There are probably a million sites out there on finding the best flight. I, just like you, will read about two dozen of them, give up, and end up figuring it out on my own. Yes, it’s frustrating to say the least. In this article, I will outline the 2 tools I use in my research to finding the best flight. (Hint…there’s a bonus tool at the end.)
Let’s just cut straight to the nonsense from the start…there is NO magic wand. You want a good price? You have to be able to put in some effort to make it happen and research is key! (There is of course one stipulation, if you’re a points hustler. In which case, kudos to you but I’m just not that type of gal. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re not doing the credit cards for points for travel merry-go-round either.)
One of the first things I do when assessing a flight is to throw the trip into an app called Hopper. This is especially helpful if you don’t have the luxury of adjusting your dates. I just input the location and dates, let it do it’s search, and then the app will let me know if this is a good time to buy or maybe I should hold off. Then you save the search so the app can alert you when the price adjusts. I generally do two saved searches because I’m between two airports, Philadelphia and Newark. I don’t use Hopper to purchase, only for prediction type purposes and to get an idea of what I’m working with.
Skyscanner will be your new BFF. I absolutely LOVE this site and use it every time I’m looking at flights. One thing it does for you, that puts me over the moon, is it combines two one-way tickets for a round trip to make the best price. This is something I took advantage of for a wedding we have in October. We’re flying Frontier there and American Airlines home. Upon choosing our preferred trip, Skyscanner sent me directly to the two websites I needed to make our ticket purchases. The site literally did almost everything for me! It can’t get any better than that. Unsure where you want to go? Skyscanner has a built in google map that searches the best prices all over the world. I used this feature a few years ago when I discovered and booked a great flight to Barcelona.
Bonus: Step 3
After I’ve bought our tickets the next step I do is enter all the information for our flights into the app TripIt. Don’t wait until later or tomorrow to do it either! You have your confirmation right in front of you now. I found staying organized is the key to traveling and this app really keeps me on track. You can store more than flights in it too! I also input any hotel or other accommodations, excursions, dinner reservations, or special events. I also add in any sightseeing/tours I may want to hit up while I’m there. TripIt does offer a Pro paid version of their app with even more features but I have yet to bite the bullet on it. Recently, I’ve discovered they’ll even input all the info for you if you just forward your confirmation email to their special email address. How’s that for automated!
I would love to hear from you! What tool or research technique helps you find the best flight?