Here’s a travel tip: It’s not just Google Flights that’s revolutionizing the cheap-airfare game.
I was supposed to have been at a friend’s house for poker 20 minutes earlier. Instead, I was at home, furiously navigating and translating a Norwegian airline’s website. When I finally made it to the game an hour later, I apologized repeatedly for my tardiness. “Sorry for being late, guys. I was busy booking $65 flights to Europe.”
I used to be a travel luddite. For flights, I’d search Kayak. For hotels, Orbitz. For any other travel needs, I’d take my questions to Google. Beginning in 2010, though, I began traveling at a furious pace. Since then, I’ve averaged a flight a week, circled the globe more than 14 times, and picked up a few handy tips along the way.
Whether I’m on the road or in the air, these are seven underrated websites I rely on constantly.
Airlines don’t like this practice of “throwaway ticketing” one bit, but it’s not against the law, even if it is against most airlines’ policies. Just make sure only to book one-ways, since the rest of your itinerary will be canceled if you miss a flight. Also, don’t check a bag; it’ll wind up at the final destination on your itinerary.
Finding throwaway tickets like these used to be a hassle, but then SkipLagged came along. It’s a search engine that automatically looks for throwaway tickets. Because of a recent lawsuit from Orbitz and United Airlines, you can’t currently book an itinerary through SkipLagged. No biggie: All you need from SkipLagged is what flight to search for. You can then take that information to the airline’s website and book it.
3) Kayak Explore
You spend 45 seconds searching Gmail for your American Airlines frequent flyer number. Once you find it, you can’t remember your password. You try your usual combinations of letters and numbers; no luck. You get locked out of your account after too many attempts. Then you have to call AA to get your password reset; you spend five minutes on hold before finally getting your new password. Next week, you repeat the cycle.
Pro-tip: use AwardWallet instead.
It lets you store frequent flyer numbers, as well as passwords, for all your various flight, hotel, and car-rental accounts. It’s more than a password manager: It will also track your point balances and let you know when your points are set to expire. Clutch.
After you’ve booked a car rental (either on AutoSlash or elsewhere; it doesn’t matter), put in your confirmation number on AutoSlash’s homepage. The site will automatically track your reservation for free and email you if the rate on your rental car has gone down. Since this happens frequently, there’s a high chance you’ll end up getting a cheaper rate than you initially booked.
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Scott Keyes is a travel expert who has earned millions of frequent flyer miles and travels tens of thousands of miles per year. He hates paying full price for flights, and won’t do it. He’s the author of two travel books: How to Find Cheap Flights and How to Fly for Free.
A version of this article originally appeared on the Daily Dot on March 31, 2015.