If you want to become a financial rock star, learn how to find cheap flights. After I share how little I pay for plane tickets, many people think I have some kind of special software or an 'in' with the airlines or a travel agency. For example, I recently posted a deal on my Facebook page for a roundtrip flight from Chicago to Orlando for $96. You don't have to stay online 24/7 to find these deals, it is much easier than you would ever imagine, and after reading this article you will know my cheap airfare secrets.
Being Flexible Is The Key To Cheap Airfare
The biggest mistake that people make when searching for airfare is getting locked into their travel dates before beginning their search. I understand that sometimes this can not be avoided, but most of the time it is simply a matter of habit (an expensive habit and you will see why). For example, rather than choosing your vacation travel dates first and then searching for the best available deals, do it in reverse. By scheduling your travel to coincide with the best airfare deals, you will save big.
1. Sign up For Alerts
You can set up a 24/7 airfare deal alert at a wide variety of travel sites. Many of the airlines even have e mail alerts you can subscribe to as well. My favorite is Airfare Watchdog. The site allows you to pick an itinerary (for example Orlando to Boston) and you will receive notifications of deals in real time 24/7. Not only will you receive alerts of legitimate sales and deals, you may also cash in big with a 'mistake fare.' On occasion, the airlines will make a mistake and post something like a $270 flight for $27. It happens more frequently than you would expect. A site like Airfare Watchdog will keep you updated 24/7 by e mail when fares dip in price. The key to cashing in on deal alerts is to act quickly - many of these deals last only hours (sometimes just minutes).
2. Choose Your Destination Based On The Cost Of Airfare
Here we go again, back to the theme of this article - make your travel plans in reverse. One tool that I love for this is Kayak Explore. Simply set your departure city and select a timeframe (which can be a few days or even several months). Within a few seconds you will see a world map with the best deals for roundtrip airfare from your city. The map below shows my city of departure (Orlando), with deals several months into the future. Right away, I can see Chicago for $97, Boston for $200, Cincinnati for $78, and Houston for $167 (all roundtrip fares). Of course, the next step is to click through to see the dates of these deals.
3. When Shopping For A Specific Destination, Use A Fare Calendar To Pick The Cheapest Days To Travel
Another tool that I absolutely love is the fare calender at Fly.com. This is appropriate when your destination is not flexible, but your schedule can be. How it works is that input your departure and destination cities and then select an approximate date. The tool will show you two to three months of fares at a time. When I first started using this tool a few weeks back, I was shocked at the price difference on the same airline, same itinerary, just slightly different dates. While you may accidentally discover these deals while doing multiple searches on a price comparison engine, the airfare calendar takes the guesswork completely out of it.
The game of getting free airline tickets has never been more rewarding, if you know how to play. I don't claim to be an expert on how all of this works, but ChristianMoney.com just posted an article recommending an online course from two of the best-known airfare rewards experts. The article titled, Travel Hackers Share Secret Of Free Travel, provides and overview of the course and even a coupon for a 65% discount.
5. Use Social Media To Find Cheap Airfare
Helping you make the most of God’s money!