Getting the best airfare rates for your trip is well worth the effort. Unlike your average purchase, where shopping around saves you a few cents or a couple of dollars, there are massive differences between different airfare options. Who’d say ‘no’ to savings that could amount to hundreds of dollars? Certainly not you!
Apps make it easy – and there are some fantastic apps that you can get without having to pay a cent. There are also some apps that, although they’re free, aren’t worth bothering with! So let’s take a look at the best free apps to plan your trip and save you cash.
Among travelers, Skyscanner is consistently rated very highly regarding ease of use as well as finding the best fares.
The price comparison bar graph lets you see what the cheapest flight is at a glance, and there’s a tab view that allows you to compare some searches simultaneously.
It’s not the only app that offers price drop notifications for flights you may be interested in, nor is it the only app that lets you compare fares to many airports near your destination, but it does it all very well indeed and without you having to pay for the service.
Apart from helping you find cheap fares and notifying you if the price of a fare you’re interested in has dropped, Hitlist can also help you decide on a destination if you don’t have a specific one in mind or are open to alternatives.
It’s a bit like Tinder (you get to swipe and like, without the craziness). You say what you’re looking for in a destination, and it shows you a picture and gives price indications. Say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ before swiping through to the next one. It’s ideal for low-cost holiday planning and links with Skyscanner if you decide the time has come to book your trip.
This new app from Google is well worth using – especially if you’re still planning your trip. Search date ranges and airports to see what days and destinations will get you the best rates.
The info is very thorough, and if you decide to snap up a flight, Google will redirect you to a range of booking sites you can use to finalize the transaction.
Unless you’re a frequent flier to the destination you have in mind, knowing the price range you should be looking for to get a good deal can be tricky. Just how much should your flight cost?
Hopper solves your problem, color coding available flights as red (expensive), yellow (average price) and green (a good deal).
Those in the know say that the savings are not to be sneezed at – you could get a fare that’s up to 40% cheaper than standard. Need a lower price? Set up a notification, and you’ll know if the price has dropped.
Cheap fares are excellent – but not if your travel time is doubled. After all, your time is precious too. Ideally, you want to pay as little as possible for a flight without long layovers.
If your route means you’re going to have to change flights, Hipmunk clearly rates your options according to cost and ‘pain’. Then you can decide whether a slightly more expensive flight might be worth the ‘pain’ by looking at the total time you’ll have to spend traveling.
Although it’s nice being able to pick the cheapest days for a flight, that’s not always possible. If you absolutely have to leave on a particular day, then knowing you could get a cheaper flight the following day will only annoy you.
That’s where Kayak saves the day! It only searches the day you need to leave and ranks your flights from cheapest to costliest showing how many seats are currently available. As an additional feature, you can make your booking using Kayak rather than being redirected to another site for the actual booking.
If browsing through an app to get your info isn’t your style, you can get an email notification of good flight prices instead.
Tell it what route you want to fly, give it dates you’re interested in, and it will send you an email notifying you where you can get a good deal.
Nothing fancy, but nice because it does your legwork for you.
You want information for one particular departure date. Orbitz is a free app that says it guarantees you the best price for your flight and more. But don’t just take their word for it.
The app has been highly rated as a money saver by PC Mag. It’s simple and straightforward and doesn’t offer as many options as some of the other apps we’ve looked at – but if you don’t need the options, why complicate things?
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