“How do you afford to travel so much?”
Yep, that’s the question I hear all the time from not just my blog readers, but also my ex colleagues and family members. Many of them think that San and I get sponsored to travel all the time because we’ve been able to maintain our travel lifestyle even after quitting our corporate jobs.
Well, we do sometimes get sponsored but not every time. If we were to start discussing our many ways of affording frequent travel, we can perhaps write a book. However, this post mainly focuses on just one aspect of our travel – finding cheap flights. Flights usually comprise of a massive chunk of travel expenditure but you can surely cut down your cost if you book your ticket wisely.
So my dear friends, ex colleagues and blog readers, let me introduce you to our cheap flight ticket ninja – Momondo.
Wait, what is Momondo?
Momondo is not an OTA (online travel agency like Orbitz, etc), but a travel fare metasearch engine (like skyscanner).
“Momondo is one of the best-kept travel secrets.” – Forbes
You have most likely never heard of Momondo, and even I didn’t till the time I read this article on Forbes that said Momondo is one of the best-kept travel secrets. This article is written by Johnny Jet, who is well known in the travel industry for being s specialist in finding cheap fares.
I don’t believe everything I read on the Internet but I HAD to give Momondo a try… for my love of travel. Five searches and one hour later, I was hooked. Based on my time, I have put together this quick guide for you to use Momondo and find super cheap flights.
How I use Momondo to book insanely cheap flights
Research on an external airfare calendar (Like Google Flights)
Before I got to know about Momodo, I was using Google Flights to find the cheapest flights. Alternatively, I was also using Skyscanner to find the cheapest dates to fly.
I like using Google Flights because I can select multiple airports in to and from fields before hitting the search button. The thing that I discovered what, while Google Flights is very good to find the cheapest dates or airports where you can fly, it doesn’t necessarily find the cheapest flights. For Skyscanner, the rates vary slightly based on your current location – for instance, the metasearch for Skyscanner.com (US) would fetch different rates as compared to Skyscanner.net (UK) or Skyscanner.co.in.
Be Flexible and Find the cheapest dates to fly
The easiest way to find insanely cheap air tickets is by being flexible. No, I’m not just talking about the dates, but also the airport that you’re flying to. If you think you can reach that airport by train or by bus in a cost that’s lower than the flight ticket difference between the two, then you should probably pick that. Of course it only makes sense if you have a little extra time on your hands.
Open Momondo, put the same dates and book.
Once you have picked up a few options for cheaper days to fly, then the next step is to open Momondo and find flights.
9 out of 10 instances, I found cheaper flights on Momondo than Google Flights and even Skyscanner.
Momondo makes is super easy to find cheap flights with the help of their bar chart, which is also like a smaller version of airfare calendar that will give you a quick glimpse of the airfare cost for different dates.
For a deeper level research, head over to my next point.
I’m not sure why Momondo shows cheaper tickets as compared to other website, but it could be because of the fact that Momondo also includes prices of smaller budget carriers that aren’t well known.
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GOLD – Use Momondo’s Flight Insight Tool
Remember how I mentioned that I love doing my own research about when to fly? Well, Momondo is gradually killing my beloved airfare research habit because of their Flight Insight Tool.
I love looking at well-researched data and Momondo’s flight insight tool tells me details about cost variables for a particular route, eventually making it very easy to find cheaper flights.
For e.g.: I’m searching for cheap tickets for Dusseldorf to Delhi and I hit the search button. The result page shows me multiple options and helps me see the cheapest, quickest and the best. The best in this case the smartest that’s a mix of cheap air tickets and smaller travel time.
On this same page, there is a link that says “Flight insight for Dusseldorf to New Delhi”, click that to see the detailed date.
Here’s what the flight insight looks like:
Not only it tells me the cheapest day of the week to fly on this route, but it also tells me the cheapest months, airline and the cheapest days before the departure.
You can click on multiple tabs to see more details. This data is based on multiple airlines that offer flights on this route to find the best options.
BONUS – Select “Anywhere” as Your Destination
This feature is my favorite and is very useful when I know exactly when I want to travel but don’t know where. If you have fixed vacation days or love traveling on your birthday – then this option is for you. ‘
Simply put your departure airport and leave the destination blank and it will show you an option that says “take me anywhere”. Hit search and voila – it’s time to be impulsive!
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Additional Tips for finding cheap flight tickets
1) As per Momondo, the cheapest time to book is usually around 56 days before the departure. This is based on 13 billion airfares that were searched on Momondo.
2) Tuesday usually is the cheapest day to fly, where as Saturday is the most expensive one. The airfares are definitely cheaper for flights that depart early morning or late evening.
3) Remember to clear your browser’s cookies or open an incognito window for searching your tickets.
4) Try different combinations, be flexible and spend time to research multiple routes, dates and airports.
Have you used Momondo already?
What’s YOUR trick for finding cheap flights?
I’d love to know – do leave a comment and share your experience.
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