The world of travel search is always evolving. I do enjoy keeping up with it all, and at the moment, these are my 5 favourite ways to look for flights.
Useful for: When I’m open to going anywhere, if the price is right.
The sheer number of airfares and date combinations that Google is allowing people to browse, and the speed at which they’re allowing people to do it, is unparalleled.
In the ‘To’ box, try entering terms like ‘Europe’ or ‘North America’ or ‘Asia’ to explore the cheapest fares to cities within these regions. Use the bar graphs to locate the cheapest date combinations.
Useful for: When I want to explore airfares in depth
Kayak has a large number of filters and sort options. Once you’ve found something interesting using Google Flights Explorer, you can turn to Kayak to really refine what you’re looking for.
I would recommend always using the 3-day flexible date search when you can.
Tip: A lot of people don’t realize that you can search up to 4 destinations at once. In the ‘To’ box, use the 3-letter airport codes, separated by commas.
For example: LAX, SFO, LAS, SAN
If you enter that, you’ll be searching airfares to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and San Diego, all at once.
Useful for: When I want to explore airfares on a world map
Not to be confused with Google Flights Explorer above, Google Flights was the big G’s first attempt at letting people explore airfares.
It’s biggest strength at the moment is the map view, which allows you to explore airfares to destinations around the world plotted on Google Maps.
Tip: The more you zoom in, the more airports and fares you’ll discover.
Useful for: Analyzing the compromise between price and speed
Momondo has a feature that is a bit unique, in that it analyzes the trade-off between the speed of a flight, and how much it costs.
Would you suffer through a multiple layover flight if it only saved you $50? If it saved you $500? Momondo attempts to answer this question. It’s perhaps most useful for international flights, which can often have large tradeoffs in price vs speed.
Useful for: Finding the least agonizing flights
Similar to Momondo, Hipmunk attempts to analyze the trade-off between price, flight duration, and the number of stops. They call this the ‘agony’, and it’s something you can sort by when searching for flights.
People also seem to enjoy how aesthetically pleasing the site is.
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Chris Myden is Canada’s #1 travel deal enthusiast with over 250,000 followers on Facebook and Twitter.
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