When it comes to traveling, flights are often the heftiest cost which makes sense as to why “how to find cheap flights” is one of the most googled questions.
In this post, I’m sharing what tools I use to find flight deals. Finding more deals is what has enabled me to travel more frequently. I’ve literally saved $100s of dollars using the methods below, and I hope they can help you out as well.
*This post contains affiliate links. Which means that if you purchase something after clicking on a link, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
The Best Way to Find Cheap Flights – Going (Formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights)
The number one way I am able to travel as often as I do is by getting flight deal alerts from Going. The best part? It’s free! They do have paid subscriptions, but for me a free account is plenty. Their paid subscriptions give you access to business and first class deals and “spicy” fares.
Depending on the time of year, I receive between 2-6 flight deals a week sent directly to my inbox. With a free account you can set up to 4 airports to get deal alerts for. Mine are Phoenix, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Phoenix is my home airport and the others are easy/affordable for me to get to.
While you can get lucky and get a flight deal for a destination you’ve been wanting to go to, sometimes you have to take the deal that becomes available.
Going helped me score the following deals:
Out of those, Costa Rica is the only place that I planned on visiting that had a deal come up.
Being flexible with dates and destinations is key when it comes to being able to travel more.
An Alternative Email List for Flight Deals – Pomelo
Similar to Going, Pomelo is an email subscription service that sends deals directly to your inbox.
The only difference is, that with their free version you can’t set up the airports you want to get flight deals for. Once a week or so, you’ll get an email with a travel deal and the cities it is applicable for.
For $39 a month you can upgrade to premium which will allow you to set your airports, and get up to 4x more flight deals delivered to your inbox.
I’ve been signed up for this service for about a year now, and I have noticed that most of the deals with the free version are out of east coast hubs. For example, I recently opened an email advertising $300 roundtrip tickets to Europe! Unfortunately, the deals were only out of Boston, New York, Chicago, Newark, and D.C.
For me, it’s rare to see a deal out of Phoenix come through. But, I do see Los Angeles come up now and then.
I’m currently signed up for both Pomelo and Going because it’s more deals being sent my way, and I have hardly noticed any overlap when it comes to what’s being sent to me.
Finding Cheap Flights Yourself – Google Flights
If you’re looking for a more manual way to find cheap flights, Google Flights is going to be your best friend.
What’s so awesome about Google Flights? There’s multiple different ways to find flight deals.
For example, if you have a time frame in mind but no destination, you can use the explore tab to find the best deals in that time period going anywhere around the globe. Just leave the destination box blank and Google Flights will pull up a list of destinations for you to look at.
Or, you can also narrow down the search and pick a continent, country or area you want to travel to. If you wanted to head to Asia, you would put that in your destination and Google will give you the current pricing for the major/most popular cities in Asia.
Furthermore, with the flexible dates tab, you can search for deals within a specific month or a six month window. With this you can select the length of trip you are looking for. The current options are weekend, one week trip, or two week trip.
For me, I like to use the explore tab to get a general idea of pricing and options. For instance, if I see that there’s good flight prices to France in November, I’ll narrow my search to Europe to see if there’s better pricing to another country in Europe. And from there, I’ll play around with date ranges.
If you want to learn my exact travel planning process, check out my travel planning series.
Mobile App for Finding Cheap Flights – Hopper
Another tool that’s helpful when it comes to finding good prices for flights is Hopper.
What I like about hopper, is that it will tell you whether you should book or wait. Using previous years data, the app will let you know if now is the time to book or if prices will go down.
I have tracked many flights with the app to see whether or not I should go ahead and buy my ticket or wait for a better price. I’ll even use it after finding a flight on Google Flights to see if I’m getting the best price. Their calendars are also color coded to show you when prices are good, okay, moderate, or high.
These are the current tools I’m using to find cheap flights. I’ll make sure to come back and update this post in case I find some other useful tools to use. If you have any questions, leave me a comment below and I will get back to you!