Get cheaper fares by being flexible with your travel dates

Last update: November 2022

If you insist on traveling on specific days, you'll pay a lot more for airfares.  But if you're flexible about exactly when you leave and return, you can get much better deals. This is our #1 tip for getting the cheapest airfare!  It bears repeating:  Be flexible, pay less.

Sample fares we just checked:

Use the services below to get great deals when your travel plans have some leeway.

Search Engines


Airlines often run sales, especially on undersold flights for that weekend.  Downsides: You usually have to leave on Thu/Fri/Sat and return on Sun/Mon, and your choices of cities are limited.  As I'm typing this, the only trips available from Austin are Denver ($147) or El Paso ($87), but those are excellent deals for roundtrip airfare.  Sites that cover the sales include Airfare Watchdog and Travelzoo.  And here are the sale pages on the individual airlines' websites:

Alaska AirAmericanFrontier (scroll down) • SouthwestUnited

Fare Alerts by email

Most airfare sites offer a "Fare Alert" service, sending you an email when the price between your city pair drops.  Just do a regular search for your city pair, then look for the "Fare Alert" or "Price Alert" signup.

Cheapest flights to all other cities from your city

Skiplagged is one of the only engines that doesn't make you specify a destination— the default destination is literally "Anywhere".  So if you just want to go somewhere, Skiplagged lets you see how cheap the various destinations are.


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