As an avid traveller, I am always on a look-out for cheap deals. Here are three of my go-to sources before planning a trip.
If you do not have a fixed destination in mind, Google flights is a good site for you to explore different destinations based on your budget and travelling time. At the site, after keying in your ideal dates, leave the destination empty and click “Search”
You will then be presented with the following page where the cost to each of the destinations are presented. To refine the search, you can filter based on the number of stops, airlines, times, no. of bags and duration.
For this example, I have selected Osaka as my chosen destination and am presented with the overall potential cost my ticket will be. I have the option to “Track prices” and to also book from the specific sites through the links.
A feature on this page that I really like is that the bottom where it has a cost comparison on the range of cost of flights to this destination. It gives me a glimpse of the ‘deal’ I’m getting.
For example, if I’m heading to the destination during a peak season, and I see that the cost is in the ‘low/green’ range, I know that I’ve scored a great deal!
Do note that for budget carriers like Scoot, the listed price does not include baggage and credit card fees (usually $20/pax).
Similar to Google flights, Skyscanner allows users who do not know where they’d like the option to explore. All you need to do is to enter the destination field as “Everywhere”. Skyscanner will then list down the country and estimated cost to the country based on non-stop flight prices.
Skyscanner provides a good overview of the flight prices and often list additional travel booking sites it searches through as well. However, for the Scoot flight from Singapore to Osaka, the flight price listed in Skyscanner was higher than Scoot’s. Also, Google flight redirects the booking to the actual site while in Skyscanner, the booking is done through the Skyscanner site although the booking is fulfilled by Scoot.
The additional costs, including credit card fee, somehow amounted to $405.18 instead of the $380 it would have cost if I had booked directly from Scoot (including credit card fees).
I’d personally use Skyscanner just to view the range of prices and compare them especially if I’d like the cost to be listed from least to highest.
ITA Matrix is less user-friendly but is powered by Google. It provides users with more details on the specific flights it searches through, including the booking type. For a similar search from Singapore to Osaka (24 – 31 Aug 2019), the cost breakdown is as follows:
You will notice that the cost is generally higher than the search from both Skyscanner and Google flights.
My analysis is that it doesn’t use real-time data and may have been a screenshot of its last captured data. Hence, cost may be higher and does not take into account a price-drop from the carrier. It is, however, good if you would like to purchase the ticket from a travel agent or the carrier’s agent. See “Fare construction” data just above Total Airfare & Taxes.
Google flights and Skyscanner are great sites if you are exploring destinations that you may not have considered before and the data on cost and flight timings are also presented in a very intuitive way. For the ITA Matrix software, it is good for looking through data, including multi-city flights, as it provides you with the travel codes and estimated costs.
In addition to the above methods, I would also like to strongly recommend subscribing to the Telegram channel SG Travel Promos where you can be notified on latest travel deals out of Singapore.
Now that you’ve learnt about the three tools above, why not begin planning for your vacation?