With over 30 flights under my belt in the last 10 months, I’ve had my fair share of countless screen hours searching for the best flight deals and travel itineraries. I’ve turned it into a sort of game- searching the various sites and testing random theories. It can be fun, I swear! Haha
I’ve become obsessed with any and all travel hacks that will save money, therefore allowing for more travel. My biggest expense while traveling has usually been flights. Any small or large savings could mean a few extra days in paradise somewhere, and that’s HUGE.
There are tons of travel hacking theories on when and how to get the best flight deals- and I’ve tried most of them. Some work, some don’t. Here are the 6 flight cost saving travel hacks I know to be true.
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1. Use a “fake location.” Search from a country with a low conversion rate to USD, like South Africa or South East Asia) to view cheaper flight prices.
2. Search from a less expensive computer (hint: not an Apple).
3. Pay in local currency. Always always always opt for the local currency when making any purchase abroad on your credit card. This ensures you don’t get screwed over with a bad conversion rate. The USD compared to all other currency is ever-changing and you should only trust your bank to do the conversion for you which occurs automatically when you make a purchase in another currency on a travel credit card. (Ps. If you’re wondering, I use the Capitol One Venture Visa for all my travel purchases and I love it. But more on that later.)
4. Clear your cache! I can’t stress this one enough, actually. When you clear your cache you become less susceptible to targeted advertisements as well as inflated pricing based on your search history. Because, yeah they can do that. Clear your cache.
5. Time your flight purchase. The general consensus is that the best time to book your flight is 4-6 weeks out, and I agree. Once you’re within the 30 day time frame before a flight you want, the prices rise. Between a month and 6 weeks is ideal for booking.
6. Be FLEXIBLE. This is by far the most important component of saving money on travel in general, especially when it comes to booking flights. I have often changed my plans completely based on prices and last minute deals.
I go into my flight searching with an open flexible mind and that makes all the difference. Don’t get stuck on the day/time/stop over/ etc. unless you must.
I realize this may not work for everyone, as there are circumstances that will require you to be specific with your planning. Perhaps, though, try to work in the concept of flexibility (date/time/connection) to your flight planning and see what unfolds.
My favorite tool is the “everywhere” search option on SkyScanner.com which shows an entire list of possible destinations, ranking them by lowest price to highest. I’ve ended up in places I never considered going by using this tool. Because my goal is simply to travel and see as much of the world as possible, I am more flexible than most and this tool is perfect for me.
I will surely keep adding to this list but wanted to compile a post for all of you who have been asking! I hope this helps, and if not, clear your cache and try again.