Hello all you smart, money-saving savvy travelers! Last week we delved into the beautiful blue waters of saving the big bucks using Google Flights.
We talked about how being a bit more flexible with your destination meant way cheaper flights. Missed that post? Click here to read it first.
This week we’re getting right back to it- Let’s look at how flexibility with your travel dates can save you ALL the dollars!
First, you’re going to want to pop over to Google Flights once again, enter your departure airport + your destination (for our purposes I’m just entering “Latin America” so we can have some fun!) + some travel dates around the time you want to go:
Tip: For some reason, Google Flights won’t let us enter flexible dates for this first step. (Their one flaw… shall we let it pass? We shall.) No worries though, I’ll show you how to get there!
After you click that blue “Search” button, you’ll see this:
What I want you to do right off the bat is click the departure date box. When you do, you’ll see this pop up on your screen:
Woot! See that “Flexible dates” circle in the top left? When you click that, you’ll see the screen below. I went ahead and chose “November” + “1 Week” as hurricane season will be good and over by then in Central America, and I’m looking for a sweet beach vacay.
Let’s see what we get! Eeeek…. I’m so excited! Where will Google Flights send us this time?
Ok. Let’s break this down before we make a decision, because there is a lot of info here. First, the flights highlighted in green… notice that they aren’t necessarily the cheapest flights on the map.
So why are they highlighted?
It could be for several reasons really. It could be that normally flights to that destination are much higher, that those are nonstop flights, or that they are otherwise more convenient (extra bag is allowed, etc). In any case, Google thinks they are worth paying attention to.
Second, these are the best flights for 1-week trips to these destinations for the whole month of November. Go ahead and read that again! Google has found the best flights from Charlotte for any 1-week time period in November, and put all of the best deals on one handy screen for us. Google Flights, you are so dreamy!
Panama City really sticks out to me at first glance (beach + history + jungle… yes please!) so let’s see when those dates would be. I’m going to click on Panama City right on the map to find out.
Notice that the cheapest flight (by about half) is using Spirit Airlines, a smaller airline. Also of note is that total flight time is less than 6 hours! The other two flights they are showing are much more expensive & longer.
I’m ready to book! I’ll go ahead and click “View Flights” at which point Google will give me an option- book with the airline directly or book with Google. Either way your price won’t change. I like booking with Google because they will magically input my flight info into my Google Calendar.
We used flexible dates AND flexible destination, but what if you have a specific destination?
No problem! Use the exact same process we just used + put in your specific destination. You’ll be able to see the best time to fly within your dates. Win!
Tune in next week- we’ll have the last in our series about saving $$$ using Google Flights! What are your favorite Google Flights tips?