Finding the best deals on airfare is all about flexibility – yours and theirs. If you can be flexible about your travel dates, you can pick days with the lowest fares. If you need to travel on a specific date, then you’ll want to monitor rate changes to take advantage of shifting prices.
For flexible flyers: If your travel plans aren’t set in stone, Skyscanner has a great tool for finding the cheapest airfares. Go to their site at skyscanner.com and when you click in the departure and arrival date boxes, look for the buttons below the calendar – you can check dates over a few days, a week, a month, or even the whole year. The results will be displayed in both chart and calendar view. You may be surprised at what a big difference it makes to shift your travel plans by a day or two.
Tracking changing airfare rates: You would think that the cost of a flight from point A to point B would always be the same, but it isn’t. Airfare prices flex a lot. They vary by airline, by month, day of the week, and time of flight. Sometimes they change for no apparent reason. In order to find the best deal on airfare, you need a way to keep track of those changes so you can purchase quickly when the prices are good.
Here are two tools that will help you track airline fare changes:
Airfarewatchdog.com – With this simple online tool, all you have to do is enter where you want to fly from and where you want to fly to. Check the little box that says “Send me low fare alerts” and you’ll get an email whenever there are good deals to be had. They even list promo codes and fares that are only available on the airline websites.
TripAdvisor Cheap Airfare Alerts – To sign up to get alerts, do a search on flights to where you want to go. Don’t worry about the date right now, you can enter anything. Then in the left side margin, under the “refine search” area, there will be a “cheap airfare alerts” heading and a “create alert” button. Click the button, enter your email address, and you’re all set. You’ll get alerts when flight prices drop.