How to Find Cheap Flights to Anywhere (In 5 Easy Steps)

How to Find Cheap Flights to Anywhere Pin

You know damn well, that airfare is one of your major travel expenses.

Unfortunately, how to find cheap flights to anywhere is an art very few travelers have mastered, despite the abundance of online resources.

Today, we’ll end this once and for all.

Because this is the no-bullshit, all-myths-debunked ultimate guide about how to find cheap flights going anywhere in the world in 5 simple steps!

No more wasting time trying to fool the airlines with outdated hacks that never work.

These steps require very little of your time, automate the process of scooping the Internet for affordable airfares, and are all tested and confirmed in my many years of flying and traveling.

Ready to find the cheapest flights to your destination?

Let’s go!

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How to Find Cheap Flights to Anywhere in the World in 2024

How To Find Cheap Flights To Anywhere Header
Finding cheap flights to anywhere in the world is an artform all travelers can master

The Internet is flooded with bad advice about finding cheap flights to anywhere in the world. So, in this guide, I put every tip and hack to the test. Then, I combine the results with my many years of experience traveling to give you the simplest step-by-step process to follow when trying to find cheap flights for your next trip.

1. Set Your Flight Budget – Cheap Is Different for Everyone

“Cheap” means different things to different people

Finding cheap flights begins with defining “cheap” first.

Everyone understands it differently. So, what does a cheap flight mean to you?

“Cheap” is a relative, not an absolute value. For someone, it might be $1,000. For you, it might be $100.

Setting a budget will allow you to spend no more than what you can afford on your plane ticket. Calculate carefully how much you can splurge on a trip and set aside between 20% and 40% of your trip budget for your airfare.

2. Select Your Dates Wisely – Don’t Fly When Everyone Else Is Traveling

Budget Airline Plane
If you’re searching for cheap flights to anywhere, try to fly off-season

You probably know this but let me repeat it one more time:

The more flexible you are with your dates, the better your chances of finding cheap flights.

If possible, avoid holidays and school vacations.

As for weekends, it depends on the destination. Some destinations are busier during the week due to business travelers. Others are overcrowded on weekends due to partygoers.

The longer in advance you know when you’ll be able to fly, the better. Here’s a rule of thumb about when to start searching for a cheap flight:

  • International flights: Try to book an international flight at least two months in advance.
  • Domestic flights: For shorter trips, 4 to 6 weeks in advance is sufficient.

Sometimes, last-minute prices might be the cheapest. However, don’t count on this to avoid stress and have enough time to prepare for your trip.

✔️ Tip: There are no magic days of the week with lower prices. This is one of the worst travel myths which flood the internet. Also, booking on certain dates will never guarantee you cheaper flights.

The only time of the year, when flights are more likely to be cheaper, is from mid-January to mid-February. It makes sense, right? Everyone has just got back to work from their Christmas and New Year’s travels so late January and early February is the cheapest season for flying.

If you plan carefully, you can find some pretty sweet deals in the first weeks of the year!

3. Choose Your Destination According to Your Total Budget

Dias Beach
Flying across the world to find your perfect beach can break your bank, even in an inexpensive destination

Here’s a fact nobody else is talking about:

Very often, we want to visit popular destinations that appear on TV and in movies, and that everyone else has traveled to.

Hence, a lot of people make the mistake of over-obsessing about their “dream destination”. In reality, due to globalization, most holiday destinations look more or less alike.

Don’t forget that the flight is only one part of the budget equation. Sometimes, an expensive destination closer to home might equal a cheaper overall vacation cost!

For example, flying across the globe to your dream beach, even if it is located in inexpensive Southeast Asia or Central America, might cost you a small fortune.

On the other hand, if you visit a beach in France from somewhere in Europe or in California from somewhere in the USA, you’ll definitely pay more for accommodation and food but your airfare will be cheaper!

Don’t forget to calculate everything in your travel budget, not just the food and the hotel bed. Then, divide the total by the number of days you’ll be traveling. If the daily expense is more than you expected, maybe it’s better to choose another destination for your trip.

4. Search, Compare, and Track

Low Budget Airlines Offer Cheap Flights to Many Destinations
Low-budget airlines often offer cheap flights to many destinations

In this step, things get a little more complicated, so people often get scared and discouraged.


Because the plethora of websites and online resources promise how to find cheap flights to anywhere but only make you feel lost and force you to give up easily.

But relax! There are just a few things you have to keep in mind while searching for your next cheap flight.

First and most important, never forget your comfort needs. It’s never worth it to fly for 30 hours with 3 connecting flights just to save $50! In the end, you won’t save anything because you’ll have to eat overpriced airport food, you’ll need an extra day to recover from the flight, and you’ll have less time to enjoy your trip.

So remember: on vacation, time is more valuable than money ;)

Myths About Finding Cheap Flights

Next, let’s have a look at the myths about finding cheap flights that flood the Internet.

Myth 1: You’ll find cheaper prices if using an incognito browser tab
Lufthansa - Incognito Tab
Here are the Lufthansa prices for a New York – Paris flight, searched in an Incognito tab…

Go ahead and try it if you don’t believe me but there wasn’t a single time that I got different results when using a normal versus an incognito tab in my browser.

Lufthansa - Normal Tab
… and here are the prices when searching in a normal tab for the same flight. See any differences?!?

No clue who started this myth but there is nothing in the way incognito tabs work that can make an airline show you a lower price when using one.

Myth 2: Flying or booking on certain days of the week is cheaper

Unfortunately, the prices of airplane tickets don’t follow the calendar or the moon cycle.

The only things that could possibly affect the airfares are the fuel prices, major events (like a scoop in your destination or a big sports event), or seat availability.

What Truly Works When Searching for Cheap Tickets

So now that we debunked the myths, let’s see what actually works when you try to find cheap flights.

Tip 1: Sign up for airlines’ newsletters and follow their promotions
Qatar Airways Promotions
Qatar Airways has its latest promotions right on its homepage

Although it’s a bit annoying to receive tens of emails about the airlines’ promotions, occasionally there are some really sweet deals hidden between the ads that are worth all the hassle.

Of course, don’t go crazy and sign up for the newsletter of every airline on the planet! Only choose the ones relevant to you. For example, the ones that fly from your nearest airport and the ones that will take you to your favorite destinations are a good start.

If you don’t wish to dig through the emails, sign up for a service that does that for you. My favorite one, Dollar Flight Club, searches for the best flights and sends you relevant deals and error fares.

Tip 2: Sign up for frequent flyer programs

Even if you don’t collect miles or points, being in the frequent flyer program gives you an advantage over someone without a membership.

It costs you nothing and the points from past flights can be redeemed to lower your next airfare or get you a nice souvenir from the duty-free shop.

Tip 3: Learn about the airline alliances
Star Alliance
A summary of Wikipedia’s info about Star Alliance.

Most major airlines participate in one of three so-called airline alliances. From the biggest to the smallest, these are:

  • Star Alliance,
  • SkyTeam, and
  • Oneworld.

The airlines within the alliances cooperate and share connections to reduce their costs.

For you as a traveler, this means lower prices, more departure times and destination options, and shorter travel times due to optimized transfers.

Sometimes, you can even buy airfare cheaper from a partner airline than from the airline performing the flight.

Another great use of airline alliances is when buying round the world (RTW) tickets.

Tip 4: Track flight prices with the help of websites & forums

One of the coolest features of Google Flights is getting an email when the price of a tracked flight changes. In this way, you can always find the best possible rate for your dates.

I go into more detail and list my recommended tools and resources below.

Tip 5: When a direct flight is not an option, book separate flights
Book Separate Flights to Pay Less
You can book separate flights when you can’t reach your destination on a direct flight

If your destination can’t be reached via a direct flight, don’t end your search by buying a single ticket.

Often it is cheaper to book separate flights for the different legs. Plan enough time between the connecting flights to retrieve your checked-in luggage and check it in again for your next flight.

And if your schedule allows it, even spend a few days in your layover destination! This is also one of the best ways to avoid jet lag and enjoy a more relaxed overall travel.

You can use Wikipedia to see what airlines fly to your destination, then trace them back to your origin airport. (See examples of how to do this below. )

Tip 6: Sign up and follow websites that search for error fares and promotions

Sometimes, airlines forget to include the taxes in the airfare.

When you get an email from a website about the incredibly low price, buy that ticket right away!

Rarely, the airlines would cancel these error tickets. More often, you’ll be able to fly for a ridiculously low price.

Tip 7: Fly with carry-on luggage only
Carry-on Suitcase
If you pack light and take only the necessary, a carry-on will fit everything you need for a two-week vacation

Many airlines started charging exorbitant fees for checked-in bags. If you can pull it off, fly with carry-on luggage only and save the luggage fee.

Most airlines allow you to take hand luggage of up to 10 kg / 22 lbs. on board. That’s more than enough underwear even for a two-week holiday!

With the money saved, you can easily buy whatever didn’t fit in your carry-on at your destination. Or start saving for your next trip ;)

Tip 8: On low-budget airlines, buy one-way tickets instead of a round-trip

Often, low-budget airlines sell tickets in one of the directions cheaper than the other.

Buy the cheaper ticket only!

Then, set up an alarm and check the price in the opposite direction. When the price reaches your desired price, buy immediately.

Tip 9: Explore nearby airports

Often, low-budget airlines use smaller – hence cheaper – airports near major cities.

The lower airfare plus the price of the ground transport from these airports to your preferred final destination is almost always less than the ticket to a major airport.

But be careful when using this tip to find cheap flights. Sometimes airlines use so remote airports that the transfer to your destination is more expensive than the airfare!

Tip 10: Buy a membership or add priority options to your flight
WizzAir Packages and Discount Club Price
The low-budget airline WizzAir offers packages and Discount Club prices

It’s no secret that low-budget airlines try to charge you for everything.

Some of them offer priority or flex options, which add a few extras. For example, for a larger carry-on bag or checked-in luggage and priority seating, you would pay more if adding every extra separately than if you chose a package price.

Still, calculate everything separately and compare it to the available options before paying for an extra you don’t actually need.

Another hook low-budget airlines use is selling tickets at a lower price to their program members.

These programs come with a yearly subscription fee. In most cases, it is worth paying the fee even if flying just once or twice a year with this airline.

Recommended Tools and Resources for Finding Cheap Flights

The tools below have proven to be the most reliable ones in the last few years.

Everyone has a preferred tool they use for finding cheap flights to anywhere and I’m no different. My preference is definitely Google Flights.

The other tools work similarly, so I’ve only explained in detail how I find my cheap flights using Google Flights and mentioned the differences with the others.

Google Flights
Google Flights Explore Destinations from Miami
Exploring destinations from Miami using Google Flights

Who can better find information than the world-leading search engine, right?

For years, it’s been my number-one tool for finding cheap flights going anywhere.

Here’s how to use it:

If you know both your origin and destination airports, enter them. If your dates are flexible, choose some approximate dates.

Under Flight Insights, you’ll find useful graphs and charts. Browse Dates and Price Graph to find the cheapest rates. You can also compare prices with nearby destination airports.

If your dates are fixed, but you’re not picky about your destination, you can use another of Google Flights’ cool features.

From the homepage, select your departure airport and your dates, then click Explore Destinations. You’ll see a map with the lowest airfare prices for your dates and from your airport.

Pick a destination you like, browse the available flights, and choose your next flight with a few clicks only!

Wait, but the price you found doesn’t match your budget? Then, set an alarm and receive an email when the airfare price changes!

Omio Cheap Transportation Tool
Omio lets you find all available transportation options between your destinations

This handy tool will give you the best options to travel between two destinations. You’ll find not only the flights but also the train, bus, and ferry connections for your search.

Omio is my preferred tool not only for finding cheap flights but also for uncovering trains and buses between cities. Since I live in Europe most of the time, for some distances the fast trains are actually a better and faster option than flying.

Here’s how to use it:

After you’ve performed your search, you can sort the results by departure time, travel duration, price, or both to find the best option for your needs.

Momondo Madrid - New York
Use Momondo to compare prices you’ve found via Google Flights

Momondo’s search works similarly to Google Flights. The results sometimes differ, that’s why it’s smart to check your flight in another tool before you book it.

For example, you can find a cheap flight using Google Flights first, then check if Momomdo doesn’t have additional information about an OTA or a booking site that sells the same flight at a lower price.

Momondo also provides you with useful tips and travel guides about popular destinations around the world, so you can get inspired for your next trip.

Kayak Explore
Kayak’s Explore map can give you some cool travel ideas and help you find cheap flights to anywhere

The simplistic design with useful filters of Kayak’s Explore tab is my favorite option when searching for a flight without a destination in mind.

You can easily set your home airport and see all departing flights. Select exact dates or the flexible dates option and see how the prices change on the map.

Subscribe to receive email alerts for deals to popular destinations if you haven’t found the desired trip at an affordable price the first time you searched.

Skyscanner Cheap Flights Tool
Skyscanner can find connections other tools seem to miss

Similar to the other tools on this list, Skyscanner also has the option to show you the cheapest airfares from your home airport in a flexible time period.

Play with the filters until you find a suitable flight. Browse their blog with useful tips for finding and booking cheap flights to anywhere for more travel hacks.

Sometimes, Skyscanner finds options that Google Flights and Momondo miss. For example, for a recent search I did, it found a connecting flight that was almost half the price of the direct flight. Sure, the flight duration was also a lot longer than the time of the direct flight but if I only cared about the price, I could have booked it.

Interestingly, none of the other tools found this connection. So, it’s always best to check at least two different tools to make sure you’ve uncovered all options.

Wikipedia Airlines and Destinations
Search for an airport on Wikipedia and check what airlines fly to what destinations from there

Use it to check which airlines fly to your destination airport. Then, backtrace them to your origin airport.

This works best when there isn’t a direct route between the two airports.

5. Book the Moment You Find a Cheap Flight and Never Look Back

Airfares fluctuate.

The moment you find your cheap flight, buy that ticket!

Your time is more valuable than the few bucks you might save if you wait for the price to drop. And gambling with flights is not advisable, as the prices might go either way.

Now It’s Your Turn to Find Cheap Flights to Anywhere

Now You Know How to Find Cheap Flights to Anywhere
Now you know how to find cheap flights to anywhere

There you have it – the ultimate guide on how to find cheap flights to anywhere!

So, no more excuses that traveling is expensive or finding cheap flights is difficult. Go practice your new travel hacking skills and book that long-awaited trip.

But I bet you have cool tricks up your sleeve as well.

So, now is your turn:

What tricks do you use to find cheap flights to anywhere?

Let me know in the comments below.


  1. Wow, N., you promised and delivered! This is by far the best guide I’ve ever read on flying inexpensively.

    So many golden nuggets here, my bucket got full, so when I am back for more nuggets, I’ll treat you a fragrant virtual coffee.


    1. Hey Svet,

      hopefully this little guide on finding cheap flights will help you travel more often!


  2. Hardy Bains says:

    A very useful article to read. Thanks a lot for sharing this. Fine work. Keep it up.

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