How to Get Cheap Airfare to Foreign Countries

Cheap airfare is the key to international travel on the cheap.  Finding a “deal” will often determine where you go on the next trip.  Ruth and I were planning the next trip to be to an out island in the Bahamas until I found a “deal” on Southwest Airlines to Mexico.

Southwest has just begun to fly internationally from the airport closest to our house, so it was a natural to check out it’s fares.  Usually, you would need to sort through the huge number of airlines that fly internationally.  One way, if you have a destination in mind, is to search for the names of all airlines that serve that destination and compare their fares. The internet travel sites like Expedia can be a big help here, but don’t forget to go directly to the airline to see if the fare is lower there. I have found that piecing together trip legs on various airlines is seldom cheaper than getting the whole trip on one airline, if it’s available.

When you go to the airline website, pick your destination and check the box that says “my dates are flexible” or something similar. On Southwest’s site, you will get a calendar with a month’s worth of days with the fare for the length of trip you entered on each day. The key here is to try several different trip lengths to get the best roundtrip fare.

I wanted about a seven day trip, but, from the fare calendar I found the cheapest fare was leaving on Wednesday and returning on Thursday for May 10th and May 17th. The savings can be huge.  Some days the round trip fare is $400 per person on others it is $110 dollars!  Don’t forget the bag fees on most airlines, but that doesn’t apply on Southwest.  Here is what the low fare calendar for Houston Hobby Airport to Cancun looked like on May 10th, the day I was writing this:

Calendar displaying lowest fares for each available day during the month of May
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
May 1  May 2  May 3  May 4  May 5  May 6  May 7 
May 8  May 9 

Once you get the airfare nailed down, you can add extras like early boarding which is good on airlines like Southwest that do not assign seats.

Don’t forget to occasionally search the internet for new airlines and new routes. Many times airfare is discounted on new routes to try to garner flyers from other airlines. Fly cheap-Fly often!