Indirect flights are the way to go. Although layovers can be a hassle - especially if you have several of them - flying indirectly to your location decreases the total cost of your flight. Direct flights are in high demand, and are therefore made more expensive by airlines. Keep at least one layover open as an option, and prepare to save more money by considering multiple layovers for a single flight.
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Airline tickets can be expensive no matter how you look at
Airline search engines have made it really easy to search the entire world to find the cheapest ticket — you no longer have to search manually. While Kayak offers the “Explore” tool that allows you to put in your home airport and see a map of the world with all the flights on it, Google Flights also has a similar – and better – tool to use. If you are flexible with where you want to go (i.e., anywhere but home), use this tool to figure out where to go:
Fly out on the right day. Sure, leaving on a Friday promptly after work or heading on vacation on a Sunday after a relaxing weekend might be ideal, but it turns out these are the absolute worst times to fly. High air traffic on these days means that airlines jack up the prices. Plan your flights so that you depart on a Wednesday if possible, followed by a Tuesday or a Saturday. Mid week departures are the slowest, so carriers know they will have to accept lower costs in order to fill their seats.

Spirit Airlines offer without question the most stripped-down, no-frills flying experience of any carrier in the country, with the simplest option open to travelers — the so-called "Bare Fare" — allowing just one personal item on-board the plane. And while all that frugality has earned the carrier just two stars from Skytrax, there's no question that it has also helped to keep fares low—really low! Expect to pay around 40% less than the average budget fare for all of America, saving plenty of dollars for the tables of Vegas or the sands of Cancun!
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You can even book your own multi-day layovers, essentially allowing you to see 2 destinations for the price of 1. Rather than spend a day sitting in the airport, you can spend multiple days exploring the city you are laying over in. AirWander is a specialized search engine for doing exactly this. Put in your origin, final destination, and number of days you want to stopover. AirWander will return a list of places you can visit on your stopover, often even cheaper than a regular flight search engine! To learn how to do this, read our guide on How to Get Free Extended Layovers & Hack One Trip Into Two.
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