5 Easy, Actionable Tips for Cheap Airfare

Tips for Cheap Airfare

Finding cheap airfare seems to be either a passion or a dreaded activity. You know that person who always brags that they got the cheapest airfare after hours of hard work, price comparisons, and changing their VPN address they were able to save gazillions on their flight. After hearing their miraculous story and all their travel tips for cheap airfare all you can think is, ” Ain’t no one got time for that!” Worry no more this article has you covered with fast and easy tips for cheaps airfare.Packing List Tips for cheap airfare

We all need some tips for cheap airfare tickets…

Pro tip for Cheap Airfare #1

  • Follow a schedule and start early.

Your flight checking schedule is pretty easy:

  1. Check flights in order to decide which places to visit. This is performed as early as possible.
  2. Keep an eye on flight prices as you prepare to buy ticket. If you see a good deal snag it! This should only be 1-2x a month.
  3. Once you are ready to purchase your ticket check as often as possible 1-2x a week this helps you figure out best buying times. Get the first good deal you see. Also, get your ticket as early as possible!

One of the best ways to save money is through planning and researching your air travel. I like to start this process about as soon as I start thinking about going on a trip. I think this is a great tip for cheap airfare because it helps you to start being realistic about how much the trip is going to cost. For instance airfare to Ghana always costs about 800-900$ (from SEA) whereas tickets to Costa Rica are about 400-500$. This really affects the overall cost of your trip.

Luang Prabang tips for cheap airfare
Eels anyone? You never know what you’ll see on your adventure!

Pro tip for Cheap Airfare #2

  • Book as early as possible (generally, around 8-6 weeks out tickets are the cheapest).

Airline companies want to know that their plane is fully booked. It makes sense that the earlier you plan your trip the cheaper the tickets. After that 6-8 week threshold has been met, usually airplanes will be mostly booked and companies start feeling better about charging more for the remaining seats.

*A caveat to this tip for cheap airfare is if the flight is extremely last minute as in within the next few days airlines may drop prices to try to fill all the seats. Don’t count on that though!

Pro tip for Cheap Airfare #3

  • If possible have flexible dates and plan trips around the cheapest times to fly.

I always like to plan my trips around the cheapest times to fly. When I first start planning a trip, I’ll look at when low season and high season are and aim for midseason. This is usually a good trip because high season is more expensive all around including flights. While low season is usually low season for a reason, i.e. it might be rainy or really hot. Hot, I usually can deal with rain, I’d rather not. Midseason usually has great flight prices and the weather is nice enough that it’s possible to do all the activities that you want to do on your holiday.

leap Leon Spain Live abroad tips for cheapairfareMentor Travel
Try and get some friends to travel with you! They make your trip excellent!

Pro tip for Cheap Airfare #4

  • Search in incognito mode or buy your tickets from a completely different computer than you use to do your research (This could be recommended too if you are looking for hotels or car rentals.)

This again goes back to starting your flight price research early. When you do look at flight prices search in private mode. It’s super easy to do just go File> New Private Window. Tadaa!! You’re all set. Again when searching in this mode don’t give them your email address that defeats the purpose. This mode is important to use because it helps to scramble the algorithm on the flight website. This algorithm calculates how much it thinks you are willing to spend based on of how many times you’ve visited and how long you’ve been on the page. If you are in incognito mode it can’t track you. You can also make purchases with this mode too.

Pro tip for Cheap Airfare #5

  • Check low-cost sites individually. Always use one or two airline search engine sites too.

You might be thinking what does this mean exactly? If so, no worries I’ll break it down for you. I recommend having two-three sites that will filter thousands of airplane costs for you right away with one search. Easy peasy. For instance, mine are Kayak.com, CheapTickets, and Sky Scanner. I really mostly just use Kayak.com. Once you have the cheapest price or most decent price that you are willing to pay. I will visit the actual webpage of airlines that I prefer to fly to check their prices. For instance, Emirates flies around India, Eva Air flies to Thailand. If I’m traveling in those areas I’ll visit their website and see if they have any deals or discounts going on. I only do this with airlines that I really like in the area, but sometimes you get a good deal. Best of all it isn’t that time expensive.

Gili T Mentor Travel tips for cheap airfare
Never miss a beautiful sunset! Gili T Indonesia

Pro tip for Cheap Airfare #6

  • When it’s time to purchase tickets get them early in the morning and/or at the end of the week.

I recommend doing this mostly when you are ready to buy a ticket. Make sure your history cache is clear of any history and cookies before making your purchase. Once you are on the brink of buying and looking for a good ticket price. Look at these times of the day and during the week. Often you might find some quirky deals that are too hard to pass up. Also, airlines lower prices further on into the week because they want to meet a sales quota. Good luck!

Some of my favorite sites to use are listed below.

I’ve used Kayak.com for years. Recently I’ve found sometimes you can find cheaper tickets from other sites so make sure to check around, but I really like Kayak.com. The site is easy to use and understand, has a buy recommender (unique to this site), allows searching with flex dates, and compares different sites and services, along with providing excellent combos between flights, hotels, and rentals.

Another I recommend is StudentUniverse. I have found some extremely great deals on this site. Contrary to the title it is for anyone over the age of 15. When you make an account they will automatically screen deals based on your account details if you have an old student email address that still forwards or can be set up to forward to your current email; I would suggest signing up with that email.

Lately, I have had a lot of luck using Skyscanner. This is another useful article with a nice general overview of how to book flights. It’s easy to use and allows for flex dates, with cheap prices. If you aren’t sure if the price is right I would check out Kayak to see the buy recommendation.

Some other sites that might be worth checking out that fit your fancy more than mine are:

AirFareWatchDog – Great for email alerts. I personally don’t like airfare alerts very much but Airfare WatchDog does send out nice, informative tips. If you don’t feel like periodically checking on ticket prices this is a good alternative for you.

Cheapair, Expedia, and Cheapflights– I really liked them because they included different filter options like Smartest flight, cheapest flight, and fastest flight. This is always nice to be able to screen by depending on your wallet, time to travel, and preferences. Expedia has great customer service and a nice rewards program.


It’s hard to sort through the massive amount of tips for cheap airfare that come through your email inbox. I know that this article of tips for cheap airfare really helped you out. Looking for airfare can be a timely enterprise unless you follow some sort of schedule like I laid out for you. Let me know your thoughts! Did I miss any tips for cheap airfare? Do you have a tip for cheap airfare that you’d like to share? If so, leave your comments or questions below. You can also email us questions via email at hailey@mentortravel.org.

tips for cheapairfare
You never know what you might find. =)

10 thoughts on “5 Easy, Actionable Tips for Cheap Airfare

  • May 18, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    That’s super helpful! I’ll be sure to use these tips for my Hawaii trip!

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    • August 31, 2016 at 11:16 pm

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    • November 18, 2016 at 11:28 pm

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