At Coworkaholic we’re all about saving money on travel. If there’s anything in life that can become a runaway expense train, it’s being on the road.
Typically a plane ticket is the most expensive part of the trip. Rather than spending more than you need to, here are some great ways to avoid overpaying. Follow our guide on how to save money and find cheap flights the next time you’re planning a trip!
VPNs, Cookies & Incognito Mode
You know that box that pops up on a ton of websites informing you that there are “cookies”? Well, cookies track you and your browsing history. Sure, it’s normal to search a specific set of routes when planning a trip. However, if you don’t set your browser to “incognito mode” you’re susceptible to sites increasing a fare based on your traffic or repeat searches.
The same goes for when you are using a VPN to mask what country you are booking from. You always want to double check as prices may vary based on where the system thinks you are located. Privacy is your best friend when it comes to getting cheap flights.
Play Your Own Travel Agent
It’s amazing what a little planning can do. Whether you’ve got an overseas trip that includes multiple flights or you live within easy transit distance to a few airports, you can find plenty of cheap flights. All you need to do is think like a Travel Agent. Take into consideration all airports that are within an easy bus or train ride. Two hours train from Boston to fly out of NYC to save $500 or more is hard to pass up.
Or, take the extra time to plan long haul connections with regional low cost carriers. Even most alliance partner carriers have some version of a low cost option. Inter-continent or regional flights aren’t that long anyway. Less frills for big savings. While you can’t always earn full award miles or qualifying miles/dollars on them, sometimes you can get code share or at least baggage forwarding. Worst comes to worst? You’re still making a connecting flight, but this time for far less.
“Miss” Your Connection
There’s a lot of controversy over this, thanks to Lufthansa recently suing passengers for “missing” their connections. All thanks to Skiplagged, a search engine dedicated to hacking cheap flights based on creative use of connections. Many times it will be cheaper to fly through your desired destination, then it is to book a direct ticket. The premise is you simply “miss” the connecting flight on your layover and get off at the city of your choice.
There’s new arguments over the legality of this or whether it’s worthy of losing your ability to fly with that carrier again. That said, the savings are often times too hard to pass up. Just be sure not to check a bag: not only will it cause a delay on the connecting flight, but airlines will often charge you the difference in ticket price + fees to get it back.
Fly on the Cheapest Day
Ok, so yeah, anyone can say it. But how do you know what day that is? Skyscanner is the go-to tool for finding the best date for a month or more in advance.
Just hit “chart” when you’re on their site and you can break down the dates that are: cheapest, mid-range and most expensive. Sometimes the dates might not exactly line up with your original plans. That’s where our next tip comes in!
Like with anything in life, the more you force it the more it’s not meant to happen. Unless you are searching for a specific business trip or an important family function, loosen up! Have an idea for what type of trip you are looking to plan, come up with a date range and be open to last minute sales. Remember Skyscanner? Use them to track all destinations from a single origin airport, or categorize the results by “this weekend”, “next weekend” or “this month”. The more flexibility, the better the deals you’ll “find”.
Pay for Alerts
You get what you pay for, right? There are subscriptions services out that that do most of the hard work for you: researching flights! Well, if you use a service like Cheap Flight Alerts you can get notifications for deals and even customize them based on your preferred airports, airlines and travel dates.
Cheap Flight Alerts offer a free, basic option – but for only $49/year their premium subscription not only gets you access to better deals, but also notifications to all deals first and greater customization for setting alerts.
The post The Coworkaholic’s Guide to Finding Cheap Flights was first published on Coworkaholic.