While the above search engines are great, they do not always include small airlines, especially in less popularly booked routes and/or in remote regions. If you're flying somewhere obscure, Google search and ask around if there exists a local airline. While in South America we learnt that the LADE Air in Argentina (run by the military) has cheap flights to Patagonia, which is of course not listed in mass search engines online.
the prices go down. You can also include airports in nearby
Finding a cheap flight is about being flexible and smart in where you go, when you go, and how you get there. Follow the tips above, but don’t waste forever finding a cheap flight. If you’re spending more than an hour booking a flight, you’re spending too much time. Spend 30-40 minutes finding and booking a cheap flight at a price you’re OK paying and move on with your life. I never second-guess myself on flights. You’ll go crazy if you do.
If you are uncertain about the routes that these low-cost carriers fly, check them out online. For instance, JetBlue serves many of the major U.S. cities, particularly on the East Coast. It also has numerous vacation destinations in Central and South America and the Caribbean; Southwest serves most major U.S. cities as well as a few in Central America and Puerto Rico; Frontier serves most major U.S. cities as well as vacation spots in Mexico, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic; Allegiant Air's focus is transporting leisure travelers to warm vacation destinations like Punta Gorda, Tampa Bay, Las Vegas, Orlando, Los Angeles and Phoenix.
Moreover, it’s always cheaper to fly during the middle of the week than on a weekend, because most people travel on the weekends and airlines hike their prices then. Prices are also cheaper if you fly after a major holiday as are early-morning or late-night flights are cheaper because fewer people want to travel then (who wants to wake up early?!).
Typically, booking a whole trip with different airlines would be risky. For example, let's say your first flight with JetBlue was delayed, and you missed your connecting flight with Norwegian Air. Because the airlines have no association with each other, Norwegian Air has no obligation to reschedule your flight for free, so you would just lose your money. Kiwi.com instead offers their own guarantee, which covers schedule changes, flight delays, and cancellations. As long as you contact Kiwi.com as soon as you're aware of the delay, they will provide you with an alternate connecting flight, or a full refund, at your discretion. We haven't used this guarantee ourselves, but it certainly sounds like an appealing way to take the risk out of a thrifty flight hack!
Business conferences and sporting events will guarantee you
Look into alternative routes. Slightly different than flying indirectly with layovers, if you aren’t in a time crunch consider taking alternative routes to your destination. If you can get a cheaper flight flying from Seattle to Boston, and then from Boston to London, then book two separate flights. Breaking up your travel will lengthen the amount of time you have to spend journeying to your destination, but it could be one of the best ways to manage saving money.
You're not crazy for thinking that a flight price has changed after searching it a few times in your web browser. Based on the cookies in your browser, flight prices do increase when a particular route is repeatedly searched, as the site wants to scare you into booking the flight quickly before prices get even higher. Always search for flights in incognito or private browsing mode to see the lowest prices.