When searching for a cheap flight navigating travel websites can be a difficult task. If you don't have the patience to visit site after site looking for the best deal, there are online tools that will do the work for you, potentially saving you time and money.
If you're tired of comparing prices on several of the popular travel booking sites, there is another option. There is a new breed of travel sites that do all the work for you.
"To really get the best rates, you have to be flexible, not just in terms of when you are going to travel, and even where you are going, but when you are going to buy your ticket," said Kevin Brasler with Boston Consumers' Checkbook.
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The independent, nonprofit consumer organization found that budget-conscious flyers are finding luck with the site Scott's Cheap Flights.
"What they do is they send out emails to their subscribers, who subscribe for free, and they'll tell you we think this is probably the best price you are going to get on a certain itinerary," explained Brasler.
The website will also tell you how long the deal will last, and they'll send you a link that shows how they found the deal.
"It's a really transparent process. They have people looking for good deals. When they spot a good deal, and you know they are good deals, because they are doing this tracking constantly, they send an email out and let you know about it," explained Brasler.
If you're a flexible flyer, you can check out Google Flights. It lets you enter dates and leave the "where to" box blank. It then offers destination suggestions for those dates.
KAYAK is similar. It has a feature on the bottom of its landing page that lets you search for cheap flights by location.
The smartphone app Hopper offers flight tracking and price comparison features, essentially taking the guesswork out of the travel guessing game.
And remember to always read the fine print before booking anything. Consumers' Checkbook warns that the cheapest deals are for the basic economy, which isn't always a bargain when you add on fees for luggage and carry-ons.