What is the best and cheapest way to book a flight?

Seems like there are sooooo many different travel sites and from what I can tell...they all seem to be about the same price. Don't know why they need so many damn sites..that all offer pretty much the same exact thing?? I've seen ads in the past and heard of people getting lights for like $60-80.00 bux but... show more Seems like there are sooooo many different travel sites and from what I can tell...they all seem to be about the same price. Don't know why they need so many damn sites..that all offer pretty much the same exact thing?? I've seen ads in the past and heard of people getting lights for like $60-80.00 bux but never really paid much attention, due to never really needing to fly much. But there is an event coming up, so trying to figure it all out now...

Would be going from either Sarasota/Bradenton airport or Tampa/St. Pete airport(both are close by and possible options but Sarasota preferred) to Richmond, VA or close by if cheaper. Event is on August 17th..so would probably need to arrive the day before, on the 16th and then leave that Sunday, August 18th. I know the earlier you book the flight, cheaper it is.

Is it even possible to get flights for like $60-80.00? Most I've found so far are $350+ for round trip. Should have asked the people how they did it at the time.

Any help, tips, information would be appreciated..especially from your own personal experience. Don't know why they make it so confusing? Hundreds of sites...that compare another 200 sites, haha.

(I'd also be open to other methods..if you know of any..like renting a car, etc. and/or tips on how to get cheap bus tickets..looked at greyhound and noticed there is a spot for discounts and promos..how to get those??) Just trying to make it there and back for the cheapest price and easiest, hassle free method..
Update: (Alex- If you happen to check back... how did you find that rate of $226 for amtrak? When I checked, seemed like it would be around $260. If you could maybe provide a link or what you did to get that price, would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!)
6 answers 6