The only thing I adore as much as traveling, is getting a good deal. Because the way I see it – the less money I spend, the more places I can go. Skyscanner.com has allowed me to combine my two greatest loves in beautiful, frugal ways. Here’s how I booked three international flights for less than the price of one.
If you’re really flexible on your travel dates, skyscanner’s “whole month” feature is your new best friend. Rather than the few day window allowed by most search engines, here you can view fares over an entire 30-day period. There is sometimes a sneaky day or two that is inexplicably half the normal price, which you never would have stumbled upon otherwise. If you are really open, you can even search a “whole year” with just one click!
My other favorite feature is the ability to input “everywhere” in place of an airport code. Dreaming of a faraway land, any faraway land you can afford? Enter your hometown and “everywhere” to find a list, in price order, of anywhere you can fly. If you have a specific country in mind but are open with regards to the arrival city, skyscanner will also let you to search by an entire country to find the best fare.
Combining the tools above has revolutionized the way I travel. On my recent visit to the Philippines, a standard search revealed that a flight home to Los Angeles would cost me $650 (one way). However, a quick skyscanner search from the “Philippines” to “Everywhere” for the entire month gave me a list of incredibly cheap destinations I could fly to. For example, a ticket to Hong Kong was a mere $75. I then searched from each of those cities to Los Angeles, and found that a flight home from Hong Kong a week later was $525. In other words, I save $50 and get to visit a whole new city!
Now, here’s where it really gets fun. When you have a layover in an airline’s home city, you can often separate the two legs of the journey by several days at no additional cost.
For example, the Japan Airlines flight I chose stopped in Tokyo on the way home, and I wanted to stay a while. A typical “multi-city” search (Hong Kong to Tokyo, Tokyo to Los Angeles) will usually yield a higher priced flight, because the prices vary depending on the day. But using Skyscanner’s “whole month” feature, I noted two days a week apart where the full Hong Kong to LA fare was identical. Returning to Japan Airlines’ website, I conducted a new “multi-city” search with these precise dates, and bam the ticket price was exactly the same.
Three international flights, for less than the price of one. Be still my beating heart.