The Best Tricks for Finding Cheap Flights with Google Flights
Google Flights is a solid tool to book your trips. You are probably already familiar with its basic functions, such as finding the best price on flights or searching on flexible dates so that we save the maximum time and money. However, there are some other lesser known features that can make you even more profitable for your travel budget.
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Find the cheapest months to fly
If you know where you are going, but you are free to decide on which dates you will, you can look for the cheapest months to travel to that destination. These are average estimates, but they are usually quite accurate, although you have to keep in mind that final prices can vary a lot depending on when you make the reservation.
Instead of those estimates, select flexible dates from Google Flights and you can navigate real prices. The flexible dates tab displays a calendar view of the rates, but the price chart gives an even more visual idea of the prices. It is also somewhat easier to navigate because you can see a more specific range of prices at the same time.
If you are looking for Hawaii, for example, prices soar between July and September, so if you plan on saving (and avoiding many tourists) it is a good idea to avoid them. March or May are better months.
Find cheap travel options per month
Let's say you're on the opposite end. You know when you're going to travel, it does not matter where. Let's just say that you can go on vacation in May for a couple of weeks. Google Flights recently launched a new tool. It is in the "Discover destinations" window. There, instead of entering the exact dates, we can select a month and a temporary strip within that month (weekend, one week, two weeks ...).
You can even apply filters by region or country, as well as different interests (honeymoon, food, adventure, nature ...).
It is also particularly fun to explore the version on the map. To get there just select a destination and give "Show flights". That brings you to a results page. Clicking on "Discover destinations" displays a map of destinations and prices around the world in the style of the Kayak tool. If you adjust the dates, the prices will fluctuate accordingly.
You can also get to this map from the main flight page. Just click on the map or select the option "Explore Map" in the upper left corner.
If you feel particularly adventurous you can even select your home city, select dates and click on "I'm going to get lucky". Google will select a destination for you based on your history and the most popular destinations.
Notifications program for when prices change
Regardless of the trip you are planning, it is a good idea to start tracking prices as soon as possible because they tend to fluctuate based on good.
According to CheapAir.com , the sweet spot to find the best prices is around 54 days before the date of travel. Google Flights makes it very easy to follow the prices of a flight because you can save the itineraries.
Hat your search in the normal way. Select a one-way flight and one back that suits you well and then select "Save this itinerary". Google Flights allows you to take a look at all saved itineraries and their price changes. You can also activate alerts in Google Now when prices change.
I recently used this feature to save on travel. I saved different itineraries to the same destination varying the day, time or airports. When the time came, I was able to choose the cheapest option.
Explore holiday destinations by regions
It's fun to explore your destinations by region. For example, if you know that you want to travel to Asia but are not sure exactly where, simply type "Asia" in the search bar, select a month to travel and Google Flights will show you the destination cities during that time period And for that region, along with their prices.
This is also very useful if you plan to visit several cities and look for the best possible price before flying. For example if you plan to travel to United Kingdom, you could end up traveling to cities like Glasgow, Cardiff and London. It is very easy to travel between cities once you are in the region, and you can save a considerable amount of money if you choose to fly to a city with a cheaper ticket and then you will simply have to adjust your itinerary depending on where you landed.
Look for long-lasting transhipments to visit "hidden"
One of my favorite ways to use Google Flights is to find a "hidden" transhipment city. By this I mean to find a flight with a very durable transhipment that allows me to quickly know a different city to which I address, in this way it is possible to enjoy another city while traveling to your main destination. It's like a bonus for your vacation.
To do this simply look for a flight as usual, but under the "More" tab you will see a list of cities to make transshipments that you can choose. If you want to look for even more alternatives select the "Any connection" and "Any duration" options before doing your search. In this way the results will show you the transfers with more time of waiting.
Once your results appear, you will be able to filter the transshipment cities by time of duration and thus look for the ones that allow you to last more hours in this "bono" destination, before taking your next flight.
Of course, do not think that transhipments are excessively durable (they last a maximum of 8 to 9 hours), but you could take advantage of that time to explore a part of a city that you want to know. I used this trick on a recent trip to North Carolina, when I transhipped and had lunch with my parents in Houston.
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It is worth mentioning that this is basically what applications like Skiplagged and CleverLayover do. However, the flights that Google shows are flights that are really connected (and not just flights with arrival and departure times are close), so if there is a delay or cancels any of the flights you could have many more options to solve. In addition, it is a little easier to book this kind of flights using Google.
Take advantage of accumulated miles
If you are a fan of earning miles, you will like this. Google has recently added a tool that makes searches based on air miles simpler. Under the tab "Airline" it is possible to search for a particular company or airline alliance. In this way, if you are a regular user of the United (Star Alliance Network) membership system, Google Flights will show you all the flights in that network so you can take advantage of the points.
Updating Google Flights makes it extremely easy to explore and plan your trips. Many of its functions are already available in other services, but it is appreciated to have them all in one place.