As the world’s destinations begin to open up again, it’s a race to that booking button as Britons try to line up the best value adventures for the year ahead.
Shopping around, using flight comparison websites and booking a flight and hotel package can all save money when booking a trip - but if you’re flexible on when you want to go, one travel influencer has a savvy tip for you.
In the video, the social media star opens by saying, “Here’s one of the cheapest ways to plan your trip - and guess what, it’s super easy.”
She then reveals her favourite booking tool for flights - not Skyscanner, Expedia or an individual airline website, but Google Flights.
The Tiktoker takes her followers on a click-by-click journey through her typical booking process: selecting her departure point (New York), leaving the destination box empty, and leaving any old dates in the date range selection.
When a map of results comes up, she then recommends clicking on the calendar date-selection tool at this point, and choosing “Flexible dates” at top right.
From here, you can get more specific, for example choosing a week long trip, or the month you’d prefer to go.
Selecting “one week” and “March”, the TikTok star says, “What this is going to do is it’s going to search all the flights in March to find you the cheapest option.”
She demonstrates how the flight aggregator shows her various possible destinations for March on a map of North America, with options including LA, Chicago, Miami and Toronto at different starting prices.
Scooting over to Europe on the world map, she shows followers how they’ll see starting prices for countries such as Spain, Ireland and Greece on the cheapest dates in March.
“I can’t even tell you how much money this has saved me,” she raves, “and it’s one of the easiest travel hacks.”
“That’s insanely cool,” wrote follower Jesse Stone; Vals567 agreed, saying: “This is me and the Mediterranean every June . Shoulder season. Perfect weather. Cheers.”
When The Independent tried using the highly visual, map-led function of Google Flights for options from London in April, we found the cheapest fares were for Budapest (£16 return), Warsaw (£20) and Dublin (£21).
Some of @hacks.travel’s fans remained sceptical, however. “But wouldn’t it give you those trips that are like 32 hours long?” commented one follower, while another added: “Might get a deal but will end up on low budget airline with three stops.”
Others posted their own flight-finding tools, with one writing: “Doesn’t work. Hopper has cheaper flights by $150 average.”
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