I love to travel, as do many others. After a few years of venturing Europe each summer, finding the best-priced airline ticket is the main reason for us to embark on our adventures or dismiss it altogether. If the price of a flight is too high, maybe next time? If the price is perfect, we need to stop everything and go! Finding the best airline ticket is tricky, but it can be done. Each week there are thousands and thousands of deals that are sponsored by airline companies or there’s a small glitch in the algorithm causing the price to be oh so very low.

Today I will share some tips I have learned and read about from my short time of being a ‘Traveler’ (not a tourist) hahaha. No, it’s not tips like look for airline tickets on a Tuesday or put your browser in incognito mode.

There is no official way of getting the cheapest flight to Italy. You need to study! Do your own research, set your own criteria, and play around the numerous airline websites. See what happens if you leave from another airport near you. You could be surprised. Let’s get started:

Personal story: I live near Washington, D.C. and our closest airport is BWI. I was checking flights from BWI-MXP (Milan) which was around $2,300 USD, I then checked flights leaving from airports around me like JFK (New York) and that flight, JFK-MXP was half the price. I saved a lot of money, all I had to do was buy a $25-30 bus ticket to get to New York.

Popular Websites for Airline Tickets

These are the different engines I use to find the best flights tailored to my personal needs. Some specialize in certain aspects of the flight than others, not all show the cheapest. For example, I wouldn’t mind paying an extra amount on Airwander to get an extended layover. So I can discover two cities with the price of a single trip. Or I don’t have a time-constraint and would like to get the cheapest flight, then I’ll maybe head over to Kiwi. It’s all relative to you and your needs/wants. You need to surf the internet for the best price, maybe the best price you find isn’t on the list I provided.

Be flexible

Though it is usually cheaper to fly out on a weekday than a weekend. This isn’t always the case. Best way to get an idea of when to fly out is by looking at the whole month. Skyscanner has a widget that lets you look at the whole month.

Glitches for the win

We all make mistake, it’s a part of life. Even airline companies make mistakes whether it be a computer glitch, human error, or currency conversion mishaps. Whatever the reason, it’s a good thing for us budget travelers. Take advantage of this by using certain platforms that exploit these mistakes like AirFareWatchdog and Secret Flying. And also by looking at Skyscanner’s monthly ticket prices to see if certain dates are cheaper then the others.

Budget Airlines

By far the cheapest way to roam the air. It use to be that if you wanted to go from one continent to another, you were stuck using a traditional expensive airline. This is no longer true, budget airlines like WOW, Norwegian, and AirAsia airlines offer cheap flights across continents. There are reasons why they are so cheap, you get what you paid for.

Many of them don’t offer food or drinks. Their fees are wild, they can and will charge for anything and everything they can think of, like: Using a credit card, printing you the boarding pass, fees for checked bags (even if it’s your only one) and carry-on bags. Before you book a flight on one of these budget airlines, make sure to READ THE FINE PRINT!! See what exactly they will charge you for if you check a bag/carry-on. Most of them do allow a small personal bag. Read reviews from previous passengers. Know how much what cost. And compare it to an actual full-service airline. Here are some budget airlines around the world:

Canada

  • Flair Airlines
  • Swoop
  • Jetlines
  • Air Canada Rouge
  • WOW Air (cheap flights to Europe from Toronto/Montreal)
  • Spirit Airlines

United States

  • Southwest
  • Allegiant Air
  • Spirit Airlines
  • Sun Country Airlines
  • WOW Air (cheap flights to Europe)
  • Frontier

Australia

  • Jetstar
  • Tigerair
  • Scoot

New Zealand

  • Jetstar

Asia

  • Air Asia
  • Tiger Air
  • Jeju Air
  • Jetstar
  • Hong Kong Express
  • Scoot
  • Peach Air
  • Dragon Air
  • Spice Jet
  • Spring Airlines
  • Vietnam Airlines

Europe

  • Vueling
  • TUI
  • Ryanair
  • Easyjet
  • Aer Lingus
  • Aigle Azur
  • Norwegian Air (great for flying between Europe/North America)
  • Wizz Air


Other Tips

  • Students and people under 26 go to STA Travel or Flight Centre to get access to student discounted tickets
  • Join an airline reward program. This is a great way to get free flights, upgraded seats, free companion seats.
    • If you travel a lot, look at newsletters and deals to find the cheapest discount.
    • Study if applying for a travels reward credit card is the right choice for you.
  • Flying direct isn’t always the cheapest.
    • Booking connecting flights yourself can save you some serious cash!
    • Say I wanted to fly to Amsterdam. I could fly there for $900 from NYC. Or I could get a flight from NYC-Dublin for $600, then hop on a budget airline from Dublin-Amsterdam for $60.That’s $240 in savings.

Here you go, all the tools and tricks you need to know before making the right decision. Personally, I like to start on Skyscanner to get an idea of prices on all flights, both budget, and full-service airline companies. Then I run through all the other websites. Finding the best fit for my needs.

If you have any tips or advice, please feel free to leave them in the comments. I know we all love to save money, especially when traveling!

Safe Flights!

-Sahel