We’ve all been there – determined to find cheap flights but somehow ending up just glued to the laptop screen for hours on end. Travling the latest and greatest comparison websites trying to discover the cheapest flight deals…

Finding cheap flights can be a pain, especially with endless search options, comparison websites and constant fluctuating prices. It can end up being a frustrating process when it should be fun!

1. Secret Search

You’ve been searching for a while now, the price started out ok but you thought you could do better. But now, you’re panicking, the price is increasing. Have you pressed a different button, selected the right day? How can the cheapest airfare suddenly disappear! Well let me tell you, you’re not going insane, you’re being watched.

Ok, so there’s not some weird guy peering through the window at your laptop screen. Instead ‘cookies’ are tracking your searches and feeding the most frequent and popular back to the suppliers. This, in turn, bumps up the once attractive prices. Putting you into panic mode in the hope you will just book the more expensive fare because it’s the ‘last best deal’. So let me tell you how to get around creepy cookies and how to get cheap flight tickets back!

Always search for your cheap flight deals in private with incognito windows

2. Use the best flight search engines

All search engines have inflated flight costs as part of taking a cut from the airlines. Some search engines (e.g. Expedia) consistently inflate much higher than others (listed below). It pays to familiarise yourself with sites that offer the best prices.

Use These to Book

  • Cheapoair
    • NEW: Exclusive coupon for Thrifty Nomads readers: Up to $50 off with promo code THRIFTY50
  • AirWander (lets you extend layoversinto stopovers to visit 2 destinations with 1 trip – see tip #7)
  • JetRadar (includes budget airlines, which many search engines don’t)
  • Google Flights (good tool to quickly compare flight dates – not usually the best prices

3. Identify the cheapest day to fly out

While many theories exist around booking specifically on a Tuesday to save money, the reality is there is no consistent truth to exactly which days are cheapest to fly. Most of the time it is cheaper to leave on a weekday, though this isn’t always the case. Your best strategy is to get a quick visual of prices for a whole month to see what days are cheapest for your specific route. Here’s how:

Step 1. Hop on the Skyscanner website or download the app

Step 2. Enter your departure & arrival cities

Step 3. Select “one-way” (even if flying round trip – you’re just determining the cheapest days to fly out first)

Step 4. On a computer: click “Depart” but instead of entering a date, select “Whole Month”, and then “Cheapest Month” so you can browse all dates to see which is cheapest. Hit “Search flights” to easily see which date is cheapest.

In the mobile app:Tap the departure date, then change the view to “Chart”. You can easily swipe left and right to find the cheapest date, and tap on one of the bars to see the price.

Repeat these steps for your return flight if applicable. You can still book a round trip in one booking, but doing these steps first will let you see which dates are generally cheaper to fly in/out on for your round trip. and Google Flights work similarly to Skyscanner, plus they have map views as well, so you can see where the airport is. For tracking when and where is cheapest to fly, Hopper also offer price analysis and track fluctuations (i.e. when is best to fly).


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