As your family gets bigger, the value of affordable plane tickets increases exponentially. That’s why a lot of people turn to “travel hacking” – figuring out how to get more with less. Fellow TDAD Richard Kerr and I have been doing this for years and it has really helped us with our travel budgets (read about his Travel Hacking Meetup here).
If you’re interested in Travel Hacking, I’ve started writing a Family Travel Hacking Guide that will eventually cover all of the basics. If you don’t think you have the time, you can still save a lot of money on cash flights. Here are five sites that can really help you save.
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Airfarewatchdog is a website dedicated to finding the cheapest flights out there. They use historical data to determine whether a deal is “good” or not. On the website, you can sign up for airfare alerts from any city you want. Better yet, you can have airfarewatchdog monitor a city pair you travel frequently. You can adjust your preferences for how often you receive e-mails and even exclude airlines you don’t want to fly (looking at you, Spirit!).
The Flight Deal
The Flight Deal is a lot like airfarewatchdog, but they curate their deals and focus only on a few cities. From their Twitter account: “The Flight Deal – Curated Daily Travel Deals from NYC / BOS / PHL / DC / MIA / DFW / PHX / LAX / SFO / PDX / SEA and ORD. 24/7/365.” Follow them on Twitter, sometimes they’ll have a deal that is perfect for your family’s needs!
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Kayak still remains one of my favorite resources for flight searches. What I love about this site is you can have it monitor flights for you. You can receive daily or weekly e-mails monitoring price fluctuations in flights you are looking at and make your decision to book accordingly.
Since Google has their hand in everything, they’ve started offering a very robust flight search application, Google Flights. When searching for airfare, Google Flights will tell you how much you can save by tweaking your dates or by using an alternate airport. They also have a great map telling you how much a flight to pretty much anywhere will cost on a given date, so if you’re just looking for somewhere to go you can use that to find a flight that will fit your budget!
If you do a lot of flight searches on your phone, Hopper is the app for you. After you search for a flight, you can tell Hopper to watch the flight for you. It will then send you an alert when the price drops. The app also gives you advice on whether to book or wait. It’s simple to use and a simple way to save money!
There are a ton of great resources out there for finding cheap airfares. These are my favorites, but feel free to share some of yours in the comments!