If you’re planning a trip for business or pleasure, you likely have a budget. And with the prices of airfare alone, it can cost a bundle just to fly one state over. If you can save a few bucks on your next getaway, wouldn’t you do it?
Google Flights is one way to make affordable travel plans. You can find flights and hotels at reasonable prices. Plus, the site offers price alerts, ways to discover new locations, lists of activates in your destination, and much more.
Here are some helpful ways to plan your trip and save some cash with Google Flights.
1. Look at Google Flights Packages
If there’s one thing that can help make planning a trip that much easier, it’s a travel package. These handy combo deals give you one price that includes airfare and hotel accommodations. So not only can you get a decent discount on both but plan them together without searching for them separately.
The Google Flights Packages section shows the top destinations from your location. Alternatively, if you have a certain spot in mind, you can pop the destination, travel dates, and the number of people who will travel with you at the top.
Pick Your Hotel
Once you receive your package results, you’ll get details on hotels first. You can browse through the list that displays the star rating and a brief description or refer to the map for accommodations based on price and location. You’ll see costs for the entire package, per person, and in total.
Click to select an option and you’ll be directed to more package information on Google.com. This is where you can see full details for the hotel and find the right flight.
Find the Right Flight
You might see a Cheaper Dates area which is ideal if you have flexible travel dates. And you can use the Compare Rates section to find affordable airfare and convenient flight times for your budget and schedule.
Once you choose your departing and returning flights, you’ll select your hotel room preferences, and continue to book your package.
2. Browse Inexpensive Hotel Options
Maybe you don’t need a package deal for your trip. You might already have transportation and just need a reasonably priced hotel .
Click the Hotels button on the left of the Google Flights page and you’re on your way to affordable accommodations.
You’ll see popular destinations with some great hotel rates. But if you have a particular city in mind, enter it at the top with your travel dates and number of guests.
When you land on the results page, you can adjust filters at the top for guest ratings, amenities, and brands. You’ll also see that handy map again on the right side with hotels plotted by price.
Select a hotel for full details including available rooms and rates along with booking sites and their prices.
These Google Flights hotel searching features make finding accommodations within your budget a breeze.
3. Scout for Affordable Airfare
If what you need for your next trip isn’t the accommodations and only the airfare, then Google Flights is an excellent resource.
Click Flights on the left and enter your departing and returning airports with your travel dates. You can also include the number of passengers and the requested class if you like.
You’ll see results for your departing flights first with prices, stops, and travel times. You’ll also see a nifty section that shows you if prices are low for your trip and you can click View price history for details on the rate changes.
This gives you a nice way to see if it’s a good time to buy those airline tickets or if you should wait. Plus, you can enable the toggle toward the top for Track prices. This will set up Google Flight alerts so when the rates change, up or down, you’ll get an email.
If you decide to book your flight, click to pick the departing and then the returning flight. You can easily continue through to booking. But if you simply want to keep track of price changes for the exact flights you pick, use the Google Flight price tracker we just mentioned.
By enabling Track prices for flights you’ve already chosen, you can keep an eye on airfare changes via email without having to check yourself.
4. Check Out Google Flights Explore
If we still haven’t hit the nail on the head for what you need for your next trip, Google Flights can still help. Maybe what you have is the budget, but just aren’t sure where to spend it. The Google Flights Explore area of the website is the perfect place to find a fun destination .
Click the Explore button on the left side and discover a new spot. You’ll see some suggestions like New York, Walt Disney World Resort, and the Florida Keys. You can check out one of these options or pop some possible thoughts into the search box.
Click Travel Guide at the top and find out the types of activities there are, scan hotel and airfare rates, and see the best months to visit.
Say you’ve been thinking of a trip to Chicago but aren’t sure if there’s enough for your family to enjoy or if you can even afford it. Enter “Chicago” into the search box and you’ll get all of these details and more.
You’ll see photos, things to do, suggested day plans, prices for packages, flights, and hotels, when to visit, travel videos, and nearby places to explore.
The Google Flights Explore section helps you find the ideal location for your trip as well as one that you can afford.
5. View Potential Trips on Google Flights
One more helpful spot on the Google Flights site is Trips. This area is convenient for pulling in travel confirmation emails you receive to your Gmail account. But you can also use this section for planning.
Based on your activity on Google Flights, you’ll see Potential Trips with an option to continue planning any one of them. If you click that Continue Planning link, you’ll get a nice summary of the options you viewed or picked for that trip.
So if you’re deciding between two different locations, with a simple click of each one, you can find out if the airfare has gone up or down. Then, view those flight options once more and continue exploring things to do while you’re there.
Let Google Flights Help Plan Your Trip
Hopefully, these Google Flights tips for planning your trip and saving money doing it will come in handy. And remember, Google also has real-time flight data to help you keep track of your own flights or those for people visiting you.