When we first moved to Bali, we hopped on our usual sites (the ones we use to book flights from the USA to Europe) to check out how much it cost to travel around Asia and Indonesia and we were super disappointed! I thought Asia was supposed to be cheap?! How the heck do we find cheap flights WITHIN Asia itself?!
We put off booking flights around Asia thinking that maybe we just couldn’t afford it. Then a friend we met in Bali mentioned that he had a trip to Singapore planned and it only cost him $50 because he booked it last minute. How in the world did it only cost that much?
He pulled out his phone and showed us a bunch of new websites and flight search sites that we had NEVER heard of before!
So I’ve compiled a list here of all the ones we have used to consistently book cheap flights while traveling all over Southeast Asia and Asia for over 2 years! Let’s get to it!
How to Find Cheap Flights Around Asia
Below I’ll list the best budget carriers in Asia that you may have never heard of before if it’s your first time traveling in Asia!
In America, you can usually find cheaper prices by going directly to the airline’s website and buying through them. For some reason, that’s not true for most of Asia’s airlines. They sell their tickets for cheaper than their own sites through Traveloka.
I consider this a huge blessing because Traveloka is so much easier to use than the actual airline’s sites, which are not user-friendly and the translation isn’t always accurate.
Although the prices are usually not as cheap as Traveloka, this website has some cool features that Traveloka doesn’t. It will show you all the cheapest destinations to fly to from your airport!
You can even set a perimeter around your airport and it will show you all of the destinations within that distance and how much it costs to fly to each one.
If you’re not sure where you want to go or are just wanting to go somewhere new, you can type in your airport and then in the “to” section you can type in “Anywhere.”
It will rank the destinations by price and distance from where you are! I would use this feature to find a new place and then hop on Traveloka to get the best price!
Skyscanner is our go-to for flights from the U.S.A. to the rest of the world. I have yet to find a site that consistently beats it. Even Google doesn’t always include the budget airlines, which are the ones we normally fly with.
Unfortunately, it is not as accurate for Asia. However, we use it to find the cheapest dates to travel. Just type in your area (use the all airports option when searching for flights) and where you want to go, then choose to see the whole month instead of just your dates.
You can even choose the cheapest month to the cheapest month! Once we find the cheapest dates, we type those back into Traveloka!
4. Nusa Trip
This site had the cheapest listed flight from Bali to Labuan Bajo (Komodo Dragon Airport). We used this airline and had no problems when we only presented our e-ticket!
Although you book on NusaTrip.com, it is not an airline. We bought tickets for the airline “Lion Air” and although it was definitely a budget choice. The flight was so short that we didn’t mind!
5. Air Asia
Occasionally there will be a sale if you use their app to make the purchase, but the ticket has to cost a certain amount to get the discount.
Usually, it’s cheaper to use Traveloka to book an AirAsia flight, so we only check this website if we are planning to book an AirAsia flight on Traveloka and want to make sure that we aren’t missing any special deals or promotions!
Also, in our experience, this website can be a little glitchy, but hopefully, they continue to improve!
Is Flying Within Asia Cheap?
Yes, flying within Asia can be very cheap if you know where to look! Using the booking sites above, you’ll find way better deals getting around Asia than if you tried the sites you normally use.
Hopping from Laos to Cambodia to South Korea can be super cheap if you book a few months in advance and use the sites above.
Booking last-minute flights around Asia won’t save you much money, so even though planning can make things a bit less fun, you can save a ton of money by doing it!
Booking One-Way Flights into Capital Cities Around Asia
You’ll definitely need to choose the cheapest hubs around Asia to fly into, and then bus or scooter to your final destination from there.
You can get to places like Tokyo, Denpasar, Manila, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, and Taipei much cheaper than flying directly to a smaller city like Da Nang, Vietnam, or Phuket, Thailand.
Most low-cost carrier fares on the sites listed above will get you to all of the above destinations, plus any other capital cities in Asia like Jakarta.
The Best Time to Fly Cheaply Around Asia
Flights around Asia are generally cheap year-round, but you want to keep in mind that June to July is the most touristy season, so because of the higher demand, the prices might be higher as well.
Plus, you need to keep in mind the weather that you want during your trip. It can vary by country and personally I haven’t found a bad time to visit Asia (as long as you don’t mind some rain or humidity). But if those things make a huge difference for you, you’ll need to plan around that.
Southeast Asia is known to have three seasons: dry, hot, and rainy.
November to February is the dry season and is considered the best time to travel to Asia since it’s much cooler than the other times of the year.
From March to May is the hot season, when you’ll be melting a bit from the humidity and heat (I’ve never quite sweated before like hiking in April in Vietnam).
Then you have the “winter” months which are December, January, and February. The rain can cause more problems than just an inconvenient travel day.
Although it’s not cold (you still definitely won’t need a jacket in most cases), the storms in Asia are a lot more intense. I’ve never heard lightning like that or felt like I was that close to being struck. From Bali to Malaysia, the storms did not mess around.
The rain also exposes some of the sadder parts of Asia, like the pollution and trash that tends to float into the sea during this time of year making it hard to swim without getting a plastic bag stuck to your leg.
Plus, if you plan to scooter around Asia, the rain can make it that much more dangerous for people who aren’t experienced with riding.
As far as June, July, August, September, and October go, it can totally depend on the country. September and October are considered monsoon seasons in some Asian countries.
However, I’ve traveled around Asia during October many times and never had any issues, it was a great time to travel around, even take a boat trip to Komodo Island!
So there you have it!
When we first started traveling, it seemed crazy to have to use a bunch of different sites to find the cheapest flight, let alone that there are ones that work better for different parts of the world! But now we know how to book depending on which part of the world we want to be traveling in!
Hopefully, this will help you find the best cheap flight sites for Southeast Asia and Asia!
If I missed a site that you have used, let me know! We love to save and wouldn’t have learned about these sites if it weren’t for awesome travelers sharing what they knew!
Dayna Brockbank is a travel and language-learning blogger who has lived around the world but has now settled in Nice, France. She speaks 3 languages at varying levels of fluency: Spanish, Italian, and French, and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Spanish Education. She and her husband focus on making travel part of life by living cheaply and traveling on a budget.