. FOLLOW AIRLINES ON SOCIAL MEDIA OR SUBSCRIBE FOR A NEWSLETTER
If you have an airline which you fly the most, follow them on social media or subscribe for their Newsletter. So you can be the first to know about their deals.
37. GET AN AIRLINE CREDIT CARD
I think everyone is talking about this flight hack lately. But if there’s one thing I’m doing in 2019, it’s applying for an airline credit card. Daily purchases lead to points. Points lead to free miles. Free miles lead to free trips. The road continues, and I like the sound of it.
35. GET FREQUENT FLYER CARD
If you are outside of North America and you have not an ability to get credit cards. Then become a member of airlines Frequent Flyer club. You will get points for flying.
36. STICK TO ONE AIRLINE ALLIANCE
Speaking of airline credit cards or frequent flyer cards, try to stick to one airline alliance. There are three major airline alliances: One World,
Sky Team and Star Alliance If you decide to join an airline alliance, you enjoy the perks of a shared rewards program.
37.GET A STUDENT DISCOUNT
Websites such as STA Travel and Student University has to be on your radar if you are a student.
38. BLACK FRIDAY DEALS ARE MYTH
This one should not be on the flight hacks list, but I thought that you have to know that a lot of websites will advertise amazing savings over Black Friday. While some deals are real, but most of them are fake.
With discounts come price hikes. Before Black Friday websites usually increase prices and then make fantastic 70%-80% deals. But in the end, you will be paying the same amount or even more on the flight.
So there were my top 38 flight hacks, which I use on a daily bases when I want to find the cheapest possible flight deals. Do you have your favourite one? Or do you think that I missed any? Let me know in the comments below.
If you don’t have time for looking cheap flights or it seems complicated to you, then join my free mailing list, and I will alert you when there is a great flight deal from your region.