So you are in the market for cheap airline tickets but unsure where to start and how to find the best travel deals. The reality is that to find the cheapest flight fares and schedules; you need to know when and where to look and how to search. Yes, it is that easy, and you only need to know several tricks. First, do you need a domestic or an international travel ticket?
Domestic Air Travel
These can be US domestic flights or flights within Europe, any country, or another continent. If you are looking for great flight deals, you must know WHERE to look for low airfares. If you are looking for flights within the US, you may contact local US airlines or travel agencies or look up flights on the online travel search engine.
Airlines compete with each other, and they can give great flight deals (know WHEN to look). Travel agencies might also find you great deals. Here is the truth… lately, several airlines and several large and well-known travel agencies have started having issues, and several airlines have banned those huge agencies from selling their airline tickets. Therefore, small and specialized agencies still have outstanding contracts with major airlines worldwide. So, I advise looking at who has the best flight deal, not at the size of the agency or the popularity. It matters how much you pay for the ticket and that you have a confirmed seat.
Most smaller travel agencies have an online-only booking, so they can save YOU money by eliminating staff salaries. Travel agencies usually use the same fares as airlines offer (unless they negotiate better rates), but usually with 0 commission. Since agencies must survive, they must add a small service fee on top of the ticket price. If you do not mind that, call your travel agent or, best of all, go online and check flights yourself. If you are traveling within Europe, you might want to contact a travel agent or search online travel agents’ websites first. In Europe, local travel agencies and agencies outside Europe that specialize in international travel will have low fares because they use very low so-called consolidator fares. This is nothing but negotiated contracts with airlines to sell special, very low-priced airline tickets.
Whether you reside in the US or another country, you travel abroad if you leave your home country.
Whether it concerns transatlantic, transpacific, or other between-countries international travel, your best bet is a travel agency. The consolidators will offer you the best fare deals and will find you the best schedules. Depending on personal preferences, some might prefer talking to a travel agent, while others would want to search for their fare online at their own pace. There is no right or wrong choice here. You succeed if you find a flight and a food that works for you. HOW to find a travel agency or a good travel website Always work with a travel agent or website specializing in your travel destination or region. For example, if you need to go from the US to Europe, search for ‘flights to Europe’ or so. Usually, online searches will give you the best results. Check several websites or call several travel agents and compare the deals.
NOTE, you might know many huge agencies like Travelocity, Orbitz, etc. They might seem attractive to you because they are prominent and well-known. But they will not always give you the best flight, hotel, or cruise deals. They might be suitable for US domestic travel, but not always for international travel.
HOW and WHEN to search for the best fares
You must understand how to find the best prices and when to look for them wherever you need to book a flight, a hotel, or a cruise. Let’s say you found a travel agent or website specializing in your travel destination.
Five tips on How to Find your Best Travel Deal:
Be Flexible. You might need to be flexible on travel dates, arrival/departure times, airlines, and sometimes destinations to find the lowest price. In short, there are different price levels for every flight; the only difference is the price and number of seats an airline assigns to that price level. Therefore, it all depends on when you buy a ticket, the destination’s popularity, the travel season (peak or low), and how full the flight gets.
Book domestic travel tickets as early as possible (this also applies to some international travel). Most domestic airlines have the best fares with 21, 14, and 7-day advance purchases. This means you may find lower fares when booking (= purchasing) a flight this many days before the flight.
‘Play’ with the search. This means that you need to be creative when searching for flights. Check flights a couple of days or weeks (if possible) earlier and later, check various airlines and different connections (an airline might have several hubs or fly with one or several links), search based on price, and try searching based on schedule (you’ll see different results).
Check travel package deals. If the purpose of your travel is vacation, instead of booking flights, hotel, and car rental separately, check on travel package rates. Sometimes your total package rate is lower than if you book everything separately.
Use miles or points when possible. Apply for airline/ hotel/ car rental and frequent traveler programs. They are FREE, and you can get lots of benefits. For example, I cannot remember the last time I paid for a hotel room when Hilton Hotel was at my destination. Check out the hiltonhhonors.com website. Sign up at the airline, car rental, or hotel websites. The only disadvantage of using miles and points is that you need to book your travel early as there are limited seats for miles or issues on the plane, and they go fast.
Here are some suggestions if you cannot decide whether to use an airline or a travel agent.
AIRLINE vs. TRAVEL AGENT/AGENCY WEBSITE
Advantages of booking a ticket with an airline:
you are talking directly to the carrier, the entity responsible for a flight \sit may take much less time to deal with the airline directly (if an agent knows his/her job)
airline customers representatives are usually open 24/7
Advantages of using travel agents or travel websites:
Lower negotiated (consolidator) fares, more flight options; travel agents/travel websites search all possible airlines, not just one low food available 24/7, given that an agency has an online booking system
Please send in your comments on how you find your best deals, and I shall be happy to share them with the rest of the world. Good luck!
If you have any questions or want information on other travel topics, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit.