You know that friend of yours who always seems like they’re traveling? The one who always gets asked, “How do you find such great travel deals?!” They usually respond with something like, “I just watch for them! It’s easy!” Well, that friend is probably using Skyscanner.
And you should, too. As flight prices rise, nabbing deals — which are still out there! — is both a necessity and a cause for celebration. With Skyscanner, you’ll be on track to save a bundle on your summer vacation. Just be prepared to become that friend who’s always getting asked, “How do you find such great travel deals?!” (You can keep the secret, or point folks to the tips below.)
1. Set those price alerts.
Set it and forget it. With Skyscanner’s price alerts, all the money-saving deals you need will come directly to your inbox. Start with a preferred route and dates, input that information into Skyscanner, scope out your results, and click “get price alerts” in the lefthand corner of your screen. You’ll receive daily emails if your flight’s within three months or so, and weekly emails if it’s further out.
You don’t even have to have your routes or dates narrowed down — set as many alerts as you’d like. Skyscanner will consolidate the deals into one email to avoid cluttering your inbox. Then, when the price is right, you can jump on it before it changes.
Tip: When inputting your route, click “nearby airports” for either your home airport, your destination airport, or both. This will make sure Skyscanner’s getting you the best neighborhood deal.
2. Dream bigger with the “explore everywhere” tool.
Check it: Open Skyscanner and input your home airport. Leave blank where you want to go, and it’ll prompt you to click “explore everywhere.”
With that option selected, you’ll be presented with a list of awesome destinations, organized with the cheapest first. US flights from $59? Mexico from $200? Ireland from $300? Yep, those are real prices. (And that’s just flying out of Chicago.) Pretty soon, you may notice that jetting to far-flung destinations can carry roughly the same cost as sticking closer to home. Goodbye, Miami. Hello, Dominica!
3. Flexible on dates? Search by month.
If your dates are flexible, searching by month can save you a pretty penny. Skyscanner will show you the lowest fares for every day that flights are available in that month — it’ll even show you a bar chart if you prefer visuals over numbers. You can look across two months at a time; hey, if you’re really flexible, scope out the whole year!
Once you find the cheapest day/week/month, if you’re not quite sold yet, set that price alert. Who knows, maybe fares will drop even further.
4. Be open to undiscovered destinations.
The epic nightlife of Ibiza. The ruins of Rome. The blue domes of Santorini. It’s totally understandable if you want to travel by the guidebook, but know that the whole world is full of wonder — the places you’ve heard of aren’t necessarily any better than ones you haven’t. In fact, lesser-known destinations can offer equally impressive, less-crowded, and cheaper adventures.
Instead of the go-tos, how about the nightlife of Hamburg? The ruins of Pula? The white domes of Tunis? Scope out destinations like these on Skyscanner, and you could be in for a vacation that’s more affordable — and winds up being more you.
5. Search by hotel or car rental deal.
Skyscanner’s not just flight deals! It’s hotel and car rental deals, too — which is great, because at the end of the day, the non-airfare factors can be what make or break a trip budget. You can even limit your search to great deals, saving up to 35%. That way, if you don’t find a magically cheap plane ticket to your dream destination, you’re still coming out ahead.
Tip: If you’re flexible on where to go, let a great hotel deal determine your destination. After all, 35% off across a weeklong stay could be better than any airfare deal that crosses your screen.
6. Let Skyscanner give you a rough budget.
Like we said, airfare isn’t everything to consider on a trip — it’s just one piece of the wallet pie. While Skyscanner can’t tell you how much a plate of pasta will cost in your desired destination, it can help you out with what to expect in terms of hotel and rental car.
Here’s what to do: Input your desired route and search by month. Once the calendar pops up, choose the best dates. Just below the calendar, you’ll see “total trip price.” Skyscanner adds in the average cost of a 3-star hotel and car rental to the cost of your flight, giving you a rough guideline of what to expect to spend for that destination at that time. It’s a great way to zero in on cheaper destinations — or write off ones that aren’t.
7. Use all these Skyscanner strategies together.
If you’re serious about finding that summer deal, combine all of the strategies above. Start with the “explore everywhere” tool and make a shortlist of cheap destinations from your home airport. Then search each by month, narrowing it down to the cheapest days or weeks. Set those fare alerts, and as you’re waiting for the deals to roll in, keep an eye on hotel deals and car rental savings.
From there, it’s nothing but sayonara.