It’s interesting and more than a little serendipitous the way the world works. Not ten minutes after I started this blog I had a conversation with one of my co-worker about none other than finding a good, inexpensive flight.
Bar none, the best way to find such a flight is Hipmunk.
Not quite a travel hack, but easily the best place to search for good prices and flight plans that don’t suck. I usually even run my rewards flights through this, just to see if another airline will have better times or more desirable layovers than the one I’m thinking of flying.
The reason I do this is mainly because their search page looks like this:
Thats all the airlines they index in one grid. Flight durations and layovers laid out in a visual form. The ability to sort by pretty much whatever parameters you want, including “agony” which tend to be the cheapest flights. (Oddly, those are often the ones I like. Leaving for a destination in the early morning and returning late at night is my preference. So the term is more than a little subjective.)
If you want real agony try to fly from Boston to Sacramento on Alaska. No, on second thought, don’t. Yeeeesh!
Hipmunk also has the ability to do a fuzzy search of sorts, searching on either side of a specified date in case there is a cheaper/better flight if your plans can flex a little. You can even compare multiple searches at once, using an oh-so-sweet tabbed search interface to flip between searches.
You can use all of these features without logging in or giving the site a scrap of information.* However, if you log in to the site with Google it can interface with your calendar to give you only flights that fit into your schedule.
* Unless, of course, you purchase a ticket with them, which is similarly painless and often a good bet if you’re paying your way. Of course, that’s not really the point of what we’re trying to do here, but it is a good option if you should need to exchange cash for tickets. Be sure to have your frequent flier numbers handy if you do pay for tickets. You can never have too many miles!)
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