1. Search cheap flights anywhere, anytime

Your search for cheap flights online should start at airfare comparison sites. These websites compare many airlines and travel companies to find the best prices and options, on any given destination, flight route and travel dates. They show helpful results on any destination, anywhere in the world. Here’s a quick round-up of sites that we recommend and use frequently:

Wego —  One of the newer flight comparison sites on this list. Wego consistently displays excellent flight recommendations in an easy-to-use interface and clean design. The best advantage of using Wego is that they include flights from major budget airlines in Asia like AirAsia, Cebu Pacific, Jetstar, Tiger Airways and many others.

Search cheap flights on Wego:

Skyscanner —  An established flight comparison site that has grown in popularity over the years for displaying excellent flight comparison results. Like Wego, Skyscanner also displays many of the largest budget airlines that are not usually listed on other sites.

Momondo —  Aside from comparing the flight prices, Momondo displays a lot of helpful results in an easily digestible format. They have a nifty price calendar that lets you easily pick the cheapest dates and they even offer flights insights on popular routes. You can read insights on how to decide what airline to take, when to book, and when to take off.

Google Flights —  Flight comparison is a new service by Google. It offers a lot of exciting features like a map-view of cheap flights and price patterns on popular routes. The results are still not as good as the older sites, but this is expected to improve continuously in the future.”

2. Search as many sites as possible

There is no single airfare comparison site, that provides the best results on all destinations and travel dates. One might the best at showing the cheapest fares in Asia, for example, but another might be better at displaying flight results in Europe or North America. Search as many of them as possible to get reliable results.

3. Filter flight results as needed

One of the best features of airfare comparison sites is the ability to filter results based on your preferences. You can choose to display flights based on the number of stops, time of day, layover airports, and airlines or filter them to show the cheapest or quickest flights combinations. Sometimes the cheapest fares might not be convenient as they make very long or too many stopovers, so you might want to only show flights that are more practical.

4. View prices other dates and months

If you are flexible with your travel dates, try checking fares on days near your planned departure/arrival, or even weeks to months ahead. Airfare comparison sites make this task extremely easy. Momondo, for example, displays a graph of the cheapest fares on each day of the month, so you can quickly make a decision on when you should schedule your flight.

5. Check prices, directly on official airline websites

Don’t stop your search even after you see a good price at flight comparison sites. Even though they are a godsend for trip planning, they do have limitations. Their recommendations are only as good as how much data are shared to them by airline companies. Many airlines, especially low-cost carriers, do not share all of their flight prices and deals to flight comparison sites. Mainline or legacy airlines, on the other hand, are pretty generous on sharing their flight data. If you are flying with a legacy airline on business or first class, flight comparison sites are very good at giving you excellent options.

Also, the prices that you are seeing at flight comparison sites are often “cached” and not live. You may need to go directly to the airline or travel agency website to view real-time prices or confirm the availability of flights.

It is best to know all airlines and destinations served by your departure or arrival city. Airport pages on Wikipedia are quite helpful as a starting point on your research.