While I believe in the depths of my heart that we should all be traveling overland when possible, sometimes it’s just not feasible.
That’s when having an internet superpower comes into play. Here are some of my favorite sites for finding the best airfare prices on domestic, international, and multi-destination tickets. If you have a great site in your arsenal, please share it in the comments section below and help out fellow travelers and dreamers.
This is my favorite search engine for flights; you can’t beat the flexibility.
In the “from” field you can select your departure city or even the whole country. Leave the “to” field blank and receive the cheapest flights available to anywhere in the world.
For flexible dates, you’re able to see the whole month at a glance, and look at the rises (and hopefully falls) in prices. By far the most customizable and user friendly option for searching cheap flights within Europe, although it works worldwide- Europe is the strong point.
Unless you’re bound by dates, search your destination country (not just capital city) to be surprised.
Sometimes small airports offer cheaper flights- plus you get to see a lesser known city before making your way to your main attraction. Travel Slow. Travel Better.
When I am traveling Stateside- or departing internationally from the USA, Travelzoo has got my back. The “Super Search” feature allows you to choose entire months in which you can travel- and offers several options.
This truly super “Super Search” saves you the time of manually entering the same information as it searches the big names like Priceline, Orbitz, OneTravel, Kayak, Vayama… you get the idea. They also search the relevant airlines sites directly- saving you hours of labor.
Travelzoo says “search 3 sites for best results”. I say “search 7 sites and risk crashing your browser”. Four extra clicks could save you hundreds of dollars on your flight. It’s worth it.
Travel Agent? ( yeah, I said it!)
Now I’m sure you’re thinking I am miss moneybags. Wrong. While it does feel very glamorous to call up my travel agent to reserve my window seat with vegan meal, extra leg room, and pillow- I assure you, I am not shelling out one more cent than I have to. In 2012 I bought an incredibly cheap multiple destination flight from Madrid, Spain to Amman, Jordan to Bangkok, Thailand and all the way back to Madrid for 600 euro. You read that right. Don’t discount a local travel agent, it doesn’t hurt to ask and you may very well be surprised.
Send an email to a few local travel agents requesting your desired dates and destinations- but mention your flexibility. It could turn out very well for you. Plus, it feels really cool to say “my travel agent”. For inquiries into my personal Travel Agent, use the contact form and if I like you, I’ll share the love.
Ridiculously cheap airfare within Asia; essentially Ryan Air’s more dignified cousin. Fly from Bangkok to Melbourne for $100- all in? Yes Please! Be patient with your searching, flexible with your timing, and you will be rewarded.
I’ve never flown Air Asia, but have taken testimonies to their greatness from many fellow travelers whom I trust and respect. If you have, put your voice for AirAsia in the comments to give them a bit more street cred- thank you!
Momondo is a life saver. With only four days advance purchasing I was able to score a flight from Indonesia to California for $400 less than what other search engines were offering – they also offer the option to sort by Alliances – letting you maximize air miles.
Not only do I love using Momondo to compare prices and find the best deal – their travel guides section is a great resource for planning spontaneous trips. Buy a cheap, last minute ticket and know exactly what to do when you hit the ground running.
RAWR! Tiger Airways will chomp up the competition with their low prices on inner-asia flights. Advertised deals start at 80 Baht (that’s about two euro) from Bangkok to Jakarta. A lot of the luck in using Tiger Airways is timing, but it’s still worth trying.
Sometimes they do this awful thing where they make you pay a membership fee to see special fares. Maybe it’s worth it, but I don’t recommend it. In fact, I wholeheartedly loathe it. The rest of the site is great though.
Does standing in line with 200 other sweaty, cranky, anxious travelers who sometimes have screaming children, sound like fun to you? No, me either.
Does a 6 euro airfare from Madrid, Spain to Marrakech, Morocco sound enticing? Yes it does, and that’s why I still fly Ryan Air; because in all fairness they are THE home of low cost airfare in Europe, North Africa, and anywhere else they want.
Heads up- RyanAir will charge you to use a credit card at check out(fees vary). They will charge you if you do not print your boarding pass ahead of time, and they will charge you if your carry on bag is even a little bit oversize or overweight.
You have been warned. Lastly, there are no seat assignments- be prepared for battle.
This is an amazing site that offers up limited time offer fare specials and error fares. I’ve seen prices as crazy as $249 from San Francisco to Japan via Norway. Be prepared to lose a few hours and save a few hundred on this site.