The first thing I always look into when planning my next trip are the flights as they are the biggest expense second to the accommodation. More on how to save money on hotel rooms HERE
Thankfully we have the glorious internet and a huge selection of search engines like Skyscanner , Expedia or Eurowings to find the best deals. These are the three sites I use the most and compare with. Why, how they work and the advantages and disadvantages of the engines below… But before we look at the engines here a few tips to find the best deals!
Learn how to save money on flights
Airlines operates in terms of pricing just like hotels. The more people want to fly during a specific period the higher the price. The less people travel the cheaper it is. So it’s a simple question of supply and demand 🙂
How to find Cheap Flights
- Be flexible with your dates! Every day has different rates (see below/Google Flight) and when you are flexible you can pick the best date
- Be flexible with your destination! Some destinations are more expensive than others. Major airports which are mostly flown through are much cheaper than smaller towns or cities due to the airlines flight path frequencies! See if you can fly to a major airport and catch the bus or train to smaller towns
- Fly during weekdays not over weekends! Fridays and Saturdays are the most expensive ones as most people are off and want to fly on those dates
- Fly after special events occurred! Don’t fly just before as every one else will. Special events are things like Mardi Gras in Sydney or Chinese New Year for Asia
- Fly after school holidays as during school holidays as all the families will travel!
- Fly after public holidays like Easter or Christmas as most everyone is back at work so the prices drop
- Fly early in the morning or very late at night. Most people try to make the best of the time they have for their holiday so they would want to fly early on the 1st day and leave very late on your departure date so that you can make the most of your time. Airlines know this, so the cheapest flights are the ones that are very late on your flight to a destination and very early on the way back. It’s annoying but you can save a lot of money!!!
- Use the right search engine and compare prices between airlines.
Which search engines I use the most and why below 🙂
Google Flights- Find flights around the world
I discovered Google flight last year and I have to say, true to Googles ability to scan the web, its an amazing tool to use for finding great deals! All you do is add your destinations and dates and it comes up with the cheapest flights. If you are flexible with your dates it also shows you on the calendar the dates with the cheapest options highlighted in green…
Once selecting the dates Google shows you first the cheapest (usually with more layovers and longest travel time) and then the “best” option where its an average of price, layovers and travel times. Once you select the flight you like it comes up with the sites where you can book it through like Expeida or direct site of the airline.
Google Flight Advantages
- Ability to find the BEST DATE to fly!
- Shows a huge variety of search tools
- Search by dates, airlines, airports and even a price graph!
- Searches through all the internet pages and tools like Kayak, Webjet or Momondo and shows best available flights
- Shows maps and other close by destinations with cheaper flight options
Google Flight Disadvantage
- It can get confusing due to so many search options, tools and graphs
- It directs you to a 3rd party website to book where you need to navigate through again
Check out google flights HERE
Skyscanner international flight search engine
Skyscanner offers flights, hotel and car hire deals. All you need to do on the flights page is to add your dates and if you are flexible with airports click the box for airports close by to find cheapest deals! At the top right of the menu you can select your language and the currency for the flights. There is also a calendar that shows the whole month for cheapest to most expensive dates!
Once you select your flight it will provide you with all the websites where you can book it from and it shows where the website is from. E.g as I am in Australia it shows “Australian Owned”. This is important as you can save on currency conversion or credit card fees when booking!
- Easy to use and navigate
- Shows whole month calendar with cheapest & expensive dates to fly
- Create your own profile and create your own PRICE ALERT for specific flights, e.g alert me for specials Sydney to Paris!
- Ability to chose Airlines, stop overs and time of travel
- Shows webpages that are owned by the country you are from to save money on conversion fees!
- It directs you to a 3rd party website to finalize payments and book (another page to navigate)
- Shows way too many options of third party pages
- The “Show Whole Month” button is hidden right under the banner which I almost missed the first time I used it.
Compare prices on Skyscanner HERE!
Expedia.com- Find flights & hotels on one page
What differentiates Expedia for other search engines is that you have the ability to select searches for flights, hotels, cars, cruises and also creates entire packages for flight, car and hotels receiving better hotel or car hire deals in a package with Exepdia’s partners. The feature I also love when travelling to different places is that they have a “Multiple City” feature which aids you to add different locations into one whole round trip! Other than that it has all the other features like cheapest, best and fastest flight.
Once you have selected your flight that suit you the most it will take you directly to purchase the flights. It also offers to add-on such as hotel deals and car hire in between. You pay Expedia directly without being directed to yet another page!
- Book your flights directly on Expedia
- Ability to book entire packages with hotel and car hire
- No Expedia Booking fee
- Multi City options
- Ability to chose Airlines, stop overs and time of travel
- Ability to create your own profile and gaining “reward points” to get discounts for your next trip
- Does not show a calendar with best dates to fly
- Does not search other site engines, only the flight offered by the airlines and hotels directly
- Does not allow to select other languages or currency, it comes up by default
Find packages and deals on Expedia HERE!
Eurowings Airline in Europe
Eurowings are a low cost airline and not a search engine. They offer the cheapest deals for Europe, the US and Asia. However Eurowings prices are based on the flights and carry on luggage only. Everything else such as food, entertainment or additional luggage needs to be paid for.
After you select your dates and destinations it will show you available flight in terms of duration, departure times and prices as well as a calendar at the top to go to other dates to find cheaper flights. On clicking on the desired flight it will then show you “packages” to select from. Personally when I know I have additional luggage I select the “Smart Package” because it includes seat selection, food and the luggage. That’s it. You then go to check out and pay direct on Eurowings.
- very cheap airfares especially for internal flights within Europe
- Easy to navigate page
- Shows prices for 2 days prior and after your selected dates
- You have to pay for everything extra
- They do not fly every single day for every city, so you need to be flexible in this regard
- No monthly calendar to overview prices
Check out cheap deals for Europe on Eurowings HERE!
Other search Engines I use per country
- For Australia webjet.com.au or lastminuite.com.au
- For Germany: check24.de or billigfluege.de
- For Europe: eurowings.com
- For Australia & Asia: Jetstar.com
- For Asia: Airasia.com
There are loads of search engines and websites out there with almost the same search options. Which search engine you use depends on your search criteria such as which country you are from as well as what search criteria you want. I always compare at least 2-3 sites before booking and if I am flexible with dates I either use Google Flights or Skyscanner Calendar to find the best DATES FIRST and then go to other sites to find flights to save the most money!
I hope these tips will help you guys to find some great deals online 🙂
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