The Best Websites to Find Cheap Flights

Finding affordable airfare is usually the first step in booking that dream vacation. Or, for us, it is often what determines where we travel to next. We often find ourselves flying to places we hadn’t considered before because we found a deal that was too good to pass up.

The truth is, there is no one magical website where you will find every great airfare deal. But, with a little patience and looking in the right spot you can find great deals. These are the best websites to find cheap flights.

the flight deal

The Flight Deal

••• The Flight Deal •••

I don’t know where I first heard of The Flight Deal, but it has been my ‘go to’ resource for when my wanderlust is giving me an impulse to book a flight to anywhere.

The Flights Deal is convenient because you can search for deals on multiple platforms. You can go directly to their site, subscribe to their daily newsletter (which is what I usually look at), or get more frequent updates from their Facebook and Twitter pages.  Sometimes deals are so good that by the time I am reading the daily newsletter the deal has already sold out, so I would recommend following them on Facebook to get notified quickly when a great deal comes up.

What I Like

  • You can search for deals by ‘Departure City’
  • Taxes are already included, so there’s not surprises
  • There are many Destination Guides for cities that they frequently find deals for. Some places aren’t as well known, such as Martinique. So if you see a great deal to Martinique but know nothing about it, you can head over to the guides and get more info on what there is to do, where to stay, rental cars, etc.
  • It lays out exactly how to find the flight using ITA Software Matrix Airfare Search. When we booked flights from Seattle to Hong Kong the flight we chose did not show up in search engines because of a long layover in Vancouver, B.C. However when we searched using the advanced routing codes recommended by Flight Deal we were able to find the flight we wanted and flew roundtrip for just $486 per person

What I Don’t Like

  • Only includes deals that are to/from/in the U.S. So it’s not the best resource if you are looking for flights that are just international
secret flying

Secret Flying

••• Secret Flying •••

Secret Flying is my new obsession. It shows deals from all over the world, organized by continent or region. You cannot book through Secret Flying, it will direct you to whatever website has the deal. Websites include big ones such as Priceline and Momondo, as well as lesser known sites or directly from an airline.

It shows great deals from the United States and from nearly everywhere else as well.  Most of the deals are Roundtrip, but sometimes they have “mistake fares” on open-jaw flights. I booked a crazy deal from  New York–> Milan, Italy–> Asuncion, Paraguay (South America). It was only $400! The ticket from South America back to Portland, OR would have cost me more than flying to Italy for a week, then to Paraguay. Unfortunately, I decided to cancel the ticket because of concern over the Zika virus. We ended up finding cheap tickets to Europe though, so all ended well.

What I Like

  • Deals from other continents/regions
  • More than just flight deals. They also post super cheap cruises, discount RTW (round the world) tickets, coupon codes for booking sites, guidebook discounts, etc.

What I Don’t Like

  • A little harder to search for deals from a specific departure city. For example, you will have to scroll through all the deals from USA if you are looking for deals departing from Portland, OR. It takes a little more time, but you may find that it is cheaper to book a separate flight to a different departure city to take advantage of a great deal
Travel Pirates

TravelPirates

•••Travel Pirates •••

Travel Pirates is a new site that was created in 2016. Overall I found that it offered a more comprehensive figure on how much a trip will cost. Not only is the flight included, but accommodations and sometimes a rental car as well. It finds great flight deals and presents them as a ‘package’ with a hotel or AirBNB.

The packages are usually based on 2-4 people. So you may see a great deal for “4 nights in Whistler, Canada for only $$$,” then when you click on the link it may be based on 4 people (splitting the cost of accommodations = less total amount of money per person). It is pretty similar to Priceline’s ‘Vacation’ search, but I think it tends to offer better and more unique deals.

What I Like

  • It’s a great way to get a quick idea on how much a trip would cost. The biggest expenses are usually flight, accommodations and transportation. So if you can get all that information in one place it cuts back on research time.
  • AirBNBs are included as part of the package, where most search engines default to just hotel searches –> If you want to save $35 on your first AirBNB stay CLICK HERE

What I Don’t Like

  • You still have to book everything separately. It’s not really that big of a deal to me, but I know that some people like the ease of not having to go through the trouble
  • The deals may look stellar, but it may not be applicable to you if you are traveling alone, or with less people than it calculated the price for
Travel zoo

Travelzoo

••• TravelZoo •••

I have only ever booked one pre-packaged vacation, and that was just a short trip to Las Vegas . Generally I tend to enjoy booking things on my own, usually saving a lot of money in the process. However, TravelZoo may convince me to do things differently one of these day.

I subscribe to their newsletter which offers a round up of some of the best deals. Sometimes it actually turns out to be cheaper to go on an organized tour (with airfare included) then it would be to do that same trip independently. For destinations that you may not be comfortable traveling to independently, finding a deal through TravelZoo may be your best bet.

What I Like

  • Weekly Top 20 Deals recap quickly summarizes the best hotels, flights and vacation deals. It’s easy to navigate and if you only have time to check this site once a week you probably will catch most the highlights
  • The price for vacations w/ airfare are some of the cheapest “pre-packaged vacation” deals I have seen on any site

What I Don’t Like

  • Prices are based on departure from specific airports and the price can drastically increase when you change it to your airport
  • Taxes generally are not included
google flight search

Google Flights

••• Google Flights •••

If I have a specific set of dates in mind that I want to travel, or just want to kill some downtime then Google Flights is where I end up. It’s is by far the easiest search engine to use. I can tell  you off the top of my head about how much it will cost to fly almost anywhere since I have spent so much time there!

This is how it works: you can search based on where you’re flying from to a specific airport (MUN). Or to a specific city ( Munich ). Or just to what country you want to go to (Germany). Or to an area (Central Europe). Or just an entire continent (Europe).

Or, you can just leave your destination blank and go to “Explore Destinations” to see the price of flying anywhere around the world from your airport.

What I Like

  • It is SO EASY to use!
  • The map view is great if you are a visual learner
  • You can search by calendar view
  • If you pick certain dates it will tell you if you are booking the cheapest dates within a certain range (1-3 days before and after the dates you chose). It will tell you how much cheaper it is if you move your dates a little, or it will tell you if you have picked the best dates

What I Don’t Like

  • I actually can’t think of anything I don’t like!

plane

••• Directly from the Airlines •••

Sometimes the best deals can be found going directly to the source. Find out what airlines fly from your nearest airport and subscribe to their newsletter. I am subscribed to the ‘specials newsletter’ for Southwest, Delta and Icelandair because those are 3 that frequently have deals for Seattle and Portland.

cheap flights tips

PIN FOR LATER 🙂

There is no magical place to find the best deals, it will take a little time. But I promise it is so satisfying when you find that perfect flight and you get to start planning a trip of a lifetime.

What are your favorite websites to find the best flight deals? Let us know! 

4 thoughts on “The Best Websites to Find Cheap Flights

  1. Generally speaking, I prefer to use Momondo when searching for flights to South America and Skyscanner for flights to Europe. One thing I like about Momondo is that it seems to find more flight itineraries between North America and South America than any other flight search engine I have used. Otherwise, Skyscanner seems to be complementary to Google Flights in terms of finding flight itineraries worldwide.
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