Google Flights Explore: How to Find Cheap Flights to Anywhere (2024)

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We’ve all been there: Exhausted, in need of a vacation or trip away. “Just get me on the next plane out of town, I don’t care where it is, so long as it’s cheap.” We've got just the tool for you.

Google Flights is the best travel search engine out there to find the cheapest flights to anywhere, and it’s here to help. It has a little-known feature called Google Flights Explore that can help you find the cheapest ticket possible. You can narrow things down to stay in the U.S., head to Europe, or wherever you want to go.

We love this feature because Google still gives you the reins to set the ground rules while also highlighting tons of destinations you may have never considered. This incredible tool is arguably the best and easiest way to find cheap flights to anywhere your budget can get you.

Whether you're looking for a cheaper getaway this summer or sometime in 2025, here's a look at how to use Google Flights Explore to book your spot on the cheapest flight possible.

In this post

  • Where to Find Google Flights Explore
  • How to Use Google Flights Explore
  • Use Filters to Set Some Ground Rules
  • Some Quirks to Keep in Mind
  • Latest Updates to the Explore Feature
    • See Major National Parks
    • Major Airports are Marked Clearly

Where to Find Google Flights Explore

Google doesn’t heavily promote Google Flights Explore, but it’s easy to find. Simply navigate to the Google Flights homepage at, enter your departure airport, but leave your destination blank. Otherwise, just head to to pull it up straight away.

You can then filter for things like trip duration, number of stops, airlines, bags and more. And you will quickly see a map of the cheapest places to go based on your filters.

One tip: If you're looking specifically for flights, you'll want to click “Travel Mode” and select “Flights only.” Otherwise, you may see some results that require hopping in the car.

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How to Use Google Flights Explore

Google Flights Explore looks and operates much like Google Flights itself, so be sure to read our guide on how to use Google Flights to find the cheapest flights.There are origin and destination bars, date fields, one-way versus round-trip options, the ability to choose your cabin, and the number of passengers flying.

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One of the few drawbacks of Google Flights Explore as compared to the main search engine is that you can't select specific airlines: You can only pick between the primary airline alliances of Oneworld, SkyTeam, and Star Alliance.

Tip: To get around this, start through a normal Google Flights search and pick which airlines you want, then change your destination to something like “United States” or “Europe.” That will force Google Flights Explore to display only the specific airline(s) you chose.

The beauty of Google Flights Explore Map is just how much it lets you, well, explore.Start by typing in your home airport if it hasn’t auto-populated for you. The beauty of this setup is that you can keep things as loose or as prescribed as you need them to be. If you have a set weekend you need a getaway, just enter the dates.

Let’s say you’re more flexible and just need a weekend away sometime in January. Just click the date field, select “Flexible dates” and then “January” and “Weekend.”

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You can similarly tailor your destination. It can be as broad as “The United States” or “Europe” or as specific as a given state or city.

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The results also hinge on how you move the map. So if you know you need some West Coast sun but don’t care where you find it, just zoom in and see what flights pop up.

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Let’s say you want to head to Mexico for a few weeks sometime this fall or winter but don’t care when so long as the flight is cheap. Just enter your departing airport, “Mexico” as your destination and select “All” in the date field.

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Once you’ve zeroed in on a destination, click on the result. You can find the specific flights and even play around with the schedule to see if there are better dates at the same or similar prices.

Use Filters to Set Some Ground Rules

You might be flexible but you still have some preferences. That’s OK – you’re still in control, though this Explore feature doesn’t give you the same level of customizability as the standard Google Flights page.

  • Travel Mode:You can pick whether you only want destinations you can fly to or broaden your search to include a spot that involves some driving.
  • Stops: You can select how many stops you’re willing to make during your trip or note 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. Oneworld includes American Airlines and Alaska, SkyTeam has Delta, and Star Alliance has got United.
  • Price: On a budget? You can set a limit so that the Explore Map only shows results under a certain price.
  • Bags: Want a carry-on bag included in your flight ticket? Toggle this filter on to only see fares that include a carry-on.
  • Flight Duration:Have a maximum length you’re willing to be a plane? This lets you filter out ultra-long trips or fares with longer layovers (under “More”).

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Some Quirks to Keep in Mind

This Explore feature isn’t perfect, and there are a few limitations to keep in mind.While Google Flights will generally find flights 11 months out, this feature can’t search beyond six months unlessyou set specific dates.

If you’re planning travel in the U.S., you’ll need to search for flights on Southwest Airlines separately. Just like with the standard Google Flights search engine, Southwest flights don’t show up. Your best bet for finding cheap Southwest Airlines flights is using their Low Fare Calendar.

And finally, the results for your search aren’t sorted by price – nor are they always highlighted on the map. So it pays to scan through the results and poke around on the map just to see what you might be missing.

Latest Updates to the Explore Feature

Google is continually enhancing the Explore feature, and the latest updates have some interesting changes.

See Major National Parks

This is a huge – and interesting – addition to the Explore feature. Likely a result of the pandemic and increased interest in outdoor travel activities, Google has added major national parks worldwide.

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Hover over a national park, and Explore will show you the price of a flight into the nearest airport – and how long it takes to drive from the airport to the national park entrance.

For example, a flight from Chicago to San Francisco in late October will run you $113, and from there it's a 4 and a half-hour drive to Lassen Volcanic National Park:

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Major Airports are Marked Clearly

Points of interest have a blue dot. This is another recent addition: points of interest on the Explore map, so you can see what there is to do near each destination.

Again, you can hover over or click on the blue dot points of interest (cities, beaches, parks, etc.) and see what the nearest flight is, and how far of a drive it is from the airport. For example, there are multiple points of interest marked around the LA area:

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Bottom Line

Google Flights is already far and away the best search engine for flights out there. But if you need a cheap getaway and don’t care where you’re heading – or just need some travel inspiration – this extra Google Flights Explore tool is invaluable.

Especially when flight prices seem high or you have a tight budget, this tool can help you zero in on the cheapest options.

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Google Flights Explore: How to Find Cheap Flights to Anywhere (2024)


How to search Google Flights to anywhere? ›

You can find cheap flight deals to anywhere in the world on Google Flights. Just enter your departure city, choose Anywhere as the destination, and select Explore. You can pick specific dates or leave departure and return dates blank if your plans are flexible. The cheapest fares to popular destinations will appear.

Is there a better flight search than Google Flights? ›

Bottom line: Google Flights and Skyscanner are two of the best sites for searching for flights. Both have some great functionality, but each also has some areas for improvement. That's why we often recommend pairing multiple search sites to ensure you're getting the best deal.

How do I find the lowest fare on a flight? ›

ixigo directly searches multiple airline websites for the cheapest fares. Many airlines prefer to sell their cheapest flight tickets on ixigo.

Is kayak or skyscanner better? ›

Both platforms offer comprehensive support for flights, hotels, car rentals, and more, ensuring a seamless travel experience for users. In conclusion, both Skyscanner and Kayak offer valuable resources for travelers seeking to streamline their trip planning process.

How to find the least expensive flight? ›

How do you find cheap flights?
  1. Timing is key: For the best prices, booking domestic flights 6-8 weeks in advance and international flights 3-5 months ahead is recommended. ...
  2. Comparison is crucial: Using aggregator websites like Google Flights and Skyscanner, you can compare airline prices.
Jan 11, 2024

How to get flight tickets cheaply? ›

Tips to book cheap flight tickets
  1. Be flexible with your Travel Dates. ...
  2. Rely on New Incognito Mode. ...
  3. Avoid Believing in Myths. ...
  4. Track Airlines on Social Media Platforms. ...
  5. Utilise Flight Search Engines. ...
  6. Keep An Eye on Flyer Programs. ...
  7. Consider the Destination. ...
  8. Look Forward to Beneficial Deals.
Apr 16, 2024

Which website is best for cheap flights? ›

Summary of the Best Flight Booking Websites
Flight Booking WebsiteOverall ScoreStar Rating
Google Flights86.684.80
1 more row
May 23, 2024

What day are flights cheapest online? ›

As previously mentioned, booking airfare on Sunday is cheaper than other days of the week, especially Fridays. Be willing to fly mid-week. Since Thursdays tend to be the cheapest day to fly, see if you can tweak your travel plans so you depart and fly home during the week instead of on weekend days.

What is the best time to search for cheap flights? ›

Timing plays an important part. Specifically, plane tickets usually don't get cheaper closer to the departure date or if you book too early—more than five months in advance. Instead, flights tend to be the least expensive when you book between 5.5 and 1.5 months (164 and 46 days) in advance of your departure date.

Which travel agency has the best deals? ›

If you're targeting spontaneous travelers or those seeking last-minute deals, is the best online travel agency to consider. As the name suggests, it specializes in providing travelers with a wide array of last-minute options, from flights and hotels to car rentals and activities.

Which travel site has the best rates? ›

Let's start with the top 10 best travel websites 2023 has to offer for great deals:
  • Kayak. ...
  • Scott's Cheap Flights. ...
  • Tripadvisor. ...
  • Priceline. ...
  • Hotwire. ...
  • Orbitz. ...
  • Hotels. You can get amazing daily deals on hotels that are up to half off the average cost. ...
  • Google Flights. Search for the best airfares across all airlines and track prices.

Is Priceline or KAYAK better? ›

I give the Kayak app the overall advantage when it comes to easy-to-use features and elegance and for being comprehensive. The honors go to Priceline, however, if you're willing to take the app through its paces to find rock-bottom bargains.

How do I search nearby airports on Google Flights? ›

If you're flexible about where you'd like to fly from and fly to, you can enter multiple airports separated by commas. You can also enter one airport (like BOS) and then click on the location icon to look for nearby airports. Click OK to add your selected airports to your search entry.

How do I use Google Flights for multiple destinations? ›

On the home screen, look to the far left where it says "round trip" and click the drop down menu. Select "multi-city." Now input your dates and travel cities as you usually would. You can add up to five flights.

How do I untrack Google Flights? ›

Find tracked flights or turn emails off
  1. Go to Google Flights.
  2. In the top left, click Menu. Tracked flight prices. To find flights you're tracking, click a saved route. To turn tracking emails on or off, click Add notification .
  3. Optional: To stop tracking a route or flight, click Remove .

How to search flexible dates on Google Flights? ›

Next to Dates, you can select the See calendar of lowest fares option to find the lowest fares available within a 30 day period. Enter a value of zero within the Duration (nights) field for same-day travel. Enter a range with a dash if your plans are flexible, such as 7-9 for a trip of about a week.


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