A former flight attendant reveals her tip for booking cheap flights
As the world’s destinations start to open up again, it’s a race for that booking button as Brits try to line up the best value adventures for the year ahead.
Shopping, using flight comparison websites and booking a flight and hotel package can all save money when booking a trip – but if you’re flexible about when you want to go, a travel influencer has some sage advice for you.
Former flight attendant and TikTok travel consultant, @hacks.travelreleased his number one tip for finding cheap flight fares online, in a video that has already garnered 2.4 million views.
In the video, the social media star begins by saying, “Here’s one of the cheapest ways to plan your trip – and guess what, it’s super easy.”
She then reveals her favorite flight booking tool – not Skyscanner, Expedia or an individual airline’s website, but Google Flights.
The Tiktoker takes its followers on a click-by-click journey through its typical booking process: select its starting point (New York), leave the destination box blank, and leave the old dates in the date range selection.
When a results card appears, she then recommends clicking the calendar date picker at this point and choosing “Flexible Dates” in the top right.
From there, you can be more specific, for example choosing a week-long trip or the month you prefer to go.
Selecting “one week” and “March”, the TikTok star says, “What this will do is it will search all flights in March to find you the cheapest option.”
It shows how the flight aggregator shows its various possible destinations for March on a map of North America, with options such as LA, Chicago, Miami and Toronto at different starting prices.
Heading to Europe on the world map, it shows followers how they’ll see starting prices for countries like Spain, Ireland and Greece on the cheapest dates in March.
“I can’t even tell you how much money it saved me,” she exclaims, “and it’s one of the easiest travel hacks.”
“This is insanely cool,” wrote follower Jesse Stone; Vals567 agreed, saying, “It’s me and the Mediterranean every June. Intermediate season. Perfect weather. Cheers.”
When The Independent Tried using Google Flights very visual and map feature for options from London in April, we found the cheapest fares were to Budapest (£16 return), Warsaw (£20) and Dublin (£21).
Some @hacks.travel fans remained skeptical, however. “But wouldn’t that give you those trips that take about 32 hours?” one follower commented, while another added: ‘Could get a deal but will end up on a budget airline with three stopovers.’
Others posted their own flight search tools, with one writing: “It doesn’t work. Hopper has cheaper flights averaging $150.