Travel News Best International Flight Deals to Book in 2020/2021

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Best International Flight Deals to Book in 2020/2021

Find flight deals now for Cheap International Flights 👇

We know that it may not be the best time to travel. But in addition to providing updates and advice regarding COVID-19, we still want to inspire you so that when the world does open its doors again, you’ll be ready to explore it.

Are you ready to book the perfect international trip? We’ve handpicked some top deals to popular destinations and are here to provide you with the top money saving tips for your international vacation 🌎

International Flights

Fast Facts About Cheap International Flight Deals

  1. Finding international flight deals isn’t as dependent on advance booking as it is for domestic travel.
  2. The best international flight deals aren’t always the rock-bottom prices you see on low-cost airlines.
  3. In fact, “legacy” airlines both foreign and domestic can offer the best cheap international flight deals.
  4. Traveling to certain destinations, primarily those in Europe and increasingly Asia, can yield the best international flight deals.
  5. Skyscanner’s wide variety of tools are among the best ways to book cheap international flight
  6. Last-minute international flight deals can be a surprisingly good value, as can multi-city itineraries.

When is the Best Time to Book International Flight Deals?

It might sound surprising, but getting the best international flight deals is not extremely dependent on when you book. This is in large part because of the fact that foreign airlines compete directly with US ones, and in many of the countries in which they operate, fare sales are simply not as tied to how far in advance you book as they tend to be in the US. It’s not at all uncommon to find a rock-bottom fare on an international flight a week or even a day before travel.

However, tools do exist to help you assess the applicability of this general rule to your specific travel situation. For international trips the best time to book a flight is 5-6 months in advance. We recommend using Skyscanner’s Best Time to Book feature, which combs through reams of pricing data to determine with remarkable accuracy when the best time to book your flight is. Using Skyscanner’s Best Time to Book tool, you can see how many weeks in advance to book your international ticket and the cheapest month to travel.

What Are the Best Airlines for International Flight Deals?

No one airline has a monopoly on international flight deals, so you should make sure to search as many airlines as possible for your upcoming international travel. This is yet another reason why Skyscanner is such a valuable resource to have at your disposal, since it combs the entire web to find you the best price. For example, while you might not thinking to search Turkish Airlines (via Istanbul) for your New York to Berlin flight, Skyscanner will display even somewhat non-traditional itineraries first if they have the best price.

Of course, selecting an airline for overseas travel isn’t just about cheap international flight deals. It’s not a secret that US airlines tend to leave a lot to be desired when it comes to things like food and service, when compared to their foreign counterparts. Generally speaking, if you can fly an Asian airline to Asia (“first-tier” carriers like ANA, Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines are the very best) or a European Airline (at least ones like Lufthansa and SWISS) to Europe it’s a better bet, and might even be worth paying a little extra.

International Flights on “Low Cost” Airlines

At first glance, it can seem like most of the best international flight deals are on low-cost carriers, be that from Hawaii to Asia via Osaka on AirAsia X or Scoot, or flying within Europe on Ryanair or Norwegian. However, ancillary fees for things like seat reservations, carry-on bags and even food and beverage can quickly add up, turning your dream fare into a nightmare.

Let’s suppose you’re flying Norwegian, and you purchase four meals and beverages, one on each segment (LAX-OSL; OSL-BCN; BCN-OSL; OSL-LAX) of your journey. Based on Norwegian’s current pricing structure for these items, even if you buy at booking for best rate, your “$399” flight can balloon to $800 or even more round-trip, which isn’t an uncommon sale fare on full service airlines to be honest.

What Are the Best Destinations for International Flight Deals?

To be sure, even if you don’t fly low-cost to Europe, the introduction of transatlantic flights by these carriers has undoubtedly altered the landscape for cheap international flight deals. Except for in peak summer season, it’s relatively easy to find cheap flights from US cities to European hubs like London, Paris, Stockholm and Amsterdam, even on full-service airlines.

Asian low cost carriers (as well as Chinese airlines, such as controversial Hainan Airlines) has also made Asia a battleground for airlines, and home to some of the best international flight deals for travelers. Flights from Los Angeles to Hong Kong regularly price under $500 round trip as of July 2018, for example, while it’s increasingly common to find economy flights to Southeast Asia for under $1,000, and far less in some cases.

What is the Best Way to Book Cheap International Flight Deals?

Finding international flight deals is only one piece of the puzzle—what’s the best way to book them? If you’ve found a fare directly through an airline, it’s best to book directly through that airline as opposed to through a “first generation” online travel agency, since these often assess fees and see the imposition of strict rules for chance and cancellation.

However, you should always double-check to make sure you’ve gotten the best deal, which is why Skyscanner is so indispensable for booking cheap international flight deals in every situations. Simply download the Skyscanner app on your device, and click the “Booking” link for the itinerary you purchase, which will take you directly to the airline’s websites—no fees, no gimmicks, no tricks.

Tips and Tricks for International Flight Deals

Skyscanner’s app and website are only the beginning of how we can help you score cheap international flight deals. Set up Skyscanner Price Alerts, for example, and you’ll receive a notification when the price for a trip you want to take goes up or down. If you’re booking at the last minute, on the other hand, we’ve written an entire guide about how to get the best international flight deals on even last-second bookings, and how international flights are in many cases exempt from traditional thinking regarding advance reservation pricing.

Yet another best practice for scoring cheap international flight deals is to book multi-city itineraries. For example, you might find it’s much cheaper to fly from Los Angeles to Kuala Lumpur, but fly back home out of Bangkok or Singapore than it would be to book round trip to Kuala Lumpur. Keep in mind that booking one-way segments (in this instance, LAX-KUL and SIN-LAX or BKK-LAX) is often more expensive than booking “multi city” itineraries like this in a single booking (LAX-KUL; SIN-LAX or LAX-KUL; BKK-LAX for the purposes of this example.)

The Bottom Line

If you’re searching for international flight deals, the news is mostly good. Not only is timing less important for finding cheap international flights than it is for domestic ones, but increased competition among a wide variety of carriers makes flight sales more common. While low-cost airlines don’t always provide the cheapest international flight prices when all is said and done, becoming savvy with Skyscanner’s tools as well as travel hacking techniques can greatly increase your chances of finding an amazing price.