One of my biggest pet peeves is when people complain that travel is too expensive. I understand that it might not be in everyone's budget, but with a few tips, you can find some really great flights. I have friends who flew to Dubai for less than $200.00! It is possible to explore the world on a budget.
Before you start looking for a specific destination on specific dates - scratch all of that. Be as open as you can with both dates and destinations. Once you start doing some research on flight costs and narrow down your search once you've seen your options.
Check Flights Frequently
I check flights every. single. day. Many times a day. Flight prices can fluctuate up and down even within a few hours. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, you want to jump on it. I saved $200 booking a flight at 2 in the morning. I had been tracking the flight for a few weeks and by 9 AM the price had already gone back up.
Manipulate Your Flight Searches
Sometimes, the way you search for your flights can save you some serious change. For example, let's say we're flying to the Freeport in the Bahamas for a week. You start your search:
JFK to FPO, layover in MIA - $600
Try it again this way:
JFK to MIA, MIA to FPO, FPO to MIA, MIA to JFK - $367
The flights are exactly the same. You'd arrive at the same time. And yet you've just saved $233. This doesn't always work out, but when it does, the savings can be very significant.
Look Out for Glitch Fares
Twitter is your friend when searching for a good deal. Accounts like AirfareWatchDog and Secret Flying specialize in finding glitch fares. They let you know as soon as a deal is up. Glitch fares don't last, so it's important to book as soon as you see it.
Use Search Engines
My all-time favorite websites to search for flights are Google Flights and Skyscanner. Both sites will show you the cheapest flights up to 3 or more months in advance. Before I buy any tickets, I'm on Google Flights for hours on end. Neither site is connected to a specific airline so you get the best deals out there.
Check Flights Directly on Airline Website
I needed to buy a one way ticket for an upcoming road trip. My amazing friends had already looked at tickets for me and told me the flight home would be about $172. I also checked Google Flights and Skyscanner and came across the same prices through JetBlue. I decided to book my flight directly on JetBlue's website, and the same flight was $143! To take things a step further, there was a different flight later on in the day for $130. This is a savings of $42.