How To Find Cheap Flights & Plan Travel Dates

Years of travelling on a very tight budget allowed me to develop a strategy for finding the cheap flights WITHOUT getting ripped off. If you’re keen to see if my secret formula works for you too, then read on.

Note that these deals are for travellers in Australia, but I’m sure there are similar websites in your country too. If so, make sure you pop them in the comments below so that other travellers can find them!


Sign Up With I Know The Pilot

A friend put me on to I Know The Pilot a few years ago and since then it’s been a huge help in finding cheap flights.

You subscribe to their newsletter and let them know which city you want to see flights leaving from. Their magic internet robots then scan the web for deals and sales. When they find one for you they immediately send you an email so that these often short sales get to you ASAP.

The sort of deals you’ll find are (all in $ AUD):

Keep in mind with I Know The Pilot that the sales are generally for travel during specific time periods. This can be both a positive and a negative, as you could use it to plan your next holiday, but rarely for last minute trips.

TL;DR – Find bargain airfares for travel between specific dates.


Get To Know Skyscanner

If you haven’t discovered Skyscanner yet, then you’re missing out. The main reason I use Skyscanner is to work out when the cheapest flights are when my travel dates are flexible. It’s also great to compare airline combos as it scans all relevant websites to get you the best matches.

The basic info it needs is departure/arrival airport, date’s, times, etc.
Once you’ve plugged all that in they process the information and give you a heap of options with pricing. They also allow you to find the cheapest fares on nearby dates, which is super handy.

When you’ve found a suitable fare though, be wary of the websites they try to get you to book with. I opt to pay a little extra to book through the airline and avoid the risk of getting ripped off.

TL;DR – Skyscanner is a great way to plan your trip, but not book the flights.


What’re your tips for finding budget flights? Share your top tips for other travellers to use in the comments below.