Not sure about you guys, but I’m currently in the midst of some severely itchy feet. I’m not disclosing here that I have athlete’s foot, I mean I really want to hop on a plane and get travelling… Obviously, that’s not the easiest thing to do for me, as I have other commitments, like a job, and money and a coffee shop stop that I feel relies on me as it’s sole customer to buy really overpriced coffee each day. Imagine if I were to just stop going? They’d close in a week…
ANYWAY, in the midst of my imaginary holiday planning I’ve discovered a lot more sites and companies that make the process of finding cheaper flights way easier than I had ever thought. I wrote this post on my types on how to buy cheap flights almost 2 years ago (which you can read here), but it’s ready for an update, with what I’ve found since then.
So, if you’re looking at booking some flights anytime soon then READ ON
To start with I have to give a shout out to my first point of call and number one:
I’ve waxed lyrical enough about how I use SkyScanner on here, but the function to look at the flight prices throughout the month – and the cheapest month as well – are great for finding the cheapest flights. If you’re still in trip planning mode and have flexibility on your dates this makes for a handy tool at tailoring your trip to the cheapest flights you can find.
The only slight fault is that you have to apply a lot of filters to get what you really want, as it will show you the cheapest flights possible at whatever airline/time combo they can find, whereas if you higher expecations you might be better off looking elsewhere.. which brings me on to the next site…
Always search in incognito mode f you can, so you can avoid the hefty price hikes – this applies for all sites really, even car rental comparison sites.
If date flexibility isn’t as much of an issue then I would definitely suggest checking on Flight Centre. I’d even say it would be a great shout to look immediately when you start planning your trip as it can help you realistically gauge what type of prices you might be looking at.
If you’re not keen on budget airlines, or if you’re going far and therefore the luxury really is worth it, then it’s worth looking here. Their website accessibility and viewpoint are also really handy to compare airline prices quick and easily.
This is a site that’s recently been introduced to me, and there’s a few aspects of using STA that I think can really come in handy. The first is that when you buy flights through STA travel you have the option to only pay a £50 deposit to hold the flights you want. I think this can be a great assets, especially if you want to secure some flights but don’t have the full funds to pay for them at that specific time.
There a few holidays in the past year that I spent a few weeks looking for flights and watching the price get higher each time (which is why it pays to search in Incognito mode!). It’s also a great way to make sure you lock down the holiday you want without having to wait until you have all the relevant funds.
It’s second advantage is that it’s also a great site to use if you are a young person (which STA counts as under 31), as I believe this can help you gain some discount on what you’re looking for. Even if it might not apply for what you are searching for, it’s always worth a try.
Hopper is a new prospect for me, I had heard people mention it and seen it’s name pop up in articles, but I never thought much about it. Then, as it turned out, as my birthday this year falls across the Easter Bank Holiday weekend (as it tends to do every 5 years), it meant flights to Lisbon were coming up a lot more expensive than we’d hoped. So, that’s when I decided to give Hopper a go, and I was really pleasantly surprised.
The idea behind it is very clever, and it could be very handy if you’re flexible with your dates, and have a lot of time to look around – you enter the location your flying from, and where you are flying too, and your intended dates and Hopper will keep an eye on the flight prices as and when they go up or down, and will advise you whether to buy soon, or to keep waiting.
Personally, using this for my trip to Lisbon worked really well. Return flights for our trip were looking at around £200+ before I started using Hopper, until it notified me to say prices had dropped and we could find returns from as low as £130. I’ve spoken to a few people about the app and some believe it’s not as effective as it should be, but from my recent experience using it for Lisbon I have to say I’m really impressed.
I currently have a watch on flights to Sydney for my (hopeful) trip to Australia next January. I’ll keep you all updated as to whether the app helps us to find cheaper flights!
And there we have it, my round up of favourite websites for finding the best flights. I’ve heard great things about other options, such as Kayak, and I will attempt at giving those a go and will keep you posted with how I get on with that.
If you have any recommendations for any other websites or apps then let me know in the comments below! In the mean time, don’t forget to check out my Instagram at GrundyTravels for all the latest pics and post updates!