Looking to save BIG on your next flight? Curious about how and when to find the cheapest flights? Finding cheap flights in 2023 is easier than you might think…
For me, finding cheap airfare is crucial, as it can often be one of the biggest expenses of a trip. By finding good deals on flights, you can free up more of your budget for other aspects of your journey, including accommodations, activities, and souvenirs. In addition, being able to find cheap flights can also allow you to be more spontaneous with your travel plans. That way, you won’t have to worry as much about the cost of getting to your destination.
Are you ready to soar through the skies without breaking the bank? Look no further! In this article, we’ll share expert tips and tricks for finding those elusive cheap flights.
From being flexible with your travel dates to keeping an eye on fare sales, we’ve got all the information you need to score sweet deals on your next journey. So buckle up and get ready to fly high without burning a hole in your wallet. Here’s how to find the cheapest flights to anywhere in the world in 2023.
1. Sign up for alerts from travel sites
For me, this has been the single most important step in how to find cheap flights. Here are two flight deal websites that save me THOUSANDS of dollars each year:
Scott’s Cheap Flights
In 2023, I HIGHLY recommend signing up for Scott’s Cheap Flights (now called Going). It’s 100% free and super easy to use. Last year, I saved thousands of dollars on flights by using their service, finding roundtrip fares from Boston to Barcelona ($215), Boston to San Diego ($197), Boston to Morocco ($346), and Boston to Cancun ($179).
Basically, this service sends out alerts when they spot great deals on flights, so you can be one of the first to snag them. And trust me, these deals can be seriously amazing. We’re talking hundreds of dollars off the usual price of a flight.
In addition to the free version, there are two other memberships worth considering: Premium and Elite. The Premium version is $49 per year (here’s a 20% off discount code that you can use: JON20). The Elite version is $199 per year, and it gives you the best features and functionalities. Using Going Elite, I recently saw a first class flight from Chicago to Dubai for just $2,450 (a savings of $7k!). So needless to say, this service quickly pays for itself.
Dollar Flight Club
This is another way to save BIG on airfare. Similar to Scott’s, Dollar Flight Club is a subscription service that sends flight deals to your inbox. I typically save around 75% on airfare thanks to this service.
Dollar Flight Club offers three membership options: Free, Premium, and Premium Plus. I recommend signing up for the premium version, which is $69 per year and has 4x more flight deals than the free version, in addition to extra customizations.
I’ve found that each website offers different flight deals (up to 90% off), so it’s a good idea to sign up for both. I actually like DFC’s user interface a little better, and find that they update flight deals more regularly than Scott’s.
Want to learn more about this flight deal site? Read my up-to-date review of Dollar Flight Club in 2023.
2. Be flexible with your travel dates
Being flexible with your travel dates can be a great way to find cheap flights in 2023. Here are a few specific tips and strategies for making the most of this approach:
- Fly during the week instead of the weekend: Weekend flights tend to be more expensive. So consider booking your trip for a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday instead.
- Consider traveling during shoulder season: This time of year is not quite peak season, but not quite off-season either. Prices for flights and accommodations tend to be lower during this time. So it can be a great way to save some cash. For example, flying to Europe during months like May and October has saved me hundreds of dollars in the past.
- Don’t be afraid to be a little spontaneous: If you see a great deal on a flight that leaves in the next week or two, don’t be afraid to jump on it. This can be a great way to save money and have a spontaneous adventure.
- Be open to alternative destinations: If you’re flexible with where you go, you may be able to find some amazing deals on flights to destinations that are a little off the beaten path. So why not consider expanding your horizons and seeing somewhere new?
In addition to the cheap flight tips above, I recommend using Skyscanner’s “Everywhere” feature to find sweet deals. The screenshot below shows what this feature looks like and how to book cheap flights. Even if you can be flexible by just a few days, you’ll save lots of money while flying.
3. Mix and match your flights
Mixing and matching your flights with different carriers can be a great way to save money on airfare. Here are a few ideas for making the most of this approach:
- Use flight comparison sites: These websites allow you to see prices from multiple airlines all in one place, which can be a great way to find the best deal. I always use Skyscanner to compare prices on different airline websites.
- Don’t be afraid to book one-way flights: Instead of booking a round-trip flight with the same airline, consider booking one-way flights with different carriers. This can often save you a lot of money.
- Check out budget airlines: Many budget airlines offer great deals on flights, especially when you forgo some of the frills that you might get with a traditional carrier. Some low-cost airlines include Ryanair, Southwest Airlines, EasyJet, Norwegian, and more.
- Consider flying into or out of an alternative airport: Sometimes, flying into a smaller airport that is a bit further away from your destination can be a lot cheaper than flying into the main airport. Just make sure to factor in the cost of getting to and from the airport.
- Be open to layovers: While non-stop flights are often more convenient, they can also be more expensive. If you’re willing to have a layover, you may be able to save some serious cash on your flights.
4. Keep an eye on airfare sales
Cheap flight deals are always out there, you just gotta look for them. Below are some ways to get the cheapest flights that have served me well over the years.
- Follow your favorite airlines on social media: Many airlines announce fare sales on their social media accounts. So, it pays to follow them and keep an eye out for deals. Already in January 2023, I’ve seen major airlines announce discounted fares and fun contests to save money on flights.
- Sign up for alerts from airlines and travel websites: Many airlines and travel websites offer email or text alerts when they spot deals on flights. This can be a great way to stay informed about the latest discounts.
- Book your flights at the last minute: While it’s generally a good idea to book your flights in advance to get the best prices, sometimes you can find amazing deals if you’re willing to book at the last minute. Just make sure to be flexible with your travel dates and destination.
5. Join a frequent flyer program
Looking for how to find a cheap flight right now? Joining a frequent flyer program can be a great way to save money on flights. Here are some tips to consider when choosing a loyalty program:
One way to get the most out of a frequent flyer program is to choose a program that is offered by an airline that you fly with often. That way, you’ll be able to rack up points and miles faster and redeem them for things like free flights or upgrades. It’s also a good idea to choose a program that has a wide variety of partners, so you have more options for earning and redeeming points. I am a part of DeltaSkyMiles, American Airlines AAdvantage, United MileagePlus, and Southwest Rapid Rewards. Each of these programs offer great benefits and opportunities to earn free flights, seat upgrades, and other perks.
Another tip is to take advantage of any promotions or bonuses that the frequent flyer program offers. These can be a great way to earn extra points or miles, which can then be redeemed for discounts or free flights.
It’s also a good idea to be aware of any blackout dates or restrictions that may apply to your frequent flyer benefits. Some programs may have certain times of year when it’s more difficult to redeem points or miles, so it pays to be aware of these restrictions and plan accordingly.
Overall, joining a frequent flyer program can be a great way to save money on flights, as long as you’re willing to put in a little bit of effort to earn and redeem your points. So why not give it a try and see how much you can save on your next adventure?
6. Use Google Flights’ Explore Map
One of my go-to travel websites for finding cheap airfare is Google Flights. It’s a great resource overall, but in particular, I love using their ‘Explore Map’ feature. All you have to do is enter the departure airport and leave the “destination” field blank. Then, a map will show up revealing all your different flight options.
The Explore Map allows you to filter your search results by price, so you can see which destinations are within your budget. You can also filter your search results by interests, such as beaches, nature, or cultural destinations. This can be a great way to find destinations that fit your specific interests.
If you’re extra flexible, you can also remove dates from your search, to keep it extra open ended. From there, you can scroll around the map to find cheap flights anywhere around the world. The image below shows what this feature looks like:
7. Take advantage of the 24-hour flight cancellation rule
Are you looking at flights that depart (or arrive) in the US? Then this tip for how to find the cheapest flights is for you!
The US Government requires that airlines provide passengers with full refunds on all flights if you cancel within 24 hours of booking. This includes both domestic and international airlines. That way, even if you aren’t 100% sold on the trip, you’re still able to buy the flight now and get a refund later, as long as you cancel within 24 hours.
As someone who’s made his fair share of impulse purchases, I’ve really taken advantage of this policy.
8. Look at flight search engines to find cheap flights
One of the biggest advantages of using flight comparison sites is that they allow you to see prices from multiple airlines all in one place. This can be a huge time-saver, as you don’t have to go to each airline’s website individually to check prices. It’s also a great way to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible, as you can see prices from multiple carriers side-by-side.
Another tip is to use a flight comparison site that allows you to filter your search results. This is a great way to narrow down your options and find flights that fit your specific needs. For example, you can filter by departure and arrival times, number of stops, and type of aircraft. I’ve found that Skyscanner has the best features for this.
It’s also a good idea to be flexible with your travel dates and destination (i.e. by using Skyscanner’s “Everywhere” feature). This can often lead to some great deals, as you may be able to find discounted flights to destinations that are a little off the beaten path. So, consider expanding your horizons and see somewhere new!
9. Avoid traveling during summers and holidays
Summer and holidays can be a great time to travel, but they are also some of the most expensive times to fly. If you want to figure out how to find cheap flights, consider avoiding these times of year.
Instead, I recommend flying during the off-peak season, which will vary from destination to destination. In Europe and North America, the most budget-friendly time of year to fly is from January-May and September-November. In the southern hemisphere, you’ll find cheaper airfare during their winter months (our summer time).
If at all possible, I would avoid traveling during big holidays like Christmas, New Years, and Thanksgiving. On average, airfare prices can be over 75% higher during these periods. This is one of the best ways to find cheap flights.
10. How to find cheap flights: Be careful with budget airlines
Budget airlines don’t always have the best reputation, and sometimes, it’s for good reason (cough, RyanAir). While these low-cost carriers can be a great way to save money on flights, it’s important to be careful when booking with these carriers. Here are a few reasons why.
You might not even make it to your destination
Budget airlines are notorious for canceling flights at the last minute, so there’s always a chance that you’ll end up stranded in the airport. But hey, at least you saved a few bucks on your ticket, right?
Many budget airlines charge fees for things that are often included with traditional carriers, such as checked bags, in-flight meals, and seat assignments. These fees can add up quickly, and if you’re not careful, you could end up paying more than you would have with a traditional carrier.
Say goodbye to personal space
Budget airlines are known for packing as many people onto a plane as possible, so you can expect to be wedged in like a sardine. But hey, at least you won’t have to worry about anyone stealing your armrest, because there won’t be any room for your arms!
Budget airlines often have a more limited route network compared to traditional carriers, which can make it more difficult to get to your destination.
Poor customer service
Some budget airlines have a reputation for poor customer service, which can make for a frustrating travel experience. This is a trade-off with how to get flights cheaper.
Be sure to read the fine print when booking with a budget airline, as there may be hidden costs that are not immediately apparent.
Overall, budget airlines can be a great way to save cash while flying. However, it’s important to do your research to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. Just remember, sometimes you get what you pay for. And in this case, you might not be getting much at all. When taking into account all the hidden fees, you can sometimes find a cheaper flight by flying with a more premium airline.
11. Use sites like Google Flights and Hopper to track specific flights
If you have an idea of where (precisely) you want to visit, set airfare alerts on your preferred flight route. You can easily do this on sites like Hopper and Google Flights, as shown below. Once you set up the alert, you’ll receive a push notification when the fare drops below a certain price.
12. Don’t listen to myths about the best days & times to book flights
There are many myths out there about the best days and times to book flights (i.e. Tuesday mornings). However, the truth is that there is no “one size fits all” answer. While there may be certain times of year when flights are generally cheaper, there are so many factors that impact the price of a flight that it’s impossible to say for sure when the best time to book is.
Some factors that determine flight prices include flight demand, popular events, competitor prices, weather conditions, and fuel prices (to name a few). Nowadays, flight prices are changing every minute – not every hour or every day. Because airfare prices are constantly changing, it’s best to book a cheap fare whenever you find it because it probably won’t last long.
In 2023, cheap flight deals are emerging all the time. That’s why you should use a service like Going to stay on top of them.
13. Pay for flights in foreign currencies when they are cheaper
If you’re keen on learning how to get the cheapest flights, consider paying for them in a foreign currency! Here’s how it works:
- Find a currency conversion website: There are many websites that allow you to compare the value of different currencies (i.e. xe.com). By using one of these websites, you can see which currencies are currently stronger than others.
- Check the prices of flights in different currencies: Many airlines allow you to pay for flights in different currencies, so it’s a good idea to check the prices in a few different currencies to see which one is the cheapest. Recently, when the dollar was strong compared to the Mexican Peso, I saved 15% by booking with the Mexico version of the airline website.
- Pay for your flights in the cheapest currency: Once you’ve found the currency that offers the best deal, go ahead and pay for your flights in that currency. Just be sure to keep an eye on exchange rates, as they can fluctuate over time.
By paying for your flights in a foreign currency, you can often save some serious cash. Just be sure to do your research and compare prices in a few different currencies to find the best deal. This cheap flight tip doesn’t always work, but it’s always worth checking just in case!
14. Use student discounts (if you can!)
If you’re a student at a college/university or you’re under 26 years old, definitely take advantage of student discounts. When I was in college, I used Student Universe to find cheap flights around the world, and they were usually 10-15% cheaper than the typical fare. To this day, it’s still an excellent travel resource for finding cheap flights, hotels, and rental cars.
Other airlines with student discounts include American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Lufthansa. Refer to their official websites or give them a call for more information on how these flight discounts work.
15. Sign up for travel rewards credit cards
Last, but not least in this guide on how to get the cheapest flights is to sign up for rewards programs. I recommend signing up for a travel rewards credit like the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, which has no foreign transaction fees and has benefits like 5x points on flights and 3x points on travel and dining. With this card, you also get lounge access and 50% additional value when redeeming travel expenses like airfare, hotels, and rental cars. If you sign up using this promo code, you’ll get 60,000 points ($900 in value!).
No matter how much you fly, it’s worth signing up for an airline or credit card reward program. For more information on how to take full advantage of these travel hacks, read next: Best Travel Hacks for Flying in 2023.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about how to find cheap flights
Here are some common questions (and answers) on the best ways to find cheap flights in 2023.
Where can I find the cheapest flight prices?
If you’re on a quest for the cheapest flight prices, look no further than Dollar Flight Club. This service is like a treasure map for flight deals, constantly scanning the vast seas of the internet to unearth the best bargains. By sending these deals straight to your inbox, Dollar Flight Club makes it easy for you to snag those low prices and set sail on your next adventure without sinking your budget!
Are there any cheap flight services out there that you recommend?
Absolutely! I highly recommend using Going (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights) to unlock cheap deals on airfare. It’s free to sign up and you get all the benefits without paying a dime. When there are cheap flights available from your home airport, you’ll be notified via email and trust me, the cost savings are real! If you’re looking for the cheapest flights right now, prepare to be amazed with Going.
How far in advance should I book my flights to get the best price?
a classic question that every savvy traveler asks. The short answer is that it depends on a few factors, but generally speaking, the earlier you book, the better.
Here’s why: Airlines often release their cheapest seats several months in advance, so if you’re able to plan ahead, you may be able to snag some seriously discounted tickets. However, it’s also important to keep in mind that prices can fluctuate on a daily basis, so it’s always a good idea to do your research and compare prices from multiple sources before booking.
So if you’re looking to save some cash on your flights, your best bet is to start planning and booking as early as possible. Just don’t wait too long, or you might miss out! Happy travels!
Is it cheaper to book a round-trip or one-way ticket?
Is it cheaper to book a round-trip or one-way ticket? This is a question that I get a lot. The quick answer is that it depends on a few factors and it’s not always clear cut.
Here’s the thing: Sometimes, round-trip tickets can be cheaper than two one-way tickets, especially if you’re flying with a budget airline. However, this isn’t always the case, and it’s important to do your research and compare prices from multiple sources before booking.
So, if you’re trying to save some cash on your flights, your best bet is to do some comparison shopping and see which option works out to be the cheapest. Just be sure to factor in any fees or restrictions that might come with a one-way ticket, as these can sometimes end up costing you more in the long run.
How can I get the cheapest airline tickets?
If you’re looking to score some cheap airline tickets, there are a few strategies you can try. One option is to book your flights in advance. Airlines often release their cheapest seats several months in advance, so if you’re able to plan ahead, you may be able to find some great deals. Another option is to be flexible with your travel dates. If you’re able to be flexible with your schedule, you may be able to find some great deals. For example, flights during the week are often cheaper than flights on weekends.
Another strategy is to consider alternative airports. Sometimes, flying into or out of a smaller airport that is a bit further away from your destination can be a lot cheaper than flying into the main airport. You can also use flight comparison sites to compare prices on flights from multiple airlines all in one place, which can be a great way to find the best deal. Another idea is to book connecting flights, as direct flights are often more expensive than flights with layovers. If you’re willing to have a longer journey, you may be able to save some money by booking a flight with a layover. By following these tips and doing some research, you’ll be able to find some great deals on airline tickets.
Should I book directly with the airline or use a third-party booking site?
This is a question that many travelers ask me, and the answer can be a little complicated. Here are a few things to consider when deciding whether to book directly with the airline or use a third-party booking site:
- Price: In some cases, you may be able to find cheaper prices on third-party booking sites like Expedia or Skyscanner. These sites often offer discounts or special deals that you won’t find on the airline’s own website. However, it’s important to note that prices can fluctuate daily (or even hourly). So, it’s always a good idea to compare prices from multiple travel apps before booking.
- Fees: Some third-party booking sites may charge additional fees for booking flights, which can add up and make your ticket more expensive. That’s why it’s important to read the fine print and be aware of any fees before booking.
- Flexibility: If you need to make changes to your flight, it may be easier to do so directly with the airline rather than through a third-party booking site. If a flight gets canceled or delayed with a third-party booking site, it can be a nightmare to get a refund. However, this will depend on the specific policies of the airline and the booking site.
Do flight prices go down on Tuesday?
It’s a common myth that flight prices go down on Tuesdays, but the truth is a little more complicated than that. While it’s true that flight prices can fluctuate on a daily basis, it’s difficult to say for sure whether or not prices are more likely to go down on any particular day of the week. Keep in mind that prices change constantly and the flight deals will vary from destination to destination. In addition, you’ll find a lot of variability in flight prices depending on the airline and time of year. Forget the myth that flight prices are cheaper on Tuesdays and instead, focus on finding the best airfare deal for your specific needs and preferences.
Is it cheaper to buy flight last minute?
This is another debunked myth around finding cheap flights. Though you can sometimes find good deals by booking last minute, it’s definitely not the norm. Here are a few reasons why it may not be cheaper to buy flights last minute:
- Limited availability: If you wait until the last minute to book a flight, you may find that there are very few seats left on the plane, which can drive up the price.
- Higher demand: If you’re booking a flight at the last minute, it’s likely that other people are doing the same, which can increase demand and drive up the price.
- Limited options: If you wait until the last minute to book a flight, you may find that there are only a few options available, which can limit your ability to find the best deal.
Overall, while it’s possible to find great deals on last minute flights, it’s not always a sure thing. It’s important to do your research and compare prices from multiple sources before booking a flight to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. This is a great strategy for how to find a cheap flight.
Is it true that flights are cheaper at midnight?
Is it true that flights are cheaper at midnight? Oh absolutely, because who wouldn’t want to be up at the stroke of midnight frantically searching for flights, right? It’s not like there are any better things to do at that time of night, like sleep or have a life. No, no, no. The best way to spend your midnight hours is definitely scouring the internet for cheap flights. And let me tell you, it’s a total breeze.
Just keep hitting refresh on your browser and eventually, you’ll stumble upon the deal of a lifetime. I mean, it’s not like there are any other factors that might impact the price of a flight, like destination, travel dates, or the airline you’re flying with. No, no. It’s all about the time of day. So go ahead, set your alarm for midnight and get ready to score some amazing deals on flights. Good luck!
Are there certain days of the week that are cheaper to fly on?
This is another question that has plagued travelers for ages (or at least it feels that way). There isn’t always a clear pattern for how to get flights for cheap. But I will do my best to answer this as best I can.
Here’s the thing: Flight prices fluctuate on a daily basis, and it’s difficult to say for sure whether or not you’ll find a better deal on a particular day of the week. However, it’s worth noting that some experts have found that flights are often cheapest on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Others have found that prices tend to be highest on Fridays and Sundays. If you’re wondering how to find the best flights, however, you’ll have to pay more.
So, if you’re trying to save cash on your flights, your best bet is to do some comparison shopping and see which days of the week offer the best deals for your specific destination. Just keep in mind that prices can change at any time. So it’s always a good idea to book as soon as you find a deal that you like.
Are there any insider tips for finding cheap flights that I should know about?
Here are a few insider tips for finding cheap flights that will help you save some serious cash:
- Be flexible with your destination: Do you have a specific destination in mind? You might be able to find cheaper flights by being open to exploring nearby cities or countries. For example, if you’re looking to visit Europe, you might be able to find cheaper flights by flying into a city that’s a little further away from your desired destination. Then, take a train or bus to your final destination.
- Use an incognito window: When searching for flights online, consider using an incognito window. Some websites track your search history and may show you higher prices if you’ve visited the site before. Using an incognito window can help you avoid this.
- Use a virtual private network (VPN): If you’re searching for flights from a different country, you might be shown different prices based on your location. By using a VPN, you can trick the website into thinking you’re in a different location and potentially find cheaper flights. Just be aware that some websites may not allow you to book if you’re using a VPN.
- Consider smaller, alternative airports: Flying to a major city? You might be able to find cheaper flights by flying into a smaller airport that’s nearby. For example, if you’re going to New York City, you may find cheaper flights by flying into Newark or Philadelphia instead of JFK or LaGuardia.
Best way to find a cheap flight in 2023
Well, there you have it! A whole bunch of tips and tricks for finding cheap flights in 2023. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time flyer, these strategies should help you save some serious cash on your next trip.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to dust off your passport and start planning your next adventure! Just be sure to do your research, compare prices from multiple sources, and be open to exploring different options. With a little bit of effort, you’ll be on your way to scoring some amazing deals on flights. Happy travels!
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