Medely provided this article.
Finding the cheapest flights in the United States is a creative mix of airports, airlines, travel dates, departure times, and layovers. Travel nurses and allied pros love to explore, and you may want a low-cost flight to get to your next contract, take a trip home between assignments, or enjoy a fun long weekend away. Here are a few tips and some of the best options to find the deals you’re looking for.
1. Incognito mode doesn’t make a difference
You may have heard that using incognito mode can help you find and keep the best prices, but expert fare hunters say it doesn’t make a difference. The pros at Scott’s Cheap Flights said, “We run thousands of searches every day, day after day. If prices were rising based on those previous searches, we’d see it.”
2. Don’t wait until Tuesday to book flights…
Tuesday used to be the best day to save a few dollars on a flight, but travel professionals say that’s no longer the case. “To put it simply, computers happened. While humans are predictable, algorithms can react to the market in real time,” wrote Ashley Hamer for Discovery.com.
3. …but flying on Tuesday may be smart scheduling
Google Flights found that flights on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday average 12% lower fares than weekend flights—and if you only look at domestic flights, the potential savings jump to 20%.
4. Accepting a layover could save you 20%
Google Flights also found that flights with one or more stops can be as much as 20% cheaper than direct flights.
Finding a cheap flight to or from your travel nursing assignment means knowing your options. Flight aggregators and online travel agencies (OTAs) make research easier through features such as:
- Easy flight comparisons across airlines
- Filters to focus on flights that meet your needs or preferences
- Visibility into pricing trends so you can compare different dates
- Email alerts to help you track sales and last-minute deals
Before you book any ticket directly or through a third-party site, make sure you understand the policies around flight cancellations, itinerary changes, and insurance.
Google Flights and Kayak
Google Flights and Kayak are popular travel search engines that are built on the same software—Google’s ITA Matrix. So the site you use will be more about personal preference than the information available.
Both aggregators make it easy to compare tickets by departure airport, destination, airline, benefits, and travel itineraries. Price trends are front and center, so you can quickly see whether flexing your dates a little can save you money.
When you find a deal you like, both sites will direct you to the airline’s website to book. If you sign up for Kayak’s email list, you’ll also find out about exclusive private deals.
Momondo is a travel fare aggregator that’s owned by Booking Holdings Inc., the same company that owns Kayak, so you may spot similarities between the two sites. However, there are a couple of key differences:
- Some flight tickets can be booked through Momondo’s partner OTAs
- You can mix and match cheap airline tickets from different carriers to create custom packages
- Momondo aggregates fares from more booking sites than Kayak, so you may notice different prices
Be sure to check out the partner site’s travel policies before booking. Momondo is an aggregator, not an agency, so it doesn’t manage reservations directly.
Hopper doesn’t just do price comparisons; it does price predictions. The accredited travel agency says it saves customers an average of $65 on flights booked through its mobile-only experience.
For example, we pulled up a flight from Spokane, WA (GEG) to San Francisco, CA (SFO), and the lowest price was $30 cheaper than the same flight on Google Flights. However, Hopper suggested we wait before booking because, over the next month, it predicts additional price drops could help save an additional $138.
Hopper can alert you to pricing changes. It also enables mix-and-match flights.
Bookings on Hopper are backed by “Change for any reason” and “Cancel for any reason” policies with no additional fees. That said, reviews on TrustPilot are mixed; customers either love their experience with the app or hate it.
A 2022 J.D. Power survey of 7,000 travelers ranked Southwest Airlines as the best airline in the country for economy and basic economy flights—but you won’t find it through any of the aggregator sites. As the world’s largest low-cost carrier, known for its low rates as well as its free checked baggage, it’s worth checking Southwest’s site directly.
If you’re more interested in great flight deals—in the United States or abroad—and less committed to a specific destination, Scott’s Cheap Flights can be a great travel resource—as long as your nearby airports are supported by the site. Scott’s Cheap Flights has a limited plan available for free; if you’re a more frequent traveler, you may want to consider an upgrade.
Airline prices in the United States have risen by 33% compared to 2021 this year. It can be worth the time to scope out cheap airfare prices, compare quotes, and try to find the best prices for flight tickets. We hope these tips help you find the bookings you’re looking for!
Our job board is a great place to search for your next travel nurse assignment. If housing is an issue, we have you covered with our housing page. You can search for what you are looking for.