Years ago, if you wanted to fly between continents, you were mostly stuck with traditional expensive airlines. That’s no longer true. Budget airlines now service many long-haul routes, making it possible to fly around the world for very little money. Norwegian Airlines allows you to fly between Europe and Bangkok for about $250 each way. AirAsia offers crazy-cheap deals around Asia and Australia for as little as $100 each way. Indian and Middle Eastern airlines offer cheap flights throughout the subcontinent and Africa. You can fly most of the way around the world on a budget airline!
Why it's awesome: Norwegian Air is one of the most aggressive and controversial airlines in the world. The low-cost carrier had drawn the ire of its US competitors by proposing a plan to operate trans-Atlantic flights using an Ireland-based subsidiary. The airline's critics claim that such a move would allow Norwegian to flaunt Norway's strict labor laws and use Ireland as a flag of convenience. Norwegian has denied these accusations. Regardless, Norwegian CEO Bjørn Kjos has won US government approval to launch ultra-low-cost trans-Atlantic flights from smaller airports in the Northeastern part of the country.
Finally, it’s time for you and your family to pack up and
Visit individual airlines’ websites. Although airfare search engines are great, what they don’t tell you is that some airlines reserve their best deals for people who visit their sites specifically. Search for a list of large and local carriers in your area, and then search each of their sites specifically for the best deals. When coupons, discounts, or sales are offered, they will typically only be advertised on each specific carrier’s site and will run for only 1-3 days.
their own with fare comparison sites, auctions, and bidding
First, do your research: are there budget airlines unique to the country you're flying out of and where you're headed to? Booking with a budget Australian airline (Jetstar) from Sydney to Honolulu, then an American one from Honolulu to Montreal saved us over $400 each when flying back from Australia to Canada earlier this year. This allowed us to create a thrifty five-day stopover in Hawaii on our way back, which was less exhausting and a lot cheaper! Kiwi.com and AirWander are both great search engine for revealing cheaper routes like this that involve multiple airlines.
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.
unique way of giving you the best deal available.
Finally, it’s time for you and your family to pack up and
a higher priced hotel room and airline tickets.
Look into neighboring airports. The nearest major airport is a mere 20 minutes from your house, but several smaller airports are located within an hour’s drive. Rather than relying on the nearest or largest airport only, look into neighboring airports as well. These smaller airports aren’t controlled as heavily by large airline carriers, and have more ability to adjust their tickets and offer lower prices. Spend a few extra dollars to drive to an airport further away, and you may save several hundred on your flight bill.
Use skyscanner.net. This neat website searches all airlines, big and small, and allows you to look for the cheapest rates out of your local, rather than getting bogged down with specifics. Meaning, if you know you want to go on vacation but aren’t too picky about where, this website will provide the cheapest flights to everywhere in the world from the nearest airports to you.
Check the latest flight deals or use the search box to enter your specific travel dates and let Skyscanner find the cheapest flights to the US, or wherever you want to go. Are you flexible on when you travel? We can show you the cheapest days of the month to fly. If you fancy trying somewhere new, select your chosen departure airport to everywhere on Skyscanner and we show you the cheapest places to fly to!
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.
Why it's awesome: Since its inception in 1998, New York-based JetBlue has helped raise the standard of service and amenities for low-cost carriers in the US. The airline's signature mood lighting, friendly service, complimentary satellite TV along with free food and snacks make it an industry leader economy flying. In fact, at 34 inches of pitch, JetBlue's Airbus A320 fleet has the roomiest economy seats in the US.
Before you pick a date, make sure there aren’t events
The US is a large country and the climate varies by region and time of year. It experiences four seasons, but some areas of the country see a more drastic change between seasons than others. The Pacific Northwest has cool summers and mild winters, while just to the south, the West Coast is sunny and pleasant all year long. The Midwest sees a bigger change between seasons, with strong summers and winters and frequent tornadoes and thunderstorms. The East Coast fluctuates and many people head down to Florida to get the warmest winters on that side of the country. Traveling in the off-season can save you a lot of money.
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There’s never really a bad time to catch flights to the USA, it’s a fabulous place to visit at any time of year, the vast spread of the country means a great deal of variety in climate and seasonal events throughout the year. The West Coast enjoys fine weather year-round, while the Pacific Northwest Coast (Washington, Oregon) has cool summers and mild winters. The Midwest is known for its intense summers and winters and frequent tornadoes and thunderstorms, while Florida enjoys the warmest winters on the eastern coast. Popular tourist spots like New York, Las Vegas and Orlando are most pleasant in spring and autumn as summers are uncomfortably warm. West Coast cities like LA and San Francisco enjoy temperate winters usually not dipping below 10C.
Basic fares for transatlantic WOW air flights are usually really low an include only a flight ticket and one small personal bag with dimensions 42x32x25cm and weight up to 10 kg. You need to pay extra for everything else: a normal size carry-on, checked baggage, seat reservation etc. Note that there is also no meal service unless you book Wow Premium fare, pre-order meal or buy snacks on board.
Check for student discounts. That’s right, student discounts go beyond the movie theater and football games these days. Sites like statravel.com focus on finding flights at a discounted rate for students only. Don’t let the high prices of textbooks and tuition prevent you from travelling any longer; keep up with student discounted flights and head off on your adventures whenever you’d like.
Why it's awesome: Even though Virgin America is no longer the best low-cost airline in North America, it remains one of most beloved carriers in the skies. The San Francisco-based boutique carrier offers the style and high-quality service expected from a Virgin-branded company, but with the competitive prices of a low-cost carrier. In 2016, the company was sold to Alaska Airlines for $2.6 billion. The brand is expected to disappear by 2019.
We've all experienced the tiresome, repeated searching when trying to book the cheapest possible flights to any given destination. With endless search engines and continually fluctuating prices, the approach to frugal flight booking is overwhelming. Here's some key tips that will save you time, frustration and most importantly money when booking your next flight.