I get asked all the time – how do you save on flights?
There are literally hundreds of travel sites now that say they have the best rates. While most are great a great rate – they usually exclude some airlines like JetBlue and Southwest that traditionally have super low rates. Not seeing those airlines can cost you hundreds!
There is a little known website that is free to use and will guide you to find the cheapest flights possible – Google Flights.
This ingenious little site tracks ALL airlines at ALL airports. It will even guide you to save by showing you nearby airport rates and prices for changing your dates. Varying your travel a little can save you a TON!
As you can see below you can watch close airports and dates…
You can save hundreds by changing your trip by one day. You can even track pricing and they will notify you when there is a price drop!
To track prices in Google Flights, select your departure and arrival airports and your dates of travel. Then turn the Track Prices selector to “On” and you’re all set, they will email you when it drops!
EXAMPLE SAVINGS & TIPS:
Think about adjacent airports. Bigger airports are normally cheaper and easier to get out of.
For example, we live in Tallahassee. The airport is a 45 minute drive from our house. You have AT LEAST 1 connection (if not three) to get anywhere. Jacksonville is about 2 hours and we can usually get direct flights almost anywhere. It ends up being cheaper and quicker to do the drive a lot of times.
We have flown to NY twice now from here and here is how it broke down…
Tallahasse to New York
Hour to airport – hour home
8 hour flight – 2 stops
Use Frequent Flyer miles to buy tickets, but would have been $550 each
$70 in parking for Tally airport
Travel time = 18 hours — $1170 total
Jacksonville to New York
2.5 hours to airport – 2.5 hours home
3 hour flight – no stops
Tickets were $189 through JetBlue
Gas was about $60 – Parking $35 for a week
Travel time = 11 hours — $473 total
As you can see we actually SAVED 7 hours and $627 by driving. If I didn’t have frequent flyer miles to use on that first trip we would have definitely drove. Here’s another example…
My family flew to Salt Lake last year. Our little family of three out of Tallahassee was $2,100. Yes, $2,100!!!!
That wasn’t going to happen so I started watching Google Flights and I ended up getting three tickets out of Jacksonville for only $700 total. Yes, our tickets went from $700 each to $700 total – only $233 each including taxes. We did have to change the dates a little (2 days earlier) and I had to book two one ways but it was totally worth the savings!
As you can see we frequent out of Jacksonville a lot these days. We don’t just watch there though – Orlando and Tampa are four hours away which makes them viable options. For cross country flights, the savings in both money and travel can make it worth it so don’t be afraid to watch other airports!