On Wednesday, Google announced the final version of its flight-shopping site clearly designed to compete with the travel industry’s current deal-sorting titans. Dubbed Google Flights, the site shares a lot in common with Kayak and Hipmunk, meaning that if you know your destination and ideal travel dates, you can sort available flights and tweak your schedule to easily save a few bucks.
Flexibility is key when finding great deals
There’s a travel myth that you can always find the best deals on Tuesday. But actually, you can find good deals any day of the week—especially if you’re flexible with your travel dates. Though it’s sometimes hard to pull the trigger because you’re afraid the price will drop tomorrow (or next Tuesday, maybe?), our experience shows it’s usually best to book right away.
Regardless of which day you sit down to plan your trip, you can use the calendar in Google Flights to scroll through months and see the lowest fare highlighted for each day. If you’re planning even further out, use the lowest fares graph beneath the calendar to see how prices may fluctuate based on the season, holidays or other events. You can also set preferences (such as direct flights only) and our calendar will adjust to show you just those flights and fares that fit the bill. Finally, if you can save more by using a nearby airport or flying on a different day, we’ll show you a tip at the top of your results.
You can also search for generic terms, such as “flights to Europe” or “flights to Mexico.” Google Flights also has an “I’m feeling lucky” button that will suggest popular destinations and other locations based on your search history.
Google said it found that 54% of people don’t know where they want to travel when they decide to plan their vacations.
What Google doesn’t show is whether prices will drop in the near future. Microsoft Bing and Kayak provide services that predict when prices are expected to rise or fall.