January 13, 2016 – Everyone is on the mission to find cheap flights,… I know I am. Over the past year, and after much searching, I have discovered several apps and websites that not only simplify the flight search experience but also get the prices I’m looking for. Here are some of my favs:
Kayak.com/explore – (FREE – iOS or Android) Everyone knows about Kayak but oddly enough when I ask friends if they’ve ever used the ‘Explore’ feature, I hear “no” over and over again. ‘Explore’ will display a map of the world with pin points throughout detailing flight prices and the dates of available. You can search by month or season and you can set a max for price and/or length of flight (time). If you have flexibility with your dates and are open to a variety of locations around the world, you will adore this feature! It is my absolute favorite app! I use it every time I search for flights. Additionally, the ‘Explore’ tool is available on the app or online. Kayak has additional features such as hotel and car rentals, reviews, a flight tracker and flight alerts in case you want to keep an eye out for price drops.
Skyscanner – (FREE – iOS or Android) Skyscanner is a bit different in that not only do it search a multitude of airlines, Skyscanner also searches sites like Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline and others to find the cheap deals. One of my favorite features on the app is that you can set your travel dates to ‘Whole Month’ or ‘Cheapest Month’ which helps you find the deals you’re looking for. The feature I love most is, when using the app, you can add a widget to your smartphone that works in conjunction with the ‘Everywhere’ search tool. Basically, if you are unsure where you want to go for next dream vacation, Skyscanner’s ‘Everywhere’ search will find cheap flight deals in various countries around the world based on your nearest airport location. If you obsess about your upcoming trips like I do, this feature is wonderful because you can refresh the widget every hour on the hour.
Google Flights – (web-based only) No list of flight search apps would be complete without Google Flights. As usually, Google proves that they will continue to ‘own the world’ and excel at everything including the flight search arena. Google Flights is also provider of data for several flight sites including Kayak, Expedia, Priceline, etc. Unique features offered by Google Flights include the ability to search by month, number of weeks of travel (1 week vacation or 2 week vacation), the continent you want to visit and travel interests. For you non-stop world travelers, Google Flights also allows you to search for multi-city flights which can be extremely helpful when you’re flying to multiple cities and departing from a city that is not your original arrival city.
Hopper – (FREE – iOS or Android) Are you always looking for the cheapest deals regardless of that date? Then you definitely need to check out Hopper. You simply enter in the travel destination and hopper will pull up a month to month calendar view that is color coded from cheap to expensive. The app lets you view the cheapest days to fly for up to a full year of whatever destination you are seeking. Hopper will also notify you when the price drops and when it’s about to increase. This app is an incredible tool for finding those ‘cheap girl’ flight prices you’re looking for!
Momondo – (FREE – iOS or Android) Are you going international? If so, Momondo is a great place to start. This site pulls information from airlines and travel sites around the world, including the low-cost regional carriers which often aren’t included in the other flight search apps. Filtering is made simple with options for number of stops, flight times, airlines and airports. You can also sort flights by ‘cheapest,’ ‘quickest’ or ‘best.’ Momondo also had a calendar view that shows you the average ticket prices for flights by day.
Skiplagged – Skiplagged is an amazing search option for finding cheap flights. Basically, it sticks it to ‘the man’ by searching for not only direct flights but also flights that are headed on to another destination but will be making a layover in the city you are going to. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to check-in luggage because if you do… well, it’s going somewhere you won’t be. Skiplagged has basically found a loophole in the system (which has completely unraveled the airline industry (do a Google search for the United Airlines debunked lawsuit) and it’s WONDERFUL!
AirfareWatchDog – To be perfectly honest, AirfareWatchDog isn’t one of my favorite apps. It’s pretty typical and does what most all the apps do. What they do is search multiple sites sourcing rates from various other big name flight apps such as Priceline, Hotwire, etc. I know, you’re thinking, “Don’t most flight apps do this?” And yes, they do. What you may want to consider using AirfareWatchDog for is their low fare email notifications. Give them your flight to/from info and an email address and AirfareWatchDog will send you emails when low fares pop up.
These don’t have anything to do with flights but they’re such great apps, I had to include them: 1. HotelTonight; 2. Roadtrippers; and 3. Waze.
HotelTonight (FREE – iOS or Andriod) is a super quick and easy way to book hotel rooms on the day of or up to seven days in advance of your travel date. Once you enter your destination city, HotelTonight gives you a list of unsold hotel rooms to pick from – rooms that might otherwise be a financial loss to hoteliers. And this is why you get the big discounts on your hotel stay. It’s like having your own personal hotel hookup.
Roadtrippers (FREE – iOS or Andriod) is an app that helps you prepare for your road trip by finding all the local (or odd) attractions, restaurants, museums, camp sites, hotels, etc. you might never find if you were to just jump in the car and go. You enter your starting location and destination and what you’re interested in finding along the way and Roadtrippers does the rest by plotting your adventure on an easy to read and view map. A couple of ‘Offbeat Attractions’ I’ve found are the Waugh Drive Bat Colony in Houston, Texas and The Museum of Death in Los Angeles, California… I mean who wouldn’t want to go to those?? Seriously, both are awesome!
Waze (FREE – iOS or Andriod) is a community-driven navigational app for traffic and other road information. The best feature of this app is that you can report (thereby notifying your fellow drivers) police sightings, road closures, stalled cars, accidents and more. In June 2013, Google purchased Waze (Don’t worry, Waze is not going down the crapper because of the buy out. Google has actually incorporated Waze technologies to Google Maps – it’s THAT good).