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Fly for Less: How to Find and Book Cheap Flights

Jay Pagkatotohan

Jay Pagkatotohan

Last updated June 30, 2023

If you’re the dedicated vacay organizer in your group, you know too well that flights are often the most expensive part of the trip. Since every penny counts, you have to try your best to find cheap flights. The whole endeavor can be frustrating at times, but it is what it is.  

There are several ways to score affordable plane tickets, and the good news is they aren’t that complicated. Read on to learn more.

How to Find Cheap Flights: 11 Tricks of the Trade

From being flexible with your travel plans to being open to mixing and matching airlines, here are some tips on how to find cheap flights:

✈️ Be Flexible with Your Travel Dates and Destinations

If you have the money, you can simply book your flights on your ideal dates. But since you’re looking for cheap flight tickets, you need to reverse the process. You’ll have to let the ticket prices dictate your travel dates. This means you'll have to avoid seasons or holidays with a large demand for flights.

This technique also works if you’re an adventurous traveler. Let the cheap flight tickets tell you where to go! Who knows, your most memorable trip yet may be waiting at a destination that you didn’t initially plan to visit. You can also discover hidden gems and places not yet ravaged by mass tourism.[1] 

Read more: Different Kinds of Friends You Love and Hate Traveling With

✈️ Use Flight Search Engines

how to find cheap flights - use flight search engines

You can find and book cheap flights on flight search engines, as they aggregate different flight prices and even directly point you to the most affordable options. There is a sea of flight search engines out there, but a lot of travelers swear by the reliability of Google Flights.[2]

Use its Track Prices feature to monitor the prices for your chosen travel dates or routes. You’ll also get a notification or email when the price of the flight you’re tracking is likely to go up or expire soon.  

Some flight search engines are called online travel agencies or OTAs. These are the likes of Skyscanner, Expedia, Agoda, Kayak, Booking.com, and Traveloka, among others. Take this route if you’re looking to increase your savings, as some OTAs offer flight-hotel bundles.

✈️ Consider Flying Midweek  

According to Google Flights, flying in the middle of the week is one tip on how to book cheap flights. You may even save up to 20%.

While you’re at it, avoid last-minute bookings, as they’re usually the most expensive. Plan your trip ahead of time and book your flights ideally months before the travel date.

✈️ Subscribe to Your Airline’s Newsletter

If you want first dibs on the cheapest airplane ticket promo, you need to be in the know on the latest seat sales and discounts. Subscribe to your airline’s newsletter so that promos will be sent directly to your email.

Don’t forget to follow your airline’s social media pages, too. On Facebook, turn on the post notifications of the airline page you're following, so you can be instantly notified of any upcoming or ongoing promotional fares.

✈️ Use Your Miles

If you have a credit card that accumulates points and miles, use them to slash the price of your flights. Or if you have enough of them, you can even score free tickets.

Don’t have this frequent flyer credit card? Now’s the right time to get one and start earning points and miles! Check out a few of your best options for earning air miles and points

Credit Card Air Miles and Travel Benefits
Metrobank World Mastercard®
  • 2.5 rewards points = 1 Mabuhay Mile
  • Exclusive airport discounts 
HSBC Red Mastercard
hsbc red
  • 1 air mile per ₱25 or ₱30 spend, depending on the transaction type
  • Exclusive travel deals worldwide via HSBC’s home&Away Privilege Programme
Security Bank Platinum Mastercard
security bank platinum
  • 11,667 rewards points = 1,000 Mabuhay Miles
  • Access to airport lounges worldwide
  • Access to Marhaba Lounge
Security Bank Gold Mastercard
  • 11,667 rewards points = 1,000 Mabuhay Miles
  • Access to Marhaba Lounge
BPI Signature Card
BPI Signature Card-1
  • 8,000 points = 1,000 PAL Mabuhay Miles or airasia rewards
  • Access to airport lounge
  • Up to ₱20 million travel insurance
BPI Platinum Rewards Card
BPI Plat Rewards
  • 8,000 points = 1,000 PAL Mabuhay Miles or airasia rewards
  • Access to more than 1,300 lounges worldwide
  • Up to ₱10 million travel insurance
PNB-PAL Mabuhay Miles NOW Mastercard
pnb pal mabuhay miles now
  • ₱58 spend = 1 rewards point = 1 Mabuhay Mile  
  • 1,000 Mabuhay Miles welcome gift
  • 5% discount on select Philippine Airlines international flights booked via the official PAL website all year round
  • Pay bills in peso even for transactions abroad
PNB-PAL Mabuhay Miles Platinum Mastercard
pnb pal mabuhay miles platinum
  • ₱48 spend = 1 rewards point = 1 Mabuhay Mile
  • 2,000 Mabuhay Miles welcome gift
  • 5% discount on select Philippine Airlines international flights booked via the official PAL website all year round
  • Option between single and dual currency billing

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moneymax metrobank credit card promo - giftaway egift dolce gusto piccolo xs jbl wave beam

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✈️ Use Your Travel Fund

Maybe you have some airline travel funds you’ve forgotten about. Use them to cover portions of your flights. Moreover, you can use them to pay for flight add-ons, such as seat selectors, extra luggage, and meals.

✈️ Grab the Seat Sale as Soon as You Can

how to find cheap flights - grab seat sale as soon as you can

If you already have flight dates in mind and they happen to be cheap, book them as soon as possible. Don’t think twice or wait for the prices to get cheaper, because chances are, they won’t.  

✈️ Fly with Budget Airlines  

Gone are the days when only the rich could actually ride the plane. With the proliferation of budget airlines over the years, everyone can now fly to their intended destinations. While there are a few trade-offs, such as small leg rooms and occasional delays, you can enjoy significant savings.

In the Philippines, the most popular budget airlines are Cebu Pacific and Air Asia. If you’re traveling within just within Asia, you may add these budget air carriers to your list:

  • Jetstar
  • Scoot
  • Hong Kong Express
  • Jeju Air
  • Peach Air
  • VietJet Air
  • Tigerair Taiwan
  • Nok Air

Read more: 8 Cheapest Airlines in the Philippines for Your Next Trip

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Enjoy quick approval and disbursement, as well as flexible payment terms, so you can travel now and pay later. Apply via Moneymax now!

✈️ Book Connecting Flights

Instead of flying directly to your destination, break your trip down into two legs. Often, connecting flights are much cheaper than direct flights. The bargain, however, means enduring a long layover. But that’s usually an addressable problem.  

This is a sensible strategy if you’re wondering how to find international cheap flights to Europe, the Americas, or anywhere outside the Southeast Asia region. You may choose to do it yourself by booking two separate flights.

But if you prefer convenience, just look for an air carrier that will do it for you. For instance, Air Asia offers connecting flights. If you take this route, don’t forget to check the transit visa requirements.

✈️ Use Two Airlines  

how to find cheap flights - use two airlines

More often than not, seat sales apply only to one-way trips. If you want to know how to find cheap flights, consider booking your departure and return flights with two different airlines. You may even enjoy two promos if both air carriers launch seat sales at the same time.

✈️ Ditch the Add-Ons

Sometimes, ditching the add-ons is a practical tactic on how to find cheap flights. If you’re a light packer, you won’t need extra luggage. Skip the in-flight meals by getting your fill before the trip. If you already have personal or travel insurance, you may opt out of the policy offered by your air carrier.

Related reading:

Final Thoughts

If you know how to find cheap flights, you can plan your travel budget accordingly. The money you save can go toward other things, such as food and attraction tickets.

Everything boils down to having the right travel mindset and being open to changes. If it’s your first time scouting for cheap flight tickets, don’t worry—you’ll get the hang of it in no time!

Find the best travel insurance with Moneymax


Jay is a marketing communications professional who specializes in short-form and long-form content. He has written ads for TV, radio, print, and digital. He has also produced corporate blogs, magazine features, white papers, product listings, reviews, and press releases for clients here and abroad. When he’s not writing, Jay plays the piano or takes pictures for his visual diary. Follow Jay on LinkedIn.


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