Broke Girl’s Guide to Cheap Flights

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So, you want to fly somewhere amazing and create memories to last a lifetime, BUT the flight prices are holding you back? It’s frustrating, looking at flight price after price and seeing nothing change. But I’m here to show you that you can find cheap tickets. I’m about to share with you every trick in the book I have for getting cheap flights. Beware though: For cheap flights, you must be flexible! At least I find flexibility to be the best way of ensuring a cheap flight. Be flexible in leaving on a Tuesday instead of a Friday or whether you have one or two layovers. Be flexible, at the end of the day It’s all about the journey!

The first step I take when looking into flights is turning on my VPN, aka a Virtual Private Network. I use TunnelBear (which is free for the first 500MB, but other VPN protectors exist if you google it). This will hide my location and show me as though I’m coming from another country or state depending on where I tunnel my bear to. Your web traffic is seen from a different server’s geographical location, this is great because it helps stop the websites you go on from seeing who you are.

The second step is clearing my history, clearing cookies, and going incognito. If you use CTRL + H, it’ll pop up for you to clear everything. This gives me a clean slate because if I had done any previous research on where I want to go the cookies would make so the prices are higher. AKA don’t skip this step.

Third: Pick websites that compare prices across the internet. My favorite is Skyscanner, the first site I go to because of the ability to search for an entire month. They’re a travel fare aggregator website, showing connecting fares you wouldn’t normally think of. Such as flying one airline halfway to your destination then switching for the final leg of your trip. After going through Skyscanner I switch over to Momondo, it’s very similar to Skyscanner but is owned by the travel website Kayak. I’ve found that Momondo gives a great break down of differences in flight prices per day that helps me narrow down which day to travel. Finally, when I have specific days in mind, I check Priceline, not because they show the best prices, but they have a ‘secret deal’ offer where you can buy plane tickets from your airport to your destination without knowing anything but the day for cheap. I purchased my flights to Ireland this way for $100 less than shown, and I’d do it again if I saw a great deal. Check it out, you never know what you’ll find. When I flew back home using the deal I found on Priceline, I had the entire back of the plane to myself.

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I would not suggest buying through a third-party site. I don’t because of security concerns, plus when I google some sites for legitimacy sometimes pages like this will pop up:

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But how do you buy cheap tickets without using those sites? Firstly, check straight on the airline site. Once you know the exact flight you want to be on, buy from the site. If the deal on the airline’s site isn’t what is shown on a third-party site, call the airline and tell them about the deal you’re seeing. If they say they can’t help you with such a discount, say “Thank you, I’ll buy through ‘whatever site the deal is on’” Most likely what they will say is something along the lines of talking to a supervisor, and then you’ll get the deal. Booking directly with the airlines is a way to get miles which can lead to free tickets. So always try to book from the airlines.

Do not listen to the rumor that flights are cheapest if you buy on a certain day, because they’re not. Flights used to be posted manually but now with advancements of the internet they can be posted whenever. So don’t wait until 6 weeks before or two days before because it will all depend on where you’re going (and where you’re coming from). So last but not least fly safe, fly often, and fly with miles.

Until next time,

Colleen Rose

Bonus tips:

  • Sign up for mileage rewards! All airlines have them and they’re usually free. Signing up for the rewards program will give you perks overtime that equal out to flights. On Spirit, for example, one middle seat on every flight is given free miles that equal to a roundtrip ticket! AKA motivation to pick the middle seat.
  • Fly with minimal baggage. If the airline only allows a personal item (ex: Spirit, Wow, Frontier) see how much you can fit into your personal bag. Same goes for carry on, seeing how little you really need will not only make your trip less stressful but help when going through the airport.
  • If purchasing Tickets on Priceline, or shopping on any kind of site similar: use Ebates. Ebates will give you a percentage back through PayPal, so it’s basically free money.

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