How to save time and money searching for flights on Skyscanner

Now that I’m older I have less tolerance – for people that don’t care about me or vice versa (I mean that respectfully too), for things that waste my time, and terrible coffee and wine.

This was the conversation my friends and I had the other night. We’re all at the age now where quality is more important than quantity and scrimping. As each year ticks by, we’re also realizing that time is the only luxury we have.

We’re busy parents and in order to survive, we have to protect our time as much as we can. I’ll pay a little extra if it means I can save time, and I’ll use the best tools and resources to help me be more productive.

Sometimes this comes at a price, and sometimes it can actually save me money AND time – the best deal going around.

How to save time and money searching for flights using Skyscanner. click to read our tips to make the best use of this flight comparison site.
Save money on flights

We only use a few websites and apps when it comes to booking and saving on travel deals.

I don’t want to spend hours, even days, searching on multiple sites just to find the best deal and in the end, save a couple of bucks. In reality, I could use that research time on income producing activities and earn more than I’d save.

It’s all about minimisation and unplugging from things that don’t enhance your life. I never used to think smart like that when I was a backpacker. Possibly because I didn’t understand the power I had to create income beyond trading time for money.

So we use, and share with you, just a few websites that we know, like and trust. And they bring us the best deals the majority of the time anyway.

How to save time and money searching for flights on Skyscanner

In today’s post, we’re going to share with you how one of those sites, Skyscanner, saves us time when searching for flights. It more often than not saves us money as well.

We created some videos to show you how Skyscanner does this and what features we like best.

We’ve worked in partnership with Skyscanner on this content. We’ve had full creative control over sharing with you what we love about the flight comparison site we use all the time and have for years.

As you’ll see in the videos, we make decisions based on saving the time and what works best for our situation as a family of four with young kids.

Sometimes this means we don’t get the cheapest price, but we always get the best price to suit our circumstances. Skyscanner helps us do that and, as luck will have it, it’s helped us find the cheapest price anyway.

Searching for flights using Skyscanner

Press play on the video to see how we use the features of Skyscanner to search for the best flight:

It’s pretty straightforward. We input our parameters into the search bar. Sydney –> LA for 2 kids, 2 adults.

As we’re flexible on time, we chose to search the whole month of January rather than an exact date. We also selected one way, as we’ll hopefully have a three-year visa and no need to return to Australia for some time. Yay!

Skyscanner shows us the results either in a calendar or Chart form. I prefer looking at the calendar, Craig the chart.

We could quickly see the date of January with the cheapest price in green, but also whether another day suited better and just how much extra we’d pay. The quick visual saved us having to do any complicated math.

searching for flights using Skyscanner
Skyscanner

When you choose the best day for you, you can then filter the results according to:

  • preferred airline alliances
  • whether you want to fly direct or stopover
  • preferred departure times
  • preferred airlines

One feature I really love is the list of airline options with a summary of best prices underneath each one. It’s a very quick way to help you see what is within your budget and quickly filter out the airlines that won’t work for you – $6,000 one way flights, no thanks!

As you can see in the above video we were very happy to see that Virgin Australia was offering the best price for our flight to LAX. Virgin and Qantas would definitely be our preferred airline over an American airline.

We’re also choosing to fly direct. I’d only add in a stopover if we indeed stopped over for a longer length of time than just an airport change.

Within 5 minutes, we had our results returned that Virgin Australia flying on the 20th January would cost us $3,551 in total for the family. Skyscanner effortlessly helped us find the cheapest direct flight on a day that suited us AND with our preferred airline.

Searching the best time of day to fly using Skyscanner

To save money on flights, it’s not only important to be flexible on the day that you fly, but also on the time of day.

We’ll probably be landing in LAX when we go to the USA, but we won’t be staying there for long. We’re keen to head to possibly Florida. Kalyra is begging us to go straight to Harry Potter World in Orlando.

So in this example, we’ve chosen to fly from LAX to Miami. We wanted to show how flying at different times of the day can also change your prices and how quickly you can work that out on Skyscanner.

It’s important to take into account preferences like day or night flights, as well as any stopovers, which will change the flight of the price.

Watch this video:

As the above video shows, I could quickly see that by taking a morning flight with no stopovers would be cheaper than taking the dreaded red eye flight (not ideal with young kids).

It also quickly showed me that for an extra $70 each without a stopover it would save me five hours of travel time.

Depending on how our budget is looking when it comes time to fly, I will more than likely take this option. I detest multiple stopovers when flying with kids. Especially since we’ll be newly entering the country so could possibly have more luggage than normal.

However, we still have a lot of flexibility as to where we go after we land in LA. The prices to Florida are a little expensive as it’s peak travel time there. So we’re going to use the Everywhere feature to tell us where the best deals are on flights within the USA.

The Everywhere feature

Watch this video below to learn about Skyscanner’s cool “Everywhere” feature:

Okay, so we LOVE the Everywhere feature of Skyscanner especially when we have the flexibility to go wherever we please.

We added in our departure city of Los Angeles and, instead of an arrival city, we select Everywhere.

The Everywhere results showed us the flight costs for certain destinations in the US.

The cheapest deal is Denver and it’s way cheaper than flying to Miami. Happy days.

We visited Denver in June and absolutely love the city. Very high on our bucket list is a ski holiday in Snowmass this winter. I think the Universe is shouting, “it’s an awesome plan, follow through with it!”

With just a simple Everywhere click, our plans have changed into something better and cheaper.

Using the cheapest month feature

Finding flights by the cheapest month on Skyscanner. Click to read more useful tips on how to save time and money searching for flights

Although I really want to fly to the US once and for all in January, we are flexible and so can wait another month if it means we get a much cheaper price.

Flexibility is one of the best ways to save on travel.

Searching by the Cheapest Month is another great feature of Skyscanner to help you find the best price for your flights.

It’s so easy. You simply put in your flight to and from details, and how many passengers and then select the cheapest month option. Skyscanner returns results in the calendar form showing the month that is cheapest.

In this case, it returned January as the cheapest month for us to fly to the US. Whoop Whoop. So as long as our visas are approved, it looks like that date of January 20th is looking good for our flights.

However, just in case there are delays, I could easily click over to February on the Skyscanner calendar to see how much it could cost me, and thankfully, it won’t be that much of a difference.

So there you go.

After a short session, we were able to save time and money searching for flights on Skyscanner. Not only that, but because of our flexibility, we were also able to do a little travel planning.

As you saw, we started with the intention of flying to Miami from LAX, but now, thanks to the Everywhere feature, a cheap flight to Denver, and possibly ski holiday in Colorado might be the best, and most exciting, option.

We have not booked anything yet, though. We can’t until we get final approval for our US business visas. We’re pretty sure we will, BUT the last thing we want to do is book flights and something not come out the way we intended.

When it does get approved and we’re ready to get this America Unplugged show on the road, we’ll have a very clear idea of our flight costs, when the best time is to go, and we can very quickly go through this procedure on Skyscanner again to get the best deal for our situation with the least amount of time spent searching for it.

We’ll keep you updated.

More Flight Tips

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How to save time and money searching for flights. We show you how to use Skyscanner to get you the best flight deals. Click to read and watch more

What are some of your favourite features of Skyscanner? What great deals have you found before and how has it saved you time?

39 thoughts on “How to save time and money searching for flights on Skyscanner”

  1. Thanks for a great post 🙂 I love skyscanner but have not been using all of it’s features! Are you able to provide info as to what you need to do to get a 3 year business visa in the US? Oor point me in the right direction of where to obtain info around this. Thanks 🙂

    1. Yes. It is quite a lengthy process and too involved to let you know in this comment!! But, as soon as we get our approval which should be in the next couple of weeks, we will write a post detailing it all. We don’t want to just yet in case we jinx ourselves!! Stay tuned. For now if you want to learn more, you can search for an O1 visa which is what we’ve applied for

    1. Hi Sophie, thanks for watching our videos on how we like to use Skyscanner. Yep, we love that “everywhere” feature. A big part of saving money on travel is “go where the deals already are”.

  2. Thanks for the post Caz! I am in love with Skyscanner since a few years myself. It is even better now with the ‘flexible’ destination option. I, a weekend traveler and very flexible about where I want to go, use it for find the cheapest flight every weekend I want to travel. Amazing concept!
    Thanks again for the video tutorial!

  3. If used carefully sites like this can give you the best possible choice of flight options, personally I still check with the airlines as well sometimes it is better but generally Skyscanner is very effective

  4. The everywhere feature is definitely my favorite part of skyscanner! I love being able to see which random countries I could travel to and playing around with locations!

  5. A really nice write-up and tutorial 🙂 Skyscanner is by far the most efficient and powerful flight search engine. The Everywhere feature really sets it apart from the competition and makes searching for flights easy and fun 🙂

  6. Hi, very useful article! I used SkyScanner to find a great deal to Amsterdam, as I want to go backpacking in Europe but was really flexible about when and where I wanted to arrive. The Everywhere feature came into play and it rocks!

    As a little extra advice, I usually check both the one way and the return ticket, it’s odd but I’ve found many times the two way ticket can be cheaper than the one way ticket. Indeed I bought a two way ticket even if I have no clarity on when I’ll turn back, but was able to save some bucks 🙂

    1. Hey Rainero,

      Glad to hear you’re another traveler who loves the Skyscanner everywhere feature.

      And great tip about the return ticket scenario. Will double check that. Just wandering if you forfeit your return part of your ticket and don’t show up for your flight whether that sets of a red flag in the system and with immigration???

      1. Hi Craig,

        That’s a great point, I’ll need to double check on that. My best guess would be it wouldn’t raise an alarm especially if you leave the country before, but I’ll post an update once I confirm, better safe than sorry 🙂

        1. UPDATE: It seems this is against the T&C when you purchase your ticket, and the airline could charge you or take away your frequent flier miles if you do this often. On the immigration side, you shouldn’t have any issues unless you stay on the country longer than you’re allowed to. So I should say I take it back from an ethical perspective, other than that it’s very unlikely to get you into trouble.

  7. Hi Caz!

    This is a really great guide – thanks for writing it up. I couldn’t agree more about time wasters. I’m at the age also where things (and people) that waste my time REALLY annoy me. This is probably more so for parents like us.

    Easy, cheap, and quick I say!

    Safe travels!

    Carrick

  8. Wow, incredible … Thanks for sharing such precious tips. I did not know Skyscanner, I hope to be able to put your tips into practice very soon. I will save you a lot with Skyscanner. Thank you.

  9. Skyscanner are a complete waste of time, offering silly prices, 39 euro, and when you finally go through the process the fights jump to Euro 179,.. and I have the screenshots to prove this,..this site is obviously skyscanner promo, shame on you

    1. As was clearly stated in the post, it was written in partnership with Skyscanner. However, we have used Skyscanner for years and continue to use them so we have no problem sharing them in partnership or not and we have shared them just because we love them for many years.

      We have not had the experience you have had. Your experiences aren’t always the experience of others. I feel no shame whatsoever and I don’t really care that you think I should.

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