Last month, I wrote a post titled 4 Tips to Catch a Flight Deal. (You’re missing out if you haven’t checked out the post.) That post chronicles the 4 major ways to catch a flight deal and one way is through various flight search engines. By far, the best search engine is …. drum role please ….. Google Flights!
Google Flights completely changed the way that I plan a vacation!
Low Price Calendar
One of the best features of Google flights are the multitude of low price calendars. The low price calendars take it a step further than many other search engines. Below are examples of two of the calendars. The calendar on the left shows a price graph based on a four day round trip and the calendar on the right is a flexible date calendar.
Flight Search by Month or Season
Don’t have your dates set for your next trip? Google Flights allows you to do a flight search by month or even city and amount of time you plan on spending in that location. Once you first open Google Flights, there is now a new feature titled “discover trips”. This feature allows you to search by month or season, geographic location and event interests.
Search a General Country/Region
Don’t know where you want to go on that next trip? Google Flights to the rescue! For the arrival location, instead of putting an airport code you can enter a region or country like “Central America” or the “Caribbean”. Google flights will then tell you you’re flight price options for the dates or time frame chosen.
If you really want a surprise, you can even leave the destination field blank!
In the example below, I choose the departure airport as “IND” or Indianapolis International Airport, the arrival location as “South America”, and any date during May. Then I was presented with the price for a round trip flight to a variety of cities in South America during May.
Search Multiple Departure Airports at Once
One of the tips to catching a flight deal is flexibility which includes being flexible on departure airport. Google flights makes it easy to select multiple departure airports to determine which is the best deal. The tool allows you to select up to 5 different departure airports.
In the example below, I selected the Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Dayton airports. For convenience, the search even shows approximately how far each airport is from me.
Filter by Connecting Flight Location
A function of Google Flights that I discovered more recently was being able to do a flight search by connecting flight location. I know, you are thinking, why would I want to sort a flight by connecting flight location? Well, I am currently planning a trip to Dominican Republican. Many of the flights have long layovers. If I am going to have a longer layover, I would prefer to have it in a city where I have family and friends that I could visit during the layover or a city I have never visited that I can explore!
When planned properly, a long layover isn’t a bad thing! It can turn one vacation in to two!
Bonus tip, Google Flights recently released Google Destinations – a one-stop shop for planning a vacation. Check out this post regarding detailed information regarding Google Destinations.
If you are looking for more tips to plan a trip on a budget, check out these posts:
- 6 Cheap Hotel Alternatives (that aren’t Airbnb)
- 6 Sites to Book a Last Minute Hotel
- How to Travel Solo and Stay Within Your Budget
Are there any downsides to Google flights? Yes. Although Google Flights is the number 1 search engine, it is not perfect. Google flights does provide flight times for Southwest flights, but it does not list price.
Have you used Google Flights before? If you are booking a flight on Google Flights due to this post, let me know in the comments !
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