This summer has seen a massive increase in travel demand as the world continues to shed Covid-era restrictions. As a result, airfares surged by more than 50% when demand was skyrocketing. Although there may be some reprieve for flight costs this fall, prices remain high, leaving some travelers wondering if it is even worth booking a trip. However, for those not locked in on any particular travel dates, there is a simple trick to find international fares for under $200. The tool used is likely familiar, but the method and feature used may not be. Using a feature of Google Flights and some helpful filters, travelers can find an international flight to many destinations at a price point that doesn’t break the bank.
- In order for this method to work, the number one requirement for travelers is flexibility, either with their intended destination, their trip dates, or both. Maximum flight savings will trend with maximum flexibility.
- While not a set-in-stone requirement, traveling out of a larger airport hub will net the most savings. For example, international flights from New York City are almost always cheaper than those from smaller, less-connected airlines. If travelers live near a larger airport, it may be worth the drive to save on fares.
- Time. Travelers will have to spend a bit more time researching with this method, but the savings can be worth it. In particular, it’s worth investigating what hidden fees may be lurking behind a cheap fare, such as extra baggage fees.
The Feature & Methods Used
The first step will be heading over to the Google Flights landing page. From here, rather than punching in destinations and dates, click on the “Explore” tab. From here, travelers can find flights and trip ideas that will fit their criteria and, hopefully, a great deal! As mentioned above, this method is most useful for travelers who either don’t have a particular destination in mind, don’t have specific travel dates in mind, or both. This article will outline best practices for each circumstance.
Completely Flexible Travelers
- Head to the Explore Tab on Google Flights.
- Put your departure city in & change the trip to “one way” to find the best deals.
- The default search parameter for dates is a “Trip in the next months”. Completely flexible travelers can feel free to leave this setting untouched.
- Suggested Filters
- Price – Less than $200.
- Travel Mode – Flights only
- Stops – 1 stop or fewer. Travelers ok with more layovers can adjust accordingly.
Now the world is yours! Drag the world map around to find destinations that interest you and enjoy the savings. An example with the above parameters using New York City as the departure city and Europe as the region of interest lies above. As you can see, there are several European cities with fares that are less than $200, including Rome, Athens, Milan, Berlin, Lisbon, and London. Dragging the map over to the Caribbean and South America also yields favorable fares, with many closer to $100 than $200.
Travelers With Specific Dates Or Destinations
While travelers with less flexibility will not be able to find deals as good as those with complete flexibility, this method is still worth using to find savings. Depending on the criteria for the trip, travelers only need to change one setting in the search to match their needs.
- Specific Dates – For travelers with particular dates, click on the box that, by default, reads, “Trip in the next 6 months.” Click “Specific dates” and enter your departure date.
- Specific Destinations – For travelers with particular destinations, click the box that says “Where to?” and input your destination. The “Trip in the next 6 months” box should remain unchanged.
Travelers with specific dates and destinations are less likely to find fares for under $200, but it isn’t impossible. If no results show, prices and the number of stops may need to be adjusted to find the lowest pricing. Similarly, suppose there is a better-connected airport within driving distance. In that case, it may be worth checking to see what deals can be found by switching departure airports.
The Explore tab is a great way to find flight deals when you can be flexible with destinations or dates. A good rule of thumb is more flexibility means more savings. However, travelers can filter by month, specific dates, non-stop vs. multiple stops, continent, country, or city. A new and exciting place could be waiting that you’d never considered before, and this is a method to use to find it.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com