Travel Tip: Make the most of Google Flights

I’ve been spending a lot of time on Google Flights lately, looking up spring break and summer vacation destinations, and there are some really cool updates that they’ve just rolled out to help one find flights and, potentially, save money. Two of my favorite additions?

Mulit-airport search function: See options for up to seven origins and seven destinations in one search. We can fly out of Sacramento, Oakland, SFO, and San Jose fairly easily and this saves me the trouble of searching each airport separately.

and Date/Price grids: Plan the best trip time for the price if your dates are flexible. (And furthermore, check “when to visit” for crowds and average temperatures; they’ve integrated a lot more detail for specific trip planning. Here’s Barcelona as an example.)

More Tips? 

Know a deal when you see it. Earlier this year, Google launched a new type of price insight that tells you whether the flight price you found is relatively high, low or typical, using data from trips of similar length and time of year. Accordingly, you can track prices.

Use the Explore feature. Search for prices all over the world by entering your home airport and a date range. Filter. If you want to consider only nonstop flights or avoid early mornings, you can limit your search.

Be Flexible. Finally, here’s an older post with my number one tip for finding the best prices on airfare.

A caveat for all of this? Be careful: most carriers are now charging for things like seat assignments, checked bags, and meals separately, so follow through to see the true cost of each ticket before getting too excited about any extra low fares.

How do you begin your search? Any suggestions you would add for finding well-priced flights? 

P.S. Making trip itineraries and thoughts on Family-friendly travel.

(Also, we ended up getting tickets to Los Cabos and plan to stay in Todos Santos. Any suggestions?)

[Photo: Untitled, 2010 – Photo by David Terrazas]

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