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Cool Airfare Tricks From Kayak


Modified: September 26, 2023

by Mandy Melgoza



Traveling by air has become an integral part of modern life, allowing us to connect with loved ones, explore new destinations, and conduct business across the globe. However, the rising costs of airfares can sometimes put a damper on our travel plans. Fortunately, there are various airfare tricks that can help us save money and make our travel experiences more affordable and enjoyable.


In this article, we will explore some cool airfare tricks from Kayak, a popular travel search engine, to help you find the best deals and make the most out of your air travel. Whether you’re a frequent flyer or planning your dream vacation, these tips will empower you to navigate the world of airfares with ease and confidence.


From flexible date searches to utilizing Kayak’s innovative features, such as Kayak Explore and Price Trend, we’ll cover a range of strategies that can help you save money and uncover hidden gems. So, let’s dive in and discover how to make the most of Kayak’s tools and resources to score great airfare deals.


Flexible Date Search

When it comes to finding the best airfare deals, being flexible with your travel dates can make a significant difference. Kayak offers a convenient feature known as Flexible Dates, which allows you to search for flights within a range of dates, rather than being tied down to specific departure and return dates.


By selecting the Flexible Dates option, you can easily compare prices across a range of days or even a whole month, giving you a better chance of finding cheaper flights. This feature is particularly useful for travelers who have some flexibility in their travel plans and can adjust their departure or return dates by a few days.


Furthermore, Kayak’s Flexible Dates feature also allows you to filter your search results based on specific criteria, such as the duration of your trip, the number of stops, or your preferred airline. This helps you narrow down your options and find the most suitable flights that meet your travel needs and budget.


Another helpful tool within the Flexible Dates feature is the Price Graph, which provides a visual representation of the fluctuating prices over a given period. This graph allows you to identify the cheapest days to fly and helps you make an informed decision when booking your flights.


Remember, being flexible with your travel dates doesn’t mean compromising on the quality of your trip. Instead, it allows you to take advantage of lower fares and potentially save a significant amount of money, which can be used towards other travel expenses or even extend your trip.


Explore Nearby Airports

When searching for airfare deals, it’s worth considering nearby airports as an alternative to your primary departure or arrival airport. Many cities are served by multiple airports, and sometimes flying in or out of a different airport can lead to significant savings.


Kayak’s Explore Nearby Airports feature allows you to compare prices and flights from different airports in close proximity to your original choice. By expanding your search to include nearby airports, you might find lower fares, better deals, or even more convenient flight times.


For example, if you’re planning to fly to a popular destination with multiple airports, such as New York City or London, you can use the Nearby Airports option to see if it’s more cost-effective to fly into a less busy airport nearby. This can help you unlock cheaper fares or access more flight options.


Additionally, exploring nearby airports can also be beneficial when planning trips to smaller or lesser-known destinations. Smaller airports often have lower landing fees and operational costs, which can translate into lower airfare prices. By considering alternative airports, you may discover hidden gems and save money in the process.


Before finalizing your travel plans, keep in mind the distance and transportation options between the airport and your intended destination. Factor in any additional costs, such as transportation or parking fees, to ensure that the overall savings justify the choice of an alternative airport.


Exploring nearby airports allows you to broaden your options and maximize your chances of finding the best airfare deals. By taking advantage of Kayak’s Explore Nearby Airports feature, you can uncover hidden savings and make your travel experience even more budget-friendly.


Use Kayak Explore

One of the most exciting features offered by Kayak is the Explore tool, which allows you to discover new destinations and find the best deals based on your budget and preferences. With Kayak Explore, you can unlock a world of possibilities and uncover hidden gems that you may have never considered before.


Kayak Explore works by providing you with a map that displays various destinations and their corresponding flight prices. You can set your departure location, specify your budget, and filter by categories such as beach destinations, adventure travel, or cultural experiences. The tool then generates a map that highlights the most affordable destinations within your selected criteria.


This feature is particularly beneficial for travelers who have a flexible mindset and are open to exploring new places. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or planning a dream vacation, Kayak Explore can inspire you and help you find the perfect destination that meets your budgetary constraints.


Additionally, Kayak Explore allows you to customize your search by specifying travel dates or selecting a date range. This way, you can see how flight prices vary throughout the year and choose the most cost-effective time to travel to your desired destination.


Moreover, Kayak Explore provides valuable information about each destination, including average flight prices, current weather conditions, popular attractions, and user reviews. This comprehensive overview enables you to assess whether a particular destination aligns with your preferences and travel goals.


Using Kayak Explore is not only a great way to search for affordable flights but also to seek inspiration and discover new and exciting destinations. By leveraging this powerful tool, you can broaden your horizons and embark on unforgettable travel experiences while staying within your budget.


Set Price Alerts

One of the key strategies to save money on airfare is to set price alerts using Kayak’s convenient feature. Price alerts allow you to monitor the fluctuation of flight prices for your desired destination and notify you when the prices drop, enabling you to book your tickets at the most opportune time.


Setting up a price alert is simple and can be done by entering your desired destination and travel dates on Kayak’s website or mobile app. Once you’ve done that, you can choose to receive email notifications or push notifications on your mobile device when prices change for your selected route.


Price alerts are especially useful if you have a specific destination in mind but are flexible with your travel dates. By monitoring price trends over a period of time, you can identify the most affordable times to book your flights and capitalize on any sudden price drops.


In addition to monitoring prices for a specific flight, you can also set price alerts for multiple routes. This is particularly handy when you’re still in the early stages of planning your trip and haven’t finalized your destination. By setting alerts for different routes, you can compare prices and choose the most cost-effective option for your travel needs.


It’s important to note that setting price alerts doesn’t guarantee that the prices will drop to your desired level. However, it does increase your chances of snagging a great deal by providing you with real-time updates on price changes.


Remember to be patient and flexible when monitoring flight prices. Booking too early or waiting until the last minute may not always result in the best deal. It’s all about finding the right balance and making an informed decision based on your travel budget and preferences.


By utilizing Kayak’s price alert feature, you can stay ahead of the curve and seize opportunities to secure the best airfare deals for your next adventure.


Utilize Hacker Fares

One of the lesser-known but highly effective airfare tricks offered by Kayak is the option to utilize Hacker Fares. A Hacker Fare is a combination of two one-way flights from different airlines, allowing you to save money by booking separate legs of your journey.


With traditional round-trip bookings, you’re limited to choosing flights from a single airline. However, with Hacker Fares, Kayak searches for the most affordable one-way flights from different airlines and combines them to create a cost-effective itinerary.


For example, let’s say you’re planning a trip from New York to Los Angeles. Instead of booking a round-trip ticket with a single airline, Kayak’s Hacker Fares may find a cheaper option by combining a one-way flight from one airline for the outbound journey and a different one-way flight from another airline for the return journey.


This flexibility in flight selection can help you save money, especially if different airlines offer better deals on different legs of your journey. Additionally, Hacker Fares can also allow you to take advantage of special promotions or discounted fares offered by individual airlines.


When searching for flights on Kayak, you can easily identify Hacker Fares by looking for the “H” icon next to the flight details. This indicates that the fare is a combination of two separate flights.


It’s important to keep in mind that while Hacker Fares can often save you money, there may be certain trade-offs to consider. For example, if there is a delay or cancellation on one of your flights, the airlines are not obligated to provide accommodations or rebooking assistance for the entire journey, as each leg is considered separate.


Before booking a Hacker Fare, carefully read the terms and conditions of each airline and understand the potential risks involved. If you’re comfortable with these considerations, Hacker Fares can be an excellent way to maximize savings and create a custom itinerary that suits your travel needs and budget.


By utilizing this innovative feature, Kayak empowers you to explore different flight combinations and find the best possible deals, ultimately ensuring a more affordable and enjoyable travel experience.


Take Advantage of Kayak’s “Price Trend” Feature

Kayak offers a powerful feature called “Price Trend” that allows you to visualize the historical changes in flight prices for a particular route. This feature can be invaluable when it comes to making informed decisions about when to book your flights and potentially save a significant amount of money.


By accessing the Price Trend feature on Kayak’s website or mobile app, you can view a chart that displays the pricing trends for a specific route over the past few months. The chart shows the highs, lows, and average prices, giving you a clear picture of how prices have fluctuated over time.


This information can help you identify patterns and predict when the fares are likely to be the most affordable. For example, you may notice that prices tend to drop during certain months, on specific days of the week, or during off-peak travel periods. Armed with this knowledge, you can plan your trip accordingly and take advantage of the lowest prices.


Additionally, the Price Trend feature provides helpful insights such as the best time to book, indicating whether the prices are currently trending up or down. This can be a crucial factor in deciding whether to make your purchase immediately or wait for a potential price drop.


Furthermore, you can set price alerts using the Price Trend feature. This means that if the fares for your chosen route drop below a certain threshold, you will receive notifications, allowing you to book your flights at the optimal time.


It’s important to note that while the Price Trend feature provides valuable information, it is not a guarantee of future pricing. Factors such as airline promotions, seasonal demand, and external events can all impact flight prices. Therefore, it’s essential to use the Price Trend feature as a guide and combine it with other strategies, such as setting price alerts and being flexible with your travel dates, to maximize your savings.


By taking advantage of Kayak’s Price Trend feature, you can gain insights into the historical pricing patterns for your desired route and make well-informed decisions about when to book your flights. This knowledge empowers you to secure the best deals, ensuring that you get the most value out of your air travel budget.


Consider Booking Multi-City Flights

When planning a trip that involves visiting multiple destinations, considering booking multi-city flights can be a smart and cost-effective option. Instead of booking separate round-trip tickets for each leg of your journey, a multi-city itinerary allows you to combine multiple flights into one booking, potentially saving you both time and money.


Kayak makes it easy to search and compare multi-city flights. By selecting the “Multi-city” option on the search page, you can enter your desired destinations and travel dates, and Kayak will generate a variety of routing options to choose from.


The advantages of booking multi-city flights are twofold. First, it can often be more economical than purchasing individual round-trip tickets for each segment of your journey. Airlines may offer lower fares for multi-city itineraries, especially if they involve multiple flights with the same carrier.


Second, booking a multi-city itinerary allows for more flexibility in your travel plans. You can opt for longer layovers in certain cities, giving you the opportunity to explore and experience more during your trip. You can also choose to fly into one city and depart from another, eliminating the need to backtrack or make unnecessary connections.


When booking a multi-city flight, it’s important to consider factors such as flight schedules and transit times between cities. Pay attention to the minimum connection time required at each airport to ensure smooth transitions.


Additionally, consider the total duration of your trip and the time spent in each destination. This will help you determine the ideal durations for your stay in different cities and ensure a well-balanced itinerary.


Booking multi-city flights can be particularly beneficial for travelers embarking on complex itineraries, such as round-the-world trips or visits to multiple countries in different regions. By consolidating your flights into a single booking, you can simplify the travel planning process and potentially save money in the process.


Overall, considering multi-city flights through Kayak opens up a world of possibilities, allowing you to create personalized itineraries and explore multiple destinations seamlessly. It offers convenience, flexibility, and potential cost savings, making it a valuable option to consider for your next adventure.


Optimize Layovers for Savings

While layovers are often seen as an inconvenience, they can actually present an opportunity to save money on airfare. By strategically selecting longer layovers, you can potentially find cheaper flights and explore an additional city or destination along the way.


Kayak’s search engine allows you to filter and sort flights based on layover duration, giving you the ability to choose longer layovers and take advantage of cost savings. By extending your layover, you can maximize your travel experience by visiting a new city or country while adding value to your trip.


When optimizing layovers for savings, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. Firstly, ensure that you have sufficient time to comfortably make your connecting flight. Check the minimum connection time required by the airport and factor in potential delays or congestion.


Secondly, research the visa requirements for the country where your layover takes place. If necessary, obtain the appropriate visa or consider destinations that offer visa-free transit for a specified duration. This will allow you to explore the city without the hassle of obtaining an additional visa.


Furthermore, consider the cost of transportation and accommodation during your layover. Some airlines offer hotel discounts or even free accommodation for passengers with extended layovers, so it’s worth checking if such options are available.


While optimizing layovers can lead to cost savings, it’s important to strike a balance between time and budget. Evaluate the value of the savings against the duration of the layover and the potential activities or sightseeing opportunities in the connecting city.


Keep in mind that not all layovers need to be long to be worthwhile. Even shorter layovers can allow you to explore the terminal or nearby areas and immerse yourself in the local culture, offering a glimpse into a different destination without the need for lengthy stays.


By being open to longer layovers and strategically planning your travel itinerary, you can turn what may have been considered a drawback into an opportunity to discover new places, save money, and add a unique dimension to your journey.


Use the “Anytime” Feature for Best Deals

When searching for airfare deals, timing is crucial. Prices can vary significantly depending on the day, week, or month of travel. To ensure you’re getting the best possible deal, consider using Kayak’s “Anytime” feature.


The “Anytime” feature allows you to search for flights without specifying a particular date. This is particularly useful if you have flexibility in your travel plans and are looking for the most affordable options.


By selecting the “Anytime” option on Kayak’s search page, you can explore flight prices across a range of dates or even an entire month. This feature gives you a comprehensive overview of when airfares are typically lower and helps you identify the most cost-effective time to travel to your desired destination.


When using the “Anytime” feature, keep in mind that prices can vary based on factors such as seasonality, holidays, and even events happening in the destination. Consider these variables to make an informed decision about when to book your flights.


In addition, you can further refine your search by utilizing filters such as preferred airline, number of stops, and duration of the flight. This allows you to customize your search based on your specific requirements and select the best itinerary for your travel needs.


The “Anytime” feature is particularly beneficial if you’re flexible in your travel plans and have multiple destination options in mind. It gives you the freedom to choose the most affordable destination based on current flight prices, making it easier to plan your travels while staying within your budget.


Keep in mind that while the “Anytime” feature may help you find the best deals, it’s important to book your flights as soon as you find a favorable fare. Prices can change rapidly, and the availability of seats may be limited.


By using the “Anytime” feature on Kayak, you can take advantage of the flexibility it offers and find the most affordable flights for your next adventure. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a long vacation, this feature will empower you to make well-informed decisions and save money on airfare.


Check for Hidden Fees and Additional Costs

When booking flights, it’s essential to be aware of any hidden fees or additional costs that may be associated with your ticket. While the base fare may appear attractive, airlines often add extra charges that can significantly increase the overall cost of your travel.


To ensure transparency and avoid any unwelcome surprises, Kayak provides valuable information about additional fees and charges during the booking process. Take the time to carefully review the details and breakdown of costs before finalizing your purchase.


One common example of hidden fees is baggage fees. Many airlines charge for checked bags, and the fees can vary depending on the destination, class of service, and weight or dimensions of the bag. Pay attention to baggage allowance and any restrictions in order to plan accordingly and avoid unnecessary expenses.


It’s also important to be aware of fees related to seat selection, especially if you prefer specific seating arrangements such as extra legroom or aisle seats. Some airlines charge for seat assignments, while others provide complimentary seat selection at check-in. Understanding the airline’s policy will help you make an informed decision and budget accordingly.


Another potential cost to consider is in-flight meals or snacks. While some airlines include meals as part of the ticket price, others charge for this service. If the airline charges for meals, you may want to consider packing your own snacks or purchasing food in advance to avoid additional expenses on board.


In addition to these specific fees, be aware of taxes, fuel surcharges, and booking fees that may be applicable to your itinerary. These costs can vary depending on the route, airline, and even the country you’re traveling to.


By taking the time to research and understand the potential hidden fees and additional costs, you can accurately compare the total price of different flight options and make an informed decision that aligns with your budget and travel preferences.


It’s also advisable to read the terms and conditions of the airline or booking agent to be fully aware of any refund or change fees that may apply if your travel plans change.


Ultimately, being proactive in checking for hidden fees and additional costs will help you avoid any unpleasant surprises and ensure that you can accurately budget for your air travel expenses.



Finding affordable airfares doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the help of Kayak’s range of features and tools, you can unlock a world of possibilities and score the best deals for your next trip. From flexible date searches to exploring nearby airports, utilizing Kayak Explore, and setting price alerts, these airfare tricks will empower you to become a savvy traveler.


By leveraging Kayak’s “Price Trend” feature, you can track historical price patterns and make informed decisions about when to book your flights. Additionally, booking multi-city itineraries and optimizing layovers can not only save you money but also provide opportunities for new adventures along the way.


While searching for airfare deals, it’s essential to check for hidden fees and additional costs. Understanding the full breakdown of expenses associated with your flight can help you make accurate comparisons and budget accordingly for your travel expenses.


Remember, being flexible with your travel plans, staying proactive, and utilizing the features offered by Kayak will increase your chances of finding the best airfare deals. Keep an open mind, explore different options, and be patient when seeking the most cost-effective flights.


So, whether you’re planning a vacation, a business trip, or a quick getaway, follow these tips and tricks to make the most out of your air travel experience. With Kayak as your travel companion, you can confidently navigate the world of airfares and embark on memorable journeys without breaking the bank.