How to Get the Cheapest Flights Online – The Ultimate 2024 Guide

Julia Olech
Last Updated by Julia Olech on November 23, 2023

You can save money by booking flights a few months in advance, but it doesn’t always work. This is because airlines and travel sites use algorithms and other technologies to show you higher fares to maximize profits regardless of when you pay for your trip.

To steer clear of unnecessary expenses on tickets, the most dependable and straightforward approach is to employ a VPN. With a VPN, your IP address is altered, enabling you to secure a fair deal while safeguarding your browsing activities from trackers on booking platforms.

I tested 55 VPNs, and ExpressVPN’s huge network in over 105 countries make it the best to save on flights since it’s so easy to find great deals. Plus, you can subscribe to ExpressVPN confidently and if you’re not satisfied, get a quick refund within 30 days.  Editors’ Note: ExpressVPN and this site are in the same ownership group.

Use ExpressVPN to get cheap flights

Quick Guide: How to Get the Cheapest Flights Online

Find cheap flights with ExpressVPN

1. Change Your Local Flight Deals With a VPN

Airlines and travel companies offer deals and prices according to your geographic location. Often, booking from a place with a different income level than your home country can give you better deals. Fortunately, it’s not necessary to be physically located in another country to get these cheaper flights.

With a VPN, it’s possible to change locations virtually by connecting to a server in another country. To the airlines, it’ll seem like the booking comes from that region.

Screenshot of difference in AirAsia ticket prices when ExpressVPN was connected to different servers
AirAsia ticket was almost $100 cheaper when ExpressVPN was connected to a server in the US

VPN encryption also makes it so hackers and other third parties can’t see your real IP address or what you’re doing online. This includes airlines and travel companies, which use algorithms to track you on the web and change their prices based on your location and web history.

A VPN server is extremely easy to use. All you need to do is download a reliable VPN like ExpressVPN. Once logged in, simply select a country that you’d like to connect to and begin searching for your favorite destinations. If you’re not satisfied with the deals, it’s easy to get a full refund within the 30-day money-back guarantee period.

Find cheap flights with ExpressVPN

2. Delete Cookies and Browse in Incognito Mode

Airlines and travel websites install cookies on your device to remember which flights and destinations you look at and track your location. Armed with this information, airlines and travel agencies can increase prices every time you check and even manipulate them based on your internet activities.

The easiest way to stop these sites from following your searches is to delete your cookies, browsing history, and cache. You can do this in Chrome in just a few clicks:

  • Click the three vertical dots on the top right next to the shortcuts
  • Navigate to “History”
  • Select “Clear browsing data” and check all relevant boxes, particularly browsing history, cookies, and cached files
  • Use the “Clear data” button

Screenshot of "Clear browsing data" tab in Chrome

It takes me less than a minute to delete all cookies and cache in Chrome to hunt for cheap flights

In Safari:

  • Open a Safari window and click the “Safari” menu on the top left corner
  • Select “Clear history” from the dropdown menu
  • Select the time range you want to delete
  • Click “Clear History” button

In Firefox:

  • Click the menu button on the top right and select “Settings”
  • Select “Privacy & Security” on the left panel and scroll down to “Cookies and Site Data”
  • Click the “Clear Data…” button and a dialog box will pop up
  • Check both items and hit “Clear”

In Microsoft Edge:

  • Open Microsoft Edge and click the 3 horizontal dots on the top right
  • Select “Settings” and click “Privacy, search, and services”
  • Scroll down to “Clear browsing data” and select “Choose what to clear” button
  • Check “Cached images and files” and “Cookies and other site data” boxes and hit “Clear”

I also highly recommend using incognito or private mode when searching for cheap flights on any of these browsers. These modes prevent your data from being collected via cookies, browsing history, and other methods. However, you might still have some cookies saved in your browser — to find the best deals, always delete cookies and cached data before searching for cheap flights.

3. Compare Travel Fares on Flight Comparison Sites

I’ve bookmarked Kayak, Skyscanner, and Expedia as the 3 best services to find the cheapest tickets. These flight comparison sites cut down on manual search time by collecting results from dozens of airline sites for the best airfares.

Using a VPN with flight comparison sites like Skyscanner will help you find and book cheaper tickets in other regions where lower prices display in search.

Comparison of airfare on Skyscanner when ExpressVPN was connected to different servers
A flight to Amsterdam on Skyscanner changed prices when ExpressVPN was connected to different servers

When you’re using flight comparison sites like Skyscanner, remember these important points to make sure you’re getting the cheapest ticket:

  • Some airlines are excluded — Flight comparison websites don’t include all budget airlines like Southwest, so check their prices separately. I found the lowest price for a Southwest Airlines flight on its website. But in another case, I found cheaper tickets for a domestic AirAsia flight on Skyscanner compared to the carrier’s online booking page.
    Comparison of airfare between Skyscanner and AirAsia for the same flight
    The same tickets were cheaper on Skyscanner compared to a budget airline’s website
  • They don’t have the same deals — FlightsFinder is a platform that compares deals on other comparison sites like Kayak and Momondo. Once you enter your travel details, the search engine shows you a side-by-side comparison of the same route on different websites to show you which has the best deal. I could sometimes save an extra $20-$30 by using FlightsFinder.

There are many other sites to help you get the best fares in different ways, like:

  • Kiwi — Offers some of the lowest prices among its competitors and suggests trending destinations for the country you want to travel to
  • Momondo — Detects your location and displays the cheapest travel destinations in your region on a map before you input any trip details
  • CheapOair — Handy point-based reward system for every flight and hotel booking made through the app
  • JetRadar — Shows some of the best deals from budget airlines directly on the homepage
  • Google Flights — A user-friendly search engine with useful filters to find and book flights directly with airlines without going through separate sites
  • Scott’s Cheap Flights — Sign up and add the airports you want to visit, and the platform will email you the best deals for your destination
  • Thrifty Nomads — A travel blog with a comprehensive guide for booking the cheapest flight possible, plus a newsletter you can subscribe to for the latest travel deals
  • Airwander — This site is worth subscribing to stay informed of the cheap flights online and access perks like the Airwander Club as soon as they’re released to the public.

4. Be Flexible With Your Arrival and Departure Dates

You can manually redirect your VPN connection through an alternative port to address certain concerns. However, this should only be attempted by individuals with technical expertise, particularly if your VPN is set up directly through your computer software. Changing a port setting could affect registry files, posing potential risks. If you’re unsure about the process, contact your VPN’s customer support for help and advice.

It’s important to note that peak and low travel periods vary across different parts of the world due to local holidays and seasons. For instance, while it may be winter in the US, it could be summer in Australia. This discrepancy means that you might end up paying higher prices for tickets to Melbourne, even if it is considered a low season in the US.

Most top flight comparison sites like Skyscanner, Kiwi, and Kayak show you how much tickets would cost on alternative dates near the ones you’ve picked.

Screenshot of Kayak.com's color coded calendar

Kayak.com shows you the cheapest dates in green and the priciest ones in red for easy planning

To sell more tickets, major airlines have copied fare comparison sites and now show you lower-priced travel days as well. After I keyed in my preferred itinerary on Emirates for my upcoming trip to the Netherlands, the airline showed me prices for the surrounding dates and marked which was the lowest.

Screenshot of Emirates airline showing lower fares for alternative travel dates

Emirates suggested the cheapest alternative dates for my trip to the Netherlands

5. Take Advantage of Airline Error Fares as Soon as They Appear

Airlines sometimes publish extremely cheap fares on their websites by mistake due to human error, technical bugs, or even currency conversion glitches. You can save significantly when you catch these mistakes and book your tickets before the airline fixes them.

In the past, I would constantly keep track of airline websites to discover these errors, but nowadays, there are dedicated websites, social media groups, and forums solely focused on spotting and sharing error fares. Many of these resources are accessible without any cost, while some do require subscription fees. Allow me to share some of my preferred error fare services:

  • Airfare Watchdog
  • Secret Flying
  • Scott’s Cheap Flights
  • Jack’s Flight Club
  • Next Departure
  • The Flight Deal

The easiest way to catch error fares is by subscribing to several of these sites and following their social media accounts. These mistakes cost airlines a fortune, so they’ve gotten better at fixing them quickly. That’s why you’ll usually have no more than a few hours to find and book low-price tickets.

The primary drawback of utilizing error fares is the possibility of airlines canceling and refunding your ticket, though this occurrence is infrequent. The majority of airlines will uphold the given price, yet it’s advisable to wait a minimum of 2 weeks after booking before finalizing any additional travel plans for your intended location. This precaution ensures that your travel arrangements remain unaffected by potential cancellations.

6. Book Flights in Advance (But Not Too Far in Advance)

Airlines often discount their tickets for only a certain period. That’s why booking your seat extremely far in advance can cost as much as doing it last minute. You can use these as guidelines when arranging your next flight:

  • Domestic flights — Book your trip 3 weeks to 3 months before your planned departure
  • International flights — Buy at least 3 to 6 months in advance for flights abroad
  • Holiday seasons — Tickets will be harder to find and more expensive around holidays, so book at least 4 to 8 months ahead
  • Off-peak season — Get your tickets 2 to 3 weeks before departure, as airlines offer low fares to fill up their planes

These don’t guarantee the best rate and a good deal can become available anytime. For example, my last-minute search for long-distance flights to Amsterdam revealed a few low fare tickets in the next 2 weeks even though it’s a popular travel time.

Screenshot of KLM's fares within the travel month with some cheap options

A last minute search for tickets to Amsterdam turned up a few cheap fares on KLM

7. Skip Unnecessary Flights With Hidden City Ticketing

Hidden city ticketing means you get off at your layover city instead of the final point of the journey. Longer flights with layovers seem like they should be more expensive, but sometimes they end up being cheaper than booking a direct flight to your destination. That’s because the fare depends more on current demand and popularity of each route than the distance you’ll fly.

It can be a nightmare to manually search for these types of flights but with Skiplagged, you don’t have to. Just visit the website and enter your destination and dates. Skiplagged will list all available flights, including those that have your final destination as a layover.

Screenshot of Skiplagged's suggested routes with your destination as layover

Layovers located at your final desired destination are marked in blue on Skiplagged

If you find a Skiplagged rate to be the lowest, remember that ending your journey at layover goes against most airlines’ policies. However, since it’s common for people to miss flights, it’s almost impossible for an airline to prove you skipped it intentionally.

Just be warned that the airline could cancel all your subsequent flights in the itinerary if you’re caught skipping one leg of the journey. For example, the airline might cancel your return ticket. Also keep in mind that you can’t check bags if you use this technique, since they’ll be sent to your final destination instead of the layover airport. I also don’t condone violating the terms of service on any ticket you buy.

8. Book Tickets Directly With Budget Carriers

You can get significantly cheaper flights with budget airlines, and most regions have a few different options to choose from. Here are a few around the world:

Region Airlines
North America Southwest Frontier Spirit Swoop Flair Airlines
Latin America JetSmart Volaris VivaAerobus GOL Sky Airline
Europe EasyJet RyanAir Wizz Air Veuling Airlines AirBaltic
Russia Aeroflot AirBaltic Pobeda RusLine Smartavia
Australia/ Oceania JetStar Virgin Australia Bonza Qantas Airways AirAsia
Asia AirAsia Spring Airlines JeJu Air VietJet Air Cebu Pacific
Middle East Jazeera Airways Air Arabia SpiceJet Flynas FlyDubai
Africa FlyAfrica FlySafair Kulula Fly540 Lift

Budget airlines are affordable because they save money on extra luxuries like seat selection, onboard meals, extra legroom, complimentary blankets, or sometimes even checked baggage. But they often have better deals, steeper seasonal price drops, and huge sales. You can sign up for a budget airline’s email newsletter to get automated alerts on discounts.

Screenshot of JetSmart's cheap fare promotions

JetSmart has regular sales that can get you fares lower than $25 for some destinations

Budget airlines’ promotions are usually tough to beat, though it’s still worth checking out flight comparison sites just to be sure.

9. Search For Individual Seats, Not Family Tickets

Although each seat on a plane varies in cost, airlines don’t add them up separately for group bookings. The carrier’s AI calculates your price by multiplying the total number of tickets you book with the most expensive seat in the group rather than pricing each individually.

To avoid this, book each member of your group one by one and choose the seats later so that you get the lowest price for each ticket. As a side note, this trick doesn’t work if you’re booking for children or people with special accommodations. Since they need on-board assistance or have other requirements, you’ll have to buy tickets simultaneously to prove they’re not traveling alone.

The other downside is that booking tickets separately for each leg of a long-haul flight can be risky if one of them is delayed. Airlines usually aren’t responsible for expenses this can cause, like having to reschedule your flights or book an overnight hotel stay.

10. Use Points and Rewards for Cheaper Flights

This is probably the easiest way to save money on flights. You can use rewards programs to earn points every time you fly and use them to travel cheaply or even for free. Almost every premium and budget airline has a reward program. With some airlines like Delta SkyMiles, Southwest Rapid Rewards, and JetBlue TrueBlue, your points don’t expire.

Additionally, credit cards like Chase Sapphire Preferred let you earn 5 points per dollar you spend on flights via Chase Travel and 2 points per dollar when you book elsewhere. If you’re a new customer, you can get 60,000 bonus points by spending $4,000 on the card in the first 3 months. As one of the best travel points programs, you could earn enough points in 3 months to finance an international round-trip flight.

Other cards that offer similar rewards include Capital One Venture X Rewards, Chase Sapphire Reserve, and Delta SkyMiles Reserve.

11. Get a Multi-Day Layover

Multi-day layovers are fantastic for seeing several cities or countries in a single trip and could save you hundreds on roundtrip flights. All you need is to be flexible with dates and book layovers that give you enough time in each location.

Many sites like Skyscanner and Kiwi have options to add multiple cities and flights. I decided to combine trips to several cities in the same region on Skyscanner and found that it’s possible to visit Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand for less than $1,500. The same itinerary cost significantly more when I tried to book them individually.

Screenshot of Multi-city option on Skyscanner and a combined round trip from Malaysia to New Zealand

Skyscanner makes it easy for you to save money by combining several trips into one

If you extend your trip to see a few extra cities, you can expect to pay a little more for hotels and food. But on the whole, you’ll still be spending considerably less on flights than if you were to book multiple round trips from your home country.

Book cheap flights with ExpressVPN

How a VPN Can Help You Get Cheap Flights

Prices differ when you book from different geographic locations, but there’s no way to know which country will get the lowest fares on airline and comparison sites. A VPN allows you to connect to a server in another part of the world, displaying different pricing on booking sites.

They do it by looking at your IP address to determine your location. A VPN provides a new IP address so that booking and airline apps think the connection is from somewhere else. For example, browsing British Airways after connecting to a VPN server in Germany makes it look like you’re browsing flights from that country even though you’re at home. This displays different fares and deals.

VPNs also encrypts your connection so booking sites can’t use your search or browsing history to change pricing or track you online. You still have to research ahead of time which will be the cheapest country to buy tickets from, but a VPN makes it possible.

For example, a route from Bangkok to Christchurch was plugged into Skyscanner and AirAsia after connecting to ExpressVPN servers located in 20 different countries, including Belgium. Fares changed depending on which VPN server location was connected. Using a server in Belgium caused the lowest price to be $1,276. Someone in Bangladesh would pay $1,526 ($250) more. In India, this route wasn’t available to book at all.

Chart comparing AirAsia and Skyscanner fares for Bangkok - Christchurch route on 20 different ExpressVPN server locations
My tests on 20 global ExpressVPN servers proved you can get cheaper flights with a VPN

7 Best VPNs for Finding the Cheapest Flight Deals in 2024

1. ExpressVPN — #1 VPN With a Massive Network Covering 105+ Countries to Find the Lowest Airfare

Key Features:

  • 3,000+ servers in 105+ countries on every continent for finding cheap flights
  • Military-grade 256-bit encryption, TrustedServer technology, a no-logs policy, and a Network Lock kill switch to stay anonymous during flight searches
  • Customer support includes 24/7 live chat, video tutorials, and email
  • Use up to 8 devices simultaneously when searching for the lowest airfare
  • A trustworthy 30-day money-back guarantee policy

ExpressVPN is the best to locate the cheapest airfare with the most server coverage, with options to search for flights from any of 105+ countries. It’s easy to instantly change the virtual location to places like Sweden, Mexico, or Brunei to see where the lowest flights display. During tests, a return flight from Tokyo to Rome was cheaper when ExpressVPN was connected to a server in the Philippines versus one in the Netherlands.

Screenshot of airfare comparison when ExpressVPN was connected to the Philippines and the Netherlands
ExpressVPN’s servers in 105+ countries make it easy to find the cheapest flights and deals

I connected to almost 50 servers worldwide and my testing showed both short and long-distance ExpressVPN servers are lightning-fast. Even when connected to locations 8000 miles away, flight comparison sites didn’t take more than 5-8 seconds to deliver results.

On unstable public WiFi, I could lose my VPN connection and expose my real location. Luckily, ExpressVPN’s Network Lock stops all connections before any of my personal data is exposed. The VPN also has many other privacy and security features, like:

  • Military-grade AES 256-bit encryption with Perfect Forward Secrecy to constantly change encryption keys, making your booking and payment information nearly impossible to hack
  • IP and DNS leak protection to hide your location while you search for deals
  • A no-log policy enforced by an audited TrustedServer network that ensures none of your search history or other private details are stored on a disk
  • Located in privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands, that’s not part of any intelligence surveillance agency that can demand your internet activity from the VPN

You can search for the cheapest flights on almost any device whether on iPhone, an Android, or a Windows computer. I subscribed to ExpressVPN, downloaded the apps on mobile and desktop, and was connected to and browsing destinations in less than 8 minutes. Since ExpressVPN allows up to 8 simultaneous device connections, I tested it and found out that connecting on the maximum number of platforms didn’t affect my searches in any way.

One minor drawback to using this VPN is that it’s pricier than others on this list. However, given the number of countries ExpressVPN provides access to, you could get cheap flights that make the VPN pay for itself with a single trip. The best ExpressVPN deal I found is the 1-year + 3 months plan, which costs $6.67 per month.

If you’ve decided to plan your next trip with ExpressVPN, you can buy it confidently knowing it has a 30-day money-back guarantee. To test the policy, I asked for a refund via 24/7 live chat after using the VPN for a few weeks. It was approved with no questions asked, and I got my money back in 4 days.

ExpressVPN is compatible with: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chromebook, Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, routers, and more.

ExpressVPN works with: Skyscanner, Kayak, CheapOair, Kiwi, Momondo, Google Flights, Travelocity, Expedia, AirAsia, and more.

Get ExpressVPN to book cheap flights

Editors' Note: ExpressVPN and this site are in the same ownership group.

2024 Update! ExpressVPN has dropped prices for a limited time to a crazy $6.67 per month for the 1-year plan + 3 months free (you can save up to 49%)! This is a limited offer so be sure to grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.

2. CyberGhost — Super-Fast Connections to Take Advantage of Airline Flash Deals

Key Features:

  • 11,800+ servers in 100 countries in Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa
  • Military-grade 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, a strict no-log policy, and a headquarters in privacy-friendly Romania
  • Support available via 24/7 live chat, online ticket system, and online guides to get started quickly
  • Use 7 devices at any time to search for the best flights
  • 45-day money-back guarantee on the 2-year + 2 months subscription

CyberGhost is another top VPN to book cheap flights as it has super-fast connections to avoid missing out on flash deals by airlines. I connected to a server in Asia and it allowed me to catch a limited 24-hour AirAsia sale. CyberGhost stayed steady at 60-68Mbps, allowing me to book with no lag or frozen screens — I purchased all the tickets I needed before they sold out in just 2 hours.

To keep me safe from hackers and ensure the airlines can’t track me, CyberGhost has a suite of powerful privacy and security features like:

  • Military-grade AES 256-bit encryption to hide all your online activities from travel sites, spies, and hackers
  • A kill switch that keeps your data anonymous even when the internet connection is unsteady
  • Built-in tracker blocking and a proprietary private browser to stop travel sites from increasing prices based on your online activities
  • An audited no-log policy to confirm none of your personal details, online activities, and bookings are stored anywhere

Although ExpressVPN has servers in more places, CyberGhost has locations in over 100 countries so you can search for cheap fares from places like Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and China. Using servers in Canada and then in China to book a flight from Singapore to Beijing, it was $117 cheaper when CyberGhost was connected to the China server.

Screenshot of airfare comparison when CyberGhost was connected to China and Canada
CyberGhost has servers in lots of countries with different income levels to find cheaper flights

The VPN has apps for all popular devices like iOS, Mac, Windows, and Android. If you’re like me and use different platforms to book flights, you get up to 7 simultaneous connections with CyberGhost. There are detailed step-by-step guides online, but I was able to install CyberGhost, connect to a server, and search booking sites in less than 5 minutes without needing help.

The downside to CyberGhost is that its 1-month subscription plan is one of the most expensive on this list and only comes with a 14-day money-back guarantee. But if you’re committed to using CyberGhost to plan your travels, the 2-year + 2 months option is only $2.19 per month.

Plus, it comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee if you’d like to get CyberGhost to plan your travels. I asked for a refund via the 24/7 live chat support, and someone approved it in 2 minutes. I got my money back in 5 days.

CyberGhost is compatible with: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, routers, and more

CyberGhost works with: Skyscanner, Kayak, CheapOair, Kiwi, Momondo, Travelocity, Expedia, AirAsia, and more

Get CyberGhost to book cheap flights

Editors' Note: CyberGhost VPN and this site are in the same ownership group.

2024 Update! You can subscribe to CyberGhost for as low as $2.19 per month + get an extra 2 months free with the 2-year plan (save up to 83%)! This is a limited offer so grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.

3. Private Internet Access (PIA) — MACE Blocks Trackers That Increase Your Ticket Prices

Key Features:

  • 35,000+ servers in over 91 countries covering almost every continent
  • Military-grade 256-bit encryption, MACE to block bots and malware, and a kill switch to keep you anonymous while searching
  • Online guides, 24/7 live chat, and email support
  • Each subscription protects up to unlimited devices simultaneously
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

PIA has MACE, a tracker blocker to prevent travel sites from monitoring your activities online and increasing prices based on your search history. MACE isn’t on by default but after I activated it, my searches returned the lowest prices without having to clear cache and cookies repeatedly.

With over 35,000 PIA servers worldwide, you’ll never have to worry about congestion causing slow speeds since other PIA users can be spread out among the VPN’s huge selection of IP addresses. In the US alone, there are servers in all 50 states. During tests of numerous servers, PIA maintained 60Mbps download speeds. Flight searches displayed results almost instantly, making it easy to find a cheaper Chicago to New Delhi flight.

Screenshot showing airfare changes when PIA was connected to servers in Sweden, the US, and Vietnam
PIA can help people in the US and Vietnam pay less for this flight by using a server in Sweden

The VPN has native apps for all operating systems and browser extensions like Chrome and Firefox that are easy to install within a minute or two. At one point, I connected to PIA’s maximum of unlimited devices and had no disconnections or speed drops while finding cheap flights.

In terms of security and privacy, PIA has a few customization options:

  • Choose AES military-grade 256-bit encryption for when you need maximum security, like when you use public WiFi to book. Or pick AES 128-bit encryption for maximum speed when chasing deals, so you can grab the last ticket before a flight sells out
  • An advanced kill switch that’ll disable the internet until you’re securely connected to the VPN and ensure you never browse for flights without full security and privacy
  • PIA accepts anonymous gift card payments from Starbucks, Walmart, and other major brands

The only thing that made me hesitate about PIA is that it’s based in the US, which is the heart of the 5 Eyes Alliance of governments that collect and share your online data. However, PIA has a no-log policy that was fully audited by Deloitte. This ensures that there’s no trace of your activities on PIA servers that anyone could possibly find.

If you’d like to use PIA for your next trip, I recommend the 2-year + 2 months plan as it only costs $2.19 per month. It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so there’s no risk in trying it. When I asked for my money back by sending an email with my order number and Paypal subscription ID, I was refunded in 2 weeks.

PIA is compatible with: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, routers, and more

PIA unblocks: Skyscanner, Kayak, CheapOair, Kiwi, Momondo, Expedia, AirAsia, and more

Get PIA to book cheap flights

Editors' Note: Private Internet Access and this site are in the same ownership group.

2024 Update! You can subscribe to PIA for as low as $2.19 per month + get an extra 2 months free with the 2-year plan (save up to 82%)! This is a limited offer, so grab it now before it's gone! See more information on this offer here!

4. NordVPN — Premium VPN With Cheap Prices on Long-Term Plans

Key Features:

  • Short and long-term subscriptions available
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 6,300+ global servers in 111 countries
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Protect up to 10 devices at once

NordVPN is one of the best VPNs on the market — and you can get super cheap prices when you sign up for a long-term subscription. One thing to note, however, is that when it’s time to renew your subscription, prices do increase quite significantly.

I was particularly impressed with the high performance of every server I tested. Just because a VPN has thousands of servers doesn’t mean they all work. Servers can still struggle to work — and some can even fail to connect completely. However, NordVPN’s servers work with Netflix for smooth, buffer-free streaming.

I did, however, have issues with using NordVPN’s native Fire TV app. Although it mostly worked with Netflix, it sometimes had issues and kept crashing. I also found that NordVPN’s user interface for desktop devices was less user-friendly than ExpressVPN and CyberGhost.

NordVPN has the following security and privacy features:

  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • kill switch that cuts your internet access if your connection to a VPN server drops suddenly
  • built-in ad and malware blocker, so you don’t need a third-party ad blocker
  • fully audited no-logs policy (audited by PwC) – NordVPN doesn’t store any personal or identifying data while you’re connected to the VPN

In addition, NordVPN includes Threat Protection that protects you from viruses, infected websites, and trackers – and it works whenever you have the NordVPN app open, even if you’re not connected to a VPN server.

NordVPN's threat protection keeps you fully protected at all times

NordVPN protects you from online threats 24/7

With plans that cost as little as $3.09 per month, it's easy to find a NordVPN subscription plan that suits your needs. You can also stream, torrent, and browse for free for up to 30 days with its money-back guarantee. I tested this to ensure that you’ll really get your money back. At first, the support team tried to give me an extended trial period — but they initiated my refund right away after I told them I wasn’t interested in the extension. I got my money back in 6 business days.

NordVPN works with: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, SkyTV, HBO Max, SHOWTIME, DAZN, ESPN, YouTube TV, and more

NordVPN works on: Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Chromebook, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Fire Stick, and Android TV

Get NordVPN today

5. Surfshark — Best Value for Money with Unlimited Device Connections and Fast Speeds

Key Features:

  • Short and long-term plans available
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 3,200+ global servers in 100 countries
  • No bandwidth restrictions
  • Connect unlimited devices at once

Surfshark offers the best value for money out of every premium VPN on the market. You can connect an unlimited number of devices with a single subscription, which means you can use Surfshark on all your devices without getting logged out.

I tested Surfshark’s simultaneous connections on 2 PCs, 2 phones, a Fire Stick 4K, and an iPad. My connection remained reliable on all 6 devices. Even while I was actively streaming on all my devices, my average speed was 112 Mbps — fast enough for UHD quality.

When I saw the price of this service, I thought it couldn’t possibly have top-grade security features for such a low price, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Surfshark has the following security and privacy features:

  • AES 256-bit encryption on all devices, with ChaCha encryption available for Android users
  • Wireguard VPN protocol enabled by default
  • diskless, RAM-only servers to protect your privacy (no data can be physically extracted from any servers)
  • kill switch (although this isn’t enabled by default)
  • IP and DNS leak protection

Surfshark offers two-factor authentication (2FA) on your account. This feature requires you to enter an extra code before you can log in to ensure that only you can access your account.

While Surfshark does have slightly fewer global servers than rivals such as CyberGhost and PIA, I didn’t experience any issues during my tests. I easily connected fast working servers every time, and I had excellent speeds for streaming, downloading torrents, and browsing the internet.

You can try Surfshark for yourself with the 30-day money-back guarantee. It has plans that cost as little as $2.19. Requesting a refund is easy with Surfshark’s live chat feature. Although the support team asked why I wanted to cancel my subscription, I had no problem getting my money back (and it only took 4 days!).

Surfshark works with: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Sling TV, Hotstar, HBO Max, DAZN, and more

Surfshark works on: Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, Linux, Fire Stick, Samsung Smart TVs, LG Smart TVs, Android TV, Kodi, and selected routers

Get Surfshark today

6. PrivateVPN — Dedicated IP Addresses Can Evade Bans by Airlines and Booking Sites

Key Features:

  • 200+ servers in 63+ countries
  • Stay anonymous on travel sites with military-grade 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and zero-logs servers
  • Customer support via live chat, email, and remote desktop
  • Connect to servers on 10 devices at once
  • 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans

PrivateVPN’s menu of free dedicated IP addresses is much harder for airlines to block because they’re not shared with other users, avoiding detection by anti-VPN filters. These IP addresses also prevent annoying CAPTCHAs when logging into travel and airline sites. You can choose from locations in the US, Sweden, Germany, Japan, Ukraine, Switzerland, the UK, France, and many other countries, so you have lots of options for finding travel deals.

The VPN also has all the crucial privacy and security features that keep you anonymous when browsing travel sites.

  • Military-grade AES 256-bit encryption makes sure no third parties can see what you’re searching for online
  • IP leak prevention keeps your connections encrypted from the second you connect to a server
  • A kill switch monitors your connection and kills the connection if your identity and location are in danger of being exposed

During my tests, I expected slow servers since PrivateVPN has the smallest network on this list. But it was fast enough to pull up ticket prices instantly. Plus, the VPN always connected in only 2-3 seconds, making it easy to switch servers to compare fast-changing fares. Switching from a server in Peru to one in the UK during tests, a Siem Reap to London route cost $35 less.

Screenshot of airfare comparison when PrivateVPN was connected to the UK and Peru

Despite a small server network, PrivateVPN was fast enough to handle repetitive searches on different servers

If you’re a complete beginner, you can test PrivateVPN with the short-term subscription, which a low enough price that I consider it among the best monthly VPN plans. For an even lower monthly price, get PrivateVPN’s 3-year plan for $2.00 per month. The only disadvantage to this VPN is that you can’t pay for your subscription with Google Pay. However, PrivateVPN accepts all major credit cards, PayPal, and even cryptocurrencies, which is a convenient selection.

Since the VPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, you can get PrivateVPN risk-free for your trip. I even tested its money-back guarantee by asking for a refund via email and was reimbursed within a week.

PrivateVPN is compatible with: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, routers, and more.

PrivateVPN unblocks: Skyscanner, Kayak, CheapOair, Kiwi, Momondo, Expedia, and more

Get PrivateVPN to book cheap flights

7. IPVanish — No Connection Limits to Search for Flights on All Your Devices

Key Features:

  • Search for flights from at least 2,400 servers in 55 countries
  • Military-grade 256-bit encryption, an automatic kill switch, and DNS leak protection keep your data hidden from airlines
  • 24/7 live chat, email support, and setup guides
  • Allows unlimited simultaneous devices
  • 30-day money-back guarantee for quick refunds

IPVanish is the only VPN that lets you search for cheap flights on all your devices. I could easily install it on my iPhone, Windows computer, and several other devices totaling 12 and they were all able to handle flight searches and bookings effectively. Once installed, the apps are so intuitive that you won’t need the online guides to get started.

My tests found consistent speeds between 45-58Mbps on IPVanish servers — plenty for seamless flight searches even with 15 browser tabs open to different booking sites. There are also servers in a solid selection of 55 countries, giving lots of options to compare prices and find exclusive deals. In one search, a Miami to Montreal flight was $40 cheaper when IPVanish was connected to a server in Taiwan versus one in Canada.

Screenshot of airfare comparison when IPVanish was connected to Taiwan and Canada

IPVanish delivered $40 savings on this flight when booked via its servers in Taiwan

The VPN’s privacy and security didn’t disappoint when searching for the best travel deals. Some of its key features are:

  • Military-grade 256-bit encryption to keep data hidden from travel sites
  • A kill switch that blocked connections on unstable networks to prevent data leaks
  • An independently audited no-log policy confirms IPVanish stores no record of your flight searches, payment data, or booking activities

The one thing IPVanish lacks is a cryptocurrency payment option, which ExpressVPN has. This keeps you completely anonymous while buying the VPN. But this doesn’t matter for finding cheap flights, and IPVanish accepts convenient credit card or PayPal payments.

I recommend the 2-year + 3 months plan that’s $2.19 per month. You’ll have 30 days to try IPVanish with your booking site of choice. If it’s not to your liking, it’s easy to get your money back. Since I subscribed to the 2-year plan, I was able to cancel the plan from my account dashboard and the refund was processed automatically. I got my money within a week.

IPVanish is compatible with: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, and more

IPVanish unblocks: Skyscanner, Kayak, Kiwi, Momondo, Expedia, and more

Get IPVanish to book cheap flights

Editors’ Note: Intego, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost and Expressvpn are owned by Kape Technologies, our parent company.

Comparison Table: 2024’s Best VPNs for Getting Cheap Flights

Total Servers Total Countries Military-grade encryption Device Limit Money-Back Guarantee
ExpressVPN 3,000 105 8 30
CyberGhost 11,800 100 7 45
PIA 35,000 91 unlimited 30
NordVPN 6,300 111 10 30
Surfshark 3,200 100 unlimited 30
PrivateVPN 200 63 10 30
IPVanish 2,400 55 unlimited 30

Find cheap flights with ExpressVPN

Editors’ Note: ExpressVPN and this site are in the same ownership group.

How I Tested and Ranked the Best VPNs for Finding Cheap Flights

I used the following criteria to find the best VPNs in 2024 to help find the cheapest tickets:

  • Servers in many countries — The more countries that have VPN servers, the more chances to find cheap fares since it’s hard to know exactly where the cheapest tickets for a route might be.
  • Strong security and privacy features — A VPN needs to have a kill switch, IP leak protection, and strong encryption so that travel sites can’t see where the connection is coming from and raise the ticket prices.
  • Fast speeds — Fast connections are crucial for fare shopping because deals get sold out quickly, and a slow-loading webpage could make you miss your chance.
  • Customer support — Friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful customer support agents make a big difference when you’re trying to act on a time-sensitive deal or mistake fare.
  • Apps for common devices — All the VPNs on this list have apps for Windows, iPhone, Mac, and Android-based platforms.
  • Money-back guarantee — If you’re unsure, a solid refund policy gives you the room to find the right VPN before you book your trips.

Book cheap flights with ExpressVPN

FAQs on VPNs, Flights, and More

How do travel and flight companies always know my exact location?

Travel and airline websites install cookies that track you and can also see your location using these tricks:

  • IP address — This unique identifier is assigned to you by your ISP and allows them to see your location, along with travel and airline sites.
  • Browser history — Websites also use third-party cookies to track where you’re browsing from.
  • WiFi permissions — Many travel apps automatically ask for this when you first open them, as your WiFi connection is another way to see where you are. It’s an optional choice so you can reject it.
  • GPS-enabled devices — Many apps and sites don’t require your permission and can automatically read where you’re connecting from if your device is GPS-enabled.
  • HTML5 code — This is a geolocation code that shows websites where you are.

Websites use a combination of different tracking methods, so deleting your cookies may not prevent wildly fluctuating ticket prices. To combat their techniques, always use a combination of methods to increase the chances of landing the best price.

Is using a VPN to get a cheaper flight deal legal?

Yes, but it’s usually against most airlines’ and booking sites’ terms of service to use a VPN to get cheap flights. This is because it’s a way for them to increase profits. I don’t condone violating these terms so always check them before making any bookings.

On the other hand, VPNs are also important to safeguard your privacy and security from hackers, marketing bots, and other third parties who want to eavesdrop on your travel plans or steal your credit card details. It’s important to use a VPN when you’re looking for flights using unsecured public WiFi, which are popular hacking targets.

How do I find the best servers for the lowest flight prices?

Try connecting to VPN servers in the airline’s country of origin to see lower fares and local flight deals. For example, this Norwegian Airlines flight from New York to London was much cheaper when the VPN was connected to a server in Norway.

Price comparison of New York-London flights showing differences while connected to servers in Norway and the UK

Flight prices dropped a lot when a VPN was connected to a server in the airline’s home country

Some airlines like Emirates and KLM didn’t show any difference in fares when VPN server locations were changed during tests. So if using the airline’s home country doesn’t work, try server locations in lower-income places like Colombia, India, and Vietnam. However, there are some quirks. In some instances, prices were lower in wealthier regions like the US, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

In the end, fares depend on the route and many other factors besides income levels. The best way to figure out which server is the best is to key in the route on Skyscanner and test it with servers located in 4 or 5 countries with different income levels.

Are the savings from using a VPN to book flights consistent?

No, but a VPN will help find the cheapest airfares whether it amounts to savings of $10 or $1,000. With most sites and routes, no 2 locations provide the same exact fares.

To get the cheapest it’s best to try servers in as many places as possible, which is why I recommend ExpressVPN. With locations in most countries, it maximizes the opportunity to find deals. Also, remember that prices fluctuate daily. Even if a server in a certain country displays $100 in savings today, the same ticket might only be $50 cheaper 2 days from now.

Can I use a VPN to get cheap flights to Hawaii, Florida, Vegas, New Zealand, Australia, Europe, and other popular destinations?

Yes, a VPN can help get the cheapest flight to anywhere in the world regardless of the location’s popularity. Some of the biggest savings during tests were for destinations like New Zealand, London, and Australia.

The process is the same as any other location. Just connect to a server in a few places and see if the low or high-income countries offer better rates. It may require connecting to many countries to see truly big savings.

Can I use a free VPN to get a cheaper flight?

Yes, but most of them won’t work for booking plane tickets. Even though there are some free VPNs worth considering to find low fares, most free VPN providers don’t have powerful enough servers to mask IP addresses from travel sites.

Free VPNs also have a very limited number of servers which makes them less useful for finding the cheapest fares. Even worse, many free VPNs collect your data. Some even sell it for profit to third parties. This puts you at risk of identity theft and cyber-attacks.

To save on flights without the risks of free VPNs, you can use a premium VPN for free instead by taking advantage of its money-back guarantee. For example, CyberGhost gives you 45 days to use it for free while you browse and book cheap tickets.

Book cheap flights with CyberGhost

Editors’ Note: CyberGhost VPN and this site are in the same ownership group.

Don’t Overpay for Your Flight Tickets — Get the Best Deals Today!

The conventional method of booking flights months in advance doesn’t always work since airlines and booking sites have smart technologies to watch your activities and change fares frequently. But there are usually cheaper fares for the exact same route in another part of the world. The most reliable and easiest method to access these lower prices from anywhere is to use a VPN.

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for finding the cheapest fares as it has servers in over 105 countries to search all over the world for low-priced flights. You can also buy ExpressVPN completely risk-free as it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee — if you change your mind, you can easily get a refund.


Summary: Best VPNs to Find Cheap Flights in 2024

Top Ranked Top Choice
ExpressVPN
$6.67 / month Save 49%
CyberGhost VPN
$2.19 / month Save 83%
Private Internet Access
$2.19 / month Save 82%
NordVPN
$3.09 / month Save 76%
Surfshark
$2.29 / month Save 85%
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