Being flexible with your destination is definitely the best way to save on airplane tickets (be open to a few destinations and wait for a deal). But here’s how to save money even when you have a very specific destination in mind.
If you don’t have any flexibility with your dates, you should use our main search tool to find the best available price for these dates (detailed instructions here). This article is for those who want to take the time to do some additional research to find the cheapest dates for their specific destination.
We are often asked the question: when are the cheapest dates for that destination?. That’s because most of you already have a very specific place in mind for your next trip. Ideally, you should keep several options open when it comes to destinations. You’ll get a better chance that one of them appears on our flight deals page, often at 50% off the regular price (don’t forget, those deals are updated daily: dates & destinations change every single day).
The best way to save is definitely to find a great deal for your destination by monitoring our deals daily.
Otherwise, another way to still save money compared to the regular fare (if you cannot be flexible on the destination) is to at least be flexible on dates.
Since it’s not always possible to find your destination on our deals page (read our article Why Only Certain Cities Are Featured on Our Deals Page), we’ve launched a new series of articles and tips to guide you when you have to book flights that are not in our deals, and for when you’re willing to put in a little bit of effort to find the best price yourself.
The other tool that we told you about at the beginning of this post (our favourite one) finds the best available price for any dates and any destinations. Cheaper than this one, because it compares all booking sites. So if your dates AND destination are already set, that first tool is simpler.
This one is a tool that has great options to find the cheapest dates for your destination.
Tool to Find Cheap Dates
I’m talking to you today about this extremely powerful tool that can do pretty advanced searches. It will help you save money and find cheap flights by helping you find the cheapest combination of dates for your destination.
It probably won’t find you a deal at half the regular price, but it is useful if your dates and destination are not on our deal page, as it will show you the best dates to book for the cheapest price and give you all the other options. PRO TIP: Once you’ve found the best dates for your destination, we recommend to always at least check if the price is lower on the main tool, because it compares many sites and is therefore often cheaper!
How Does It Work
First, go to the tool website. If you want to put it in your favourites or bookmarks, we appreciate if you take the source URL directly from the link below (not the link once opened), because it contains our referral code and it allows us to have a small commission (which does not cost you a penny more) and which allows you to support us so that we can continue to help you travel at the lowest prices! Or, even simpler, you can always go through here to support us. Thank you in advance, we really appreciate it!
Here is the main screen with the important section framed.
Let’s say that what you are looking for is a Toronto-Miami flight, but it’s not in our deals today, and you have some flexibility with your dates and want to find the cheapest dates.
Make sure that you selected “RETURN” at the top and not “ONE-WAY” (if that’s what you’re looking for).
You input Toronto and Miami first.
Then you get a fair number of options to find the cheapest or most convenient date combination.
If you have some flexibility around your dates, you can choose to use a range of dates, so you can see prices for a departure a little earlier/later or a return a little earlier/later. In this example, we use a departure between February 1st and 7th.
Notice here on the image above that in
the same month the same week, there are prices at $223, $320 and $592 !!! That’s a a variation of more than a 150%!!! That’s normal. And that is what we mean when we say that airline ticket pricesfluctuate a lot and that a few days of flexibility can make a lot of difference on the price.
You can then choose the desired “Time of stay” (between 2 and 10 days in the example below) …
… or do the same as earlier with the “Date range” feature to adjust potential return dates (21st to 27th shown below).
Note that once you have chosen your departure interval, you can also see on the calendar the price of the return flight each day of the month, colour-coded.
That’s it, you’ll now be able to see on the left side panel all the date options at the best available prices. This tool will also show you nearby airport when they are cheaper than the ones selected.
Here flying from Buffalo would be significantly cheaper than from Toronto, if you are willing to drive there. The $150 difference isn’t huge, but if you are travelling with 3 friends, that’s $600 you could save. Don’t miss our upcoming article about how roadtrips could save you lots of money.
WARNING: by default, the “Recommended” tab is selected, so be careful because sometimes by selecting the middle tab, “Cheapest” the price is even lower (but not in this case).
If You Don’t Really Have Specific Dates
Say you want to go from Toronto to Miami, but you don’t have to go on specific dates, you can use the “Anytime” feature that will spot the cheapest time for you. For the return you can either use “Anytime” or specify a trip duration.
That’s really the best option to get the cheapest dates, except for checking our flight deals page regularly! If you have no specific dates, you’ll likely be able to find a deeply discounted fare on our deals page first!
Pro Tip: Change One of the Cities With a Search Radius
By clicking on “From”, you can either input only one city, several cities separated by commas, entire countries, or a radius anywhere on the map. This will compare with flights from nearby cities (like Buffalo in the example above).
You can do the same for the arrival city, it makes it possible to add secondary airports that are often cheaper than those of the main cities. In this case, Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach are often cheaper than Miami, so the search radius will give you that option if you want to use it.
The radius search is particularly useful in Europe, where there are so many cities close to each other and where the difference in prices could be huge between two destination cities. Also, you usually can go exactly where you want to go by taking a $10 train, so it’s well worth the effort it if the plane ticket is $200 less to go to that other city!
Note that you also have the option to select an entire country instead of a city. If for example, you want to go all the way around Vietnam anyway, land where it’s the cheapest.
Last Pro Tip: Check With Our Other Tool Before You Book
Once you’ve found your date and precise airports and you’re ready to book the flight, we personally recommend to check on our main search tool (the one you should always use when you know your dates and destinations), because this one will compare dozens of booking sites to find the best site with the cheapest price.
The price will often be a few dollars less than with this tool. Again, this tool here is especially useful for more advanced and complex searches while the other one often finds a cheaper price once your dates are found.
What You Should Know About This Tool and These Tips
Let’s be very clear: this tool will not find deals at very low prices or discounts, that’s what our deals page is all about. We spot them for you.
This tool is useful for situations where your dates or destinations are not on our deals page or are not flexible. And don’t forget, our deals are updated daily so they change every day, keep watching them or subscribe to our free newsletter.
Last but not least: buying a ticket for most cities in Europe is often cheaper when you split your itinerary into two separate rickets. This requires a bit more work, but you can sometimes save hundreds of dollars. Read this article for more details.
This is a very interesting tool to find the cheapest dates and help you save money once again!
Any questions? Ask us in the comments below.
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Posted January 17 2018, updated September 16, 2018