Here’s a big secret about me (but not much of a secret if you know me)… I’m cheap. I’m extremely cheap. As the daughter of an accountant, I have been well versed in how to “make a dollar holla”, as my mother likes to say. Cheap often has a negative connotation, but I wholly embrace it! Why? Because it’s how I’m able to travel so far, so often. Less extravagant costs on each trip adds up to more money to take more trips.
So here are the sites where I find my biggest deals that help me stretch my budget:
ITA Flight Matrix
This website may seem off-putting at first, but I promise you, it’s legit! This website offers up “hacker fares” that may not show up on other airline or aggregate searches. When I know exactly where I have to go, it’s always my first stop. You can’t buy your ticket on the site, but it will lead you to where you can buy it.
Often times, I don’t know where I’d like to take a vacation. Granted, I have a large wishlist (see here) of places I’d love to see, but I’m normally never hard set on one particular place, because I feel like eventually I’ll hit them all. This is where the Kayak “Explore” tool comes in. You just plug in when you’d like to travel and what your airfare maximum is. You can also filter by the type of vacation, such as “ski” or “beach”. Airfares rise and fall so often that I try to hop on whatever is cheapest and fits my fancy. Looking for a good vacation with airfare under $600? I assure you that this website has it. (note: Kayak does not include fares from ALL airlines such as American Airlines. double-check with other websites before purchasing)
Skyscanner is a good airfare search website, with some of the same tools as Kayak. On Skyscanner, you can list your destination as “everywhere” and it will show you the cheapest fares they can find, to destinations all over the globe. Skyscanner is more inclusive than Kayak, and includes smaller international airlines that Americans aren’t familiar with. You can’t purchase on the Skyscanner website, but it leads you to where you can buy your tickets.
The Flight Deal
Unlike the others, this isn’t a search site, but a blog. This blog is an amazing resource but also a terrible site if you have severe wanderlust! This site posts deeply discounted airfares on a daily basis, mostly to international airports. There’s even a navigation bar on top that will filter the posts by major city. Sample fares? Los Angeles to Tel Aviv, roundtrip, for $470! But if you’re reading that blog, make sure you’re ready to move fast or else you’ll be pretty disappointed. The fares don’t last for long!
Hope these help you find your cheap getaway! It’s worth noting that I never book through a 3rd party, no matter how cheap the fare is. I always take the fare I found on the other sites over to the airline’s website. Often there is a small surcharge when you book via a 3rd party and I’m trying to save as much as I can!
Update: I can’t believe I did this post without mentioning one of the best sites out there, Airfare Watchdog! This site (and their twitter account) are constantly updated with great deals. You can set a fare alert so you’ll know when the ticket you need has dropped in price. If you have twitter, definitely follow them! Their twitter is the best way to be alerted to airline fare glitches with deep discounts.