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How to find the best airfare deal for Canada

Most of our trip planning starts with the tiresome, repeated search for the cheapest flight and best airfare deal to our travel destination. Flight travel still adds up to one of the largest expenses for a trip to Canada, or anywhere else in the world of travel.

Still, there are amazing flight deals to be discovered if you know how to search for them.

There are no magic bullets in finding a cheap flight. What may work one day might not work the next. Despite it all, there are a few things you should know to find the best airfare deals available. Booking a flight and trying to follow all the advice and tips offered on the Internet could be overwhelming if this is not something you do all the time.

Keep your searches private

Based on cookies in your browser, flight prices increase when you search a particular route more than once. It is important to always search in incognito or private browsing mode to get the best airfare deal. Search engines and booking sites store your previous search history so that they know what they offered you the last time. Therefore,

You don’t know how to open an incognito window in your web browser? Check out “How to go incognito in all web browsers” to find out how.

Even as a frequent traveller, I’m always a bit nervous before I decide on a flight deal during my online search. and before I push the “Book Now” button. To get a refund on a booked cheap flight is often not possible. Therefore it is important to do your research beforehand.

Consider before you “Book Now”.

  • Travel dates and times – Check the travel dates and travel times. Cheap flights sometimes leave early or late in the day and getting to the airport could cause a problem.
  • Baggage – many budget airlines charge extra for baggage and have limited weight rules. If this is the case, inquire whether you can pay extra for extra luggage and what it will cost. Booking additional baggage online is almost always cheaper than at the airport. Flying with different airlines could add substantial costs to your ticket. Your cheap ticket could suddenly be not cheap anymore.
  • Airlines – do you feel comfortable flying with a particular airline? Do you trust the company?
  • Flight connections – do you have enough time between connecting flights? Is the connecting flight leaving from the same airport? You probably don’t want to arrive at London Heathrow with a connecting flight leaving from Gatwick airport which could turn into an expensive, time-consuming hassle.
  • Re-check baggage– Quite often, you must collect your luggage, go through customs and check in again before boarding your next flight when travelling with a different airline.

Tight connections between flights

Not having lots of time between connecting flights always makes me nervous. This is not the case when I book flights with kiwi.com, which I did for my last big trip between Canada and Europe. kiwi.com offers its own guarantee on making connecting flights, even when it’s not with the same partner airlines. Should you miss a flight, you are fully covered. At this point, I don’t know of another company that offers this additional service. Not only did I find an amazing deal with kiwi.com, but I also was more relaxed during the trip knowing about the guarantee.

Long Layovers at airports

Long layovers at airports are not fun. I’ve been stuck at airports many times. Overnight stays in hotels add to your travel costs.

There is seldom enough time to go sightseeing. Airport hotels are not cheap and spending the night on an airport chair is uncomfortable. A four-hour layover is about as much as I can tolerate.

You will be dragging your luggage around the airport before check-in opens in the morning. Travelling light with a carry-on only improves the situation a bit. Still, if the ticket price amounts to the deal of the year, I can put up with an eight-hour layover at London’s Gatwick, as I did during one trip to Europe.

One-way Air Fares

Take advantage of one-way flights if you are flexible and not time-bound.

I was always under the impression that one-way flights were out of the question because of the heavy surcharges added on by the airlines.

Two one-way tickets generally cost more than one return ticket, but don’t let this fool you. If you have lots of time for your trip and are flexible about return dates and other destinations, looking for a one-way flight deal is a great idea.

Mix and Match Airlines

Usually, you get the best airfare deal when you mix and match different airlines to get you to your destination. Most of the time, booking websites use the same airlines whenever possible. Of course, flying long distances with the same airline can make the trip less stressful. Read how to travel stress-free with Air Canada.

Find the cheapest place to fly to and the best airfare deal to get there

Whether you know your arrival destination in Canada or are flexible and want to find the cheapest city to fly into, kiwi.com is the perfect tool to find a deal and save some dollars. Navigate onto their site, enter your departure city and select a date range to fly. Fill in the city of choice or just Canada and it will allow you to see the most cost-effective place you can fly to.

Kiwi.com will mix and match airlines, including budget airlines and find you the cheapest route. This can make a huge price difference, especially for long-haul flights.

My favourite Airline Booking Sites

There are many flight comparison websites available and by trying out a few you will figure out which ones give you the best results and are the most user-friendly. Booking websites search for cheap airfares and save you lots of time. Sign up to receive alerts when the price drops.

  • Skyscanner – My first choice! Book and compare cheap flights from all major airlines and travel agents. This is the place to find your best airline ticket to your destinations. It’s fast and saves time and money.
  • Google Flights – a fast search engine displaying fares for the whole month. Choosing the calendar-based view shows a simple calendar view with the cheapest fare over the next 12 months. Google Flight also offers multiple airport searches for the cheapest fare between up to seven origin and seven destination airports.
  • kiwi.com – a good alternative for booking flights. The booking engine combines all airlines to create cheaper routes than booking with just one airline.

More tips to consider

  • Being flexible with travel dates, travel times and airport destinations will save you heaps of money. Flights with multiple stops and layovers can also save you travel dollars.
  • Don’t always fly directly if you want the best airfare deal
  • You can’t predict prices and the best day to book a flight is maybe today.
  • To get a cheap flight you need to book a date when no one else wants to fly.
  • Changing the departure and arrival Airports might save you money.
  • Always visit the airlines’ websites to see if there are any cheaper airfare deals. Airlines often have better prices to encourage travellers to book with the airline directly. This is my preferred choice for booking a flight. Booking with the Airline directly is the easiest way to book and change schedules if needed.
  • Always read the small print when you book a cheap flight.

How do you go about finding cheap airfare? Please leave a comment below.

Read also:

Yrene Dee

Yrene lives in the Okanagan, British Columbia, Canada, and is the founder of BackcountryCanadaTravel.com. She was born in Switzerland, lived and worked on different continents and has travelled the world. Yes, that's me, an Entrepreneur, wilderness nut and animal lover who prefers off-the-beaten-track places. I write about things I love. Mostely.

1 Comment

  1. Ktony

    I am going to live in Canada for two months in August next year, seeing your travel history will help a lot

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