Flying to different countries or continents from our own homeland can be very expensive, there’s no way that we can avoid these flight expenses but if you are wise enough you can save yourself tons of money on your international airfares. Here are some useful tips for your outbound international travel from the US.
Prepare a Travel Itinerary
First things first prepare a nice tentative travel itinerary for your onward journey that clearly outlines the dates of travel and your destinations where you are heading to, this will be a first good step for you in your search for getting lowest airfares for your journey.
Choose the right flight search engine for your requirement
Choice of flight search engine is important when you want to leverage the best airfares. There are quite a good number of them in the digital space for customers, depending on your travel requirement you need to choose the right one. According to travellinglifestyle.net search engines like Expedia, Pricline or Orbitz have great travel deals but they always show inflated airfares on their site much higher than other flight search engines.
List of trusted flight search engines we recommend
- Skyscanner- Use this for cheap flight offers, accommodation and transportation
- Airfare Watchdog- Use this for finding sale offers and error fares
- Momondo- Use this for finding deals similar to the ones in Skyscanner, you may be lucky to find better deals here
- Kiwi.com- Use this for buying cheap flights with multi airlines option for your route that is better than single airline fare for your route
- Airwander- Awesome for extending layovers into stopovers
- JetRadar- use this for budget airlines
Always be flexible with the travel dates
Being flexible with the dates can help you leverage the cheapest airfares for your flight route as most airlines offer varied prices across the dates in a single month. The key then is to choose the dates with cheapest airfares.
Travel tip when you are using the date filter on the search engine enter the locked in dates for your roundtrip journey in the search engine and choose the flexible dates option to compare the flight prices on other dates closer to the locked in dates. This way you can be sure of cheapest airfares for your desired flight route.
Always be flexible with the choice of airports across your flight route
When you are flying out of the US to another country you will mostly come across multiple airports in both the departing city and the arrival city, we advise you to carefully choose your airports to take advantage of maximum savings in the money you are spending toward your tickets. Let me illustrate this with an example, say you are flying out from Washington DC to London, both DC and London have multiple airports. In our case we have two choices 1) IAD to LHR 2) IAD to LGW. You must search for airfares across all the possible combination of popular airports across the route and then compare the airfares to finally select the cheapest.
Always use incognito mode on your PC when you are searching for your flight tickets.
Most search engines make use of the cookies residing on your computer when you browse on their search engines to track your searches for the criteria you key into it for your flights, when you perform a new search again with a slightly modified search criteria the prices are likely to be inflated because the flight search engine knows that you are desperate for flights across these routes. There is a trick to escape this, all you need to do is use the incognito mode when you start a new search for your flights:
When you are using Google Chrome browser on your pc simply use the combination of the buttons Ctrl + Shift + N to switch to incognito mode. When you are using Mozilla Firefox browser on your pc simply use the combination of the buttons Ctrl + Shift + P to switch to incognito mode.
Once you are in the incognito mode you can start your search in the flight search engine and your computer will not keep track of your browsing history so the search engine cannot track your search criteria and you are all set to see airfares that are not inflated.
Always look for last minute deals
Take advantage of last minute travel deals because they are really dirt cheap. Twitter is one such place you should be relying on for such last minute deals. @SecretFlying is one such useful Twitter handle that has numerous such deals for you.
Make use of 24 hour cancellation policy
If you have already shopped your flight tickets and you find cheaper airfares for your flight route at other flight search engines you still may be lucky enough to cancel your purchased flight tickets and buy the new deal but there are limitations to this as most travel sites allow 24 hour cancellation policy, this means that you don’t lose anything as long as you cancel in 24 hours time from the time of booking your tickets. Go ahead and use this if the situation demands it.
Choose Connecting Flights
Sometimes you are better off choosing connecting flights over non-stop ones as they are likely to be cheaper but when you choose a connecting flight make sure you are not inconvenienced in any way. People generally opt for connecting flights when they want to sight-see in the layover destination, be wise enough to ensure that the layover is long enough for your short tour otherwise things can be disastrous.
Use Travel Reward Credit Card
Consider acquiring a travel reward card that gives you a fair chance to take a free flight, this is how a travel reward credit card words, as you accrue the points while purchasing your tickets with the card you are eligible to use these points for a seat upgrade or even a free flight depending on the count of the points and the airline in consideration. There are two types of travel cards 1) Airline provided cards that work fine for the specific airline or its alliance partners 2) General travel reward credit cards that let you accrue points and use them across many airlines.
Example of Travel Reward Card is Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, this card is our recommendation for you, just own this and explore the gateway to traveling with reward points. The highlights of this card are there is no annual fee involved and when you spend $4000 you accrue 50000 points which is equivalent to $625 and is good enough for a free flight on any major carrier when redeemed.
Best time to book your flight tickets
For leveraging cheap air fares shop your flight tickets in the US at least three months in advance on a Tuesday before 3:00 PM EST and avoid buying your tickets during the peak US festival time.