$315 Roundtrip direct to Copenhagen // $250 Roundtrip direct to Dublin // $150 Roundtrip direct to Orlando // $360 Roundtrip direct to Amsterdam
Those are a few of the “cheap” flights from NYC that I’ve either seen or purchased somewhat recently. Pretty good deals in my opinion, and not that hard to find! I don’t always get lucky with low flight prices, but there are a few rules that I generally try to follow when booking a trip.
This is the most important factor – if your dates are somewhat flexible, you can probably find a better price. When you have to arrive/leave on specific dates (hello long weekend trips), it’s going to be harder to find a deal. Like most people, I have a full-time job so it’s hard for me to be flexible with dates. So, I get it if you’re rolling your eyes at this one. But – flying out one week vs. another can make all the difference! Another tip is to be flexible with where you’re going. I know it sounds a little crazy to book a trip around the flights you find, but it works! I ended up going to Amsterdam, Bruges, and Brussels, all because I found that cheap flight to Amsterdam and decided to book a trip around that.
Scan the Travel Deal Sites.. But Don’t Book Anything
Websites like TravelZoo and Groupon are always posting almost unbelievable flight & hotel deals to Europe and within the US. You know what that means? The flights are probably cheap during the dates the trips are being sold for! Take a look at the trips they are advertising and what the time frame is, and head to SkyScanner to get a cheap flight and plan the trip yourself. Scroll down for my SkyScanner hacks first.
Make Sure You Use Incognito/Private Mode When Searching
If you keep searching for the same flight over and over again on the same internet browser, or from the same IP address, prices will go up. I’m honestly not sure how it works, but it’s true. Here is how to search privately on each browser:
Google Chrome: File -> New Incognito Window
Safari: File -> New Private Window
Firefox: Click on the hamburger icon at the top right and then select New Private Window.
Explorer: Settings > Safety > InPrivate Browsing
Last but NOT Least – Hack SkyScanner
SkyScanner is my #1 tool for finding cheap flights, I think it’s better than Kayak/Hotwire/Hopper, etc. It’s just the most user friendly and has a ton of different search options. Here are a few techniques I use to search for inexpensive flights:
Keep the Departure Locations Open: When you search the departure city, be sure to select “Any” rather than a specific airport (ex: All NYC area, rather than just JFK). If you absolutely need to leave from a certain airport, this tip won’t be helpful.
Search by month rather than exact dates. That way, you can see the prices on each day, and get an idea of which week is cheaper to fly out. You can also search by “cheapest month” to see when flights are more affordable.
Use the Map Tool: On the home page, scroll down a bit, select “Explore our map.” From there, choose your departure city and a month. Then you can instantly see a map of the entire world, and see where the least expensive flights are to that month! It’s really amazing.
BEFORE BOOKING: When you find that great deal, make sure you see what site the ticket is being sold through. I always try to select the deals that link directly to purchase through the airline. If there is a really cheap flight that is through a third party, I do as much research as possible to make sure they are legit. I’ve never had a bad experience with sites like CheapOAir or TravelGenie personally, but I’ve heard horror stories.
Well, I hope this helps the next time you need to find a flight. Leave a comment below or DM me on Instagram if you have any questions. Or feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me know if you end up finding a cheap flight with any of these tips! That would make my day.