If your country’s currency is currently strong compared to others around the world, search airfare in a country where the currency is weaker. For example, the US dollar is strong and the New Zealand currency is weak. I found a one-way flight from Australia to NYC for $1,000 USD but when I searched on the NZ version of the airline, I found the same ticket for $600 USD. It’s the same airline, same flight, and same booking class. It was just booked in a different currency. This tip does not always work, but it works often enough that it’s something worth trying if your currency is currently doing well.
Search at the right time. Turns out, there is a best time to search for flights. After several studies of domestic (to the US) air carriers, it has been determined that the best time to search for flights is around 3:00pm Eastern time on a Tuesday. Why? Around this time is when airlines release their discounted flight options, and look to fill up last-minute flights for the upcoming weekend. Therefore, save your flight searching for a mid-afternoon break on the nearest upcoming Tuesday.
Though inconvenient, you can save quite a bit of money by
Before booking a flight, consider if the rate is cheaper if paid in another currency. Often budget airlines will make you pay in the currency of the country you're departing from, but this isn't always the case. An important note when doing this: make sure you're using a credit card that is free of foreign-transaction fees, otherwise your attempts to save money doing this will be lost! Our article on money matters for world travellers can help steer you in the right direction for the best credit cards for travel.
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:
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?!).
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.