With flying becoming more and more of a necessity nowadays, the high cost of flights has become increasingly difficult to avoid. The solution, of course, is to opt for more affordable flights. Unfortunately, most people rely only on luck when it comes to getting cheaper seats. While the internet is arguably one of the best places to book flights at lower costs, there are way too many travel search engines, and some work better than others.
Kayak.com, however, has proven to be among the best of its kind. Using this particular site alone will already save you a lot of money on your travel expenses.
Kayak does have more to offer than it seems, and there are a couple more things you can do to make the most out of this great travel search engine. Take a look at these six pro tips before you book your next flight on the site.
See How Far Your Money Will Take You
Saving on flights is not just about getting lower prices. When it comes to airlines, it’s also about making the most out of every buck you spend on flying. Kayak has a neat little tool that allows users to see how far their budget can take them: The Explore section. You may have seen it before but never used it, or you may be among the many people who have completely ignored this feature, but it’s definitely worth a try if you want to spend your money in the best possible way.
Basically, the Explore section lets you see all the destinations you can fly to with a set amount of money. It starts off with your city of origin and then you use a nifty little slider to specify your budget ($10 and up). Then you pick a month or season and the site will show you a map with red dots that show where you can fly to.
For those who want to get a little more specific with their searches, additional options are available too. In addition to price, the search results can be filtered according to departure dates, airlines, and the number of stops the flights will make.
This is a particularly good feature for those who just want to travel to a new place, but don’t know where they want to go. Think of it as a way to find good ideas given the budget you’ve got, and it is especially good for those who have flexible travel dates.
Check the Fare Forecasts – Always
Of course, it’s usually wise to book flights early, but if you knew that a certain flight would go down in price in the near future, you’d definitely opt for that, right? Now you can, because Kayak does more than just give you travel options. The site actually studies pricing trends and uses that information to predict when flight fares might change.
Kayak also makes it easy for you. You just need to check out the line chart in the upper-left corner of the desktop, while paying attention to any advice the site might give you along the way. Keep an eye out for flights with a high percentage of fluctuating prices – you might just save more than you thought on your next trip.
Use the Three-Day Flex Search When You Can
Some people need to fly on certain dates, but if you think you can get away with moving your flight to a day earlies or ahead, then the three-day flex search is for you. It’s just like a normal search, but it helps you look at available flights for the days before and after your preferred date.
Before hitting the “Search” button, just make sure to click on “Show flexible dates” so that your departure and return options are given for the three days. The results will then present themselves in a neat grid showing the three dates. Look for the date and price you want and you’re good to go!
Kayak’s Travel Hacker Knows the Most Popular Destinations
Making travel plans anytime soon? Don’t miss out on great ideas from Kayak’s Travel Hacker section. Here, you can tell which destinations are popular at a given time. This is based on the data that the site collects from searches every year. Choose from a list of popular destinations arranged by common themes like “family”, “beaches,” or “luxury” and the site will give you your very own cheat sheet based on your preferences.
This is useful because the popularity of destinations tends to affect how often the prices fluctuate, so the added knowledge helps you know where and when it’s cheapest to fly. Tip: Those who are planning their Christmas and New Year’s trips can take advantage of the Holiday Travel Hacker Section.
Set Yourself Up for Cheap Fare Alerts
Hate missing out on cheap flights or hotel bookings? You can’t always do a search for the same trip every day, but you CAN make use of Kayak’s Fare Alerts features so that you can get email or phone notifications should any of your regular searches offer lower prices at some point.
You can toggle this notification setting in your own Kayak account under “Email and Alerts” (on your app, it’s called “Price Alerts”). The best thing about this is that you can have as many price alerts as you want. This will definitely keep you from missing out on any potentially cheaper prices.
Try Using a VPN to Get Lower Rates
There’s a little-known trick that will let you shave off a couple more dollars when booking your fares, and it requires the use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Because airlines tend to offer different rates to consumers from different countries (due to a number of factors), you can use a VPN to switch your location to check if the same flight is offered at a lower price in another country. This doesn’t always work, but you might just get lucky.
Give these pro-tips a try next time you book a ticket – you’ll be surprised with how much you can save.
You may also like Google Flights.