Finding the Best Travel Deals
One of a travelers largest expenses on a worldwide trip can often be flights so being ahead of easy methods to save a few $$$ are always welcome . This article will outline a few flight comparison and shopping engine sites, along with some other money saving tips that I have successfully used to find flights around the world at a discount.
Comparison sites to try
Hipmunk The Ashton Kutcher backed american comparison startup promises to deliver some of the best flight comparison deals in the states. With a very friendly interface for comparing flights, this is a good start to look for flights out of American airports.
Pretty simple to use as per most comparison sites, Hipmunk has great date comparison visualizations so you can test different travel times to get the best deal. I always try to use this site whenever I am traveling in the USA, rather than spend days on a trans-state train ride
The visual display for the flight searches is also great meaning you can quickly compare different airlines, availability and pricing on the fly.. Certainly worth a look anyway also give their iPhone app a try.
For USA/UK based searches, Kayak is a fantastic option and will also allow for multi currency searches depending on your location around the world. Kayak is also a very popular engine for searching for hotel deals and car rentals too should it be needed.
For a popular UK based flight comparison tool, i am a big fan of Skyscanner which again aggregates the biggest travel sites from around the world (like Lastminute.com, eBookers and a large number of the biggest airlines like BA, Virgin and many others.
One of my favorite Skyscanner features is the ability to overlay a month wide alternative flight dates box into your search, meaning you can check when the cheapest flights are available within the month for your chosen route.
Some other flight comparison searching tips
One point to note is that the different flight comparison sites will often take different pricing lines against a given flight from the airline. Lastminute for example have a higher buying power with many airlines so can achieve better rates on flights than the smaller sites, so its worth checking back frequently on the larger sites you may normally be accustom to.
One last top tip is to clear your search data (cookies) before you conduct searches on some of the big flight comparison sites. These sites will store your search history from previous visits and use this to increase prices on routes you have already searched for previously, which obviously indicates an intent to purchase Sneaky eh?
You can usually clear this by going into options on your web browser navigating to the private data tab and selecting clear all cookies to refresh your search history. This will reset your search history and get you the optimal prices. I have fallen victim to this a few times when I have bought flights and found the tickets cheaper on a different computer, so be wary !
I will be following this up with a secondary post on other great places to get flights, but in the meantime get saving and good luck!