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Expert Tips on Finding the Best Flights – from Trailblazing Women

As trailblazing women, there's no arguing that we are on the move! We jump around the city for meetings and events, some of us hop from coast to coast, and I've even heard of one hardcore lady who used to fly from London to New York every other day for a class. Seriously, we don't stop!

That's why I asked around for the best tips on booking a flight. We all have to do it and we all do it different ways. Some take way longer than others and burn up more time and money than is necessary.

Use these tips shared by your fellow trailblazers to be sure you're getting the best out of your flight search! 

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Kira Levy, Founder of Forte Event Management: "I usually start at Expedia or Kayak, find the cheapest fare and then go to that airline's site and run the same search to compare prices."

Liva Judic, Branding Strategist and Founder of Merrybubbles Communications: "Several layers: I use Matrix, the ITA software, which now belongs to Google.
Then I make sure to travel on a Wednesday or Thursday if I have the flexibility but buy the tickets on Tuesdays very early (I mean 1 am).
I compare with Kayak and Google, and always make sure to check the French site Last Minute (exists in English) which sells at super low costs, last minute, all the flights that aren't sold out. The concept doesn't exist here: last minute in the US means super pricy instead of having to dump the unsold. Now there's also Hitlist to be added to the list of comparisons. That's if you have specific dates for your trip, +/- 3 days."

Catherine CzerwinskiArtist:  "Liligo is a new one I was introduced to. A friend showed it to me while I was in France and it's basically their version of Kayak; I've found a couple flights and prices on there that Kayak didn't pick up on though."

Katherine Fan, freelance photographer and contributor to The Points Guy:  "Google Flights works well for me for finding the cheapest or most convenient international and domestic flights. A major exception is Southwest Airlines, which doesn't list its rates on external sites."

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Sierra BuschArtist and Travel Enthusiast: "I process information fastest when it's visual. That's why I like Google Flights Explore (which is different than Google Flights and apparently still so secret that you can't even find it with a Google search).  You can search a general region and it shows all the lowest prices over three months for different airlines in a graph. With a quick search today, I found a roundtrip flight NYC-Chicago for $70. Another flight, NYC-Paris, was $460. Another site to check is Skiplagged. For free personalized help on how to start collecting points, try Extra Pack of Peanuts." 

Dana Levin, Travel Enthusiast: "Make sure to clear your cookies before you sit down to do another round of flight searching. (Websites notice when you've been searching for the same flights and raise their prices.)"

The websites she suggests are: 

Skyscanner.com - great for searching flights within Europe. It also lets you search for very flexible dates (like a whole month or year), and search for flights to/from whole geographical areas.

Nancy-Harkness-flight

 

Just for the fun of it..This is Nancy Harkness Love, who earned her pilot's license at age 16 and ended up leading the first women's pilot group to fly for the US Army.

 

STA Travel and Student Universe - great for low cost tickets for anyone under 26, and you don't have to be a student.

Yapta.com - great for tracking flight prices, both before and after you buy, and then helping you get a refund of the difference if the price goes down after purchase.

Finally, sign up for the email lists of STA Travel, Student Universe, and Travelzoo for flash sales and low price notifications. 

Emily Baum, Founder of Keyrious: "If timing is flexible - Hitlist all the way! If dates are firm...usually Hipmunk has the best way to compare timing, price, etc."

Kristina Headrick, Freelance Writer: "The Points Guy is an incredible resource for flight deals. He posts international sales on his Facebook, and his personal blog is my go to for travel credit card tips!"

Airport

Cara Thomas, Co-founder & CEO of SERENFLIPITY: "I search and purchase on a Tuesday - usually cheapest fares... For lower international fares or biz class, I'll sometimes look into alternate airports that can offer a fun layover - eg. Amsterdam or Frankfurt to Paris. Also, with miles, the best deals are often hidden on the 3rd page or so. With Kayak, I often clear the browser after looking at flights for a few days as they have been known to jack up the price when multiple visits occur!"

Sharon Lee Thony, Director of Marketing at Le Soleil D'Or Hotel: "I recommend ITA Matrix powered by Google."

Sayra Morán, Senior Account Executive at Omelet"I receive a daily sales newsletter from The Flight Deal and use that to see which routes are on sale and when. When I am just perusing destinations and price checking, I use ITA Matrix. I then use either Kayak or the airline website for booking. "

Cathy Hookey, Freelance Illustrator: "So far despite Google flights being recommended to me by everyone, it's never beaten Skyscanner for flights in & going from/to Europe."

So to recap, here's what we recommend.

Flight Search Enginges> Expedia, Kayak, Liligo, Google Flights, Hipmunk, Skyscanner, ITA Matrix

Flexible Dates> HitlistGoogle Flights Explore

Deals> Skiplagged, STA Travel, Studet Universe, Travelzoo, Secret Flying, YaptaThe Flight Deal, Frontier

Collecting Points> Extra Pack of Peanuts, The Points Guy

Tips> Travel on a Wednesday or Thursday, buy around 1 AM on Tuesdays. Clear your cookies while browsing. If you have to do a layover, look for a fun city where you'll have time to visit for a few hours or overnight.

Do you  have another secret flight tip not listed here? Comment below!

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