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There’s nothing more frustrating than being gripped with the desire to take flight and travel but being held back by a repressive bank balance. The most expensive part of most trips away is usually the plane tickets, so with that in mind, we’ve put together a list of the best apps you can download to make travel more affordable.
Hopper is one of the most important apps to have on your phone if you’re planning a trip away. Once you tell the app where you want to go and where you’re leaving from, it will give you the cheapest dates to fly. The app will recommend you wait if you will be able to get a cheaper flight later on, and you can then complete the booking through the app once you’ve made your choice and are satisfied you’ve got the best deal.
Skiplagged uses unconventional means to find the cheapest flights. The app books passengers on two-leg trips that are cheaper than direct flights, and the user then ignores the second leg of the trip. It’s a loophole that has made the airline industry mad—and United Airlines actually sued Skiplagged for it.
Hipmunk doesn’t just search for the cheapest flights and hotels, it also uses some interesting ranking methods. Users can sort their results by an agony index which takes into account flight duration, number of stops, and other factors. The app also offers last-minute deals and the search uses natural language processing to make it even easier to use.
Airmule is an odd-sounding app. The company behind it makes your flight cheaper by paying for your unused baggage space. It may sound dodgy, but it’s a legitimate thing. If you’re someone who only ever takes a carry-on with them on an international flight, then you’re probably wasting a free checked luggage space. Airmule effectively offers to buy that space, meaning you would take a bag of theirs in checked luggage instead.
It may seem obvious, but no matter what you’re searching for, Google is usually one of the best options. The Google Flights service, which is built into the Google app and browser, lets you put an alert on a destination, meaning you’ll be told when prices rise or fall. That kind of planning can ensure your grab the cheapest flight possible, and can spend your money where it matters—at your destination.