How to Get Cheap Flights for Your Next Trip

June 11, 2019 · 5 minute read

We’re here to help! First and foremost, SoFi Learn strives to be a beneficial resource to you as you navigate your financial journey. Read more We develop content that covers a variety of financial topics. Sometimes, that content may include information about products, features, or services that SoFi does not provide. We aim to break down complicated concepts, loop you in on the latest trends, and keep you up-to-date on the stuff you can use to help get your money right. Read less

How to Get Cheap Flights for Your Next Trip

Americans are finally getting wise to the importance of taking a vacation.

A full 62% of Americans reported taking a vacation away from home in 2017, according to the latest Gallup Poll data . Of those respondents, 21% said their vacations included international travel. With all that travel people are spending a whole lot of money.

According to ValuePenguin , which analyzed the latest available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American family spent about 44% of their travel funds on transportation costs for their trips.

Because it represents such a large portion of vacation spending, transportation is truly something worth doing your homework on to save a bit of cash on your next vacation.

And though you may not be able to hunt down better gas, train, or cruise prices you can try your best to find the best airfare deals possible. Here are five ways that could help you save money on flights for your next getaway. (Please note that SoFi is not affiliated with nor do we receive any compensation from any of the brands or products mentioned here—we just did our research and are including some of our favorite finds!)

Subscribing to a Few Newsletters

There are a number of people running websites and newsletters dedicated to tracking and sharing flight deals and information with subscribers. All you need to do is sign up for their alerts.

For example, Next Vacay is a website where users can input their dream destination. Then, the site will send you daily emails with flight deals to and from your ideal getaway location.

Mobile app Hopper , works in a similar manner. Enter the location and the dates you plan to travel and Hopper will track flights for those dates, sending you fare alerts and booking recommendations when it finds a low fare.

There are also sites like Skyscanner , which allows users to set alerts for price drops and even alerts users to potential price increases so they can book before the airfare skyrockets.

And, to get information from one of the best in the business, you can subscribe to Scott’s Cheap Flights . According to their homepage, actual humans work for the site and search for flight deals around the clock to share with their free member subscribers and paid premium members. By doing so, Scott’s Cheap Flights says it can find airfare up to 90% off normal ticket prices.

Finding Out Your Destination’s “Shoulder Season”

Another way to potentially save big on airfare is to travel during your destination’s offseason, otherwise known as “shoulder season .” Airlines will often charge more during popular travel times, but may cut prices during less popular times.

For example, you’re probably going to have a hard time finding a good flight deal to Orlando during school vacation times, and you likely won’t find a good flight deal to Cape Cod for the Fourth of July.

However, if you’re willing to see Cape Cod in the fall (which is absolutely stunning by the way), you may be able to score a good deal since it is shoulder season for the area.

As for Orlando, you may be able to get a good deal for the beginning of January, when Disney World experiences its own shoulder season. Seriously, don’t let summer have all the fun. Here are a few more reasons to book your next dream getaway in winter instead.

Knowing Which Days to Book

According to Cheap Air, an airfare shopping search engine, there may indeed be a “best” day to book your airfare. That date, its 2019 airfare study found, is exactly 76 days before your intended departure date.

According to the data, fares change an average of 61 times before a trip. However, if you aren’t able to plan that far in advance fear not. According to Cheap Air, travelers may still be able to score a good price 14 to 20 days prior to takeoff.

Being Flexible on Your Date of Travel

Like most businesses, airlines also work on supply and demand. When there’s more demand for flights airlines typically raise prices. But, when there is less demand they may lower them (hence why you can save money during shoulder season). To save money any time of year, you could try to fly to and from your vacation destination on the least busy travel days.

According to James Filsinger, president and chief executive of Yapta , (a website that tracks airfare and hotel prices) buying flights midweek are your best best to get a good price.

As he told The New York Times , the least busy days for airlines are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, so it may make sense to go for a Thursday to Thursday vacation week to potentially save big bucks on your vacation transportation.

Considering Taking a Flight with a Layover

Typically a flight that involves a layover will be cheaper than a non-stop. The major downside is that layover. But sometimes a long layover can mean a cheaper flight and a little extra time to explore a city.

With a longer layover you may even have time to leave the airport, which could mean grabbing a fresh croissant in Paris, or a caña and tapas in Madrid.

If you’re booking a long flight, it can be especially beneficial to look for one with a long layover. There are many airlines that offer free stopovers in cities on the way to your final destination.

For example, Air Canada allows you to spend a night or more in Montreal, Toronto, or Vancouver for a small price if your layover is over 6 hours. Emirates allows you to stopover in Dubai for a few days on the way to your destination.

Get up to $250 towards your holiday shopping.

Open a SoFi Checking and Savings Account with direct deposit and get up to a $250 cash bonus. Plus, get up to 4.60% APY on your cash!1

No Matter Where You Go, Know SoFi Has Your Finances Covered

No matter where in the world you decide to go on your next vacation just know you won’t be going it alone as long as bring SoFi Checking and Savings® with you.

By opening a bank account online with SoFi Checking and Savings, you’ll gain access to 55,000+ ATMs worldwide fee-free. Plus, you could earn up to 4.60% APY.

Looking to travel the globe and always have your money by your side? Learn more about how SoFi Checking and Savings can help you make that happen.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2022 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
SoFi Money® is a cash management account, which is a brokerage product, offered by SoFi Securities LLC, member
SoFi Securities LLC is an affiliate of SoFi Bank, N.A. SoFi Money Debit Card issued by The Bancorp Bank.
SoFi has partnered with Allpoint to provide consumers with ATM access at any of the 55,000+ ATMs within the Allpoint network. Consumers will not be charged a fee when using an in-network ATM, however, third party fees incurred when using out-of-network ATMs are not subject to reimbursement. SoFi’s ATM policies are subject to change at our discretion at any time.
SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a deposit to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at


All your finances.
All in one app.

SoFi QR code, Download now, scan this with your phone’s camera

All your finances.
All in one app.

App Store rating

SoFi iOS App, Download on the App Store
SoFi Android App, Get it on Google Play

TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender