As a travel blogger and digital nomad, I book a lot of flights. And it can get really expensive really quickly.
Although I often fly using rewards from my travel credit cards, I also purchase flights on booking websites from time to time.
If you’re trying to balance rent, student loans, and other bills, you might think you don’t have enough money to travel. But because transportation is usually a big portion of the cost, a cheap plane ticket can put your trip in closer reach.
Over the years, I’ve come to rely on a handful of excellent websites and tools that allow me to find cheap plane tickets, and I’ll share them with you below.
7 websites for booking cheap plane tickets
Here are my favorite flight-booking sites when I’m looking to travel on a budget.
1. ITA Software Matrix
I’m obsessed with this site because it allows you to search multiple departure and arrival cities as well as a wide range of dates. There’s even an option to see a calendar of lowest fares for an entire month. Overall, it’s the most flexible flight search engine I’ve found.
Searching on Skiplagged might make you feel like a travel hacker. That’s because it finds flights no other site does, such as hidden-city fares.
Here’s an example: Say you want to fly from Portland to San Francisco. While other search engines would show only flights to SFO, Skiplagged will show one-way flights that have layovers in SFO (if they’re cheaper). To make this work, you’d simply get off in SFO and book a separate one-way flight for your return.
3. Google Flights
If you need cheap last-minute plane tickets and don’t want to do a lot of legwork, Google Flights is a great choice. It uses the same software ITA does (albeit with fewer customization options) and is user-friendly.
My favorite feature is the ability to “explore destinations”; you select a month and trip length, and it shows you potential destinations and ticket prices. Perfect for daydreaming!
When it comes to international flights, you can occasionally find amazing deals on Momondo.
It searches a variety of online travel agents (OTAs) other sites don’t, which sometimes leads to lower prices.
Just be aware that flights aren’t ticketed immediately, so you shouldn’t make any nonrefundable plans until the airlines have confirmed your booking.
I don’t use Skyscanner often, but since several friends swear by it, I thought I should include it.
Like ITA Software Matrix, Skyscanner offers the ability to search flights over the course of an entire month. Plus, you can set your destination as “everywhere” for inspiration on where to go.
6. Scott’s Cheap Flights
Scott’s Cheap Flights is an email newsletter, not a website or app. Even so, it’s worth signing up for because Scott finds insane deals on flights — multiple times a week — and emails you when he does.
If you’re not too fussy about when (or where) you travel, you might snag a serious bargain. Recent deals include round-trip flights to Southeast Asia, Copenhagen, and Paris in the $400s!
If you’re not searching for a last-minute ticket, give Hopper a look. This app’s superpower is its ability to predict whether fares will rise or drop.
When you search an itinerary, it’ll tell you whether you should buy or wait. Then, if a particularly good fare pops up, it’ll send you an alert.
Although traveling can be expensive, finding a cheap plane ticket can make your dream trip more attainable. Click here to read more tips for traveling on a budget.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
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1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/21/18. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
Savings example: average savings calculated based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were disclosed. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.
Application detail: 5 minutes indicates typical time it takes to complete application with applicant information readily available. It does not include time taken to provide underwriting decision or funding of the loan.
Instant rates mean a delivery of personalized rates for those individuals who provide sufficient information to return a rate. For instant rates a soft credit pull will be conducted, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.
Total savings calculated by aggregating individual average savings across total borrower population from 9/2013 to 12/2017. Individual average savings calculation based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were provided. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.47% – 6.99%3||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit SoFi|
|2.47% – 5.87%1||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Earnest|
|2.47% – 8.03%4||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Lendkey|
|2.95% – 6.37%2||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Laurel Road|
|2.48% – 6.25%5||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit CommonBond|
|2.72% – 8.32%6||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Citizens|