Google Flights: The Complete Guide To Saving Money

By
Tue, 11 Sep 2018

The Internet has found ways to make getting around much easier. You use Google Maps or Apple Maps to plot out public transportation, Waze to navigate rush hour traffic, and Uber or Lyft to find a cheap and fast ride. So when you want to fly, why limit yourself to the airline's website? Google Flights has all kinds of tools to help you find the cheapest tickets so you can go everywhere on your bucket list without spending too much money. We'll outline how to take advantage of Google Flights to get notifications when a price drops, find cheaper tickets by adjusting your dates, and using the map to spot destinations you haven't thought of. To save as much time as possible on your trip, read up on the best carry on luggage. And to keep in touch while you're away, make sure you know about FaceTime and other video chat alternatives so you won't miss out on too much while you're exploring the globe.

What Are Some Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Google Flights?

  1. Get alerts when a price drops
  2. Search for a range of dates
  3. Include other airports
  4. Discover destinations on the map
  5. Don't ignore Google's recommendations

Does Google Flights Cost Money?

Nope. Google Flights is free. You're not actually buying your tickets from Google - instead, it's helping you improve your searches so you can find cheaper tickets to wherever you want to go. Once you're ready to buy, you'll get your tickets from the airline, and still get all the perks you enjoy like earning miles and receiving upgrades from your status with the airline.

How Do I Set Up Price Alerts On Google Flights?

  1. Go to Google Flights
  2. Choose your departure and destination city
  3. Select any other preferences like cabin class and number of tickets
  4. Next to "Track prices," click the switch to turn it to "On"
  5. To track a specific flight, select that flight and select "Track prices"

Are Tickets Cheaper On Google Flights Than Other Websites?

When you buy a ticket directly from an airline, the price will be the same no matter what search engine you use. But the problem is, you have to find that ticket in the first place. That's why sites like Kayak and Priceline are so popular - they show you results from many airlines at once. You don't have to search on every airline's site, and perhaps they'll recommend an airline you didn't even know about to help save you money. Google Flights takes this one step further by not only finding the cheapest flights, but by showing you how you can save money by adjusting your departure date, departure airport, or your destination, and they'll even update you if the cost of a ticket to your dream destination drops so you can grab it before the price goes up again. So Google doesn't lower the cost of your ticket, it shows you which tickets will be the cheapest so you can make the smartest decision for your travels.

In Depth

We could all use a vacation, but if you're on a budget, it can be maddening trying to purchase airline tickets. You pick your dates, then see that the flights you want are twice as much as they were yesterday. Thankfully, you can spot the best routes and prices with tools available online. Google Flights is one of the sites that savvy travelers use to get great deals by customizing their results and tweaking their searches to save money. Here are a few ways to take advantage of this site so your Instagram feed will be the envy of all your friends.

You pick your dates, then see that the flights you want are twice as much as they were yesterday.

#1: Get alerts when a price drops. The cost of tickets can fluctuate a lot from day to day, and often the best deals are scooped up quickly. Google Flights can let you know if there are changes in ticket prices by sending alerts to your smartphone or your email. Google analyzes and tracks prices using historical data that most people might not have access to. This feature allows you to keep your eye on dates that are a bit pricey right now, because you might get lucky and that trip to the Maldives could suddenly become affordable.

This feature allows you to keep your eye on dates that are a bit pricey right now, because you might get lucky and that trip to the Maldives could suddenly become affordable.

You can turn on price tracking for any flights to your destination with one click. This one step will give you email notifications about the prices regardless of the airline or flight number.

This one step will give you email notifications about the prices regardless of the airline or flight number.

But if you only want to receive notifications about a specific flight because you prefer that airline or have a set schedule in mind, just enter your travel details. Click on the flight that you want and turn on price tracking for that flight.

Click on the flight that you want and turn on price tracking for that flight.

#2: Search for a range of dates. One of the most useful features of Google Flights is the "Flexible dates" option. Often certain days of the week are more expensive than others, especially if you're traveling to a popular destination or going around the holidays. Adjusting your departure by one or two days on either side might save you hundreds of dollars. You can view the prices across a broad range on the calendar to see which days will be the cheapest.

Adjusting your departure by one or two days on either side might save you hundreds of dollars.

The first step is to click on the travel date field and check out the "Calendar" portion. Aside from seeing the dates, you'll also be able to compare the prices of tickets because they are indicated under each date on the calendar.

Aside from seeing the dates, you'll also be able to compare the prices of tickets because they are indicated under each date on the calendar.

If you want a bigger representation of the prices for each date, you can click the "Flexible dates" tab, which can be found right beside the "calendar" tab. It's easy to compare and spot great deals using this feature because low prices are written in green while the expensive ones are in red.

It's easy to compare and spot great deals using this feature because low prices are written in green while the expensive ones are in red.

#3: Include other airports. Another way to see the best deals is by comparing prices of different airports in your area. Just click on the origin or destination field, then choose "Nearby Airports" to see fares from different locations. If you don't mind driving a bit, or if you live in a large city, this can be a great way to save money.

Just click on the origin or destination field, then choose "Nearby Airports" to see fares from different locations.

#4: Discover destinations on the map. Travelers who are looking for their next adventure will find the "Explore Map" tool really helpful. Users can click random destinations on the map and it will automatically show the cheapest flight in that area. This is another way of reducing the cost of your trip, which is good for those who are traveling on a budget.

#4: Explore and Discover - Travelers who are looking for their next adventure, will find the Explore Map tool really helpful.

You can also discover the places that suit your style under the "Discover" and "Interests" tabs. You can filter locations that have the food you are craving, the culture you want to explore, the outdoor recreation that excites you, and so much more.

You can filter locations that have the food you are craving, the culture you want to explore, the outdoor recreation that excites you, and so much more.

#5: Don't ignore Google's recommendations. The "Date Tip" is often overlooked, but it could be helpful for you since it shows how much money you can save if you move your travel dates. The date tip can be seen after you enter your origin and destination.

The "Date Tip" is often overlooked, but it could be helpful for you since it shows how much money you can save if you move your travel dates.

Google's top pick makes last-minute trips easier for travelers. The system will give you a list of trips that are convenient and have a decent price. If the amount is in green, it means that it's the best flight that you can get at the moment.

If the amount is in green, it means that it's the best flight that you can get at the moment.

Traveling is a rewarding experience because it lets you see and enjoy the world's various cultures. But your trips shouldn't have to be expensive. If you are someone who wants to travel without spending too much, Google Flights can make it easier to book cheap trips around the globe. Now that you know what it offers, you can explore the site and start booking your first trip.