The Internet is awash with comparison sites designed to find consumers the best prices on everything from grocery shopping to hotel rooms, and cheap flights are a particular boon for savvy bargain hunters.
But if you're overwhelmed by the sheer number of air ticket comparison sites available online, here are a five of the best to get you started.
Among the market leaders when it comes to finding the cheapest price, Kayak is a great place for those who know where they're going and when they want to fly. Simple to use and offering not just flights but hotels, package deals and car hire, it compares hundreds of travel sites in one go, and has the advantage of letting you choose from which site you want to book. Popular for good reason.
Another that covers flights, hotels and car hire, Momondo regularly comes up with the cheapest prices when compared to other sites, and is a worth a look if your flights needs are on the complex side, as it allows you to compare prices on complicated journeys, and with the added bonus of comparing the prices on different days, giving you the option of a cheaper deal by flying midweek, for example.
Google Flight Search
Almost unparalleled when it comes to the speed of your search returns, Google Flight Search may not have the sheer quantity of flights on offer as its rivals, but it is said to be looking to expand its offering in the future, and Ryanair recently joined the fray so you can check out a budget airline offering. Users are able to simply click on cities on a map, making searching easy even with a number of stops, and there's a handy chart showing price fluctuations over time. Downside, it doesn't generally offer the very best prices.
Once again, not always the cheapest flights available, but the advantage of Adioso is that you don't have to search specific dates and destinations. You can, for instance, hit it with a fairly vague description, including your departure point and then a country or even continent, with the duration of your stay and a rough idea of when you want to travel, and the site will suggest flights. Ideal for those who aren't entirely sure of their precise destination of choice, but curious to know how much it might cost to travel to certain areas.
While most comparison sites focus on the cheapest deals on offer, Hipmunk is the place to go if your main concern is ease of flying. Flights are ranked in terms of 'agony' ratings, which means you can compare the best price against the ideal journey, thereby avoiding stopovers and connecting flights if you so wish.
Ideally though, the best idea is to carry out a search on two or more of the best flight comparison sites - that way you know you're getting exactly what you want.
Which flight comparison sites do you use and why? Leave your comments below...