How to Find UNBELIEVABLE Deals on Flights

Everyone is already aware of websites that search for the best deals on flights at the time they are trying to book a flight, but did you know that there are free mobile apps available that will monitor prices, analyze trends and send alerts directly to you? There are several different apps available whether you’re looking to book flights for a specific date or travel for leisure whenever the price is right. In this post, I’ll address four of the best methods I’ve used in my traveling over the past few years in school and the different ways in which they can be beneficial to you in your travel planning.

Google Flights

Great for specific destinations; book directly on airline website

If you’ve ever searched for a flight on Google, you’ve already had some experience with Google Flights. It appears as a widget at the top of the search results. I like using Google Flights because it is simple and will check all available carriers for routes to your desired destination. It has a lot of sorting features which allow you to eliminate or only search certain airlines and view flights based on departure time, arrival time, layovers and price. You can also see whether overhead bin access is included in the price. Note this is never included in the price for Spirit Airlines.

Google Flights will also search neighboring airports and surrounding dates if you have some flexibility in when you fly. The key feature of Google Flights is to track prices. To track prices, you simply enter the details of your desired flight and then check the slider. I am currently watching a flight to Tampa in December in the example pictured below.

Track prices button

Google will monitor the lowest price for the itinerary and send you price alerts directly to your email! The email will also include tips on whether you should wait or consider booking soon based on the existing trends in airfares.

The Google Flights homepage also suggests trips from your home airport. You can also explore destinations and find places to go for a great value. This page allows travelers see deals to popular destinations for specific dates or for a weekend, one-week or two-week trip in a specific month. Head over to Google Flights to start tracking prices.

Hopper

Great for specific destinations; book directly on airline website

Hopper is an app that tells you when is the best time to buy an airline ticket. Hopper has a data-science team that they state has a huge archive of trillions of flight prices. They analyze that data and share insightful predictions that perform at 95% accuracy. The app is completely free, never has any ads and is available on both Google Play and in the App Store. The video below explains how Hopper works in exactly 40 seconds.

The coolest feature about Hopper is that it will predict whether the current price is the best price. It will say how much prices may vary between certain time periods until the departure date. Hopper has a lot of useful features such as filters which let you decide whether you want to see basic fares or flights with some or no layovers. There is an option to see flex dates and see tips on how to improve the price of your desired flight.

How I Booked an International Flight for Over 50% Off

I actually used Hopper to book a week-long round trip flight on American Airlines to Spain in September of last year for $451.76! One of my friends was teaching English in Valencia and suggested that I come visit for a week. I love traveling but did not think I’d be able to make the trip because tickets to Europe are usually upwards of a thousand dollars. Still, I figured I’d throw the trip on the Hopper using the flex dates feature since I’d never been to Spain before. I decided that if a decent deal came in, I would book it. To my surprise, I got a notification from the app on June 16th that said the price was very low and I likely wouldn’t find a lower price. I decided to see what it was and discovered it was only $451.76 on American Airlines! I was super excited and booked the flights right away.

Here is a screenshot of the total price I paid, including fare, taxes and all fees for the trip:

AA Itinerary

Thanks to the Hopper app, I was able to have one of the best experiences meeting new people and exploring Valencia, Spain for an entire week. Without Hopper, I probably would have never found this deal since I was not actively checking prices. I checked the same itinerary the very next day and it was back up to well over $1000.

Another advantage of American Airlines is that they accept PayPal. I actually used PayPal Credit and didn’t have to pay a penny for the flight for 6 entire months – I technically flew for free since I did not pay anything until December. You can learn more about how PayPal Credit can be advantageous to you.

The only downside to the Hopper app is that Delta and Southwest Airlines both do not currently share their data with Hopper. As a result, flights from these airlines will not be monitored or shown in the app. Send the Hopper app to your phone or learn more.

Skyscanner

Great for leisure travel; book on airline website or third-party website

Skyscanner is available on the web and as a mobile app. It is useful for planning last minute trips or planning trips in advance. Some of the search options include this weekend, next weekend, quick getaways, popular destinations and specific months. The app will show top deals and provide recommendations on the best dates to book your flight. It has a “good to know” section which will let you know if it is a red-eye, overnight, timezone differences and overall value. You can also book find deals on hotels and car rentals in the same window. One of the advantages is that you can see the exact price for rental cars based on a driver’s specific age from 21-25+.

A unique feature of is the option to see grouped flights on different airlines to save the most. This means airlines that are not official travel partners. For example, Delta and KLM are partners whereas Delta and Iberia are not. Note that if you do this and you have checked bags, you’ll have to do a self transfer. A self transfer is where you collect your bags, re-check them with the new airline and enter security again. Head over to Skyscanner to get started.

Hitlist

Great for leisure travel; book on airline website or third-party website

Hitlist is very similar to Skyscanner since you can view deals on last minute getaways. Hitlist will also suggest trips for you based on current deals. If there is a place you’d like to go, simply add it to your “hitlist” and you’ll get notifications when deals are available. Deals are always rated average, good, great or spectacular. Hitlist will use your hitlist to tailor future suggestions for destinations too. I am currently watching trips to Portugal and Brazil so hopefully I’ll be traveling to one (or both) of these places soon!

A unique option in Hitlist is featured lists. There are a wide array of options regardless of where your interests lie. Here are some of the most riveting:

  • World’s Best Ski Destinations
  • Unbelievable islands
  • Spicy Food Spots
  • Urban Hiking
  • Destinations Where the $ is Strong
  • Where You Can Travel Without a US Passport
  • Ethical Ways to See Endangered Animals
  • Best Music Festivals
  • Premier Destinations for Wine
  • Traveling Solo
  • And many more!

It is available for both iOS and Android. The downside to Hitlist is that there are some premium features. This is the only app on this list that has premium features. However, they are just for filtering airlines and stops. You can still see great flight deals in the free version. Text yourself the Hitlist app.

If you have any questions or concerns, please leave a comment below. See you in the sky.