It's the ultimate traveler's dilemma: You want to go everywhere, but the flights are sooooo expensive.
Don't worry! There are actually tons of easy ways to find the cheapest flights around — you've just gotta be smart about it. Follow these insider tips from travel experts, and you'll basically be a budget flight-finding ninja.
1. Start by hitting up as many good airfare search engines as you can — do NOT limit yourself to just one.
2. And be sure to play around with all of the tools each site has.
3. But don't assume that meta search sites will always find the best deals.
4. "So look up the places you're going, and see if any budget airlines go there," Kelly advises.
5. Follow a select group of people and businesses who constantly scour the internet for deals — so you really don't have to do it yourself.
6. Sign up for newsletters and deal alerts directly from the airline, too.
7. If you see a good deal on any of these sites, book it right then and there (if you can).
8. Instead of choosing where you want to go first, consider finding the cheapest flight first — and then just go to there.
9. Book your tickets one to two months in advance of your trip.
10. And try to book them on a Tuesday or a Wednesday.
11. And aim to fly on a Saturday or a Tuesday.
12. But be flexible with your dates either way.
13. Consider choosing an alternative route, rather than flying round-rip with the same airline.
14. Or go to destinations during their "shoulder" season — i.e., the edge of the peak season (not completely off-peak).
15. If you can handle having multiple credit cards, try opening up different ones to redeem miles.
16. "The best ones to open are targeted directly to you, so all you need to do, really, is open your snail mail," explains Kelly.
17. And don't be afraid to sign up up for these cards at the 11th hour, practically RIGHT before your trip.
Got all that? Now go book the cheapest flight ever.