Planning your last minute summer getaway? Take a look that these websites to find out the best ways to get cheap flights.
I’ve been on so many flights in the past two years that I now am a member of three different airline rewards cards. And the reason I’m not loyal to one particular airline is because I always fly whichever company offers the cheapest flight on my trip. For most people, finding cheap plane tickets usually starts and ends with one of the well-known travel sites – Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity – but before you ever get to the order page, savvy web users should monitor these websites.
Yes, believe it or not, there’s more to Twitter than silly trending topics and vain celebrity tweets. Practically every major airline has a Twitter page that it uses to announce barely-promoted deals. For instance, Air Canada’s ACWebSaver account recently offered promo codes that gave travellers 30 percent off their ticket price. Be sure to follow individual airlines as well as the official accounts of travel sites like Expedia, Hotwire, Orbitz, Priceline, and Travelocity for more deals info.
Should I buy my tickets today or tomorrow? Airlines often adjust prices and it can be tough to know when to get the best deals. Bing Travel can be a good way to decide if it’s worth locking in a decent price now or waiting and hoping for a bigger discount. Bing takes travel information and lists the best prices available at the moment. For certain cities, indicated in bold when searching, it also displays a fare caster that predicts whether prices will go up or down and if it might be wiser to wait. However, it’s not fool-proof. Bing recently told me to wait to buy a plane ticket to California, but the price shot up two weeks later and I paid $300 round-trip instead of $200. If you see a deal too good to pass-up, act on it.
Similar to Bing travel, Airfarewatchdog helps decide when to purchase a plane ticket. The difference is that AFW doesn’t require users to constantly return to the site. Travellers can search and see ticket prices, but they can also sign-up for Fare Alerts for that route that offer a worthwhile discount. And for the non-discriminate looking for a getaway, it can also alert for big deals from your local airport going anywhere. If you plan to go somewhere sooner or later, Airfarewatchdog will snoop some good deals in the process.
Hipmunk is not as famous as the bigger names in travel sites, but don’t think it’s not as good. It searches several airline fares and organizes flights on a chart that shows the time of departure. That chart can also be organized according to arrival time, price, and Agony, which decides if the low price is worth the number of stops and total travel time necessary. Hipmunk provides a detailed look at Wi-Fi options on the plane. The best thing going for Hipmunk is its simplicity and the lack of obtrusive ads and information overload seen on other travel sites.
FatWallet is a large coupon portal that’s a great resource to see special offers from airlines, hotels, and entertainment options in your destination city. Navigate beyond the official travel portal and go into the community forums to really look for a good deal. There you’ll see a number of people who scour the web looking for promo codes for traveling and sharing with others.
I follow a strict process whenever I travel: check Bing prediction, sign-up for Airfarewatchdog, and then browse FatWallet.com for deals on activities. Depending on how soon I need to travel, I’ll bring Hipmunk into the mix, and I always follow travel companies on Twitter in case I ever need an excuse to hop on a plane. These methods aren’t guaranteed to save a great deal of money, but they have proven effective in helping me avoid paying full price.