Best practices for booking flights: 6 ways to make Google Flights work for you
When it comes to booking flights, Google Flights is a powerful tool that can help you find the best deals and plan your dream getaway. Keep reading below for six expert tips to make Google Flights work for you.
1. Be flexible
One of the best ways to score fantastic flight deals is to be flexible with your travel dates and destinations. Google Flights' calendar feature is your best friend here. Use it to view an entire month at a glance and spot the cheapest travel dates. I found multiple one-way flights from Miami to London for as low as $127 between November 2023 and March 2024.
Switch to the "Explore" tab map view to compare different destinations and see where your budget can take you.
2. Follow the deal, not the destination
Once you're in the right continent, it’s much easier and often cheaper to hop around different countries and cities. For instance, you can grab that $127 Miami to London flight and then continue your European adventure. One-way flights from London to Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Greece, Morocco, and more can be found for as little as $15 to $25. Embrace the stopovers and make your journey an adventure in itself.
3. Track prices
Google Flights allows you to set up price alerts for your chosen flights and dates. It's like having your own personal price-watching assistant. If fares drop or rise, Google will notify you by email. Plus, you can view the price history, giving you a good idea of whether the current deal is worth grabbing or waiting for a better one.
4. Download the TravelArrow Chrome extension
To upgrade your flight search, consider downloading the TravelArrow Chrome extension. It's a handy tool that compares different search engines for the best flight deals and alerts you to any ongoing sales and promo codes. What's more, it provides legroom information, helping you choose the most comfortable flight experience.
5. Book direct
While Google Flights is fantastic for research, booking direct will save you a lot of trouble if issues arise like delays or cancellations. If you book through a third party, customer service might not be able to assist you effectively in such situations.
6. Use your loyalty program and a travel card
Maximize your benefits by signing up for airline loyalty programs, even if you don't fly regularly with a particular airline. Oftentimes, airlines will offer alternative ways to earn points besides flying with them, like Delta, which rewards Starbucks customers with SkyMiles per dollar spent. Link your Starbucks and Delta accounts using this link to start earning.
Additionally, booking with a travel credit card is a great way to accumulate points that can be redeemed later. Many point programs even allow you to transfer points, sometimes at a 1:1 ratio, giving you more flexibility. Find out more about choosing the best travel card for you.
Incorporating these tips into your flight search on Google Flights will not only save you money but also add a sense of adventure to your travel plans. Happy jet-setting!