Need to know how to get cheap flights for your next big trip? It’s not rocket science. If you use these techniques and tools at the right time, you could save yourself hundreds of dollars.
Here are the 12 best tricks every globe-trotter should know.
1) Hide Your Location
Airlines sometimes offer cheaper prices in different countries. That’s because countries vary in purchasing power and market competitiveness. You can find these flights without leaving your living room with CyberGhost VPN!
A VPN is a network of servers spread across different countries. When you connect to a server in another country, you get an IP address in that country. This gives you access to local websites, so you can check prices and buy tickets at the same rates as local residents.
You can use this tip to book cheap flights in advance for multi-destination trips. If you’re booking a positioning flight to another country (see tip #6), use a VPN to compare flight prices in the local currency.
If you do find a cheaper ticket, make sure you pay for it using a credit card that doesn’t charge extra for foreign transaction fees.
How to Use a VPN to Get Cheaper Plane Tickets in 3 Easy Steps
- Sign up for CyberGhost VPN. It’s fast and easy.
- Select a server in the country you’re flying into or out of.
- Browse airline websites to search for cheap plane tickets!
2) Book at the Right Time
Timing is essential. According to the flight price tracking app, Hopper, ticket prices in the US peak in July and November. This advice holds for international flights inbound to the US or round-trip from the US. The best time to book is around the end of January or mid-September.
How far ahead should you book? It varies by destination, but for international flights, think 3–6 months. For domestic flights within the US, book 1–3 months ahead.
3) Fly at the Cheapest Time
You can find cheaper tickets if you travel when airlines are desperate to sell empty seats. That means avoiding peak times and flying on days when fewer people travel, like Tuesdays. Late night or early morning flights may also cost less.
4) Fly Off-Season
Naturally, you might imagine warmer months as the ideal time for a beach vacation. If sunbathing isn’t high on your priority list, you can enjoy beach walks and save yourself some cash by traveling to popular summer destinations in the winter.
Remember that the seasons are opposite in the other hemisphere. Escape a sweltering summer for Brazil’s mild winter climate and avoid high-season prices!
5) Compare Routes and Flight Times
Compare different dates, airlines, and routes to get the best deal. Look at the calendar view in Google Flights to find the most affordable travel times. You can also compare different routes and airlines, and check the price difference between one-way, round-trip, and multi-destination tickets.
Once you’ve got an idea of flight prices, it’s worth running the same search on Kayak. Kayak shows offers from smaller online travel agencies (OTAs) that don’t always come up on Google Flights.
6) Book Each Leg Separately
Popular flight routes are often the cheapest. If you don’t live close to a major city, booking a “positioning flight” to a popular flight route may be cheaper than flying direct to your destination.
It works like this:
- Book a ticket from your nearest airport to a major city
- Book a separate flight between that city and your destination
- Repeat this process in reverse for the return journey
In some cases, you may get better prices if you book a positioning flight to a hub airport in another country. Use CyberGhost VPN to check flight prices in that country to see if you can get cheaper tickets in the local currency.
7) Set Alerts for Good Deals
Good deals go fast. You can sign up for alerts on Google Flights, but once you get notified that the price has dropped, you need to be ready to click the buy button. If you’re flying to or from the US, you can do just that, even if you later decide the flight isn’t for you.
Under government rules, if your flight lands or takes off from a US airport, you can claim a full refund if you cancel within 24 hours of booking. This only applies to flights booked directly with the airline (not through an OTA) at least a week in advance. Some airlines let you reserve a ticket at the quoted price for 24 hours instead of a 24-hour refund policy.
Need longer than 24 hours to decide? You can “freeze” a fare for several days on the Hopper app, but you have to pay a non-refundable deposit for this privilege.
8) Fly on Budget Carriers
Budget airlines like Ryanair in Europe and Spirit in the US offer dirt-cheap airfares—with a catch. The up-front price looks cheap, but they add on fees for everything from baggage to seats.
Checked bags are often the biggest extra cost, but many budget airlines also charge for carry-on luggage. Unlike on major carriers, meal service is a paid extra. Make sure you check all the fees online before you book, including transaction fees.
Finally, don’t wait to pay baggage fees at the airport — it’s cheaper to pay when you buy your ticket.
9) Get a Credit Card with Mileage Rewards
What if your daily latte habit could pay for your next vacation? Some credit cards offer airline miles as a reward. You can earn double or triple the points you get from your weekly grocery shop if you spend money in specific categories like dining or travel.
Over time, these points add up! To avoid paying interest charges, make sure you pay off your credit card balance in full every month.
10) Book Direct with the Airline
Online travel agents often claim they can get you the best deal on flights. Most of the time… that’s not the case. For simple routes, it’s usually cheaper to book directly with the airline.
Sometimes, you can get a better deal with a travel agent. This may be the case if you have a complicated itinerary involving multiple airlines. If you have time, check the flight prices they’re offering for yourself.
If you can find cheaper tickets elsewhere, you may be able to negotiate a lower package cost.
11) Take Advantage of Frequent-Flier Programs
Start paying for future travel with your next flight ticket! Airline loyalty programs, also known as frequent-flier programs, reward you with “miles” for each flight you take on that airline. These “miles” are symbolic—they don’t equate to the miles you actually fly.
It’s free to join frequent-flier programs, so they’re a great idea for people who regularly travel on the same airline. You can’t transfer points between different airlines, but you may be able to use points from one airline to book a ticket on another in the same alliance.
12) Avoid Price Discrimination
Airline pricing algorithms are complex, but airlines often use this as an excuse for some less-than-ethical practices. If you check the price of a flight on your mobile and then on your laptop and get a different figure, you may wonder if the airline is tracking your every move.
Airlines use dynamic pricing to adjust ticket prices based on multiple factors. This includes demand, but also may include your perceived ability—and willingness—to pay. If you have a track record of buying last-minute flights at high prices, the airline may use that information to jack up the price of the tickets they offer you.
The good news is, you can avoid this price discrimination if you use a VPN.
CyberGhost VPN uses military-grade encryption and a network of global servers to prevent third parties from tracking your online activity. An airline won’t even know if you’re accessing its website from the same device. This means they can’t collate information to use for dynamic profiling.
Why You Need a VPN When You Travel
A VPN’s benefits go far beyond cheaper flights. Use CyberGhost VPN to access the internet safely from any Wi-Fi network in any country. Aside from saving you money, it can also help you bypass local censorship, and give you access to your favorite streaming platforms.
✈️ Get the World’s Best Prices
Flights aren’t the only major expense on your trip. Hotels, rental cars, and other costs can quickly add up. Like flights, the best deals may be available in the country you’re traveling to. Luckily, VPNs are a simple way to avoid the “tourist tax”!
To check local prices, connect to a CyberGhost server in your destination country. CyberGhost VPN has servers in 90+ countries, so it’s easy to find one wherever you’re traveling to. Then, start surfing for deals like a local! The more you save, the more you can spend on creating unforgettable memories.
✈️ Stay Safe on Public Wi-Fi
Most of us don’t want to disconnect completely from the world when we travel. If you have to use unsecured Wi-Fi networks to access the internet, you may be exposing your personal data.
CyberGhost VPN can help!
A VPN sends your internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel, so no one can read your traffic or see what you do online. CyberGhost VPN uses state-of-the-art AES-256 encryption to protect your privacy, wherever you are in the world.
If you ever have trouble connecting, our 24/7 customer support team is just a few clicks away.
✈️ Stream Your Favorite Shows from Anywhere
Watch your favorite shows from your hotel, apartment, or the beach. CyberGhost VPN makes it easy to stream your favorite content when you’re abroad. Just connect to a CyberGhost server in your home country and start watching!
✈️ Bypass Local Censorship
Traveling to a country that’s renowned for internet censorship? Download CyberGhost VPN before your trip to access websites from your home country when abroad.
Stay in touch with friends and family via messaging services and social media, bypass censorship to keep up with international news, and watch your favorite shows and movies while avoiding government surveillance.
We’re headquartered in Romania, outside of any data-sharing alliances. Our strict No-Logs policy means we don’t keep any records on you, period.
How can I get cheaper plane tickets?
You can use a VPN to access cheap flight prices that are only available in other countries.
Install CyberGhost VPN and connect to a server in the country you’re flying to or from. You can then browse for flights in the local currency. If you have any questions, our 24/7 customer support team is always there to help.
Flight aggregator websites such as Google Flights and Kayak help you compare ticket prices and identify the cheapest travel times.
Is it cheaper to buy plane tickets last minute?
No. Last-minute fares are generally more expensive. Airlines increase ticket prices close to departure because less price-sensitive business travelers often buy their tickets at the last minute.
It’s best to book 3–6 months in advance for international flights and at least a month in advance for domestic flights.
Do flight prices go down on Tuesdays?
No. Your flight price doesn’t depend on the day of the week you book. However, flights departing on a Tuesday or other mid-week day may cost less if the demand for flights is lower.
Is it cheaper to buy one way or round trip?
Round-trip fares are generally the same price or cheaper than one-way tickets. You may find exceptions to this rule. For example, if you buy one-way tickets with different airlines, this may work out cheaper than a round-trip ticket with one airline. Use tools like Google Flights to compare one-way, round-trip, and multi-destination flights to see which option is cheapest.