Find Cheap Flights to Anywhere with Google Flights

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I have a major problem when it comes to deciding where to go on vacation: I want to travel everywhere.  It can be impossible to narrow the world down, which is one of the reasons I rely so much on price as a deciding factor.  When the goal is to find cheap flights to anywhere, I usually end up with a fabulous trip at such a low price that I can afford another trip later!

While waiting for fare sales is one option and bombarding with random searches is another, neither one is particularly efficient.  For me, Google Flights is the easiest way to gather inspiration and real-time price information so you can see at a glance where to go.

So Easy, Anyone Can Find Cheap Flights to Anywhere

To get started, just enter your departure city and specific dates, leave your final destination blank, and wait for Google to search flights on your behalf.

You’ll end up with a list of airports as well as an easy-to-read map that you can filter by maximum price, number of connections, preferred airline, and more.

Cheap Flight Results on Google Maps
Cheap Flight Results on Google Maps

There are a few reasons why this search option far excels compared to others:

  1. It is accurate.  If I see a rate I like, I can actually confirm the price on an airline website and buy the ticket.
  2. It is specific.  Several other websites can be a good starting point, but you can’t specify exact dates or lengths of stay which means a lot of the results will be irrelevant to you.
  3. It is as flexible as you are.  I can add in multiple departure airports if I’m willing to drive to an alternate airport and I can specify a region of the world if my destination is less specific than “everywhere”.  See what happens when you type in Europe instead of leaving it blank!
  4. It is intuitive.  Move around the map and zoom in or out to get different deals.

Although SkyScanner is one of the best search engines for specific routes/dates, their “Everywhere” feature is not particularly helpful.  They use pricing that can be up to 15 days old — which means the cheapest flights may be long gone by the time you see them.  Google’s information is much more recent.

Google Flights Shows Most (But Not All) Airlines

Results will include budget airlines (which you can filter out, if you want to avoid being charged separately for everything from carry-on bags to a cup of water onboard).  However, Google’s flight search engine doesn’t have every obscure  airline.  You won’t find little 8-seater airplanes that typically cover short distances and it excludes a few foreign, regional airlines.

Still, you can expect to have plenty of destinations that fall into your requirements.

Taking it a Step Deeper

Once you choose a destination/airfare you’re interested in, there is another feature I like: a visual calendar of fares, just in case you are flexible on your dates.  The bar chart can be very fast to see at a glance which sets of dates are cheapest.

bar chart of travel date flight prices
Whole month view of flight prices

Limitations of Google Flights

Generally speaking, this tool will only show you cities and dates that other people have searched for recently (Google then aggregates the data to show you so much information all at once!) so it might not show every single off-the-beaten-path option, but it’s plenty comprehensive for most needs.
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When your dates are set in stone but your destination is up in the air, I think it’s a fantastic tool to find cheap flights to anywhere!
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8 thoughts on “Find Cheap Flights to Anywhere with Google Flights”

  1. I love the regional search. I read the Dan’s Deals post about it this morning, and skipped my morning workout looking for flights from New York to “Caribbean”. It’s so much better than the long list of airports I used to type into ITA. I don’t think you need the name of a region to search for flights. I was able to see flights from New York to the Southeast US just by moving the map. A lot of the time, I’m looking for a flight from New York to “someplace warm” for $XXX. This is perfect for that purpose.

  2. @Woggledog, I’m not sure I’m 100% up for holiday roulette, but it does help me narrow down the world to what’s in my financial reach as a first step. Thanks for sharing the link – unfortunately I don’t have Virgin Atlantic miles, but I hope it can help someone else.

    @Travel Bug, I’ve left it blank and scrolled the map as well with good results. My typical search is a weekend in the western USA and I agree it’s a lot easier than selecting each airport individually on ITA.

  3. I like Skyscanner alot for finding fares to “everywhere” in a given month; plus it shows good international departing fares where as Google does not.

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