Where I can I find cheap flights - to anywhere, anytime
May 23, 2016 7:36 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a way to search for cheap flights (round trip), but the thing is that I don't care what date the flight is. I'll have a couple months off this summer and was thinking about flying somewhere new, just to get away, explore, and push my limits. I've heard about bargain flights for around a hundred dollars or less, but is there any place I can go to search without having to specify a date? I have a few places in mind, but I'd like to browse and see where I can go for the least amount of money. I should also mention that I'd like to stay in the US.
posted by holmesian to Travel & Transportation (15 answers total) 117 users marked this as a favorite
Kayak's Explore function is pretty good for this.

Set a home location, rough date, and see where other people have found cheap flights too!

$100 round trip is a pretty hard deal to find...getting things that cheap is really going depend on your home airport...
posted by larthegreat at 7:44 AM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Skiplagged. It's been awesome. Yo do have to specify a date to start, but you can jump around from there to find the cheapest times to go.
posted by Marinara at 7:53 AM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Google Flights is pretty good for this. Put in your home airport and the destination as North America, and you can pick month and duration of trip to get suggestions (and you can fix it to non-stop flights only). If you want to drill down a bit more, you can put up to five airports in the destination slot and look at a calendar of cheap fares for all of them.
posted by penguinliz at 8:03 AM on May 23, 2016 [4 favorites]

Google Flights is great just because it doesn't serve you a hundred thousand ads while you use it, making it much faster to tinker around with.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:12 AM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

I just heard about this app on Buzzfeed - Hitlist. Sounds like exactly what you're looking for!
posted by pretentious illiterate at 8:17 AM on May 23, 2016 [3 favorites]

Somewhat klunkier to use is the base engine (owned by google) ITA, but sometimes worth the effort.
posted by sammyo at 8:19 AM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

You might also want to follow the Flight Deal.
posted by monologish at 8:51 AM on May 23, 2016

Also, sign up for the last minute deal emails from the major airlines. If you can boogie on short notice you might get a great deal.
posted by COD at 9:37 AM on May 23, 2016

Another option is to sign up for major airlines "Weekend Deals"

You'll get emails on Tuesday for flights leaving Thursday-Friday. They'll target your departing airport. It's fun.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:13 AM on May 23, 2016

Southwest doesn't participate in any of the fare search engines, but they have deals that are basically free. I haven't paid more than $160 roundtrip to fly anywhere in about a year and a half. Sign up for their email alerts for fare sales. They also have fare calendars so you can look at lowest fares to and from your destination in month view, which sounds like exactly what you want.

You can change flights for free, check bags for free, change your flight to book it again if the fare drops. There is absolutely no reason to fly in the U.S. on any other airline if Southwest goes to your destination, especially if your travel dates are flexible.
posted by good lorneing at 10:39 AM on May 23, 2016 [5 favorites]

I use SkySkanner and love it. Have bought almost every cheap ticket through that site, and it takes you to direct companies, not third party websites. That and I compare it to google flights.
posted by buttonedup at 10:52 AM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Southwest wouldn't let me change flights for free.
posted by mollymayhem at 11:13 AM on May 23, 2016

I use this app on my phone called Hopper. It displays several calendar months with typical prices across each day.

You do have to specify a start and destination, just not dates.
posted by Annika Cicada at 11:30 AM on May 23, 2016

It has a mysterious interface, but check out Which Budget
posted by Petekachu at 7:32 PM on May 23, 2016

Don't know if this works for your situation, but you could get a minimum-wage airport job and get flight benefits. Look up DGS (Delta Global Services).
posted by spacewaitress at 12:30 PM on May 29, 2016

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