It's time for your vacation, and you know what that means: Get the heck out of here! You haven't booked a flight anywhere. Or maybe you've just returned from a big trip, and need to plan a quick weekend getaway to ease the re-entry pain. These are the best websites for finding flights. Just because you've got a tight budget or are looking last minute doesn't mean you can't travel.
USA TODAY columnist Kim Komando says some of these sites are like having a personal travel shopper. With a little work now, you can avoid pinching pennies in the fall. Summer is in full swing, and millions of Americans are raring to take a trip. But where should they go, and how much should they budget? I've been an avid traveler since I was a kid when I would hop planes with my father, who worked for the airlines.
The holidays are supposed to be a joyous time of the year, but making Thanksgiving and Christmas travel arrangements can bring about a ton of stress, especially when planning trips at the last minute. However, deciding to jet-set to grandma's house just a few weeks before Turkey Day or Santa's arrival doesn't have to cost travelers their paychecks or their peace of mind. One of the first rules of thumbs for planning last-minute getaways is to stay flexible. Many sites dedicated to travel offer flexible dates options that help travelers find the best deals that don't necessarily line up with exact holiday dates. John DiScala of JohonnyJet.com told the Travel Channel that travelers can find some of the cheapest flights during the "dead weeks" – the weeks after Thanksgiving and after New Year's.
Once upon a time, prospective vacation-goers would journey to an IRL storefront, where a person called a "travel agent" would be waiting amid stacks of maps and dog-eared travel guides. But thanks to the internet, travel agents have been rendered largely obsolete, leaving travelers to sift through thousands of flights on their own. Or at least, it might seem that way. The truth is we're not alone, or at least not completely. Websites abound to help us amateurs parse an often overwhelming number of choices, comparing everything from prices to the ideal layover city.
The best deals were in April – before airlines grounded more planes and when no one was traveling, but you can still score a deal now. There's never been a worse time to fly. With coronavirus cases surging in some states and more international borders closed than open, the friendly skies aren't so friendly. But there is a silver lining. Many fares have never been better.