Welcome to the 3rd part of the “Around the World for Free” series!
In this part, we’ll be talking about how to obtain flight deals for cheap (not free unfortunately) and to easily grab that trip you always wanted to go on.
Finally, “Around the World for Free” is a multi-part series that is posted weekly, so make sure you tune in and check out the other posts whenever you can!
What are Flight Deals?
Flight Deals are the things everyone talks about.
The act of flying to exotic locations for pennies on the dime is mysterious and always wanted. Everyone loves a flight deal and it’s always cool to tell your friends and family about how you went to Japan for only $500 or even Hawaii for only $300.
How to find Flight Deals?
Now you must be thinking, “with all this talk, SP, how exactly am I supposed to find cheap flights?”
Well, that’s super easy!
Step One: Follow Feeds
The easiest way to start finding cheap flights is to follow the people who find these deals and post them publicly.
Once you follow the feeds, you’re going to get updates from them.
Now here’s the problem, when you follow so many flight alert trackers, you’re going to be lost in the amount of tweets you have to scroll to find the specific deal you want.
So now, we’re going to make these targeted to you by slimming down on our feeders.
Step Two: Making It Targeted
I’ll be using The Flight Deal for this example as they are my go-to for cheap flights.
Let’s head straight to their RSS feed.
When you click on it, you’re going to see a lot of code. To simplify it, this feed would show all of the latest deals that The Flight deals has recently released on their blog.
To make it targeted, you would find the category for your airport in their blog.
For example, the Los Angeles Category Link would be:
The Los Angeles Feed Link would then be:
If you want another airport, you would simply replace the LAX in the link to the airport you want.
For example, San Francisco would change the links to:
- Category: http://www.theflightdeal.com/category/flight-deals/sfo/
- Feed: http://www.theflightdeal.com/category/flight-deals/sfo/feed
Now we’re going to transform the block of text from the code to something readable.
Step Three: Automating it with IFTTT
In order to transform the block of text from code to something readable, we’re going to be implementing IFTTT (If This, Then That), which is a service that automatically triggers and does events when a condition is met.
- IF THIS CONDITION is met,
- THEN THAT event will be triggered.
To make it more readable and more relevant to us:
- IF a flight deal is posted from our feed list,
- THEN send an alert to me.
Now that we got that going, let’s create an account and start on our first automated applet for flight deals.
Once you have account created, we’re going to create an applet and you should see the following screen.
Remember, the service that we are interested in is the feed option, as we had pulled the LAX feed from The Flight Deal (http://www.theflightdeal.com/category/flight-deals/lax/feed/).
Choose “new feed item” as we don’t have any particular item matches for now.
You would use item matches if there are feeds that don’t specify the location it is from.
For example, if a flight deal blog does not categorize their deals by airport, you can use “New Feed Item Matches” to match on the airport or location you want, so whenever a new deal comes out and matches your keyword, then it will send you an email.
There are a whole variety of services you can choose, but for this example, we’re just going to send it to our e-mails whenever a new flight deal for our location is posted.
Now let’s review the whole applet!
If a new feed item from the feed URL we extracted is posted, an email is sent to our email. That’s correct! So let’s complete the item and wait until a new deal comes out!
Optional Extra Step: Customize It To Your Own Tastes
With that, we have easily set up an automation service that informs us whenever a new flight deal for our location is posted.
You can customize it by adding more feeds or making it match on specific cities you would like to travel to.
The most important part with flight deals is that you should not wait on ordering them as they usually go fast and another deal might not pop up for a while. So book them when you see it!
Other Awesome Resources to Get Those Sweet Sweet Flight Deals
Here are some other resources that you can take a look at for some flights deals:
- Flight Search Engines
- Flight Alert Trackers
- Flight Forums
- Flyer Talk (favorite forum, you can also do custom RSS feeds from the flight deals on here too!)
If there’s enough interest, I can get in-depth on how to utilize Google Flights, Matrix ITA, and any of the other resources to find a cheap flight. Or maybe I might just do it anyways!
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Here is the table of contents for the “Around the World for Free” series: