These five Google Flights hacks are designed to save you money on your next trip. They are tips I’ve built up over many years of Google Flights to hack into cheaper fares.
Google Flights is a great way to find cheap flights, but you need to know how to use all the tools at your disposal to make the most of it.
In this list, I cover five of my favourite tricks.
So let’s get into it…
Use Track Prices To See a Recent Price Graph
Most people have probably heard of the ‘Track price‘ function in Google Flights, but did you know you can use it to bring up a handy history graph that may help you make a decision as to when to book your flight and save you money?
Firstly find the flight you are looking for, then hit the ‘Track prices‘ button in the top left-hand corner.
When you do, a black box will appear at the bottom of the screen to tell you a price alert has been set up. Most people usually ignore this, but this is where the hack comes in.
Click the blue ‘View’ button to unlock a secret graph.
Once you’ve hit the view button you’ll get the following screen.
This shows you the price history of this route over the last few months.
As you can see with this choice, the price started off cheap, then went up, but every 30 to 60 days there is a drop-off.
If you have time to spare, it is worth tracking this price to wait for the drop again, as it looks like it’s something that happens regularly.
READ NEXT: Learn more about Google Price Alerts by reading my full step-by-step guide – Google Flight Tracker: How To Set Alerts To Track Prices
Use Explore When You Have No Destination In Mind
This tip requires a degree of flexibility, but if you have the dates for a trip in mind but no clear destination, then using Google Flights Explore is a fantastic way to find cheap fares and discover places you may not have considered.
In this example, I’ve got a long weekend free in March (travelling from London), but I’m not really sure where to go yet.
I load up Google Flights and hit the ‘Explore’ tab on the left.
After plugging in the dates I want to travel I’m now presented with lots of options. If I zoom or scroll the screen different options will become available. I can also sort by price, stops, airline and many other parameters to refine my search.
A return flight to Budapest at £41, Malta at £77, Barcelona at £51 and Milan at £20 are just a few examples of incredible value flights.
If you have the flexibility of dates, Google Flights also has functions to help here.
After clicking on the date selector we get the box below. We can filter by trips in the next 6 months, choose a specific month and then filter by weekend, 1 week and 2 week breaks.
Select Multiple Airports
Another great Google Flight hack is the ability to add multiple airports to your search.
Let’s say you lived somewhere like Oxford in the United Kingdom, in this search I am setting the search to show both the airports on the outskirts of London and also Birmingham Airport which is to the east of Birmingham.
By doing this I get more options which could prove to be more cost-effective – though just be careful you don’t end up booking yourself a return flight from one place and back to another!
Using the Date Grid & Calendar Selector
My favourite Google Flights tip is this one, using the ‘Price grid’ and ‘Calendar’ selectors.
Firstly the ‘Calendar’ view.
If you hit the dates in the top right-hand corner of Google Flights, you’ll see this calendar.
You can see I have selected a three-week trip from Saturday to Saturday, but if I were to move the flights a couple of days early I would save over $500.
Is it also possible to do this using the ‘Date grid’ which is shown below.
Once clicking the ‘Date grid’ button you will get a grid like the one below, with the top row showing departure dates and the side row showing return dates.
This is showing the same information as in the ‘Calendar’ view, but I often find it easier to pick out a cheap flight using this view.
Use The ‘Any Dates’ Function
Another slight Google Flights secret that I happened across recently is the ability to track flights for any dates in a certain time period.
The way to get this is to put in a long date range.
We are looking to go to Uluru at some point this year, so what I have done in the example below is set a departure date of tomorrow and a return date at the end of the year.
This then pops up a new feature, which does not normally appear the ‘Any dates’ tracking function.
It is slightly temperamental. You can see in the screenshot below that when I change the route to two passengers, it disappears.
This isn’t a major issue, as even by tracking a single fare we still know when the prices drop.
You can see that when we click this button a slightly different notification appears than our example of tracking prices earlier in this post.
We now get a pop-up saying ‘You’ll get emails when prices are low for Melbourne-Uluru’.
This is exactly what I was looking for. I’m not sure if we’ll get the chance to go this year, but if flights drop at any point it might be the motivation we need to book a long weekend away.
Once the alerts are set up emails start to come through regularly like the one below, giving different options for the trip to choose from when ready.
Don’t forget you can have notifications set up for multiple routes which you can stop at any time, so if you have a few destinations you’d like to visit but aren’t set on anything specific yet these emails showing cheap flights could help you make a decision.
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