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