Let’s say that Person A, let’s call her Hannah, wants to go from point B, let’s call it Nashville, to point C, let’s call it Paris. Hannah wants to fly there without blowing her travel budget, but she’s eager to travel during time D, let’s call it summertime. Is Hannah crazy to think that a cheap flight is possible?
This may sound like one of those math problems you thought you left safely behind after high school, but substitute out the letters, and we’ve all found ourselves facing the same question. Is there really such a thing as a cheap flight or is this a myth, belonging in the same corner of travel lore as the magical upgrade to first class or the super cheap but still cool hostel?
Cheap flights are not a myth. I repeat, they are not a myth. Final answer. This doesn’t mean they’re easy to come by though. After all, where’s the fun in that? No, cheap flights require sacrifices. So, how can you ensure that your flight to dreamland Point C is at the lowest possible price?
There are a number of routes to take, and perhaps the easiest requires little more than getting friendly with the internet. A quick google search for the words ‘cheap flight’ turns up over 31 million results. How to discern the worthy from the worthless? The Points Guy offers a great rundown of the 10 best sites on the internet for finding bargain basement airfare. For each, he breaks down how the site operates and gets its results. He also provides tips and tricks for making each more usable.
If you’re willing to be a little more flexible with your timing (and destination for that matter), signing up for the deals email from any number of airline sites is another solid way to keep up-to-date on promotional prices and one-off steals. Your dream trip might not happen exactly as and when you expect it, but that doesn’t mean you can’t end up somewhere beautiful on the cheap. It just might mean asking for time off work, trip planning, packing, and getting your butt on the plane in the week between when the deal surfaces and the flight departs.
For thrifty flights within a smaller radius from your departure point, looking specifically at airlines with a reputation for economy can be a great way to maximize your travel allowance. Airlines like Frontier, Spirit, and Allegiant often offer excellent prices, sometimes for as little as a dollar. But be warned, these airlines have a sneaky habit of becoming much more expensive by heaping on the fees. Booking luggage? There’s a fee. More than one carry on? There may be a fee. Thirsty for something or hungry for a snack? On some air-carriers, most notably Spirit Airlines, there’s even a fee for water.
Finally, it’s hard not to acknowledge that the more your search for cheap airfare, the more easily you’ll be able to come by it. Finding deals is like a muscle, it needs to be exercised. With that in mind, get out there and start searching. You might not be planning any trips right now, but when you are, you’ll be ready to find flights without breaking the bank. And that’s no myth.