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The Secret to Cheap International Flights: Know the Cheapest Days to Fly in 2024

The Secret to Cheap International Flights: Know the Cheapest Days to Fly in 2024

The borders are open again, opening up the possibility of limitless exploration. However, it won’t be long before experienced voyagers and occasional flyers notice that flight prices are sky-high, which is an enormous obstacle.

In the past, frequent flyers could casually toss a dart at a map and select their next journey destinations. To enjoy them, they didn’t have to fork out a lot of money. But now, the situation has changed.

Skyrocketing travel costs deter even the most audacious adventurers, particularly when it comes to finding cheap international flights.

For example, those deciding to journey to Luanda, Angola, will be met with an unwelcome surprise – a wallet-draining round-trip fare of $1023 if you are jetting off from New York.

Yet, amid these hardships, the irresistible charm of delicious port wine, crisp alpine winds, jagged Swiss peaks, and tours across the European continent is still persistent.

If you are one of those explorers who want to take a break from the Americas and travel across the oceans, below you will find advice on the cheapest days to fly internationally, how to use Google Flights, how to leverage multi-city flights, and how price alerts can help you enjoy a better, more budget-friendly journey.

Don’t let the high prices discourage you from visiting your favorite location.

Use The Right Tools

Before going on a journey, be it domestic or international, you need to come up with a comprehensive plan. The process of booking cheap international flights can be quite finnicky, with a multitude of factors contributing to the final price of your itinerary.

Here’s a breakdown of the components that constitute the final price:

  • Passenger Ticket Tax: This is 7.5% of the base fare.
  • Segment Tax: This is $4.20 per flight segment.
  • September 11th Tax: This is $5.20 per one-way trip.
  • Passenger Facility Charge (PFC): Airports can impose a PFC with a limit of $4.50 per segment and a maximum of $18 per round trip.
  • Fuel Price: Ticket prices may fluctuate based on current fuel prices.
  • Staff: This includes costs related to airline staff, such as salaries, benefits, and training.

Given the numerous elements to monitor, determining the exact amount you need to spend to secure a plane seat can be quite challenging; hence, the need for the best tools.

Our top recommendation is Google Flights, a tool we’ve favored since its launch in 2011. Its user-friendly interface enables everyone to expertly plan their journey and ensure they don’t deplete their entire savings when booking international flights.

Using Google Flights

Every penny you can save on your flight can result in a better experience at your destination, from better hotel suites to affording rental vehicles rather than using public transport. 

It’s not a mistake to say that Google Flights was created for the sole purpose of helping adventurers check destinations off their bucket lists without having to pay exorbitant prices to get there.

While you might be familiar with Skyscanner, Momodo, and Kayak, none of them can compare to the mighty features Google Flights offers.

And best of all, you can feel like a traveler extraordinaire as you have complete control of your flight preferences: one-way flights, round-trip flights, X stops, direct, seamless class selection, nearby airport discovery, and for those conscientious travelers, an estimated report on the flight’s carbon emissions.

When it’s all about booking international flights, the feature we always turn to is Google Flights Explore. It does not come better than this interactivity-packed feature, which allows you to “explore” across continents and fetch all the cheapest fares from your preferred airport. 

With just a few clicks, you can enjoy tailored search results and discover mouthwateringly cheap fares that beg to be boarded. Plus, you can book flights straight from Google Flights. Simply select the best option, navigate down to “booking options,” and click “Continue”.

If you love Southwest Airlines, don’t forget to check out their official website. They don’t appear on any of the flight search engines, but the flight deals they roll out are very budget-friendly.

Google Flights is not complicated at all. However, if you want to equip yourself with the skills of expert travelers, check out our comprehensive guide and master the art of planning your journeys.

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Plan Smart: The Flight First Rule

We’ve all been in situations where we meticulously planned every detail of our trip, from the accommodations to the entertainment activities, ensuring nothing was overlooked. While such thorough planning is beneficial most of the time, it can become a hindrance if it restricts your flight search to just a few specific days.

This is a significant misstep as it contradicts the ‘Flight First’ principle. This rule is widely advocated across the internet, featured prominently in travel blogs and vlogs alike, and for a good reason.

By prioritizing your flight booking, you stand to save a considerable amount of money, given that airfare prices typically rise as the departure date approaches.

Moreover, securing your flight early affords you more time to prepare – to scout for superior accommodations, meticulously plan your itinerary, accumulate more vacation days, and even allow the anticipation to grow among your travel companions.

This principle, therefore, ensures a more cost-effective approach and contributes to a more enjoyable, better-planned, and stress-free travel experience.

Choosing Travel Dates Wisely

Being a smart traveler you may have been wondering what days are cheapest to fly internationally. In that case, you’ve probably heard that Tuesdays and Wednesdays are, in fact, days when all of the airlines cater to the needs of budget travelers and let their flight prices dip. However, that’s a myth that should be forgotten.

The truth is that airlines roll out flight deals at the beginning of the week, and who’s to say that you can’t get lucky on a Monday? By Tuesday, all the cheap international flights heading to your desired destination can be gone, and that’s exactly why timing is key rather than relying on these unsubstantiated myths.

On that note, the cheapest days to fly (not to book) are Tuesdays and Wednesdays. By selecting flights that are departing on these two days, you can save anywhere from $25 to $350, so it pays off to conduct thorough research.

If possible, avoid flying on weekends, as flight ticket prices tend to be higher, regardless of whether they fly domestically or internationally.

Off-Peak Explorations: The Magic of Shoulder Season Travel

Shoulder season is the time between a destination’s peak season – when hordes of tourists flock to popular attractions – and off-season when the area isn’t quite as bustling. This notorious time period typically occurs in the spring and autumn months, although specific timeframes vary depending on the location.

As a budget-conscious individual, you should definitely keep shoulder season on your radar. It can offer numerous benefits, including lower prices, fewer crowds, and unique experiences available only during this time.

The reason why the shoulder season is so uniquely remarkable and popular among budget travelers is that demand for tourist services tends to decrease. In turn, prices for flights, accommodations, and attractions drop. 

And as things stand, rather than blowing all of your cash on summer trips to Europe, plan wisely and map out your shoulder season travel experience; trust us, it’s as enjoyable as traveling during the scorching heat. Consider a fall gateway or even a winter vacation in places that beg to be explored with a warm jacket or skis.

With research and a little luck, you may stumble upon significant discounts on airfares, hotels, and vacation packages. Moreover, attraction fees may be lowered, allowing you to explore those must-see places on your bucket list without breaking the bank.

Here are some of our favorite shoulder season destinations that are well worth planning ahead for those jetting off from the Americas:

  1. Portugal

During spring, Portugal’s Algarve coastline becomes a haven for wildflower enthusiasts and beach-goers seeking more comfortable temperatures. Additionally, accommodation prices are significantly lower than in the summer months.

  1. Croatia

Spring in Croatia comprises mild temperatures, making it the perfect period to explore the country’s stunning coastlines and cities without facing extreme heat or waves of tourists. Checking out famous outdoor bars or indulging in fresh seafood is highly recommended!

  1. Iceland

Iceland’s autumn months promise scenic landscapes, with nature donning its most vibrant colors. Prices for Iceland’s renowned thermal baths and other attractions are almost half off during this time, allowing you to visit this captivating island without spending a fortune.

Unsure where to head this fall or winter? Let the hand-picked flight deals compiled by Matt himself dictate your journey. Sing up here and enjoy a plethora of cheap flight deals.

The Long Game: The Benefits of Early Booking

If you open the price grid on Google Flights, you will notice the closer flights are to departure, the pricier they get. 

The green color indicates the best day to book flights – add that to your list of hidden secrets that only Google Flights masters know.

It’s plain to see that if you play the long game, you can receive the best rewards. Such a strategy of booking provides greater flexibility and savings. Expert travelers online will just tell you that it’s best to book 3 to 6 months in advance and leave you to your own devices to find the cheapest international airfare.

However, we take it a step further and provide you with a complete breakdown of when you can take to the skies without paying through your nose for the most popular tourist regions:

  • Canada
    • Best booking time: 3-10 months before travel
    • Cheapest travel months: February and March
  • Mexico
    • Best booking time: 1-5 months before travel
    • Cheapest travel months: January and February
  • Caribbean
    • Best booking time: 2-5 months before travel
    • Cheapest travel months: September and October
  • Central America and South America
    • Best booking time: 2-5 months before travel
    • Cheapest travel months: September and October
  • South Pacific
    • Best booking time: 9-10 months before travel
    • Cheapest travel months: January and April
  • Asia
    • Best booking time: 10 months before travel
    • Cheapest travel months: January and April
  • Europe
    • Best booking time: 1-7 months before travel
    • Cheapest travel months: October and November
  • Middle East
    • Best booking time: 2-10 months before travel
    • Cheapest travel months: October and November

Busting the Myth: The Cookie Conundrum

Browsing in incognito mode or clearing your cookies won’t magically help you find cheap flights, regardless of whether you are searching online travel agencies or using flight search engines.

If that were the case, we would never be able to find even a single cheap international flight deal as the algorithms are well acquainted with our long-hour search sessions for the cheapest flights.

Most websites utilize cookies to create a better experience for visitors and not spy on them or take advantage of them. So, clearing cookies is a waste of time; feel free to use the internet however you see fit and leverage the tools and sites you prefer for finding cheap flights.

With that in mind, refrain from browsing incognito and clearing your cookies, as it can only harm your online experience, and stick to the tried and true methods that have worked for others in the past.

Want to discover more about the most common traveler myths? Check out our article and learn how to spot the difference between a cheap myth and valuable booking advice.

Decisive Action: The Advantage of ‘Book Now, Ask Later’

We’ve outlined just how far ahead you should plan your flights for the most savings; now, let’s talk about the attitude you need to adopt when scouring official airline pages or flight search engines.

While airlines might be sneaky with their pricing sometimes, they all offer a 24-hour cancelation policy, free of charge. What this means for those searching for the cheapest international flights is that they can book as soon as they see a good deal and then ask questions later.

Even a few seconds can make the difference between securing yourself a seat on a budget flight and missing out on a golden opportunity. Of course, if you tell your partner or friend that you’ve booked a flight and they are not up for it at that particular moment, you can always cancel and get your money back.

Sometimes, rather than refunding your cash, airlines will offer you travel credit, which you can later use to book another flight with the same airline. This is great if you are partial to that particular airline and you want them to be your partners, helping you sate your wanderlust.

Being decisive and bold can also help you land last-minute deals. If you are interested in discovering all the tips to set you up for success despite the clock ticking against you, check out our in-depth guide.

Creative Booking: Unlocking Savings with Multi-City Flights

There are no savings without some craftiness. Multi-city flights have become the go-to strategy whenever international flights arise in a discussion. The basic definition of this strategy is that you will be hopping through multiple cities. Let’s say you want to reach a town in Germany, for instance, Karlsruhe; you can land in Frankfurt rather than Stuttgart and use public transport to reach your destination. 

Public transport in Europe is extremely cheap, so if you can sacrifice some comfort for additional savings, you are in for a treat. A train ticket from Frankfurt to Karlsruhe is less than $10, so why pay an additional few hundred dollars when you can save them and enjoy an enhanced trip with more leeway for activities and extra drinks at the bar?

And to get back to your destination, you can jet off from either location that offers the best deals to your home destination and save hundreds of dollars.

Displaying prices – New York to Stuttgart

Stay Informed: Getting the Best Flight Deals Delivered to You

For novice adventurers, planning international flights can seem like an arduous task. However, with the many tips we shared, you are well on your way to curating the perfect experience on a budget.

However, we’ve saved the best trick for last. It is impossible to keep track of international flights and their prices as they fluctuate with each passing day. This is why we always recommend setting up price alerts. 

All you have to do to enjoy such a service is navigate to personal assistant, Google Flights and turn on the “track prices” feature.

You can fine-tune it even further by selecting the exact dates you want to be tracked and get an email notification as soon as the tides turn in your favor.

However, just relying on Google Flights limits you. Here at Matt’s Flights, we work tirelessly to compile only the cheapest and best flights heading to the most popular destination for our subscribers, and the best thing is that we provide the service completely for free.

Each week, you will receive a curated list of only the cheapest fares traveling to the most popular destinations around the world, and if you take a liking to such a service (and believe us, you will), you can consider the premium subscription and get your entire trip planned out with the help of Matt, an expert who has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers save up to 90% on their trips.

Bottom Line

When it comes to finding flights that come with the lowest prices, domestic and international, nothing works better than research and knowledge.

With the right tools, a well-orchestrated plan, and an understanding of the industry’s dynamics, you can unlock a world of affordable adventures. Harness the power of tools like Google Flights, embrace the wisdom of seasoned travelers, and explore the beauty of shoulder seasons in lesser-known destinations. 

Discard myths, play the long game, and be decisive when great deals appear. And don’t worry if your companions are not on board for that particular trip; airlines will give you back the total as long as you request a refund within 24 hours after booking.

Remember that flying to your destination does not have to deplete your entire life savings. With these travel tips in hand, you will be able to find cheap international flights and continue to uncover the planet’s hidden secrets, undeterred by the cost of the voyage.

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Source List:
-Why Airfares Have Risen Five Times Faster Than The Overall Inflation Rate By Forbes
-Tracking Prices With Google Flights

-Reasons Why ‘Shoulder Season Is the Best Time to Travel by Nerdwallet

– Image By Alexander Schimmeck