The first website I go to when looking for flights is one that I assumed everyone used. Yet, when I’ve told people where I book my flights, I have been surprised to find that not many people know about this.
My flight search website? GOOGLE. Simple.
However, I don’t mean that you should go to the Google homepage and use the search bar. I mean that you should use Google Flights.
Are you looking for a round trip flight? A one way? Do you need multiple stops along your journey? Select what you’re looking for by clicking on one of the tabs. Type in where you’re leaving from, where you’re going to, and then head down to the dates.
This part is my favorite. The date feature why I use Google Flights over anything else. The price comparison is so simple, yet so useful.
The green shows cheaper flights. If you’re flexible with your dates, you can plan your trip based around the cost of the flight.
You can also use “Explore Map,” as pictured below:
This allows you to search prices and locations on one big map. If you zoom in on your search, you’ll be able to see the prices.
With this feature, you can see the cheapest city (or country) to fly to near your destination.
When I wanted to decide which country to fly to from Singapore, I chose Vietnam over Cambodia because it was cheaper during that time. This feature of Google Flights allowed me to make that decision in a matter of seconds by showing me the prices all in one place.
If you’re really flexible with your travel plans, you can use the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button on the “Explore Map” page. This feature will show you a destination somewhere in the world that you can fly to from your starting point. If you aren’t sure where to go, check this out for inspiration.
Once you choose your destination and dates, you are given multiple options of different airlines. The top airline will be the cheapest, and the prices will go up from there. You’ll be shown the times of the flights on this screen, as seen below:
Once you select your outbound and return flights with your preferred airline and flight time, you are given options to book with various agents, as shown below:
You are also usually given the option to book directly through the airline. If you aren’t given that option, you may want to check the airline’s website to make sure that the price is the same. Usually, though, the prices will match.
Instead of using Google Flights, you can start your flight search by using sites like Priceline and CheapOair, but those types of websites always annoy me. There are tons of pop-ups and you have to click between multiple windows and tabs to compare the flights, whereas with Google Flights, it’s all in one place. Google may direct you to one of those sites to book the actual ticket, but at that point, you will already know where the best prices are without having to ninja your way through all the crap that shows up on your screen to get to the actual flight information.
Another site that I check is skyscanner because they tend to have deals. I still find Google Flights more user-friendly, but I did find a cheaper flight on skyscanner once while traveling in Asia, so it’s worth a quick glance.
There are tons of different sites you can use to book flights, but I like Google Flights for its visual ease and organization. It’s Google. I know them. They’re almost always the best, so why use another site? Sure, I compare by going on skyscanner and on my preferred airline’s website, but otherwise, this is where I’m booking my flights.
If you have a different website that you prefer to use when booking your flights, leave it in the comments below. I’m always interested in finding new travel tools!