Google Flights 101: 7 Time-Saving & Powerful Travel Planning Tools

Google Flights 101: 7 Time-Saving & Powerful Travel Planning Tools

Google Flights 101 - The Overseas Escape
We all rely heavily on the good ole Google search for our everyday activities, but did you realize that Google is a time-saving and powerful tool for travel planning? Following recent updates, here’s how to take advantage of Google Flights when planning your next trip.

Start here:

1 | Open-Ended Destination Search Capability:

Seeking a quick getaway to anywhere, navigate to and leave the destination field empty. This will provide a list of various flights worldwide based on your timeframe. For this example I’ll leave the destination field blank.

Open-Ended Search - Google Flights 101

2 | Vague Destination Search Capability:

If I want to narrow the search to a specific country, content or region (for example: New England), this is easy. Instead of leaving the search field blank, I’ll input Europe as the destination.

Vague Destination Search - Google Flights 101

3 | Multiple Departure Point Search Capability:

Since I live in a small town (Charlottesville, Virginia) it’s often more cost-effective to drive to nearby Washington DC. By inputting multiple airport codes (DCA: Washington Regean, IAD: Washington Dulles, CHO: Charlottesville) I can then open my search to review all flights departing from multiple airports to Europe. For this example I input: CHO, IAD, DCA.

Multiple Departure Point Search - Google Flights 101

>> Note: The same logic works for identifying multiple destination fields, for example I could input that I want to go from: CHO, IAD, DCA to: LON, ROM, PAR.

4 | Open-Ended Date Search Capability:

Alternatively, if my heart is set on Italy (as is always the case) but my time is flexible, I can opt to instead choose to search by a month and timeframe. For this example I choose: May & 1 Week.

Open-Ended Date Search - Google Flights 101

5 | Open-Ended Interest Search Capability:

Finally, Google provides intelligent insight into choosing the Destinations themselves. Travelers can choose from Google’s predefined Interest list to determine which appeals to them most. For this example I choose: Food.

Open-Ended Interest Search - Google Flights 101

6 | Real-Time Flight Information:

Clicking on the destination of choice provides real-time flight information including length, airline and price. For this I clicked on Paris from the search results above.
Real-Time Flight Information - Google Flights 101

 7 | Duration Limited Search Capability

To avoid seeing those extra-long haul flights with multiple layovers that you wouldn’t consider (no matter the price!) choose the More dropdown and toggle the duration field.

Duration Limited Search


What other tools do you LOVE using for your travel planning that save you time and money? Please share below!

  • This is GENIUS! Did not know about any of this. Thank you for sharing!!

  • I had no idea about searching for flights with Google! Thank youuu!

  • LOVE Google Flights! Just booked my flight to Alicante, Spain in May because it was the cheapest destination along the Mediterranean :))))

  • I just found Google flights yesterday, while doing a bit of research for my flights back to Okinawa in June! Had no clue it existed 😛 but this is AMAZING!!! Especially when you know you want to go somewhere, but have no clue where 😉

  • This looks amazing! I actually had no idea that google flights existed until now. I always use skyscanner for searching for flights, but I’m definitely going to have to give this a go next time – I especially love that you can have open ended searches or even just ‘Europe’. My boyfriend is going to hate me even more now haha!
    xo April | April Everyday

  • The Postcard Travelers

    Had no idea Google flights existed! I usually use Skyscanner for their open-ended search feature but will have to check out Google flights for our next adventure. We love traveling by train in Europe and my first stop when planning a rail journey is the website!

  • Kari Guastella

    I always start with Google flights! It’s such a time saver and I love that its so flexible so that I can search any way that I want.

  • I’ve never used it before!

  • Thanks for this! It’s super useful to know how to use google flights properly- I always get lost and end up buying the wrong deal! I also think it can sometimes be useful to get a plane to a cheaper destination and take a megabus down, so I think it’s worth looking at that option if you’re ever looking to save money travelling!

    Rashina xxx

  • I love Google Flights! Their generic search (e.g. Europe) is something I’ve been waiting for them to implement for so long. Yay!

  • I love using Google Flights! It’s such a great tool to plan a trip, and even play around and see where you could go! Great post. 🙂

  • emilygrapes

    This is all new to me!! I didn’t realize they had such specific options like this! Looks like I know what I’ll be doing for the next hour. 😉

  • Oh my! My mind is officially blown. Thanks for this super helpful write-up! I might just spend the rest of the day obsessively searching all sorts of flight options.

  • This is so incredibly helpful!

  • I loveeeeeee Google flights. I pretty much use it for every single flight I book now! Why Southwest isn’t on it’s search engine though, I do not know. Get on that Southwest!

  • lisa-s

    Wow. I had no idea Google Flights even existed, and, if I’m a bit reluctant to give my whole life to 1 company, it’s SO helpful. Thank you so much for the tips, it’s my new favorite holiday planing tool 😀