And there was the flight deal, hidden in plain sight…

Scoring great flight deals brings an enormous sense of wellbeing. It’s hard not to feel just a little bit peppy and smug, as you walk past all the other passengers on board, knowing you received the very best deal. With the emergence of mobile apps and new online travel agencies, airlines are changing the way they sell tickets, so here’s how to make sure you don’t miss out on the very best prices, by searching the wrong way…

Hidden 2 For 1’s

Airlines don’t want to make the very best flight deals “too” easy, so they often hide them in plain sight. Though it inevitably requires a travel companion, searching for two people instead of one can make all the difference. If you search Google Flights or most airline websites for one person at a time, you may completely miss out on the special fares, only bookable for two passengers together. The special deals won’t show up at all unless you search for two, so if you’ve got a travel buddy coming along, be sure to look for hot two for one offers. These deals happen in all cabins, and recently the most shocking example was Swiss Air offering their ridiculous first class for less than the cost of one ticket, if you book two!

Five City Matrix

Google Flights allows you to search from five departure points to five destinations all at once. Why do you care? Because this can help locate nearby cities, where prices may be substantially lower. If you’re planning a big European trip, it may be much cheaper to fly into Milan than Pisa, or anything along those lines, and with the ability to enter up to five potential airports at once, you search once, and lock in the very best deals.

Exclusive Fares

People hate to hear it, but comparing at least a few sites is crucial to finding the best prices. Airlines and booking sites are always looking to create new partnerships, and lately we’re seeing “exclusive” fares, only available on one or two booking sites. Meta search booking websites like Hopper, Kayak or Momondo pull prices from Expedia, Travelocity, CheapOAir, SkyScanner and more, making it easier to find these hard to find deals. This tactic is particularly true with travel packages, where flight and hotel on one site may be cheaper than flights alone on another.

VPN Savings

Without flying anywhere, without even leaving your living room, a VPN can transport you around the world. Using a VPN can take you to local versions of different airline websites and booking platforms, which unlock locals only pricing. These deals can be substantially less than what you’d pay just by searching with traditional methods. For example, using Travelocity Thailand may be a lot cheaper for flights from Bangkok than the U.S. Travelocity site. There’s only one way to find out, and a VPN is a great investment for any traveler, anyway!

Calendar View

Google Flights is one of the most powerful tools on the internet for finding flight deals. Not only can you set easy, intuitive price alerts to automatically get emailed when prices drop, you can view entire calendar months of prices all at once. This can be incredibly beneficial to anyone with a bit of flexibility, who can choose November over October, when they see the “green” prices start to populate in one month versus another.

What’s your best flight deal trick?