If you haven’t discovered the wondrous (albeit occasionally awkward) flight-finding tool that is Google Flights, you need to definitely start tinkering with it. It isn’t always the cheapest, but it’s certainly always close.
It uses algorithms just like any other travel site, but it has a nifty little feature baked into it that can certainly help you go to some awesome places on the cheap.
Some Sample Prices:
- Beijing for 312USD
- Dublin for 298USD
- Berlin for 332USD
- San Juan for 228USD
- Milan for 360USD
- Osaka for 492USD
- Paris for 200USD
- London for 150USD
- Amsterdam for 196USD
- Athens for 250USD
- Hong Kong for 309USD
- Auckland for 383USD
Dozens more. Too many to list. That is just from LAX. Set for January, 2020. Imagine the deals just waiting to be found and cashed in on from your nearest airport. All because…you know what, I’m not even going to give a rhyme or reason, because frankly there is none. Which is awesome . . . if you take the time to take advantage.
- Go to Google Flights
- Select “Round trip” or “One Way”
- Enter in your nearest airport
- IMPORTANT: Don’t put in a destination
- Press “Search”
At this point, the little built-in tool makes itself known in the form of a world map filled with destinations that you can scroll around.
- If you have exact dates, enter them.
- If NOT (I recommend not), then click the departure date box, and at the top, above the calendar that appears, will be an icon that says “Flexible dates.” Click that.
- Choose what month you want to leave (It currently does 6 months in advanced)
- Adjust the dandy “Price” slider to fit your budget
- Optional: If you are a Return-tripper, select (Weekend/One Week/Two Weeks)
- Scroll around the world and check what destination suits your interests
- Click the one you want and Book it!
If you want to further tailor your trip, once you choose your destination, you can click your dates at anytime and view a calendar of prices. From there, choose the ones that suit you best while seeing the cheapest price for each day.
A Few Tips/Caveats:
- Bigger Airports tend to have the better deals
- Flexibility is King
- If you aren’t flexible with your dates, your travel times, your airlines, etc. this can potentially alter the cost
- Try tinkering with “One Way” and “Round Trip”
- Piecing together your flight can not only be more convenient (more destinations, get in!) but can also end up being cheaper.
- Try using local budget airlines to connect your trip
- If you can’t get to your dream destination, or there isn’t a big airport close to you now, this can help. For example, inter-European flights are daily and ridiculously cheap (Try 8-30USD).
- Try comparing the price on Google Flights to the airline website’s. You’d be surprised what further deals you can find. (better price, better times, etc.)
- Read the fine print (no luggage included, awkward layovers, separate tickets, etc.)
- BOOK EARLY
- Save it to the last minute, you might still have some great options, but you’ll probably have more if your due-diligence is in due time
That’s it. You’ve just bagged yourself hopefully a great deal. And it might open up a whole avenue of places you’ve never thought to visit. Of course it takes a bit more leg work, and you have to be okay with a bit of possible inconvenience…but for a 300USD round trip to the other side of the world…worth it right?