Travel Tips

Travel Better in 2018: the 5 Best Websites to Find Crazy Airfare Deals

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Yes seats are getting smaller and service is getting worse, but flying across the world has never been cheaper…if you know where to look. Make a resolution to travel more in 2018 and check these sites daily to find crazy good flight deals.

Note: These are my favorite sites, I receive no compensation for mentioning them. If you would like to help support my travels please feel free to click any of the ads in the sidebar or buy something cool on Amazon. 🙂

Before you start, a few tips for maximizing your travel experience:

  • Check for deals daily, book immediately — deals can disappear within hours, so sign up for email alerts or follow these sites on Twitter and Facebook so you don’t miss anything. And once you find something, book right away or risk losing the deal. You typically have a 24 hour cancellation window after buying to figure out if it will work.
  • Consider short trips — the ideal might be to spend a week or two at your dream destination, but you might never get there waiting for enough vacation time, budget, etc. Instead, consider going for just a few days — if you truly love it, you’ll find a way to go back!
  • Let the destinations pick you — While it’s good to know where you most want to go, be open to new destinations if the price is right.  Maybe the Canary Islands wasn’t on your list, but for under $500 round trip, maybe it should be.

And now for the good stuff!

  1. Scott’s Cheap Flights is a relative newcomer, but has become my favorite in the last year. They offer deals from almost every airport in the US, not just the major hubs, making it useful for a lot more people. Should you buy their inexpensive premium service? There have been a couple of really great deals that popped up that weren’t posted immediately to their Facebook page or general email list, so if you want to ensure you don’t miss out, spend the $5 or less per month.  Otherwise just go with the still very awesome free service. The one downside is the cheapest prices are typically through Momondo which can be confusing to book with.
  2. The Flight Deal & Fare Deal Alert track the best deals from major US markets, basing their definition of a deal on average prices and cost per mile (making them particularly useful for mileage and status runs). The Flight Deal serves New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Miami, Dallas Fort Worth, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland (OR), Seattle, and Chicago O’Hare.  Fare Deal Alert tracks Atlanta, Charlotte, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Orlando, and San Diego. Both provide available booking dates, an explanation of how to make the most of it, and even instructions on how to book.
  3. Secret Flying is great because they cover deals and mistake fares internationally, not just those originating in the US. Because so many of their deals are very time sensitive, I follow them on Facebook and get notifications when they add a new post.
  4. Airfarewatchdog deals are mostly domestic, and less dramatic, but good for seeing the cheapest flights to a myriad of destinations from your chosen airport. Handy to skim if you’re tracking fares for particular destinations.
  5. Fly4Free has been around for the awhile but is fairly new to me. They seem to list many of the US flight deals mentioned by the others, but they also consistently offer flight deals from other parts of the world which many might find useful. Best of all? They have separate Facebook pages for each region making it easy to get relevant updates.

Honorary mentions

  • Exit Fares aggregates a lot of the deals posted on other sites, including the sites above and flight deals posted on blogs and airline websites. I used to be a bigger fan but they don’t update as frequently and their departure airports are limited to major US hubs.
  • ThriftyTraveler.com is not one I’ve tried but it’s been recommended by others. They post multiple deals daily and apparently offer a premium version with even more.

If you’re not feeling spontaneous and have specific destinations and dates in mind, both Google Flights price tracker and Hipmunk will email you if the price for your dates drops.

Full Disclosure: I may receive affiliate credit from links in this post or on this site which will help fund my travels. Thank you for your support!

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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world. www.twitter.com/klatravel

5 Comments

  1. Jared

    January 5, 2018 at 4:57 am

    Shoot me an email and I’ll get you setup for a free trial of Thrifty Traveler Premium 🙂

  2. Waylo

    January 5, 2018 at 5:36 am

    Hopper is also a good service for flight alerts

  3. Rebecca

    January 13, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    Oh to be single again with no kids, husband, school schedules, sports schedules, performance schedules, family obligations, PTA meetings, religious obligations, social obligations, or work.

    Nah. On second thought it’s better than being single.

  4. Maarten

    January 13, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    I have used Airfarewatchdog and found it useless. Their alerts showed up, but I have never, EVER, managed to find the deals that were referenced in the emails. I called them out a few times via Twitter and their excuse was that fares change all the time. This is true, but if you’re a “watchdog” service, the principal deliverable is to not send users emails that are out of date when they arrive in my inbox. I also found their website very clunky and riddled with pop ups and spam.

    I continue to use Kayak, and if I am in true deal hunting mode, I’ll use Momondo in combination with a VPN that places me somewhere in Eastern Europe.

  5. a$]-[u

    January 17, 2018 at 4:26 am

    Good resources, thanks!

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