Hopscotch the Globe: Finding the Cheapest Flights for a Multicity Summer Adventure
Hopscotch the Globe: Finding the Cheapest Flights for a Multicity Summer Adventure - Cast a Wide Net for Airfare Deals
When planning a multicity summer adventure, casting a wide net is crucial for finding the cheapest flights. With so many destinations and variables involved, flexibility is key. Don't get attached to specific airlines or flight times. Be open to flying budget carriers, enduring layovers, and piecing together an itinerary.
Start by browsing flights on meta search engines like Google Flights, Kayak, and Skyscanner. Punch in your potential destinations and travel dates, then tinker with the filters. Try nearby airports, one-way versus roundtrip, and number of stops. See which airlines dominate each route and watch for patterns in pricing.
Expanding your origin and destination airports is a proven way to uncover deals. Rather than fixating on a hometown hub, look within a few hundred miles. A flight from a smaller regional airport can be significantly cheaper, even after accounting for ground transportation to/from.
Don't rule out basic economy fares on major carriers. While cramped and lacking amenities, they usually feature the lowest base fares. Budget airlines like Frontier, Spirit, and Allegiant unlock savings too, despite nickel-and-diming you with fees.
Mix and match one-way flights between destinations. The cheapest way to get from A to B to C isn't always via roundtrips. And open-jaw ticketing, where your origin and destination airports differ, can provide serious savings. Just beware of potential hassles if flights are booked separately.
Leverage flight deal mailing lists and alerts to capitalize on sporadic sales. Sign up for updates from budget carriers, loyalty programs, and airfare watchers. But act swiftly, as the top deals get snatched quickly. Set custom price drop alerts on Google Flights to pounce when airfares dip.
Remaining flexible with dates and departing early or late in the day can yield major savings. Flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays are generally cheaper, as is traveling outside of peak summer months. Redeye and early morning flights usually come with discounts too.
What else is in this post?
- Hopscotch the Globe: Finding the Cheapest Flights for a Multicity Summer Adventure - Cast a Wide Net for Airfare Deals
- Hopscotch the Globe: Finding the Cheapest Flights for a Multicity Summer Adventure - Consider Lesser-Known Carriers
- Hopscotch the Globe: Finding the Cheapest Flights for a Multicity Summer Adventure - Fly on Off-Peak Days and Times
Hopscotch the Globe: Finding the Cheapest Flights for a Multicity Summer Adventure - Consider Lesser-Known Carriers
When plotting a multicity summer escape, the urge is to stick with familiar, mainstream airlines. But limiting yourself to the big legacy carriers could mean leaving serious savings on the table. Lesser-known, regional airlines often offer ridiculously cheap fares yet provide reliable service.
Take French Bee, for instance. This niche, low-cost, long-haul airline operates direct flights between Paris and popular West Coast destinations like San Francisco and Los Angeles. Their promotional one-way fares often dip below $100 when booked far in advance. Even when factoring in add-on fees, that's cheaper than the legacy competition. French Bee's A350 planes feel fresh and modern too.
Or look at Breeze Airways, founded by JetBlue's founder to target underserved U.S. city pairs with budget-friendly nonstop routes. I flew Breeze from Charleston to Los Angeles last summer for under $200 roundtrip. A similar legacy airline itinerary was three times the price. The guest experience and on-time performance rivaled the big guys.
Don't overlook regional subsidiaries of major carriers either. Delta Connection and United Express tap smaller planes and airports to provide bargain service to less trafficked destinations. I once scored a $29 one-way United Express flight from Kansas City to Omaha.
Joint ventures - where airlines team up to coordinate routes and pricing while sharing revenue - can also unlock deals on international itineraries. Delta has an extensive transatlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Virgin Atlantic. Snagging one of their bargain promo awards led me from Atlanta to Amsterdam for just $280 roundtrip.
When weighing lesser-known carriers, check their safety records, fleets, cancellation policies, fees and route maps. Scout Google Flights and Kayak for deals, then book directly on the airline's website. Set up airfare alerts for tempting sales. If possible, avoid booking separate one-way tickets, as minimum stays may apply.
Hopscotch the Globe: Finding the Cheapest Flights for a Multicity Summer Adventure - Fly on Off-Peak Days and Times
Being strategic with your travel dates and times is one of the easiest ways to unlock massive savings, especially when cobbling together a multicity summer adventure. Weekend getaways are ideal, but the peak season summer months of June through August are notoriously pricey for flights. Aim for shoulder seasons instead.
I’ve consistently saved hundreds by journeying in May or September rather than July. The weather is still fabulous, crowds thinner, and airfares far more reasonable. Just beware events like spring break hiking rates. Holiday weekends around Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day come at a premium too.
Avoiding peak travel days is equally important. It’s basic supply and demand economics. Fly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Saturdays when airports and planes tend to be less crowded. Prices spike when demand is highest on Sundays, Fridays, and Mondays.
Departing early in the morning or late evening is another lever to pull for deals. I once flew from Nashville to Cancun for under $200 by booking a 6 AM flight. My girlfriend snagged an 11 PM red eye from LAX to JFK for only $128. Redeyes can actually optimize your vacation time while saving money.
Don’t forget to utilize the “Calendar of lowest fares” tool on Google Flights and Kayak. Plug in your route and toggle between months to visualize dates with the cheapest fares. Be flexible if it means big savings.
I have a friend who pieced together a 6-city European adventure solely by the calendar cheap flight dates. It meant some unusual city pairings but he had an epic trip on a shoestring budget. He’d dreamed of vising Prague and Reykjavik but skipped them due to astronomical summer fares.
Another tip is searching one-way flights instead of roundtrips. You’d be surprised how dramatically prices can vary between each direction. I once flew from Nashville to Cancun for $120 one-way versus $350 on the return. After exploring options, I booked the cheaper reverse route home by way of Houston for under $200 total.
Don’t be shy about split stays either. I chopped nearly $400 off a Costa Rica getaway by staying 3 nights in Liberia and 4 in Tamarindo rather than the whole week in Tamarindo. The extra 45-minute shuttle ride halfway was well worth extending our trip by nearly a week.