One of the most obvious questions I receive by travel novices is this, “where should I shop for the best deals on flights?”
This is a basic question but the answer you may receive from travel experts can vary greatly. It comes down to two things for me; ease of use and abundance of data. I feel that Google Flights addresses both of those needs.
I am going to do a little convincing on why you should immediately resort to Google Flights when it comes time to book a paid flight.
Google, the company that created some widely popular map software, has a very robust way of searching for flight by destinations on an interactive map. For me, this is huge. The way I travel so cheap and frequent is by looking for cheap destinations and dates. I have a list of about 10 or so places I want to visit at any given point. I use the map tool to see if there are cheap flights to one of those cities, but more importantly, a city in that direction of travel. You see, I also look for really cheap flights that take me in the direction of where I want to go. If I wanted to go to Charleston, SC (which I do!), I would look to see if there are any stupid cheap flights to Chicago, Dallas, or Atlanta, all which connect to Charleston.
As you can see, I could fly from Phoenix to Dallas for $44 on Spirit. I don’t advise you fly on Spirit until you read my fair warning here. So if I could get to Dallas for $44 I would have a lot of flight options to the East Coast, including Charleston, SC. Once in Dallas I can fly to Charleston for $104. Grand total for Phoenix to Charleston = $148. If I would book that flight with a single airline, it would be about $180, so that saves you about $30 just one-way per perons. Keep in mind, you will have a layover regardless of what airline you fly from PHX to CHS. Build your own flight and save money.
Another cool part I love about Google Flights is that you can search multiple destinations at once. In addition to that, you can even search from multiple starting points. When I search flight deals to Hawaii I can search them all at once; HNL, OGG, KOA, ITO, LIH.
Additionally, if you live in an area where there are multiple airports nearby, you can search from all those airports at one time. If you live in the Bay Area of California, you could search flights leaving; SFO, SJC, OAK.
Remember, the key to saving money on travel is to be flexible. If you have rigid dates and rigid destinations, chances are you are not going to find the best deal.
Now, if you are a free spirited traveler like me, you don’t really mind where you go or when. I have enough points I can fly pretty much anywhere I want in the world. But the most attractive destinations, at times, are the cheapest ones to get to. Google Flights just rolled out a destination tool that helps you browse cities based on the cheapest months and weekends. This is very helpful for me since I can usually only travel around weekends and I am always looking for a quick cheap getaway.
As you can see, by choosing the month and “weekend”, Google will find the cheapest weekend deals on your previously searched destinations.
It is also important to mention that Google will display the in flight amenities. This is especially important for those longer trips when TV or WiFi is a must!
Give Google Flights a try and see what deals you can find!