Google Flights website is used by a large number of individuals for searching flights and airfares. The site does not book flights, for that, it will automatically redirect you to the relevant airliner or online travel agent’s (OTA’s) website in order to complete the booking process. but, one thing is known for sure, when searching for the cheapest flights, Google Flights gives you various options to find what you need. And, among these options, there is one called the Explore. If you haven’t heard or used Google Flights feature yet, this guide will be useful to you.
In this travel guide, we are going to take an in-depth look at how you can use Google Flights’ Explore map feature to find the cheapest destinations for your travel.
What is Google Flights Explore?
Explore is a world map in-built in the Google Flights website, which is quite a handy feature. This feature is best experienced on a web browser when using a desktop, laptop computer.
A key advantage of using Google Flights Explore when searching flights is that it lets you find the cheapest airfares, which it queries from its sources.
But, that’s not all. You can use this feature to further narrow down your travel needs, for example, finding places to stay in the U.S., flying to destinations in Europe, or just heading off to wherever you like.
The looks and functions of Google Flights Explore is much like the Google Flights search engine itself. It also has a guide on how to use Google Flights to find the cheapest flights, which you can read on the website. There are departure and destination input fields, travel date fields, selection between one-way and round-trip, the ability to choose your class of cabin, and the number of passengers.
Unfortunately, the Explore map feature of Google Flights is currently not available for mobile devices.
How to Use Google Flights Explore to Find the Cheapest Flights for Any Destination
Now, in order to use the features of the Google Flights Explore map to find the cheapest airfares, we have provided below a couple of simple steps.
Step 1. Pick your Selections for Travel
On your desktop or laptop computer, open a web browser and go to the Google Flights homepage at Google.com/Flights. Now, simply enter your departure airport(s) and travel dates, but leave the destination field empty. Click the Search button.
For example, If you are searching for flights from the U.S., the top results will be shorter and displaying cheaper flights within the U.S. only. However, if you want to see other regions, you will need to toggle the button that says “Update results when map moves”, which is located in the bottom left corner of the map. When this button is toggled on, you will see the flights results as you move the map to the region you want to travel to. Alternatively, you can enter a region, like Europe, Africa, Oceania, or Asia in the “To” input field and the map will show results of flights for only that particular region.
Note: You can also use the filter options for things, like the trip duration, number of stops, airlines, bags, and more. After narrowing down your desired options, you will see a map that shows the cheapest places to go based on your chosen filter options.
Step 2. Choose Flexible Dates for Travel
You can also search for your desired destinations by making your travel dates as flexible as possible. The Explore map’s initial view basically only shows airfares on the specific dates you originally entered. But, if your travel dates are flexible, you can just click the dates and switch to the “Flexible dates” option.
Under the “Flexible dates” option, you can select either a weekend, one-week, or two-week trip during a specific month or anytime in the next six months. For instance, if you have a set weekend and you need a getaway, simply enter your desired travel dates. If you are more flexible and just need a weekend away sometime in say, January, just click the date field, select “Flexible dates” and choose “January” and “Weekend”.
Step 3. Use Explore Map Filters
Google Flights Explore provides filter options that can be found at the top, which include Stops, Airlines, Times, Bags, and Duration.
- Stops: You can select how many stops you are willing to make during your trip or if you only want nonstop flights.
- Airlines: While you can’t specify or exclude an individual airline, you can filter the results based upon the three major airline alliances.
- Bags: You may want to include a carry-on bag in your flight ticket. You can toggle this filter on to only see airfares that include a carry-on.
- Flight Duration: This is great if you have a maximum length you are willing to be on a plane. This lets you filter out ultra-long trips or airfares with longer layovers (under “More”).
Using these available filters will help you find desired flights from the given results. For example, you can look for airfares that include bag fees by selecting the “Bags” filter option and enter the number of bags you would be carrying.
Also, located on the left panel is the “Price” selection slider. You can move the price slider to view results that show only flights under a certain price you have chosen. For example, if you want to see only flights going to Europe or Asia that cost less than $800, you can do so by simply moving the slider. You can also use filter options to narrow down results to search flights that cost under $800 and includes one or no connections, depart in the evening, and take less than 15 hours in total duration of your trip.
Step 4. Move the Map Around or Zoom In
Google Flights’ Explore map lets you navigate the map up, down, left, and right, and also zoom in and out. Using these functions in the map, you can quickly select your desired regions and view the available cheapest flights.
Step 5. Book your Flight
After you have made your necessary selections, you can then proceed to book your flight from the airline carrier or the OTA’s website.
Google Flights Explore map feature makes things simple for you, especially when you need to search for the cheapest flights.