The Best Cheap Flight Hacks You NEED to Know
Discovering different cheap flight hacks has been a game-changer for my travel budget! Over the years, I’ve learned simple yet often overlooked ways to save on flights and other travel expenses. Whether it’s leveraging specific websites or being mindful of hidden fees, these tips have consistently saved me a significant amount of money.
I’ve traveled to 28 countries and have used these tips on almost every trip for the last 6 years. I’m going to share my top 7 cheap flight hacks that you NEED to know. Let’s get started!
Skyscanner is a flight comparison website that lets you compare many different routes, airlines, and prices. You can use the “everywhere” feature on Skyscanner to help you score INSANELY cheap flights to many places in the world. You can put in your home airport, choose your dates, your desired month, or leave the dates empty and it will show you the cheapest flights all over the world from your airport.
- This feature is especially good for saving money if you have flexibility in your dates.
- If you know you want to take a trip, but you don’t know where, this is the best travel searching tool out there!
Below you can see exactly how to search for flights to everywhere, as well as, some roundtrip flight prices from Miami next March 2024.
- Peru from $277 round trip
- South Korea from $366 round trip
- Spain from $384 round trip
As you probably noticed, these are outstanding deals, compared to what you might find without using this super helpful Skyscanner tool. I recently booked a flight from Madrid, Spain -> New Delhi, India for just $200.
#2 – Fly on certain days of the week
If you’ve ever attempted to secure a flight during the weekend, you likely observed a significant spike in prices compared to weekdays. In numerous instances, opting for flights on Tuesdays or Wednesdays can be a more budget-friendly choice.
These midweek days typically experience lower demand in contrast to the busier Fridays and weekends (and as I’ve noticed, Mondays as well). Airlines often introduce better deals on these less popular travel days, aiming to fill seats and accommodate cost-conscious travelers.
Whenever I book flights, I always try my best to schedule my travels for Tuesdays or Wednesdays, if possible.
#3 – Use SecretFlying for error fares (my favorite of all the cheap flight hacks)
This one is my favorite of all the cheap flight hacks! My go-to treasure trove for discovering error fares for flights is undeniably SecretFlying.com. This website is not only free, but also doesn’t require a subscription. What sets it apart is the ability to set up alerts tailored to your home airport, ensuring you stay in the loop about enticing travel deals.
My journey with this website began in 2017 when I stumbled upon an error fare that took me from Los Angeles to Barcelona and back for a mere $220. Since that incredible find, I’ve made it a habit to regularly check the website and keep an eye on my emails from them, as they conveniently send out error fare alerts via email.
Despite being somewhat of a hidden gem, SecretFlying.com has proven to be an invaluable resource. I wholeheartedly recommend giving it a try, especially if you have the flexibility to your travel plans!
- Note: I want to emphasize the importance of double-checking with your chosen airline after booking, as while they generally honor error fares, there are occasional instances where they may choose to not honor the fare. Though these occurances are rare, taking the extra step of confirming your booking directly with the airline adds an extra layer of assurance and helps avoid any potential complications. *
*Below you can see some examples of great deals on SecretFlying.com. While not every offer they feature constitutes an error fare, each one is an excellent deal! You should book quickly, as the price can go up again at any time.
#4 – Check CleverLayover for stopovers
Currently, several airlines provide enticing stopover deals, including carriers such as Qatar, Etihad, Emirates, TAP Air Portugal, and others. Opting for a stopover at their hub airport can give you additional perks like a complimentary visa, guided tours, or even a multi-day hotel stay at no extra cost.
However, many airlines still don’t offer stopover programs. If you want to incorporate a stopover for a day or two en route to your destination and your chosen airline doesn’t offer stopover deals, CleverLayover.com is a great solution for seamlessly arranging stopovers on the way to your final destination.
#5 – Use a VPN to book flights
Using a VPN to book flights can save money almost every time. By using a VPN to change your virtual location, you might access different pricing options. This can be especially useful for obtaining better deals or avoiding region-specific pricing.
For example, when I was in Turkey, I wanted to buy a flight for another part of my trip from Spain to Morocco. I used a VPN and set my location to Spain, so the airline would that I was booking from Spain. I compared the booking price without the VPN and I saved over $80. I recommend Surfshark, as it’s one of the most popular and very affordable!
#6 – Travel credit cards & loyalty programs
This section will soon feature a dedicated blog post (or two). Over the past 6 years, I’ve been utilizing travel credit and debit cards, leading to numerous free flights, hotel stays, and more. Depending on the credit card you choose, perks can include free airport lounge access, TSA Precheck, complimentary hotel nights, discounted rental cars, and various other advantages.
Travel credit cards
Essentially, you earn points with every purchase (that you’re already making anyway), and transform them into valuable travel rewards. The most straightforward approach to kick-starting these benefits is through credit card sign-up bonuses. I recently took an amazing free course (10x Travel) all about travel hacking! I learned so much valuable information. If you’re interested in taking it for free, you can do so here.
Loyalty programs with airlines/hotels
Similar to credit cards, loyalty programs with airlines and hotels function in a comparable manner. Stay at a hotel, accumulate points, and enjoy status upgrades that can be advantageous for your future stays.
Another significant advantage of having both a travel debit card and credit card is the ability to avoid costly overseas fees. Personally, my Charles Schwab debit card has allowed me to withdraw money from ATMs in over 25 countries. This is without incurring a single fee, as they reimburse you at the end of each month. In my opinion, ideal entry-level travel credit cards include the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Capital One Venture.
#7 – Be careful of hidden fees
This is the simplest, but most overlooked of the cheap flight hacks. Be cautious regarding concealed fees, particularly when dealing with budget airlines such as Spirit or Ryanair. While the initial ticket price may appear more economical compared to other carriers, remember that the additional charges can add up quickly. This is especially true if you intend to bring a carry-on suitcase or checked bags.
These budget airlines are often known for their low base fares, but offset those costs by implementing fees for various services, including baggage. If you’re not careful, the seemingly budget-friendly ticket can end up costing significantly more than expected once additional fees are factored in.
When planning your trip with budget airlines, take the time to thoroughly review their fee structures. Be mindful of baggage policies, both for carry-ons and checked luggage, as these can greatly increase the overall cost of your journey.