Trying to find the perfect flights to Disney? Google Flights is one of the best tools and it’s user-friendly. Here are three common situations many travelers find themselves in and how Google Flights can help you score a great deal.
- You have flexible dates and are looking for the best deal.
- Your destination is flexible and you’ll follow a cheap flight that fits your schedule.
- You know your dates and destination, but you want to track prices and wait for the best deal.
You Have Flexible Dates
Let’s say you want to take the kids to Disney some time this summer, but you’re pretty flexible on when you go. You want to save money, so you’ll travel when the price is right. Google Flights has three tools to help you visualize prices over a period of time.
From the Google Flights home screen, create a sample flight, picking some random dates that might work for you. If you refuse to fly before 8 am, add that criteria. If you’ll only fly non-stop, put it in there. Then, click on the calendar.
A calendar with two months of dates will pop up. It will tell you the total cost of your selection for every departure date. If you chose roundtrip airfare, it’s basing each price on the length of your sample flight. If it’s a six day trip, every price on the calendar is for a six day trip from that departure date. Also, if you selected two adults, it’s giving you the total price, not the price of each ticket.
The next option helps you look at extending or shortening your dates by a few days in either direction and how it will affect the price.
The last one is my favorite. It will quickly and easily shows you pricing for the next nine months. The top graph zooms in on a two-month window of dates with prices and the bottom graph gives you the long timeline of prices.
Your Destination is Flexible
Let’s say you’ve got your eye on specific a week you want to travel, but you’re open to where the
wind blows cheapest flight takes you. This can be a fun tool to play with. Start by clicking on the “hamburger” icon on the top left and then click on “Explore Map.”
Enter the dates you want to travel, any specific criteria, and your home airport, but leave the destination blank. It leaves you with an interactive map where you can see the cost to fly anywhere in the world on those dates with that criteria. Pretty amazing.
You Need to Wait for the Right Price
Spring break is coming up, but the cost of flights just don’t fit your budget. You know when you want to travel and where you want to travel, but you’re waiting for price of flights to go down. Google Flights is your friend. Go back to the homepage and search for the dates and destination you want, adding any specific criteria you need.
You’ll notice a section that says “Track Prices.” Turning this on will send you updates to the email linked to your Google account as prices fluctuate. It’s a great way to wait for the price to dip just enough to fit your budget.
A Couple More Google Flights Tips
First, there is also an actual Google Flights Tips tool. It often shows up during your searches telling you that if you move a flight a day or two in a certain direction you’ll save a specific amount of money. It offers pretty helpful advice while you’re searching for flights.
Also, Google Flights does not track Southwest Airlines prices. It will show itineraries and gives you a link to the Southwest website with those flights, but it won’t show the prices or track them. We love Southwest for their cheap flights, free checked bags, and no change fee policy. So, it’s always good to use Google Flights and also check Southwest periodically.
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