Updated on February 4, 2015
Many people, including myself, know that they would like to travel somewhere in the world or on a particular continent, but don’t know where we should go. There are so many choices, how do I decide?
Well luckily, as usual, Google knows everything, including where I want to go when I travel!
There is a little known tool on the Google website that started being tested about 2 years ago called Google Flight Explorer.
WARNING: Does not work well on iPad/iPhone, use Desktop or laptop
This site has search boxes on the top left in which you can put your home city and then broad destination of your choice. It can be a city, state, country, or continent! Just below that there is a scroll bar on which you can select the number of days you plan on being on vacation. Then you are able to use the drop downs at the top for stops, airline alliances and times. Particularly useful if your priority is to find a non-stop flight from your home.
Finally, you are ready to see the cities that you can “explore” (10-15 cities usually pop up). The site will display the prices across several months to different cities for the period of time that you specified. The months can be moved further out by hitting the arrows below the bar graph. You can then scroll over the bar graph to see the price as well as the date (within your specified number of days) and airlines.
Once you have found your cheapest time interval for your new favorite city, just click on the bar which takes you to the Google Flights website to book your flight! The details of you flights are displayed and your several options for booking are listed just below that.
Now that I am about to purchase the tickets to Greece I’m kind of curious what the prices are in the rest of the world from my home city during those same dates. Since I am in Google Flights I just click on the map at the top right.
From here a map will open showing the prices to cities around the world for the same dates that you were going to Greece!
Now if you have specific days for your vacation set already then this is where you want to be, on this map that shows all the destinations for given dates! This can also be accessed just from regular Google Flights to explore the world!
Kayak has a similar tool as well, but it does not have the ability to set a certain time frame of days which I think makes it inferior.
Conclusion: Is this a game changer?? No. Is it a really interesting and fun tool to plan you next trip? Absolutely! Between the Explorer and regular Google Flights you have tons of ways to see prices around the country and the world! Check it out and let me know what you think. If nothing else it will certainly increase your wanderlust!