Using Skyscanner to book flights has been a game changer. The tips in this post are going to help you save money on flights and book like a pro.
That’s why I’m so jazzed about Skyscanner. They scan every travel site on the internet and bring you the best deals out there! However, you can find even deeper savings by using a few secret tricks.
Below, I’ll share hacks I’ve personally used to save a bundle on airfares!
Table of Contents
- 1 Hide Yo’ IP Address From Skyscanner: Get a VPN
- 2 Conduct Skyscanner Flight Research On A Monday
- 3 Have A Destination In Mind? Set Up A Skyscanner Price Alert.
- 4 Have No Idea Where You Want To Go?
- 5 Look Around For The Cheapest Month
- 6 Do A Nation Wide Search On Skyscanner
- 7 Explore Alternate Routes To Find Savings on Skyscanner
- 8 Leverage Long Layovers
- 9 Using Skyscanner To Find The Hottest Deals On Hotels
- 10 Hire/Rent A Vehicle Through Skyscanner
- 11 Watch Out For Skyscanner Scams
- 12 Is It Cheaper To Book Through Skyscanner Or Directly With Airlines?
- 13 Skyscanner: An Incredible Tool For Saving Money On Travel
Hide Yo’ IP Address From Skyscanner: Get a VPN
The first thing you should know about airline search engines – they track your location. If they catch you searching for flights from an affluent nation (or from abroad), you’ll get charged more.
As a result, you’ll want to cloak your IP before you fire up Skyscanner. While it may be true that Incognito Mode on Google Chrome may be enough, why take the chance? Go all out and get a VPN.
We’re not promoting specific vendors in this post. However, if you look around, you can find deals starting from a few bucks per month. Once you’ve got one, you can search for flights as if you were in the region. The site will assume you’re a local, so you’ll get lower prices – score!
Conduct Skyscanner Flight Research On A Monday
Ready to start hunting for cheap plane tickets? Begin your research first thing Monday morning. There is more to this than symbolism – airlines often dump their best deals on this day. These flash fares often disappear within hours – be alert and ready to book.
Flexibility is key to savings on airfares. Not being wed to a specific departure day can save you gobs of money. Often, you’ll find the cheapest fares leave on Tuesday mornings. But it goes deeper than that. If you are game to go anywhere at any time, you can find even deeper savings!
Have A Destination In Mind? Set Up A Skyscanner Price Alert.
We all have our favourite getaways. Australia, USA, Caribbean, Brasil – all these destinations hold a special place in our hearts. However, a quick search often crushes our dreams, as they reveal prices far beyond our means.
Don’t lose heart. Often, these fares go on sale, but only for brief periods. You need to act fast to take advantage of these deals – one day, they are available, only to be gone the next. So, how do you catch these deals?
Price alerts are the answer. If you have a trip you’d like to take, set up a price alert several months in advance. Depending on the destination, the best deals often drop two to four months before departure. However, don’t freak out when prices swing up during this period. Airlines do this on purpose to induce panic buys. Often, it will fall back, as soon as three weeks before departure.
A good rule of thumb: Set a budget for plane tickets before setting your price alert. When the price falls into your range, consider buying.
Have No Idea Where You Want To Go?
Sometimes, we need to get the hell out of Dodge. When you find yourself in this head space, the destination doesn’t matter – anywhere will work.
Skyscanner stands out from the crowd with its “Everywhere” function. When searching for flights, you can select “Everywhere” as a destination. Doing this will pull up a list of all possible flights from your point of origin, sorted by price and country.
This way, you can apply your budget against an exhaustive list of flights/countries. Because of this, you’ll often find trip ideas you would have never considered before using this option. Very cool!
Look Around For The Cheapest Month
Have a completely open schedule? If you’re flexible, Skyscanner offers you the ability to search for the cheapest month. Search for a flight you wish to take, but instead of inputting departure and return dates, click on the “depart” field. Doing this will open a window that allows you to pick a specific date.
Take a took at the top – there, you’ll see two tabs: “Specific Dates” and “Whole Month.” Click on “Whole Month,” and you’ll be able to choose from specific months, as well as the “Cheapest Month”.
Click on the latter option, and Skyscanner will find the month(s) with the cheapest fares. If you have the luxury of travelling anytime, this move can save you hundreds of dollars on airline tickets.
Do A Nation Wide Search On Skyscanner
Despite what some may think, America is a nation of travellers. Yeah, it’s true that many Americans don’t have passports. Despite this, flying is a vital part of domestic travel in the US, as this country is bloody huge. As a result, the density of airports can get ridiculous in some regions. As a result, flights to the same destination can have wildly different prices.
Let’s say you live in Metro Detroit. Midwestern winters can be bleak, and this one is no exception. One day, you snap – you gotta get out of here. After an evening of brainstorming, it’s settled – you want to get away to Thailand.
However, a quick look at fares from DTW makes you retch involuntarily – $719?! Before you give up on your dream or pay too much – wait. Skyscanner lets you do a nationwide search for both origins an destinations.
Busy Airports Usually Have Lower Fares
In our case, we would input “United States” in the origin field, then “Thailand” in the destination field. Doing this brings up a list of destinations – since you’ve never been to Thailand before, Bangkok sounds great.
As you scroll down the list, you notice airfares in Chicago are markedly cheaper – around $495, to be exact. With bus fares to Chicago as low as $40 and Amtrak fares starting at $55, you can save hundreds by flying out of there instead!
Explore Alternate Routes To Find Savings on Skyscanner
Still not liking what Skyscanner is returning? It is possible to find routes MUCH cheaper than the ones Skyscanner highlights by default. However, you’ve got to be prepared to do some heavy-duty research.
Begin by searching for “Everywhere” as your destination. Doing this will return a list of countries you can reach from your point of origin. Select the cheapest country – chances are, flights from it will also be the most affordable.
Complete the route by searching for flights to your final destination. Repeat the process for the 2nd and 3rd most affordable city/country. Finally, take the lowest price and compare it against the best deal that a standard Skyscanner search returns. Much of the time, your custom route will beat it.
Leverage Long Layovers
Want to save money and see MORE of the world? What if we told you that you don’t have to arrive to your destination the same day? By using Skyscanner and embracing the long layover, you can save piles of cash.
Using this strategy does takes a while, though, so block off a few hours to conduct research. Just like the previous section, do an “Everywhere” search from your point of origin. Then, find the cheapest major hubs on the way to your destination.
After flagging cities that are both (a) cheap and (b) desirable long layover candidates, do searches to your destination. Seek out the most affordable flights you can find and add up their total cost. Then, compare your figures to the cost of flying from your origin to your destination.
Frequently, you’ll find cheaper combos. Not only that, but you’ll be able to fit in an extra destination to your trip.
Using Skyscanner To Find The Hottest Deals On Hotels
Skyscanner doesn’t stop at flights – they also help you save on hotels as well. Start by clicking on the “Hotels” tab at the top of Skyscanner’s homepage. Then, enter your destination, along with your check-in and check-out dates.
Click search, and you’ll get a preliminary list of hotels. From there, you can sort by price, rating, and the distance from the city centre. You can also apply filters based on price, ratings, traveller type, and amenities.
Like airfares, hotel rack rates can move up and down like a yo-yo. Just like airfares, you can set a price alert that will tell you when the price of your room, changes. When it moves into your target range, be prepared to buy!
Take Advantage Of Nationwide Searches
Have a country in mind, but not sure where you want to go? Let’s say you want to go to Thailand. Sure, you could travel to Bangkok, but what about Pattaya? Or Phuket? Or Chiang Mai? Get a global view of the best/cheapest hotels by doing a nationwide search. In this case, type “Thailand” in the destination field.
Do this, and you’ll uncover deals like a $21/night rate in Grand Tower Inn, a four-star hotel in Bangkok. Thailand may be affordable, but even for this country, that’s EXCEPTIONAL!
Hire/Rent A Vehicle Through Skyscanner
Need wheels at your destination? You can even handle vehicle hire/rentals through Skyscanner. Start by clicking the “Car Rental” tab at the top of Skyscanner’s landing page.
The next step is important – INSTEAD of selecting your arrival airport, choose your destination. Example: If you’re travelling to Calgary, select Calgary, NOT Calgary (YYC). It’s true – vehicle rentals at the airport cost far MORE than in the city.
Arrange your reservation at a rental agency away from the airport. Travel there using public transit – this slight inconvenience is worth it, especially if you’re renting for a week or longer.
In our example, cars are available from $372 per week at Calgary International Airport. Compare that with the prices at Budget Car Rental at 26th Street NE. Only a 5-10 minute drive from the airport, you can get vehicles from $130 per week!
Watch Out For Skyscanner Scams
As much as I LOVE Skyscanner, it’s not without its trap doors. Some booking engines it uses are, at best, unreliable.
Don’t just refer to the rating it has on Skyscanner – check their Trustpilot reviews as well. To be fair, each booking engine has its detractors. However, if you notice a distinct trend of bad reviews, that’s a red flag.
Take one customer’s experience with an outfit called Trip.com. The airline cancelled one of the flights the client booked through Trip.com. When this happened, Trip.com threatened to charge the customer if they didn’t call within two hours. When the subject phoned, Trip.com said the return flight was still valid and refused to refund the cost of the initial flight.
Remember, Trustpilot is your friend
In another case, the confirmation number given to the customer by an unnamed vendor turned out to be completely bogus. I’ll repeat – Skyscanner is a great way to find low fares. However, you should ALWAYS do your due diligence, especially when it comes to unknown vendors. Remember, Trustpilot is there for a reason.
Lastly, watch out for strict baggage rules on some airlines. While this technically isn’t a scam, budget airlines often have punishing fees for carry-on and checked luggage. If you are caught unaware, it can turn a steal of a deal into an ordinary fare – just like that.
Is It Cheaper To Book Through Skyscanner Or Directly With Airlines?
Skyscanner gets lots of love online from frequent travellers. But is it deserved? For the most part – yeah. In a world with ever-changing prices, multiple airlines, and scores of travel sites, tools like Skyscanner are a godsend.
That said, you’ll frequently get the best deal by booking directly with an airline. Some airlines, like Lufthansa, apply a surcharge to fares booked through online travel agencies. Others refuse to share flight information.
However, before you hit the “Buy” button on Skyscanner, check the sites of airlines you respect. You might be pleasantly surprised by what you find. Further, if you book a flight and the price drops, some airlines may credit you the difference.
Also, consider joining their loyalty programs. If you collect enough points, you’ll eventually get absurdly cheap fares – or even get to fly for FREE!
Skyscanner: An Incredible Tool For Saving Money On Travel
is far less expensive than most people think it is. Once you get to a
place like Southeast Asia or Central America, you can get by on
$30/day – or LESS. When
you travel, transport costs – especially flights – will make up
the lion’s share of your expenses.
By hacking travel search engines like Skyscanner, you can shave HUNDREDS of dollars off the cost of your trip. Even if you only save a couple hundred, that’s $200 you can spend on activities, drinks, and fantastic food.
THE BOTTOM LINE: The more you save, the more you can see, do, and experience!