If you haven’t already begun setting aside some cash for your next adventure, you have just under three weeks to get it together! It’s August, the best month of the year to buy international flights. Dreaming of Dubai? Fawning of France? These elusive deals are going to be coming in hot, here’s how to find them.
Mark your calendars, August is here.
Historically speaking, August 21-22 is the average timeframe for when international flights will drop in prices. While these deals definitely pop-up year round, August seems to be a magnet for price mistakes and traditional sales. It’s like the perfect storm of market activity to help you save. I set a reminder for that mid-month week, but the opportunities for sales will occur throughout the month. If you don’t have any money saved already, now is the time to gather a few hunnies up.
NEVER pay more than $500 for an international flight again!
Unless you’re flying somewhere particularly far out like Tokyo, New Zealand or Australia you can typically find round-trip fares for about $400 to just about anywhere. My rule of thumb is to never pay more than $500 — the price will drop inevitably. If you’re flying to Europe you can typically find flights from $300-$400. I suggest travelers save roughly $400 before mid-month in order to be prepared to jump on the best deals. Many will only exist for a few hours, so you have to be quick!
How do I find the deals?
This is the tricky part of cheap fares, there’s no specific science on where to find them. If you check out my hacks page, you’ll see I have some standard resources that can be used. However, if you’re reading this now I encourage you to subscribe to Scott’s Cheap Flights’ newsletter ASAP. This is a great resource for price drops in fares for all over, just watching the e-mails come in always gets me excited. Most of the deals you’ll find are in Google Flights or on Momondo.
- When searching for a flight, use Google Flights first for the cheapest deal
- Use the calendar view after setting your airports to get a broader idea of where the sales are, the prices that are green are the cheapest.
- If you’re not seeing anything good, try searching in Momondo
If you already know where you want to travel this fall or early spring, you can also set up price drop alerts on Google Flights and Momondo. I strongly encourage you to set up multiple alerts for the destination you want to go to using different dates so you have flexibility.
Avoid Multiple Searches
The biggest and most forgotten mistake travelers make when hunting for a deal is not using incognito mode. Think of supply and demand. Any time someone shows interest in a flight plan, the search is saved and can affect the price of the fare. This is why sometimes you’ll see a price for $100 and then when you refresh the page it’s suddenly $180.
- Limit the number of searches you do by setting up alerts on Google instead
- Discourage your friends/family from searching for flights as well when traveling as a group, designate one person to manage that so that you aren’t flooding the search engine
- Use Incognito mode whenever possible, this can be activated when using Chrome web browser
Use these tools and you should be prepared to buy when the price is right! A few other important or helpful tips:
- If you have the option to buy travel insurance, do it. Often during these sales, we buy before checking everything and you may need to cancel the flight. Insurance will protect you!
- If you’re searching and you see the price you want in the search, but when you go to book it changes, try giving the airline or ticketing service a call and booking directly — you’ll also skip the online fees this way
- If you have the time and want to save even MORE money, once you’ve found the exact itinerary you’re looking for, head to the airport counter and purchase the tickets direct from the agent — you’ll skip the online fees
- DO NOT HESITATE! Most of these fares, especially ones outside of Europe, will only last for a few hours — be ready to buy!
If you’re ready to buy a trip this August but still unsure of how to find the deals or worried about the planning process, check out my consultations page for rates and packages. Or take a chance and let Your Next Adventure send you somewhere incredible this fall!