How Google Flights Can Help You Score Affordable Travel

You can save more thanks to Google and some flexibility.
  • Google Flights provides users with data-driven tools to determine exactly when and where they should fly.
  • The timing of your ticket purchase can be just as important as your destination and travel dates.
  • Flexibility and planning ahead are key to scoring the best travel deals.

Globetrotters itching to satisfy their wanderlust in 2019 can use the flight search engine Google Flights to book the best travel deals. As the tech giant continues to evolve its Google Flights platform, frequent travelers need to keep up with new tools to secure the cheapest fares. Learning how to navigate Google’s online flight search service could help you travel more — for way less.

Finding the Best Deals on Google Flights

Before trying to locate cheap flights, you should remember two things to ensure optimal results: Plan ahead and remain as flexible as possible. If you manage to do both, you’ll be able to take full advantage of these tips to find the best deals in travel.

Know When to Make Your Google Flight Booking

Timing your airfare purchase is crucial to lowering the total cost of your trip. Google’s flight search engine provides a handy tips section after you select your departure city, destination and travel dates.

The tips section is backed by Google’s analysis of price trends from previous flights, so keeping an eye on it could yield some useful notes about deals:

  • “Prices are likely to increase” — Google Flights can estimate approximately how much ticket prices will increase in the future.
  • “Prices are unlikely to drop before you book” — Google Flights predicts that fares won’t budge between now and the flight’s departure.
  • “Prices are less than usual” — Google Flights found that trip prices are significantly cheaper than expected and can provide insight into factors affecting airfare.

For upcoming holidays and school breaks, Google offers an online tool that breaks down price trends for the most common flight routes. It allows you to determine how many days in advance you should be looking up ticket prices.

If you’re researching cheap travel packages, Google can also recommend hotel deals in the top global cities during those busy travel periods.

Once You’re There: How to Vacation for Under $100 a Day

Take Advantage of Google Flight Search Features

After choosing the cabin class, departure city, destination, number of stops and tickets needed, there are several different sections on Google Flights that you can explore to score the best travel deal:

  • Airports — This tool lets you know when less expensive fares can be found at other airports.
  • Dates — Prices fluctuate depending on the day of the week, so Google Flights can offer insight into which travel dates have the cheapest fares.
  • Price graph — You can investigate price trends by week or month if you have flexibility in your travel dates.

In addition, you can monitor the lowest price for your flight route by opting to receive emails or mobile notifications when airfare is expected to become more expensive or when the current best deal is about to expire. To do this, click the switch next to “track prices.” You can even track price changes for specific flights.

Read: Why Vacations Are Just as Important to Me as Saving for Emergencies

Travelers who can be flexible with their itinerary should also check out the “explore destinations” feature on Google Flights, which pulls up a map that allows you to search for broad terms such as “weekend trip in the next six months.” The map gives you a snapshot of the best deals available during that time frame.

Whether you’re hunting for the best deals on specific flights or trying to book a cheap, spontaneous trip, using Google Flights effectively can help you put money back into your vacation budget.

Read more from travel experts who share their tips for saving for vacation.

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