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10 Ways to Hack Cheap International Flights

jacquelinebuch profile picture
Jacqueline PaumierGuest Blogger
July 17, 2016 · 8.7k Views

There’s a common misconception that travel is reserved for people who are swimming in money, but really it’s simply a matter of knowing how to save, when to buy and where to look for the best deals. There are all sorts of tricks that can help you become an international traveler without becoming a Rockefeller, and by keeping in mind these simple hacks you can save yourself plenty of dough that will probably be spent on souvenirs anyway. Bon voyage!

Need some coupons to top off your low fare flight? You may be in luck if you're booking through a travel site. Visit Expedia, Priceline and CheapOAir, for coupon code discounts. You can save up to $50 off your flight or more, happy vacationing! 


Visit Foreign Sites:

Source: Expedia.co.jp

Sometimes the best deals aren’t in English. Global travel sites can often cost a fraction of the cost of American sites. Expedia.co.jp (the Japanese version of Expedia) is a perfect example. Just click the top right corner and click English to translate the site (unless of course you speak Japanese) and choose your flight and dates. The prices will show up in Yen but that’s nothing a simply currency converter can’t fix.The prices will be insanely cheaper and you will be able to indulge your inner travel bug.

Stay Away from Mainstream Airlines:

It’s kind of like buying off brand Cola, the only one that really knows the difference is your wallet. Check out airlines like Air Asia, Jetstar, Tiger Air, Norwegian Air, or Germanwings, WestHet or Allegiant.

Stay Flexible

Source: Check In Justine

A major key to traveling at an affordable price is not being married to your dates. Plan to travel during off peak times and be flexible about when you go, this is a great way save money on international flights. Use apps like Skyscanner that will monitor the prices for a couple of weeks and alert you when it’s the best time to buy. Try to Avoid flying on a Sunday(the most expensive day to fly), and also avoid holiday travel if you can. Tuesday, Wednesdays and Saturdays are the cheapest days to fly.

>> SEE ALSO: 10 Best Travel Tools for the Cheapest Flights Ever

Know Your Options

Take the time to research the different airports in your destination. Not all airports carry low cost airlines and only book big full service airlines. So you are better off shopping around first, a slightly more expensive cab fee can still cost way less than an expensive flight.

Know When to Buy:

There is a definite art to buying airline tickets and knowing when to buy can make all the difference.Airlines make money by anticipating the habits of travelers, so going against the trend will definitely help save money. 6-8 weeks is the perfect time to book your flight. Shop early, but don’t necessarily buy early and don’t feel intimidated by “limited seats” notices. Airlines start offering cheaper seats about 4 months before departure, 5 months for international. Prices will rise up to 40% the week of the flight. Also, try to book your ticket on a Tuesday or a Wednesday as most discount ticket sales are offered early in the week. As a general rule of thumb, Tuesdays at 3 pm six weeks before your flight is when your ticket will be at it’s cheapest.

Know Your Destination:

Source: World Map Ideas

Knowing when to buy has a lot to do with where you are going. If you are flying domestic book between 3-7 weeks out, if you are flying to Europe book between 8-10 months out. Trips to South America should be booked around 6 months out while trips to central America can be booked between 4-6 weeks out. Surprisingly enough, trips to Africa should be booked 3-5 weeks out, as well as booking trips to the Caribbean. But plan trips to Asia early, about 9-10 months out (if you miss this window aim for 2-4 months out instead).

Check Out the “Other” Flight Websites:

Source: the flight deal

There are many airline websites out there that aren’t shelling out the cash for expensive marketing buthave affordable flights available. Check out sites like Secretflying.com, the flight deal, airfarewatchdog, or CheapOair.  

Embrace the Lay Overs

While a straight flight may sound more comfortable, it’s also more expensive. Choose a flight that has long layovers not ones that will cause you to break your neck trying to get to your next flight. This is a great opportunity to squeeze in an extra destination and experience a new culture, even if it means never leaving the airport.

Earn Miles with Online Shopping

Source: Digital Factory UK

If you have an item that needs to be purchased online, skip going directly to your usual sites and search through an airline's online mall. Many airlines have online shopping malls where you can choose from a wide selection of stores you frequent often, and actually earn points for everything you buy. If you’re going to have to pay for it anyway, why not earn some miles in the process? You can also visit EVRewards.com where you can search for which store you want to shop and it will let you know which reward programs you can use to earn miles from there.

Also, try the Thanks Again app! Thanks Again partners with multiple credit card merchants to help you earn additional rewards (on top of exisiting credit card rewards) on tons of travel related activities. 

Take Advantage of Others Mistakes

Errors can, and do happen on online sites and you are allowed to take full advantage of them! If you book during a “price error” your price will remain the same even after the airline fixes it’s mistake. SecretFlying.com is always the first to publish news about error fairs so you can hop onto the steal as quickly as possible.

Got more tips for us? Tell us how you hack your way to cheaper vacays.

More travel hacks to catch up on:


jacquelinebuch profile picture
Jacqueline is a modern day gypsy, who has lived in several countries and has traveled to over 20. A sucker for all things pleasing to the senses; her world revolves around food (any and all food), foreign indie films, and salsa music. The first to jump off a waterfall and the last to say no to sushi, she has been described as a bit of an “extremist”. In her perfect world, no one ever spells “cool” as “kool” and Ryan Gosling has more tattoos. She enjoys spending her free time in her New Orleans home with her Cubano guitarist husband and 1-year-old son.

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