Getting on a plane is child or my thing. I’m a travel writer who travels the world, and that means researching flights, bookings, and even last-minute flights when a random assignment arrives in my inbox. You can say that because of this, I have become a travel manager, I understand how and when to book flights to save money and increase miles (note: always check your flight classes). And since fuel costs and staff shortages are fueled by what sounds like rising airfares, I’m letting you in on my little secret to finding the best deals on flights: Skyscanner.
Skyscanner was launched in 2003, but it came on my radar about five or six years ago when I first heard about it from friends in the travel industry. Since then, it’s been a staple for frequent travelers like me when looking for the best deals on flights, hotels, and car rentals.
Although there are many travel search sites out there, not all of them compare to Skyscanner’s best features, such as the ability to filter your flight search by country or “anywhere” in the world or help you isolate the best times of the month. walking. Here’s a complete guide to Skyscanner, as well as my best hacks for using the travel platform to your advantage.
One of my favorite ways to use Skyscanner – and one of its best features – is to search for flights from my favorite destinations to “anywhere.” This “anywhere” search can show global results, or you can refine it by country. If I don’t want to deal with customs and immigration, I sometimes use this to check in from my favorite airport and in the USA for a quick weekend getaway. I often find myself using the “anywhere” search to select a destination in the world.
You can find this information on Skyscanner via the button that says “Search anywhere” on the Skyscanner homepage or enter “everywhere” as your destination. Beyond the Skyscanner website, the platform also shows popular destinations searched by other travelers and the ability to quickly check flight prices and hotel and car rentals at the destination.
When you get to the results page, Skyscanner will show you the available deals, sorted by price. So it always inspires me to consider new places and experiences, like when I found a flight to Asheville, NC, for only $35.
To use this feature specifically within the US or a specific country, you can log on to Skyscanner.com, plug in your preferred carrier’s airport in the “From” field, and enter the name of each country in the “Destination” field. For example, if you want to hit Italy this summer but don’t know which airport would be the cheapest to fly to, you can simply enter “Italy” as your destination and search for specific dates. Skyscanner then pulls up the lowest to lowest price results from your departure airport to the destination you are looking for. As of press time, Skyscanner revealed that the flight I need to get to Italy this summer will be about 30 percent cheaper if I fly to Naples instead of Florence or Rome.
I really like this because it lets me know the cost of a flight to multiple airports in the same country. This takes the guesswork out of deciding where to start or end a trip, and has helped me make smarter travel decisions when planning. For example, considering a trip to the south of France, Skyscanner told me that I can get to Paris for $784 while entering Nice will cost $947. However, the extra cost of a train or car rental from Paris to Nice makes me feel confident about flying directly to my destination.
A Full Moon Hunt
I use Skyscanner’s Full Moon Search more than anything else on the platform to help me figure out when to head to my destination. It’s helped me avoid expensive airfares due to meetings, events, or people’s demands – and I find that if I’m flexible, it saves me a lot of money when planning my trip. In fact, I can honestly say that, over the past few years of using it, Skyscanner has saved me thousands of dollars with the Full Moon search tool alone.
Recently, I saved myself and my friends some trouble by choosing the exact week in early December that a Skyscanner search revealed would be the best time to get to sun-filled Montego Bay. We all had some time off and wanted to go to the beautiful Tryall club before the holidays. So knowing that it’s a busy travel month, I researched the entire month of December and found the best days to fly, making it 40 percent cheaper than other flights in the same month.
Full Moon hunting has never been more important as new research shows that post-pandemic tree science is more complicated than ever. “Knowing when to book travel has become difficult because of the pandemic because airlines are no longer working in the same way,” said Laura Lindsay, Global Travel Trends Analyst at Skyscanner. The pandemic changed the way airlines operate their prices because the weather fell by the wayside, as airlines were unable to predict demand based on the weather. Lindsay added that this is due to a number of factors, including a hybrid work schedule that allows travelers flexibility and the ability to pick up these items. work-work travel, making it difficult to predict when travel will be most important.
Search for Price Information
If you know where you want to go and when you want to go but you are in no rush to book, you can save by setting up a price alert using Skyscanner, as I did when I was hoping to go to Zakynthos for my husband. 40th birthday party. To do this, click on the Alarm Bell icon in the search of your choice. After that, you’ll be notified when prices to your destination drop so you can check in faster and get the best deals. I’ve used this a few times to check the price of flights I thought would be cheaper, and I recommend trying them if you know you’ll be flying soon.
Don’t delay, though – in my experience, you’ll want to book as soon as Skyscanner sends you a coveted alert because, in the past, I’ve seen flight prices go up within 24-48 hours.
Open Jaws, Multi-City Search
A multi-city search in Skyscanner also helped me find the cheapest trip in no time. I was able to choose many legs to walk and prepare for so-called “open-jaw” walks and stops.
I like to explore these open-air tours because they allow me to see different places on a longer trip, which means less air travel and carbon emissions.
I recently used this same feature to search for business class seats to Athens, which I was able to find on Swiss Air for about a third of the direct flight price. As a result, I will also spend a few days in Switzerland, which I want to visit separately during the summer.
“Planning ahead and starting to look a few months out can help you track prices, but for last-minute, casual travelers, there are deals to be had – and flexible travelers always get the best prices,” Lindsay. he adds.
Add Local Flights
Another trick I like when searching Skyscanner is to click “add nearby airports”. Since I live within easy walking distance of JFK, La Guardia, and Newark Airports, this has helped me find the best flights and rides, and is something you should try, too, if you have a few airports nearby.
When the price of flights goes up at my airports, I also consider flying from airports further afield, such as Westchester County, NY, and Philadelphia, PA. An added bonus of Skyscanner’s “add nearby airports” feature is that it can also be used for your destination airport. This has saved me a lot of trouble when I need to fly to South Florida from Ft. Lauderdale and Miami airports are not too far away and Naples is possible, although it is a long drive.
Search and Book with Confidence
The Savings Generator is Skyscanner’s latest money-saving tool for travelers and I’ve been playing around with it recently. Lindsay tells me that this tool uses data collected from millions of flight searches on Skyscanner to apply money-saving hacks to the 15 most popular destinations from many cities around the world.
For this reason, it is a little less than the rest of the website, but it helps to calculate the costs that you will have if you are flying alone or with a group or family. Here’s how it works: From a list, you simply select your destination, and the month you plan to travel, then from another list, you select your destination city for the selected month. For example, you might decide that you are leaving Los Angeles in June and going to Tokyo, which is popular that month for travelers leaving La La Land. The Savings Generator will tell you the average flight price, the best time to book your flight, the cheapest and most expensive days to travel, and give you a dollar estimate of how much you can save if you follow some of the Savings Generator tips.
If you’re looking for the best way to save on flights and other travel needs like rental cars and hotels, use all the money-saving tools from Skyscanner. The platform is available on desktop, my favorite way to search, on your phone’s browser, and through a dedicated app with over 110 million downloads.
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