All the stories about $300 first class around the world fares, $12 transatlantic flights and other incredible deals flashing up out of nowhere before disappearing only mere minutes or hours later are all true. They all happened, and virtually everyone that was able to take advantage had one thing in common, fare alerts. No one has the time to search fares all day, but there’s a really easy way to get notified when that dream opportunity becomes real…

Ok, You Roped Me In, What Are Fare Alerts Exactly?

Fare alerts are like email or pop up notifications, which allow you to set a price, or series of prices at which a flight would become of interest to you. If and when that price pops up as bookable, you’ll get an email instantly, allowing you to take quick advantage before it likely disappears…

What Sites Allow You To Do This?

Quite a few sites have added a free alert service! My favorites include Google Flights, Kayak, AirFareWatchDog, Hopper and SkyScanner. It should be relatively easy to navigate your way to each site’s price alert sign up. As a matter of note, creating alerts is free and does not lock you into buying anything, it’s just a nice incentive offered in hopes that you’ll book through them!

Ok, Gimme The Two Best Ways To Do This So I Can Get Amazing Deals…

If you prefer apps to emails, Hopper is tough to beat. You’ll get a beautiful color coded guide when looking at a fare originally, showing optimal days for lowest prices; and if you tap the binoculars, the app will then track the fare in real time, letting you know immediately if and when it drops. For email alerts, I love Google Flights, which allows you to refine results from all airlines and stops down to just non stop on a specific airline. You’ll get notifications as often or infrequent as you wish, right to your Gmail or other email account. Simply tap “track prices” below your search and above the results when running a Google Flights search to get started.

What About Hotels, Can You Track Those Too?

Why yes, indeed you can! Kayak offers an excellent tool, which you can access after logging in to your (free) Kayak account. Simply click “emails + alerts” from the drop down menu in the top right while logged in. When there you’ll see a hotel alerts option. You can set your max price for any or all star category hotels in a city. It’s a great way to see if a five star falls into your price range. Five stars is often better than four!