The Skyscanner app is my travel hack for booking the cheapest flights

The Skyscanner app is my travel hack for booking the cheapest flights

Main Agreement

  • I use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights available, with prices as low as $200 on certain dates.
  • You book flights on Skyscanner through verified airlines and third-party websites. Always read reviews and consider booking with the airline first.
  • Skyscanner uses AI to generate travel ideas and has other features that make booking cheap flights quick and easy.



If you follow me on Instagram, you know it’s no secret that I love to travel. I spent 2023 traveling in Europe, Canada and the USA. Many people have the preconceived notion that traveling also means spending an exorbitant amount of money. While this may be true for some, I prefer to travel on the cheapest backpacking budget possible.


The easiest way to save money when planning a trip is to start by booking the cheapest flights. Sure, using credit card points or airline loyalty points makes it easy to save money on flights, but if you’re like me and haven’t built up those loyalty points yet, then you need to turn to other options.

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Skyscanner

Skyscanner


My favorite trick for finding cheap flights

When planning trips, I always rely on one trick — Skyscanner — to help me find the cheapest flights available. Skyscanner is both a website and a mobile app. You can use it from Skyscanner.com, which is what I cover in this guide, but there are also useful apps for Android and iOS. Skyscanner has helped me get great deals on flights from New York to Europe, showing flights as low as $200. I use it to research different flight options for travel, in addition to finding different hotel and rental car options.

“Skyscanner even has an AI search option that generates travel ideas. It’s great for travel inspiration.”


Explore Everywhere is one of my favorite features in Skyscanner and tends to be what I use to plan trips. Basically it allows me to search for the cheapest places to travel on the days of my choice. Skyscanner even has an AI search option that generates travel ideas for me. It’s great for travel inspiration.

Skyscanner

Skyscanner

Skyscanner is my go-to app and website for finding cheap flights, hotels and cars.

How to search for flights with Skyscanner

Once you go to Skyscanner, enter your starting airport in from section and set your desired location to THE section. You don’t need to know the airport for the city, but keep in mind that some cities have several airports to choose from. You should also add departure and return dates. Pay attention colors on dates, as red is expensive, yellow is medium and green is the cheapest. Also, include how much PASSENGERS and a class (economy, business, money, etc.). Once you’re done, hit it Search. Days highlighted in red are the most expensive travel days, and yellow are the mid-range prices and days highlighted in green are the lowest flight prices.


Understanding your flight results

OK, you put in the specs, hit search, and now an overwhelming number of flights start to appear. Here’s how to browse them to find the best deal:


  1. Click on Best, cheapest or fastest tab.
    • of The best tab (my preference) shows you the flights that are generally the best value. It is determined by the time, price, length and quantity of vacations.
    • of The cheapest tab shows the cheapest flights available. Sometimes these flights have long layovers, multiple airline transfers, or odd hours.
    • of The fastest the tab shows the fastest flights. These flights tend to be more expensive.
  2. View available flights and decide which is the best combination of price, comfort and speed for you.

Skyscanner (3)

Further filtering the flight results

Sometimes the flights initially displayed do not match your desired preferences. If you want to further narrow the results, use the options in the left column.


  1. For direct flights only, tick Direct flights only sub box Stop section at the top of the left column.
  2. Under the Stops section, you can limit departure times under Departure times.
    1. Outbound allows you to select the time slot you will depart from your on-airport.
    2. The return allows you to choose the time slot you will depart to return from your destination to your origin airport.
  3. Once you choose your departure time, you can also customize your own Duration of the Trip. This section allows you to sort flights by length.
  4. Under Travel Duration, you can choose which airlines you want to fly This is useful if you have loyalty status with certain airlines or simply prefer one.
  5. One of the final specifications, and in my opinion the most useful, is Nearby you want to leave and get to.


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How to book flights with Skyscanner

Once you find a flight you like, follow these steps:


  1. Click on the flight.
  2. Review all information to make sure it is correct.
  3. Skyscanner will usually show you several options for third party websites for booking your flight.
    1. Although the websites are verified by Skyscanner, it is important to check the reviews on each website yourself to verify their legitimacy.
  4. Click on the option you like it best.
  5. You will then be directed to the airline or third party website book the flight there

If possible, book through the airline’s own website. If that’s not an option, I prefer Expedia over all 3rd party options.

Skyscanner (6)

One-way flights

If you want to book one-way flights quickly, go to Skyscanner, enter your destination(s), enter a day in the Departure section and leave the Return section blank.

Skyscanner (7)

Flights to many cities

For multi-city flights, enter your desired departure city and first destination city in the search bar and press “Search” (or under the “To” section you can press “Multi-City Search”.


  1. Change from Back to Multi-City
  2. Put as much as possible the cities as you wish for your trip and DATES you want to leave/return.
  3. Click “Search”.


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More Skyscanner FAQs

Q. What does ‘Explore anywhere’ mean on Skyscanner?


As I said earlier, Explore Everywhere is one of my favorite features because it lets you search for the cheapest places to travel on the days of your choice. Here’s how Explore Everywhere works on Skyscanner:


  1. Enter the dates you want to leave and your city of departure in the search bar and set Explore anywhere IN THE section.
  2. Hit Search.
  3. Results will be ordered to the cheapest countries you can travel to at the time.
  4. Click on CouNTRY you want to go to
  5. The different cities you can fly to will be listed in order cheapest to most expensive.

Q. How does Skyscanner AI Search work?


If you want to go on a great European backpacking trip but have no idea where to start, definitely take advantage of Skyscanner’s AI search option. The tool is still in its Beta version, but I find it really useful for gaining travel inspiration. Here’s how to use it:


  1. Under the search bar, click on the button that says Let us inspire your journey.
  2. Put in yours the desired starting location.
  3. Then, in the search bar, add a description of what you want.
  4. UA will do it later generate some travel ideas for you based on what you want to do.

Can I book hotels and car hire through Skyscanner?

Booking hotels and renting cars requires a similar process to booking flights.


For both options, enter your destination along with departure and return dates, then view your options. To be honest, I’ve never booked either with Skyscanner, but be sure to take similar precautions when booking stays or cars from third-party websites.

Is it safe to book from a third party website via Skyscanner?

Absolutely, but make sure you read the reviews before you book. If possible, I recommend booking with the airline because of certain disadvantages that come along with booking through third parties, such as difficulty rebooking flights if something happens or refunding money for delayed flights. However, booking with legitimate third-party websites tends to give you better prices, which is a big reason they attract travelers.

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