How to find the cheapest flights: the best insider secrets

Written: The Top Thing Staff | June 19, 2023

1. Utilize Incognito Mode for Searching Flights

When searching for cheap airfare, switching to incognito or private browsing mode on your web browser can be a game-changer for business travelers looking to find cheap fares on their travel dates. This simple action of private browsing prevents search engines and websites from using cookies to track your searching history and links on blogs.

Why does this matter? Well, airlines, travel agents, and booking platforms often use your search data, including travel dates and cheap airfare interests, to adjust ticket prices. If you’ve been eyeing the same airfare route repeatedly, you might notice the price of tickets creeping up in an attempt to pressure you into booking flights before it goes higher for huge savings.

By using incognito mode for searching, every look is seen as fresh by these blog websites, without cookies. This means:

  • Prevents Price Hikes: Without prior searches stored, websites cannot hike airfare prices based on your interest in specific tickets and dates.
  • Ensures Fresh Results: Each time you look up flights and tickets in incognito mode on a website or sites, it’s like doing so for the first time—ensuring that no past searches influence what deals and prices are shown to book.
  • Avoids Targeted Ads: Ever noticed ads for flights, hotels, or tickets following you around the web, sites, or a blog after just one search? Incognito helps dodge this annoyance by not allowing search engines, websites, or blogs to remember what you were looking at, offering tips to enhance privacy.

In essence, utilizing incognito or private browsing when searching for flight tickets on websites ensures that you’re viewing unbiased pricing—potentially saving money and avoiding frustration with fluctuating costs or invasive targeted ads on sites. It’s an amazing trick and way that requires minimal effort but can lead to significant money savings with a card.

2. Sign Up for Fare Alerts

Getting notified about price drops instantly can be a game-changer when looking to save time and money, offering tips to book cheap tickets. By signing up for fare alerts on a search engine, you’re essentially putting your ticket hunt on autopilot and might get helpful tips. These alerts allow you to customize notifications for specific destinations, meaning you only get info and tips that’s relevant to your travel plans.

This tip saves loads of time that would otherwise be spent on daily checks of ticket prices across various platforms, using a search engine or website. Imagine the convenience of receiving an email or notification through social media or a website whenever there’s a price drop on the tickets for the route you’re interested in, providing essential information and updates. It’s like having a personal assistant dedicated to finding you the best deal on booking tickets through a website with helpful tips!

Examples abound of travelers who’ve snagged unbelievable ticket deals simply because they were alerted at the right time through tips from a blog. From last-minute discounts to error fares, being in the know as soon as ticket prices plummet can make all the difference, with timely information and tips.

Here are some quick benefits:

  • Instant updates on price reductions.
  • Customizable alerts tailored to your preferred routes and destinations.
  • Saves significant time and effort in monitoring flight ticket prices manually on a website, offering a way to book.

3. Explore Budget Airlines

Budget airlines are a good way for travelers looking to save on airfare and book cheap tickets. They offer significantly lower ticket fares compared to major carriers, making them a good way for those prioritizing cost over luxury and seeking tips. However, it’s crucial to research and understand their pricing structure for website ticket sharing time.

One key aspect where budget airlines differ is in their baggage fees. Unlike traditional carriers that might include checked luggage as part of the ticket price, many budget airlines charge extra for both checked and carry-on bags. This can quickly add up, turning what seemed like cheap ticket fares into a more costly affair if you’re not careful with the way you book with us.

Ideal for short, regional trips, these airlines often use secondary airports closer to your destination city, offering a good way to book closer to your destination. Not only does this reduce flight prices due to lower airport charges but also potentially cuts down on your travel time.

To truly capitalize on the benefits of flying with budget carriers, us good book blog

  • Always check the total cost including baggage fees.
  • Consider the convenience of departure and arrival airports.
  • Research customer reviews for insights into reliability and service quality.

4. Consider Alternative Airports

Flying into smaller airports can often lead to significant savings. These lesser-known options might not show up on every search site, but they’re worth considering for their competitive pricing. By broadening your search to include these alternatives, you could uncover cheaper flights that still get you close to your final destination.

However, it’s crucial to weigh the cost benefits against potential transportation expenses from the airport to your actual destination. Sometimes, what you save on airfare could be offset by higher ground transportation costs. Always compare the total travel costs before making a decision.

Another advantage of choosing alternative airports is the reduction in crowd size. Smaller airports tend to be less crowded, which can mean faster check-in and security processes. This can significantly enhance your travel experience by reducing stress and wait times, thanks to book.

For example, opting for an airport located a bit further from a major city might offer lower flight prices and also provide a more relaxed start or end to your journey due to less congestion.

5. Use Reward Points and Air Miles

Redeeming points to book free or discounted flights is a game-changer in the world of travel, thanks to loyalty programs. By signing up for airline loyalty programs, you open a treasure trove of potential savings thanks to the ability to book flights. These programs are designed to reward frequent flyers but even occasional travelers can reap significant benefits.

Using co-branded credit cards is another savvy strategy to earn miles on everyday purchases. Cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card allow you to accumulate points not only on travel expenses but also on dining, groceries, and more. This means that your regular spending habits could potentially fund your next getaway.

Here’s how it works:

  • Sign up for an airline’s loyalty program; it’s usually free.
  • Choose a co-branded credit card that aligns with your spending habits and travel goals.
  • Use this card as your preferred method of payment to maximize point accumulation.

The beauty of this approach lies in its simplicity and effectiveness. Over time, the points add up, opening doors to heavily discounted or even free flights. These loyalty programs often come with extra perks such as priority boarding or access to exclusive lounges.

6. Book in Advance but Not Too Early

Booking flights can feel like a gamble, with prices fluctuating wildly. However, timing your booking just right can lead to significant savings. If you book too early, you might miss out on deals that airlines offer closer to the departure date. Conversely, waiting until the last minute often leads to paying premium prices as seats fill up.

The ideal booking window for domestic flights is between two and three months before your planned departure. For international journeys, extending this window to three to six months ahead gives you a better chance of snagging those elusive deals. This timeframe strikes the perfect balance between availability and price.

Airlines adjust their pricing based on demand, competition, and other factors. By planning your trip within these recommended windows, you’re more likely to find a sweet spot where prices are lower because airlines are trying to fill seats rather than maximize profits from last-minute bookings.


  • Domestic Flights: Book 2-3 months in advance.
  • International Flights: Book 3-6 months ahead.

Waiting for discounts or sales outside of these periods may work occasionally but isn’t a reliable strategy for consistently finding cheap tickets.

7. Be Flexible with Your Travel Dates

Mid-week flights can significantly reduce your travel expenses. Data shows that departing on a Tuesday or Wednesday often results in the most cost-effective fares. This is because airlines tend to lower prices during these times to fill seats.

Avoiding weekends and holidays for your next trip is another smart strategy. Prices surge during these periods due to high demand from travelers looking to make the most of their time off. By choosing days outside of this peak period, you’ll not only save money but also enjoy less crowded airports and destinations.

Leveraging date comparison tools is crucial for finding the best rates. These tools allow you to view a calendar of dates, showing when it’s cheapest to fly out and return. By having a visual representation of prices across different days and even months, you can easily spot the most affordable departure date for both domestic and international travel.

Remember, being flexible doesn’t mean compromising on your travel experience—it means making informed decisions that benefit both your wallet and your overall journey.

8. Take Advantage of Student Discounts

Unlocking huge savings on travel is simpler than you think, especially if you’re a student. Verifying your student status can open the door to exclusive deals not available to the general public. This often involves booking through specific platforms designed for students, where prices are significantly lower due to partnerships between educational institutions and travel providers.

What makes these deals even sweeter are the additional perks that often come with them. Think about it: extra baggage allowance at no extra cost can be a game-changer for those long-term trips or when moving abroad for studies. This alone could save you upwards of $50-$100 in fees, money that’s better spent exploring your destination.

However, remember that these discounts require a bit of legwork upfront. You’ll need to prove your enrollment status which might involve submitting documentation or using a university email address during signup processes on designated platforms.

Here’s why taking advantage of student discounts is worth it:

  • Exclusive Deals: Access prices and packages negotiated just for students.
  • Extra Perks: Enjoy benefits like increased luggage allowances.
  • Huge Savings: Save significant dollars off standard ticket prices.

9. Book Connecting Flights Separately

Booking connecting flights separately can often be a game-changer for savvy travelers looking to save money. This strategy is sometimes cheaper than opting for direct flights, primarily because it allows airlines to offer competitive pricing on shorter segments.

One of the hidden benefits of this approach is the opportunity it presents to explore layover cities. Instead of spending hours in an airport waiting room, you can turn a long layover into an impromptu mini-vacation, exploring new destinations without the added cost of booking separate trips.

However, when employing this tactic, it’s crucial to ensure ample time between connecting flights. The rule of thumb is allowing at least a few hours more than what you think you might need. This buffer accounts for potential delays and gives you peace of mind while navigating through unfamiliar airports.

  • Pros:
  • Often cheaper than direct options.
  • Opportunity to explore new cities during layovers.
  • Cons:
  • Requires careful planning regarding timing between flights.

Remember, while booking separately can lead to significant savings and unexpected adventures, it also comes with increased responsibility. You’ll need to manage your bookings closely and make sure that each segment aligns perfectly with your travel schedule.

10. Travel During Off-Peak Seasons

Choosing to travel during off-peak seasons can dramatically reduce the cost of your vacation. This time period sees a lower demand for flights and accommodations, making it easier to find deals that would be impossible during peak times frequented by business travelers and holidaymakers.

One significant advantage of traveling off-peak is the opportunity to experience destinations without the overwhelming crowds. You get a more authentic feel of the place, engaging with locals in a way that’s not always possible when streets are packed with tourists.

However, it’s crucial to research weather conditions before booking your trip. Some destinations might be cheaper during certain months due to less favorable weather conditions. Yet, often these so-called “off” seasons can offer their own unique charm and fewer disruptions from day-to-day tourist activities.

For instance, visiting Europe in fall or early spring means cooler temperatures but also smaller crowds at major attractions like the Eiffel Tower or Colosseum. Similarly, Caribbean islands tend to see lower prices right before and after hurricane season – usually late spring or late fall – offering sun-seekers bargain prices with minimal risk.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can using incognito mode help in finding cheaper flight tickets?

Using incognito mode prevents airlines from tracking your searches, ensuring you see the lowest prices without artificial inflation. It’s a savvy move to outsmart the system and snag those budget-friendly deals!

Is signing up for fare alerts worth it?

Absolutely! Fare alerts are like having a personal travel agent who works 24/7 to find you the best deals. They’re crucial for catching price drops and securing cheap tickets before they vanish.

Why should I consider flying with budget airlines?

Budget airlines are game-changers for frugal travelers. They strip down costs by offering basic services, translating into significantly lower fares. Embrace minimalism in the skies and save big!

Can booking flights separately actually save money?

Yes, it’s a hidden gem of travel hacks! Booking connecting flights separately often uncovers cheaper options that airline systems overlook. Just ensure ample layover time to avoid any hiccups.

Why is flexibility in travel dates so important for saving money?

Flexibility is your wallet’s best friend when hunting for cheap tickets. Airlines’ pricing algorithms fluctuate wildly based on demand, so being open to shifting dates can lead you to incredible savings.

How do student discounts contribute to finding cheaper airfare?

Student discounts are an underutilized treasure trove of savings. Many airlines offer special rates or added perks for students, making it easier on your bank account while fulfilling your wanderlust.

Remember: every penny saved on tickets is more cash in hand for adventures at your destination! Don’t just dream about exploring new horizons; use these tips and make it happen affordably.