Travel Diaries: 8 MUST Have Flight Apps

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It is no secret that I love to travel. Everywhere, anywhere, whenever I get the chance to—I love any excuse to embark on an adventure, and I obviously do not know how to stay in one place for too long. Explains why I’ve spent 8/12 days in February and more than half of January elsewhere—hey home is a state of mind! Aside from the “Where are you going now?” texts and snapchat responses, the most common question I get asked is “How can you even afford that?” (because plane tickets are just soooo crazy expensive and there’s no way a college student can afford to even pay for that). Wrong. Okay, well flight tickets can be expensive; but if you do it the right way you can easily score cheap tickets and travel more often without breaking the bank. Because let’s face it we’re not made out of money, (honestly I basically work nowadays to pay for my plane tickets).

Most recent trip to NYC–scored a 90$ ticket back to Vegas

Most recent trip to NYC–scored a 90$ ticket back to Vegas

So what are my secrets? There are so many tips and travel hacks I have in store for you (cue future blog posts), but for now here are the 8 MUST have flight apps you should be downloading ASAP to save you money and allow you to book flights more often:

1. Google Flights

Google Flights is my go to when booking flights within the US. It has everything from an “everywhere” to a flexible calendar option and even allows you to find out which airline has the cheapest tickets by comparing it right there for you. Gone are the days where you have to go to each individual airline’s website. Google Flights even brings you directly to the webpage so you can buy your ticket right when you find the good deal!

Tip: I noticed that it is good for use mostly in the U.S., when I tried to use it in Europe or to book flights to Europe it typically showed a higher price

Link HERE

Price: FREE!

Vancouver Harbor, Vancouver, BC–Found a 78$ ticket to Seattle and drove up to Canada

Vancouver Harbor, Vancouver, BC–Found a 78$ ticket to Seattle and drove up to Canada

2. Skyscanner

Sky scanner saved my life (and my wallet) when I lived in Madrid. Some days I would just browse through Skyscanner and choose the "Everywhere" option and it would list the cheapest places to travel (and exactly how much) from the city I was at. Even better, Skyscanner has a "whole month" and "cheapest month" option that allows you to really compare when the cheapest time to fly is. In addition, Skyscanner has a "calendar" and "chart" option that allows you to compare your flight both on a month calendar view and a chart that has "bars" showing which days are the highest and lowest priced.

Tip: I typically use this app when booking flights in Europe or to Europe as it is definitely proven to be way cheaper than Google Flights!

iPhone: HERE

Android: HERE

Price: FREE!

Copenhagen, Denmark–scored a 54 euro RT flight to my first solo destination (thanks to Skyscanner!)

Copenhagen, Denmark–scored a 54 euro RT flight to my first solo destination (thanks to Skyscanner!)

3. STA Travel

STA Travel is the world's largest travel company made for students. There are so many available deals and promo codes for students. What is awesome about this app is that in puts it all together for you so you do not have to go through the trouble of looking for these deals and promo codes. Besides, what is better than an app that recognizes that students are not made out of money?

Tip: STA Travel is catered more to students and young people and typically have a lot of deals past just airline tickets! Recommended also for group travel! 

iPhone: HERE

Android: HERE

Price: FREE!

Birmingham, AL–scored a 120$ RT ticket to ATL and drove to Bham!

Birmingham, AL–scored a 120$ RT ticket to ATL and drove to Bham!

4. Hopper

If you are a Type A planner like me, you will love Hopper. Ever want to score the cheapest tickets, but you do not have time to constantly be watching over fares? Well Hopper does that for you. All you have to do is input your travel plans (city you are leaving and arriving in and the dates) and Hopper will keep an eye on the ticket prices for you. Each time prices increase, Hopper will notify you and even better it shows you a calendar of the cheapest dates to buy flights AND predicts when flight prices might increase or decrease. Lifesaver? I think yes. 

iPhone: HERE

Android: HERE

Price: FREE!

Washington, D.C.–used Hopper to determine when to buy my ticket

Washington, D.C.–used Hopper to determine when to buy my ticket

5. Airfare Watchdog

Airfare Watchdog is what I like to use when I know where I am traveling to in advance or have a place in mind and am trying to determine when to buy tickets. It is somewhat similar to Hopper, but it watches specific fares for you for the route you input and sends you email notifications for when there are deals. In addition, when you get these "Fare Alert" emails, it not only shows you the fare amounts for the route you want to "watch", it also shows you fares you might like and prices for domestic fares from your city to many other cities.

iPhone: HERE

Android: not available on android

Price: FREE!

Plaza Mayor, Madrid, Spain–Saved 300$ on my ticket to Madrid by using Airfare Watchdog

Plaza Mayor, Madrid, Spain–Saved 300$ on my ticket to Madrid by using Airfare Watchdog

6. Travel Pirates

Travel Pirates is a good app to use if you are not set on where you want to go and are flexible with when you want to leave. Travel Pirates essentially takes all the flight deals available and presents it in one neat app. The deals are constantly being added everyday, so there's always a chance to find good flight deals! In addition, it also has deals for cruises, vacations and hotels.

iPhone: HERE

Android: HERE

Price: FREE!

Old City Walls–Dubrovnik, Croatia

Old City Walls–Dubrovnik, Croatia

7. Skiplagged

If there is an app that has "outsmarted" the airline game, this app is it. Skiplagged like most flight apps finds you all the cheapest fares, but unlike most apps, Skiplagged finds "hidden city" fares. So how exactly does this "hidden city" fare work?  A non-stop fare from Las Vegas to Boston. might be over $300 one-way, but a fare on the same airline from Las Vegas to Washington D.C. with a stop in Boston might be $150. So you buy the flight to DC and ditch the plane in Boston.

Tip: Just make sure not to check in any luggage, otherwise your luggage will end up in your actual destination city

iPhone: HERE

Android: HERE

Price: FREE!

Downtown Boston—Boston, MA

Downtown BostonBoston, MA

8. Momondo

This Copenhagen based flight search engine is another Skyscanner type app I like to use. Like Skyscanner it allows you to search for flights to various cities and provides you with prices in a calendar/chart like display that compares a couple days before and a couple days after. Momondo also allows you the option of choosing what type of ticket you are looking for (economy, business, and first class) and allows you to compare those different prices right on the app.

iPhone: HERE

Android: HERE

Price: FREE!

Chefchaouen, Morocco, Africa–tickets to northern Africa for 40 euros or less (leaving from Spain)

Chefchaouen, Morocco, Africa–tickets to northern Africa for 40 euros or less (leaving from Spain)

General Flight Booking Tips:

-Explore your options and do your research!If you want a cheap flight look for it and do not limit yourself! You cannot expect to find a cheap ticket/the best deal if you get lazy and only search once. I use ALL these different search engines and make sure to look on every single one of them before deciding and purchasing my ticket.

-The more times you search, the more the prices go up. I’ve seen prices for flights increase first hand by $150 just by doing the same search 3 times. I knew it increased because when I opened the same search on a different computer or clear cookies from my computer the prices instantly go back down to their original rates. This practice is very common because it forces you to buy the tickets believing that the seats are booking out quickly.

What to do instead:

To prevent this from happening, open your browser under the “private browsing” or “incognito” option.

If you forget to do this, clear all the cookies from your computer OR use another computer with another IP address.

Hope this helps you score some cheap flights and book more travels this year!

Til Next Time,

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