7 Tricks To Help You Score The Cheapest Plane Ticket For Your Next Vacation

by Sean Levinson

The quest for cheap plane tickets has become dramatically easier, thanks to the Reddit community.

Redditor SNOOP1 sought out the "Frugal" subreddit yesterday to ask for “any good ways or tips to find and get cheap airline tickets.”

The majority of the responses featured popular apps, though some users pointed out lesser-known strategies airlines must really hate.

Here are some of the most useful ways for saving big on your next vacation.

1. Use the app Hopper.

This app will tell you which airports will give you the cheapest flights, as well as what dates are the cheapest to fly.

User sugarface8717 said,

You can set up alerts so if a flight goes on sale or if it drops to its lowest price, it will alert you on your phone so you can buy. I know multiple people who paid less than $800 for a flight to Paris on a two day sale because of the app. They went back up to $1300 after that.

Skyscanner Ltd and Google Flights reportedly offer similar services, with user Caldansk claiming to have saved "at least 30 percent" on an international flight, thanks to the latter tool.

2. Buy tickets in advance.

Numerous Redditors recommended purchasing tickets three months before your planned vacation.

User CoGa cited a study determining booking a domestic flight 54 days in advance is actually the cheapest and can save hundreds of dollars.

The same study recommends booking way farther in advance for international flights.

3. Book your flight in the middle of the week.

User randomt4sk suggested shopping for flights Monday through Wednesday and not on the weekends.

The Redditor explained,

Airlines release tickets for seats between Mon-Wed so that's your best chance of getting one of the cheaper ones.

3. Take advantage of insider websites.

If you have friends who travel for work on a regular basis, they may have access to paid services like ExpertFlyer, which shows you how many seats at specific prices are left on flights.

User randomt4sk explained,

With this you can see if there are even any more of the low priced ticket seats even left to be sold on that flight. If there aren't any left, then there's no point in waiting longer for that cheap ticket since there are no more cheap seats left to be sold.

4. Make sure you're shopping incognito.

Airlines can apparently track your searches for a particular flight, one user revealed.

If you are consistently viewing information for one flight, the airline figures you committed to that flight, even if the price was to increase.

Randomt4sk dished out more of his knowledge, saying,

The airlines know this and as such will display higher priced tickets on your browser since they know you're going to most likely buy anyways. This isn't a conspiracy type thing, it's seriously how it works.

The user said switching to the "incognito" setting on your browser will prevent this from happening, but other Redditors claimed this did not work for them.

5. Fly out of a nearby city or state.

A flight can get a lot cheaper if you are willing to take a bus or even a short flight from your destination to your actual home city or state.

While living in Philadelphia, Redditor jujukamoo chose to fly out of New Jersey, about an hour away, for an international flight and returned to Boston.

The user said,

Made a 1200-1300 flight about 700 bucks, and I got to fly on a nicer airline.

6. Use the country's cheapest airlines.

Frontier and Spirit Airlines are only offered in certain cities but charge very little for flights, reportedly 15 to 20 dollars each way.

This cost covers nothing but the flight, however, so you have to pay extra to sit next to your family, take a suitcase on the flight or even have a drink.

Several Redditors praised those airlines as the best choices for shorter trips involving so little luggage you can fit it in your backpack.

7. Try out Skiplagged.

As user Matchboxx explained, this website searches for connecting flights in which your destination is the layover location.

Sometimes, a flight that leaves Washington, DC and stops in Atlanta en route to Las Vegas is cheaper than a direct flight from Washington, DC to Atlanta.

Matchboxx explained how to capitalize on this, saying,

You would book the first one, save the money, and just... don't get on the second plane. Walk away, leave the airport, no one's stopping you. The airlines hate it, it holds up the flight a bit because they're calling for you on the intercom while you're already at Miller Time, and you can't check bags because those bags would go to the final destination on your ticket.

The Redditor said he saved about 100 dollars with this strategy.

You won't be banned from flying, but the airline may blacklist you for rewards, Matchboxx cautioned, so don't use your rewards number or any frequent flyer program while booking such flights.