At the begining of this year, I wrote an article titled How to find the Cheapest Flight Every Single time, which proved to be quite popular.
For months now I’ve been planning on revisiting that post to include a little bit more information from all the feedback I’ve received as well as other helpful tips I found around the web regarding budget travel.
My goal was to create a more focused reference page that I could use and share with others, instead of just a blog post (which is temporal by nature). You can see the new guide here: Best Sites for Cheap Flights: Tips for Finding the Lowest Airfare.
I’ve included tips for domestic as well as international flights as well as some basic strategies to help you find the best cheap fares online.
One of my favorites is the “one-way flight” trick. Here’s my real life example:
Last month I booked a flight from Sarasota to New York City with less than two weeks before my departure date. (I always wait until a week or two before and still find great deals). Tampa is about 50 miles away and is almost always $100 less expensive per round-trip flight than Sarasota, but I much prefer flying out of Sarasota because it’s much closer and I save on parking fees by having a friend drive me.
I love flying Jetblue. They are by far my favorite airline – lots of legroom, the flight attendants are awesome, you have your own little tv with 30+ channels. Last year they started offering direct flights from Sarasota (SRQ) to New York City (JFK) so I always check them first. They split their fares up into one way routes. As is often the case – the cheapest leg to NYC was $229 but the cheapest leg back was $99.
The flight back was a good deal, so I kept that window open and went over to Orbitz to find a one way flight from SRQ to any destination in New York. I ended up finding a direct flight from SRQ to Newark on Continental for $89.
I booked the flight from Sarasota to Newark on Continental and the one-way flight from JFK to Sarasota on Jetblue, both direct flights (and one of them on my favorite airline). My total cost with taxes was $209. Booya!
Anyway, that’s just my most recent example of finding the best deal available. I hope you find the new cheap flights guide useful and can use it to save some money yourself. If you have any advice, feedback, or experiences of your own you’d like to share, I’d love to hear it. I may add to and edit that page as time goes on to keep it useful and up to date.