If you need a summer vacation but don’t know where to go, this may be the year to test out money expert Clark Howard’s #1 rule of cheap travel.
Most people pick a destination and then begin to search for deals, but Clark does the opposite — and his strategy has allowed him to visit six of the world’s seven continents.
Need a vacation? Clark’s advice to book a cheap flight
By applying the simple strategy of finding a deal and then figuring out why you want to go there, Clark has traveled around the world without spending a lot of money.
Where exactly can you find these airfare deals? Clark begins his search with Kayak Explore.
Step 1: Kayak Explore
After entering the airport where you’re departing from, Kayak Explore provides the lowest round-trip prices for destinations across the country and around the world.
For example, this map shows the lowest round-trip fares from Chicago, as of May 8:
- Denver, $99
- New Orleans, $93
- Boston, $113
Step 2: Google Flights
Now that you’ve identified where you want to go (or perhaps you already knew), head to Google Flights to narrow in on the specific flights that are available when you want to travel.
Google’s search displays nearly all flight options, Southwest Airlines excluded, almost instantly.
Aside from its impressive speed, Clark likes how Google Flights highlights ways to save money by making slight modifications to your itinerary — like changing your return date by a day or two.
And if you’re not ready to book quite yet, you can turn on email notifications to track price changes.