Ah, booking flights. The first big step for any vacation. It’s kind of like gambling, except I am going to teach you how to outwit the house (airline).
Here is my tried and tested three-step process for booking yourself the absolute cheapest seat. I will walk you through your initial search, setting up a flight alert, then whether or not to buy immediately or wait for a sale.
1) Start with a search. Plug in your days to Hopper, Google Flights, Norwegian Air (if you’re going to Europe), and Southwest (if you’re flying within the US). The reason I’ve included these specific airlines is because they don’t show up on either of the search engines, but they have excellent fares and nice planes. Play around with your dates a little bit, depending on how flexible your vacation window is. Get an idea of the prices and times. I love the Explore Destinations feature on Google Flights if you aren’t sure of when or where you want to go!
2) Set up a flight alert. For Hopper, once you’ve downloaded the app and searched your flights, press the “watch” button and enable push notifications (it will prompt you). The Hopper Bunny will notify you when your flight is at its absolute cheapest! You can set up alerts on as many flights as you want and it’s free! If you don’t want to download the Hopper app, you can also set up an alert on Google Flights. To do this, first make sure you are signed to your Google account. Then, search your chosen flights and dates and click the “track prices” button right below the first set of departing flights. Google will then email you when your fare drops!
3) Now you either book or you wait. If Hopper says the prices look good now, go ahead and book! If you are willing to be a little more patient, it would behoove you to wait a little. While you’re waiting, sign up for a cheap flight notification email. There are a lot of them out there, but my favorite is Scott’s Cheap Flights. There are many cheap flight notification email services, but Scott is my favorite. Go to his website and add yourself to his email chain. And then try not to book every flight that comes your way. He’s very comprehensive and will occasionally email “mistake fares” that are almost too good to be true. He has a paid option as well. If you don’t want to set up alert engines, it might be a good idea to sign up. Otherwise, just add yourself to the free email list.
If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to email me. Booking flights is a science and with practice, patience, and the right tools, you can score yourself amazing deals!