Google Flights Wants to Help You Stick to Your Budget When Booking Flights
Google is making it easier than ever to actually stick to your budget.
If you know you want to head on vacation soon, but you absolutely cannot spend more than, say, $300 without breaking your budget, the search engine will let you set a cap.
To test out the feature, go to Google Flights and click “Explore destinations.” Using your origin airport, you can search for vacation inspiration. Select either specific dates you’re considering or look at “flexible dates” for leeway and some surprise offers. You can then use a toggle to set the maximum price you're willing to spend and explore a moving map to see how far your budget can take you.
In an era of budget airlines and surprise fees, the search engine will also let you select an option to look at fares only when carry-on baggage is guaranteed for free.
Google Flights will also let you know if the fare you’re looking at is a good deal based on other typical fares for that time. Much like Hopper, the search engine will use historical data to suggest if now’s a good time to book or if prices are likely to drop the longer you wait. Previously, this feature was only available when booking flights around the busy holiday travel season.
Google is not the first flight search engine to allow users to set a cap. For the past two years, KAYAK has allowed users to search for destinations based on their origin airport, budget and desired length of vacation with its Explore feature.