In addition, before I start my planning, I like to check out what flights are direct to my destination. Flights From provides an awesome job of showing direct flight options. This tool allows me to reverse engineer where I can travel to and from directly.
And a final step if you are going to a more obscure airport is check out Wikipedia and look up the airport you are visiting. Some of these small airlines will not show up on the meta search engines and you might need to book direct with the airline.
Also, I would like to suggest Matt’s Flights. Yes, Matt, is an actual real person who loves to travel and searches the internet looking for great fares. You can sign up for email alert, which shares great flight deals that you might want to take advantage of. There is also a Premium service, which provides one-on-one consulting. This can be well worth the money, saving you hundreds of dollars.
And check out Fly Trippers which will also will help you find greatly discounted flights from your home city. Fly Trippers also helps you learn more about Flight Hacking so you can earn free travel.