The holiday season is fast approaching, and that means it's time to start thinking about wintertime travel. Whether you're heading home to see your family or starting off the new year with a relaxing vacation, your holiday travel plans will be so much sweeter if you can save on the flight to get there. These apps and websites can help you get the best deal on airfare, so you can still travel comfortably on a budget.
Google seemingly does it all these days, but did know you can use your go-to search engine to find the best deals on air travel? Google Flights allows you to search for exactly what you're looking for in a flight and compare all your options—you can narrow by date, airline, and other flight choices as well.
Kayak is another great website that gives you the opportunity to search and compare flight options from all different airlines and websites, so that you can get the best deal. Rather than searching tons of different discount flight websites on your own, Kayak searches them all for you, along with checking online travel agencies and the airlines themselves.
Airfarewatchdog is a site that lets you search and compare flights across tons of different airlines, big and small. What sets it apart from other flight search tools is that you can set up alerts for all the flights going from your city to your destination city, and Airfarewatchdog will email you low prices on the regular.
Rather use a mobile app than a website? With Hopper, you put in your travel details, and the app gives you a prediction as to when your flight will be the cheapest to buy. If Hopper says it's time to buy, you can purchase tickets through the app—if not, it'll watch the flights for you and tell you when to strike. Hopper is available on iOS and Android devices.
SkyScanner is a website and mobile app that, like other flight search engines, allows you to look for and compare flights to get a better deal. It has a special chart that shows you when the cheapest time to fly is, and you can set up alerts for specific flights that will notify you when the price drops so you can buy low. SkyScanner is available on both iOS and Android devices.
Yapta is all about helping you get the best deal—even after you've already purchased your ticket. With this service, you can find out if the price of your tickets drops after you buy and rebook for the same or a similar seat on the same flight to get a refund on the difference.
If you're a college student traveling home for the holidays, StudentUniverse can help. The site offers special deals for students, but you have to be verified first by submitting copies of your student ID, class schedule and other documents. StudentUniverse also has deals for non-students between the ages of 18 and 25, too.
If you're a frequent flier, you probably know by now that not all cheap flights are good flights. Hipmunk is a website and iOS/Android compatible mobile app that doesn't just let you search for and compare flights—it organizes them by "Agony" and "Ecstasy" ratings, taking into account takeoff, landing, number of stops and other features along with the price, to ensure your discounted flight is actually worth it.