Clark’s secret to finding the cheapest flights possible

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Clark’s secret to finding the cheapest flights possible
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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.

Read more: Basic economy fares: Are the savings worth the hassle?

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.

2017 is a great year for cheap travel!

A recent study released by Expedia and Airlines Reporting Corporation predicted great news for travelers! There will be lower ticket prices and more flight options all throughout 2017.

This year, the cheapest day of the week to book a flight is Sunday, at least 21 days in advance.

To stay on top of the best travel deals as soon as Clark learns about them, visit our Clark Deals site and sign up for our newsletters.

Read more: Use this packing trick to avoid a checked bag fee

Clark shows you how he searches for cheap flights

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Mike Timmermann About the author:
Michael Timmermann paid off his mortgage in two years. Now, he shares his money-saving tips on his blog, Save on Almost Everything.
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