July 22, 2024

CPS

Travel Adventure

Travel expert reveals his top tips for booking cheap international flights – and timing is everything

3 min read

Want to land a bargain flight for your next vacation? Then read on.

Los Angeles-based travel expert Geoffrey Fuller has revealed his top tips for bagging the cheapest plane tickets, with all of his recommended travel services free to use. 

Before divulging his specialty apps and websites, he says the ‘first step is to always start with Google Flights, which is the gold standard for searching most airlines and routes.’

Explaining his reasoning, he writes on his wife, Emily Schuman’s substack ‘Fwd: from a friend’: ‘With the exception of a few carriers, you’re going to find the best options for both domestic and international flights.’

Next up, Geoffrey notes that timing can have a big impact on the kinds of deals available.

Los Angeles-based travel expert Geoffrey Fuller has revealed his top tips to bagging the cheapest plane tickets, with all of his recommended travel services free to use

Los Angeles-based travel expert Geoffrey Fuller has revealed his top tips to bagging the cheapest plane tickets, with all of his recommended travel services free to use

If you are booking an award flight, he says it is best to book either 11 months or two months out from your trip.   

This is because both of these windows ‘typically have the best award availability and redemption rates.’

However, he adds that ‘since airlines often run seasonal promotions, using search tools to cover all dates is crucial.’

Continuing with his cheatsheet to cheap flights, he lists his preferred ‘freemium’ travel services, ranked from ‘best’ to ‘ok.’

At the top of his stack is a site called Seats.aero which ‘helps frequent flyers and travel enthusiasts find the best business and first-class seats using their airline miles/points.’

The biggest selling point of this free to use site, Geoffrey says, is the fact that it serves up ‘very fast (i.e. real-time) results across many airline and awards programs that allow you to find reliable availability and multi-region searches.’ 

The second site on his list is PointsYeah, which he describes as ‘a versatile and free award travel search tool that’s quickly gained popularity among points and miles enthusiasts.’

Along with ‘free, real-time’ award searches for flights, this website gives hotel award availability too.

The second site on his list is PointsYeah, which he describes as 'a versatile and free award travel search tool that's quickly gained popularity among points and miles enthusiasts'

The second site on his list is PointsYeah, which he describes as ‘a versatile and free award travel search tool that’s quickly gained popularity among points and miles enthusiasts’

The globetrotter’s third favorite bargain-hunting tool is the Points Path Browser Extension. 

Detailing how this works, he writes: ‘The extension integrates with popular travel booking sites, providing users with real-time information on points availability and redemption options.

‘If you’re always wondering whether you should use points or pay for a ticket, this extension makes it incredibly clear and simple.’

The fourth site which gets Geoffrey’s backing is Thrifty Traveler, which he notes also comes as a newsletter. 

He says the three biggest perks of this company is its ‘reliability,’ its daily email shoot ‘based on your set preferences’ and ‘well-researched award travel deals that a normal search might miss.’

The penultimate site listed is Roame.travel, which Geoffrey says is ‘designed to help people discover unique travel experiences and destinations.’

The globetrotter's third favorite bargain-hunting tool is the Points Path Browser Extension

The globetrotter’s third favorite bargain-hunting tool is the Points Path Browser Extension

Along with a ‘clean interface,’ and curated tips by experts, he likes the way that it offers a ‘nice curation of award redemptions based on your departure city and travel dates.’

Rounding things out, Geoffrey says the platform Point.me is worth checking out if you’re hunting for a flight deal. 

The main selling point is that you can ‘centralize all of your award points, from both airlines and credit cards, into a single site.’ 

You can also ‘track nearly every airline and import data from all major credit cards, including some smaller ones like Brex and Bilt.’ 

Backing Geoffrey’s prowess as a bargain flight finder, his wife Emily writes in the introduction: ‘G and I have been together for 17 years, and he’s planned, to near perfection, every single trip. 

‘Not only is he tracking down all the must-visit spots and making the reservations, but he also finds the best travel deals. 

‘He’s an obsessive researcher and utilizes specific newsletters, websites, and browser extensions.’

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