So, you got some vacation time and want to take a trip but don’t know where to go. Or maybe you already know where, but you’re trying to find the best cheap flight. Fortunately, Kayak can help you solve these problems.
One of the most popular travel search engine sites, Kayak is on par with Skyscanner and Google Flights. It has some similar features, but does things a bit differently. To be honest, Kayak flight search options were a bit confusing to me at first; the site is riddled with ads that sort of blend in with the site. But once I got the hang of it, it was worth it.
It can be time investment getting familiar with all the features the site has to offer. I’ll make things easier by walking you through some steps so you can score the best kayak flight deals.
First, let’s talk about what makes Kayak so popular…
Kayak does the following very well:
Kayak, much like Google Flights, is known for its speed. It sifts through hundreds of flights from different airlines and online travel agencies (OTAs) in a matter of seconds. It’s not as fast as Google Flights, but I don’t really notice a difference; just blink a few times, and the search is complete.
Many search engine sites will have hidden fees, or just show you the price for booking Basic Economy. Depending on the airline, you may be charged for booking your seat and your carry-on luggage, which may end up not being worth it in the end.
Kayak cheap flights will show you Main Cabin and Basic Economy prices in the same search box. It even has icons (for some airlines) that show how many carry-on and checked bags are included before even selecting the flight. I love how Kayak lays it all out there for you with no surprises at checkout.
Kayak flights allow you to search different levels of flexibility. It lets you search for up to 3 days before or after your earliest departure date—if you have a bit of flexibility, this option is definitely worth it. You can also search for the cheapest price in the month. Kayak will even narrow it down for you and search by weekend (default Thursday to Sunday) if those are your days off from work.
Regional & International Airports
When you are selecting your destination, Kayak allows you to search all airports within 70 miles. This means you could find a cheaper flight flying to an airport and taking a $10 bus ride to your destination. Who knows… it could save you some bucks. Definitely worth checking out this option.
Another great feature of searching Kayak flights is, if you don’t know where to go, it will help you decide. You can find a whole slew of places to go that fit your budget. They might even be places you’ve never even thought of going to before. That’s how I ended up in Nepal (with zero regrets).
Uses Only Big OTAs
Unlike some of the other similar search engines, Kayak flight booking is narrowed down to only the larger OTAs and airlines. This weeds out some of the little companies that may give you a cheaper option. At the same time, these big OTAs and airlines are known for their customer service and airline experience, so it’s less of a gamble.
Kayak Step-by-Step Guide
Now that we’ve gone through the features, let’s take it step-by-step. Go ahead and open Kayak (in another window).
Click the search boxes to enter your destination, then the drop down will let you check the box to Include Nearby Airports. This is always a good option in my opinion.
Once you’ve selected your destinations, you can click on the little calendar icon on the box to the right. This is where you will see the options Dates, Weekend, and Month.
If you are not super flexible, click on Dates and type in the departure date first and then the return. You will see green boxes with the lowest price, red with the highest, and yellow is in the middle. You will see next to Departure and Return it says Exact—click on it to add or subtract up to 3 days to compare cheapest price.
On the other hand, if you are pretty flexible and can leave at any point that month, click Month. Enter the duration of your trip and select the earliest departure date, and it will automatically search the 4 weeks before and after this date.
Select Weekend for an easier way to narrow down your trip to a Thursday-Sunday stay. You can even be specific by clicking on the day, for example the word Thursday. The drop drown will allow you to be even more specific, for example Thursday AM or Friday PM.
You can also search tickets to anywhere in the world. When entering a destination, a little blue box in the drop down will ask: Can’t Decide where to Go? Clicking it will bring you to a map with destinations all over the world with the cheapest prices. Feel free to explore this option.
Ok, once you’ve done these steps, search way!
You’ll see a calendar view with the prices on each day (green for cheapest and red for most expensive). Select your departure and return dates. Then, select View Deal; Kayak will automatically compare Basic Economy and Main Cabin Fare, so you can decipher the best option for you.
At this point, you will be booking your Kayak flight tickets through the airline’s website or the third-party site. Kayak airlines from my experience are all well-known, decent flights. Just make sure to note all the lists of regulations and restrictions.
Hopefully these tips will help you land those Kayak flight deals that everyone is raving about. Bon voyage and safe travels. You’ve earned that vacation!