After being warmly welcomed to the travel blogging community and spending my time at work perusing travel websites and planning trips that I fully intend on taking, I’ve found the best flight search tool: Google.
Skyscanner, Orbitz, Kayak, etc. have all been recommended to me. Sure, they are cool and convenient, and I love Skyscanner’s “go anywhere” feature, but Google’s Flight Search Tool does that too with its “Expand map,” option. Here are 5 reasons why Google’s Flight Search Tool is the best (in my opinion, of course):
Money-saving trip planner
Probably my favorite feature of Google Flights is that when you are choosing dates for your trip, it shows you prices for days, weeks, and even months ahead. That way, you are able to plan your trip in advance and look at your best options for spending the least amount of money on tickets. There’s even a bar graph that shows the fluctuation of fares.
The destination possibilities are endless
If you at least know where you are starting from, Google will do the rest of the leg work for you. There’s an “Expand map” option that will allow you to see prices for tickets all over the world! And there’s an “I’m feeling lucky” button that will randomly select a destination for you. Or even if you have a general idea of where you’d like to go, Google allows users to type in general geographic areas instead of specific cities or airports. So you could really just type in “Hawaii” or “Ireland” and Google will bring up a list of airports that you can choose from.
Google isn’t trying to trick you
There are no add-on prices or “sign up for this for an additional $100!” scams. Google is here to help you (duh, it’s Google) and they want you to get the best deal possible. For example, if you’re trying to plan a trip to San Francisco, and it’s cheaper for you to fly into Oakland, Google will let you know. Or if it’s cheaper for you to fly out a day earlier, Google will be that guy who tells you to save that $60.
The best flights listed first
Google will list the cheapest flights first. Not only are the cheapest flights listed first, but the flights with the least amount of stops and shortest layovers too!
Save, share and compare
Now you’re able to save and share your flight search, which is an awesome feature if you need to consult with family or friends before booking. However, be aware that the price of your saved search might change. The compare comes in when you are searching for your flight. Google lays out all the possible flights (i.e., different airlines) for your selected date and destination so that you can compare your options (which I know isn’t a new feature on airline search engines, but it sure is helpful).
Random note: I used to think that I was so cool for knowing that the best time to buy plane tickets was late Tuesday nights. I thought I had the world’s best kept secret! I only knew this thanks to my Mom, who is a flight attendant and knows all of the ins and outs of booking flights. Turns out, every travel blogger knows this, so I am no longer cool.