Booking cheap flights has become one of our specialties. In this post, we’ve organized a list of the 12 best travel websites and tips that have saved us thousands of dollars on airline tickets.
The Best Travel Fare Aggregators
Travel aggregators are search engines for flights, hotels, car rentals, and more. Check out the top travel aggregators for booking cheap airfare below.
Skyscanner is my go-to travel aggregator for many reasons.
The tools that Skyscanner offers are unmatched by other travel booking websites. Using these tools has helped us find the cheapest travel dates and the cheapest locations to fly.
A few of our favorite tools on Skyscanner include the “Whole Month” tab and the “Cheapest Month” button. The “Whole Month” tab will generate flight prices for the entire selected month. We use this to decide which days are the cheapest to fly. This tool is especially useful for those who are flexible with their travel dates.
The “Cheapest Month” option will show you exactly which month is the most cost-effective for flying. When deciding on a trip, we often use this to determine our departure month. This feature has saved us hundreds of dollars on flights.
A few of our other favorite Skyscanner hacks can be found in our recent blog post:
The best part about Skyscanner is that it searches heaps of other travel aggregators for the most cost-effective tickets, including many of the other websites listed below. For that reason, I turn to Skyscanner as my first option for cheap flights.
If you haven’t heard of Skiplagged yet.. well, I hope it changes your life in the same way it has changed mine!
Where do I even begin to describe Skiplagged?
This is a travel aggregating website similar to Skyscanner and Momondo, however, Skiplagged offers a unique algorithm. Skiplagged shows flights that airlines don’t want you to see called “hidden-city flights”. This means that Skiplagged finds flights with multiple legs and instead of the person taking the entire flight, they exit during one of the layovers.
Below, you can see an example of how these hidden-city flights work. Flying from Atlanta to Orlando may typically cost someone $250. Choosing to fly from Atlanta to Dallas with a layover in Orlando may only cost $130. The person will exit in Orlando and save over $120.
We have found the absolute best flight deals using Skiplagged. Personally, I have always had issues finding cheap domestic flights but with Skiplagged, cost-effective domestic flights are no longer an issue. Using Skiplagged for international flights is just as economical.
Cons: every website has its downfalls. Something that Skiplagged is missing is the ability to use a broad range of travel dates. If you are a flexible traveler and want to find the cheapest date to fly, this website might not be your best option.
Kiwi is another travel fare aggregator that I frequently use to find affordable flights. With some of the best flight prices on the internet, I highly suggest giving this website a try.
Our favorite tool on the Kiwi website is the ability to broadly search travel fares. Like Skyscanner, Kiwi allows users to search the cheapest travel destinations from any given departure city. Although they are similar, users are able to use broad locations on the Kiwi website, unlike on Skyscanner.
For example, below you can see that I am searching for flights from Minneapolis to Europe using Kiwi.com. This allows me to narrow down my search to all airports in Europe.
Unfortunately, Skyscanner only allows users to use the “Everywhere” option, which you can see in the picture below. Although the “Everywhere” option is helpful in many cases, it’s nice to narrow down the search to a specific continent or country.
With Kiwi, I am able to choose a broad location and a broad date range. Below, you can see that I am searching for a flight from Minneapolis to anywhere in Europe. I chose the “Anytime” option for the date range. This will show me exactly where and when I can fly for the best price.
This tool also gives me an idea of the cheapest gateways to Europe. Therefore, if I’m looking to book a flight to Europe in the future, I’ll know which destinations are the most affordable.
Although these websites are not my first choice for travel deals, they are still worth mentioning. I have found many great flight prices and hotel deals using the following sites:
Be sure to check out Momondo’s “Deal” tab. Here, Momondo will display all of their best travel bargains.
Another notable travel aggregator is Vayama. Vayama also does a great job featuring the best flight deals. I especially appreciate the “International flight deals” section on their website.
6. Google Flights
Google Flights is a well-known searching tool. Since Skyscanner provides all of the same features (and more), I typically don’t use Google Flights. However, it is still a great option for cheap flights.
The Best Paid Travel Discount Websites
The next three travel discount sites cost a monthly or annual fee. All of these subscriptions are similar in that they send their subscribers email updates with ridiculously cheap flight deals. Each of these sites use software that alerts them when a flight significantly drops in price.
Having used two out of the three services listed below, I can attest that all of these services are worth the money.
1. Scott’s Cheap Flights
I have not used Scott’s Cheap Flights, however, I have only heard good things about it from other travelers. For $49 per year, you will have custom flight alerts sent directly to your email inbox. Receiving instant alerts comes in handy because most flight deals only last for a limited time. Jumping on these prices as quickly as possible is vital.
FareDrop is my personal favorite because not only is it cheap, but they are CONSTANTLY sending me unbelievable flight deals. Check out the picture below. I received five incredible flight deals within six minutes today.
FareDrop also lets its subscribers customize their notifications by allowing them to choose several different departure airports. I currently get updates for Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Chicago.
At $47.88 per year, this is a steal. We quickly made our money back by booking one of the flights sent to us, which saved us over $300.
3. Mighty Travels
We don’t continue to use Mighty Travels Premium, but thoroughly enjoyed it when we did. Mighty Travels is a bit more expensive than the other two services, which is why we discontinued our subscription. However, you get what you pay for. Mighty Travels includes really affordable business class tickets, which is why it is more expensive.
I’ve heard that FareDrop will also include business class fares soon so we are crossing our fingers for the day it happens!
You can sign up for Mighty Travels for $57.72 per year or pay $7.99 per month.
The Best Free Travel Deal Websites
The following are websites that constantly update with the latest and greatest flight deals. With these websites, a search function for specific flights in unavailable; flexibility is key for deals.
1. Secret Flying
Secret Flying is my go-to website for mistake fares and insanely cheap international flights. Of course, we must wait for the deals to appear, but when they do, it’s SO worth the wait.
In November, Mike and I found a deal on Secret Flying and booked roundtrip business class tickets from San Francisco to Bangkok for $550 each. We’re talking lie-flat beds. Ridiculously cheap.
2. The Flight Deal
The Flight Deal offers a similar experience as Secret Flying, but perhaps less extensive. I recommend clicking on the “Flight Deals” tab at the top of the page to browse through their awesome bargains.
The Best Travel Aggregator App
Hopper is a travel aggregator similar to Skyscanner, but can only be used through their app.
Unfortunately, they do not have a browser version. However, I highly recommend downloading the Hopper app; you won’t be disappointed.
A few of our favorite features on the Hopper app include the calendar chart and notifications tool. In the picture below, you can see a display of color-coded months. With further inspection, the colors represent price ranges for each day. This shows us which days are the cheapest for flying.
Perhaps the dates you want to travel don’t have the best deals. This is when the notifications tool comes in handy. Select the dates you want to fly and check “Watching”. Hopper will alert you when the price fluctuates for your flight. It also gives users advice on when to buy their tickets in order to get the best price.
The Wrap-Up: Best Websites For Cheap Flights
While there isn’t a perfect website for travel deals, using a variety of the sites listed above will generate the cheapest airfare possible. We have utilized all of these resources over the past couple of years and have saved thousands of dollars on our airline tickets.
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