Airfare on a budget

Nowadays, there are many options that you have when both shopping and purchasing airfare.  Both domestic and international travel have their own obstacles when it comes to finding and shopping for the best price for your travel.  I have found various methods that work the best for both knowing your dates of travel as well as spontaneous trips.

If you know the dates of your travel or within one or two days, Google Flights will be by far your best resource. Google Flights allows you to select a date for travel then allows you to setup a price alert to monitor both increase and decreasing airfare. This has saved me personally many times. If you look at the calendar view on Google Flights, you can get a general idea on the “standard” price for the trip you are looking for. For example on a recent trip to San Diego, it was apparent that the prevailing price across the major air carriers was around $310 round trip. So using this baseline I set up an alert and watched closely as the price bounced around $310 for several weeks. The one morning about six weeks out I got an alert that United has a round trip direct fare for $260. At a nearly $50 savings, I knew to jump on this price quickly as it was a good deal below the standard cost of airfare.  Anyone looking to travel on specific dates should look at Google Flights and set an alert for the dates they are looking at. If you see them start to trend up or down, you will be better educated on when to book the airfare.  

If I am looking to take an international trip with dates solely based on the airfare cost, a site that I like to use is skyscanner.com.  On multiple occasions, Skyscanner has found combinations of carriers that I could find nowhere else.  This has led to both price savings as well as reduced transit or layover lengths. Skyscanner is also helpful in the fact that just like Google Flights, it searches not only the carrier’s site direct but also sites like Expedia and Travelocity.  This allows you to sit back and be comfortable knowing that if there is a deal out there it will find it. 

With so many travel options out there, it can be a little overwhelming if you are looking for a perfect deal.  To take some of the stress off, I recommend checking out Google Flights and Skyscanner to help start your next trip off with great savings!