Finding the Perfect (Cheapest) Time to Take Your Trip

Been wanting to take a trip somewhere, but are flexible on the timing?  Wish there was an easy way to figure out when the best time to go is?

Now there is a way!

A few days ago, I highlighted how Google Flights makes mileage running so much easier.  (Though I still rely on The Flight Deal to keep me informed in addition to searching Google Flights).

Today I am highlighting how you can use Google Flights to plan the best time to take a trip if you are flexible.

Let’s say you’ve been wanting to take a trip to Jamaica, but you don’t really care when.

Go to Google Flights and search for a flight that matches how many nights you want to stay.

Google Flights MBJ all airlines


If you are trying to fly one specific airline, you can select airline from the top of the list.  Here’s how it looks if I select US Airways:

Google Flights MBJ


But let’s stick with all airlines.  We’re looking for the cheapest flight of all of them.

Click on the graph icon in the top right.

Google Flights graph

This will bring up a comparison.

google flights looking at graph


You can easily visually pick out the cheapest flight available.  The dotted line across the top shows your original flight search.  You can scroll to the right or left using the arrows on the search.

Click on the shortest bar and it will take you to a flight listing.

Google Flights MBJ Listing


Google highlights the flight it thinks is best.  It takes connection time and price into consideration.  It suggested an Air Tran Flight, but I’m going to go with the Jet Blue flight.  It’s cheaper and they have TV.

I click the flights I want, and it allows me to find the flight on the airline’s website.

Google Flights Booking Jet Blue


Now my (pretend) trip to Jamaica is all set!


About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. Lot of Google Flights love lately 🙂 (I’m a big fan also btw)

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      After I showed my coworker how to do a mileage run on it, he was like, wow, did you write on this? And I had to say, wait, no, I didn’t! …why didn’t I?

  2. I’m amazed that more people don’t use Google Flights or talk about it. It’s basically ITA Matrix in a more easy-to-use format.

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      Yes! There are some limits–you can’t force extra connections to see what happens and it doesn’t always show all city pairings. But it does the job.

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