It feels like the world has jolted back to its regularly scheduled ways. Most major cities have lifted some, if not all, COVID restrictions, the vaccine has rolled out, and it seems like everyone on social media is outside. Plus, this new outside is a lot more expensive than what most remember before the coronavirus upended their lives. If you're ready to go outside, I hope your pockets can keep up!
With flight prices increasing, there are a few tried and true methods to snagging cheap tickets no matter the season. I've had the most luck in scoring cheap tickets by using my Chase Sapphire points strategically. I recently got a one-way ticket from Ohio to Detroit for $19.00. In addition to a free night stay at a hotel in the city. Once, I got a ticket for using my points for only $5.00 for a one-way from Washington D.C. to Ohio.
Being budget-savvy is one strategy I used to help pay off my student loans. One of my motivators to paying off $30,000 in loans was to give me the freedom to travel more. There is an art to finding a cheap plane ticket. Clearing your history browser, booking on a Tuesday, and being flexible with dates are standard methods for booking an inexpensive flight. Besides searching on popular sites like Kayak and Expedia to find deals, there are a plethora of others you should triple check before purchasing.
Here are six sites where you can search for cheap tickets, discounts, and more.
1. Google Flights
What might seem familiar to some is not common to all. I was a bit shocked when I realized a few of my friends haven't heard of Google Flights. This site is where I begin any search for cheap plane tickets. With its simple interface, it's easier to compare flight prices across different airlines, and the calendar function makes it simple to see what flight prices are like at various times during the month.
When planning ahead, Skyscanner is an excellent option to help you track flights. You can download the app and input in your flight information and Skyscanner will send you an alert when the price drops. Using this feature allows you to score the cheapest ticket at the right time. I also love the different options it gives you when booking a flight, such as showing you the fattest route vs. the cheapest way.
3. Scott's Cheap Flights
Now for Scott's Cheap Flights, you'll need a paid membership to use, but one of my old coworkers used to swear by it. They pride themselves on "doing the work for you." They have two tiers of membership: Elite and Premium. Once you sign up, you input your information, such as your departure airport. Then watch your emails for the deals to start flowing in, and most deals are between 40-90 percent off.
Hopper is an app that uses a data-driven approach to search the interwebs for the cheapest plane tickets and then delivers them to you. I've used the app to help me book a plane ticket from Ohio to Japan for only $600 in 2018. The app predicts future flight prices with 95 percent accuracy. When I plan for a trip, I always turn on their alert settings to make sure I get the best deal.
5. Cheap Tickets
Cheap Tickets is a great tool to use, especially if you're a student. By verifying you're a student, you can get 18 percent off select hotels with their promo code. Their flight search engine also helps you compare prices and deals to find the most budget-friendly ticket. Their website also hosts tons of content with tips for new travelers and more.
Using a VPN might be tech-savvy, but it doesn't have to be. Downloading a VPN to your computer is relatively easy. According to VPNMonitor, "A VPN allows you to change your IP address to another location while keeping your browsing activity anonymous — this way, you can browse flight deals from around the world without booking sites tracking your data and increasing prices."
Downloading a VPN, plus clearing your cookies and browsing history, and even searching for a flight from a private browser can help lower flight prices.
See you outside, sis! (Safely, of course.)
Featured image by Getty Images