Finding cheap flights is one of the essential skills you have to possess if you are going travel on a budget. I recently did a Skyscanner snapchat tutorial (PS if you don't already, make sure you follow me on snapchat: tessajuliette) and got a ton of questions and feedback. So here is a more in depth guide!
First off, Skyscanner is one of my favorite tools to use and has one of the most user friendly interfaces. This is what you see when you enter.
Simple tricks on Skyscanner
If you don't know where to go but have specific dates
If you have specific dates you want to go somewhere (like taking advantage of vacation days) use this trick. For From put your home airport and in To put Everywhere. Then just put the dates you need and search. (Also I always deselect nonstop flights) You'll get a nice organized list of the cheapest places to visit.
If you don't want to go literally anywhere in the world you can also search for a specific country from your home airport which I find really useful.
The cheapest month trick
If you want to go somewhere and don't mind waiting search by the cheapest month. Under the date go Whole Month and then select cheapest month at the very top. You can do this for one way or roundtrip.
Help! My flight is still really expensive
I totally get it, you have somewhere you really want to go but it's really killing your budget travel plans. Honestly a lot of these are trial and error but I've had pretty good results. Try these tricks:
Search under the month option
Sometimes you are missing the cheap flight home just by one day. Search a one way under the month option and see if you can change the dates of your travel plans.
One way flights are your best friend
There used to be a myth that flights were cheaper if you booked roundtrip but that isn't quite true anymore. Make sure you are checking for one way tickets going both ways before you book to make sure you are getting the cheapest ticket possible. You can fly on two different airlines or take a super long layover - it's worth it to save money!
Figure out which leg of your trip is expensive
If you are encountering an abnormally expensive flight most of the time it's because one leg is way more expensive that the other. Check the flight by searching under the one way option. Lets say for this example you're going to Bermuda from home. Your flight there is $150 (normal) but your flight back is $350 (not cool). Search a one way flight from Bermuda to the US. Once you have your list scroll through and (hopefully) find a less expensive airport nearish to you to fly back to.
ok I have a flight...how do I get back home???
Once you have that flight then begin your search for other ways to get home: Megabus, Amtrak, or even the Greyhound can make your dream destination a reality. You could also rent a car! If you are over 27 (such an arbitrary age...) renting is usually really cheap! There is also the option of flying from the cheap airport to your home airport and just dealing with a long layover.