Last time I discussed how even a little flexibility can save lots when booking flights. If you’ve been bitten by the travel bug, though, you might not care so much about when–or where–you travel. If that sounds intriguing, then the Kayak Explore map is for you. Below I’ll explain where to find and how to use Kayak’s explore map (easily one of the best travel inventions in the history of… ever.)
Where is this mysterious map?
Ready? Okay. Head to Kayak, but make sure you’re on your computer, because this doesn’t work well on phones. At the top right, there’s a menu that looks like a waffle, right next to the “login” button. Click that waffle menu, then click the “Explore” button on the bottom left.
Welcome to the Kayak Explore map. It’s my best friend/enemy/partner in crime. Type in your departure airport at the top, hit enter, and…
This map shows you the cheapest fares from your airport to anywhere in the world. That’s right: anywhere in the world. Take a moment for that to sink in. Have you ever wanted to go to Sri Lanka? Belize? The Caribbean? Well, then this map may become your new favorite travel tool.
Whoa. How do I use this amazing thing?
So, let’s go back to my flight research for a second. Let’s say I’m not picky what time of year I’m traveling or how long I’m gone, at least for starters. How cheaply can I fly to Tokyo?
$693 is really inexpensive! Let’s take a closer look by clicking on that fare.
This is really interesting! It looks like leaving in February makes flights even cheaper than the date range I decided on in my previous post. This is a great start. At this point I’d probably click the orange “Find Flights” button and use this as a jumping off point, for example:
- I might play around with dates some more and use flexible dates (covered in the last post) to figure out how much wiggle room I have before prices change
- I’ll see if I can extend or decrease the trip length while keeping the price low
- I’ll also want to make sure there isn’t a super long layover
If I’m lucky, though, the flight will actually look pretty great. If not, at the very least this gives me an idea of what month and trip length will give me the best flight prices, I’ll use that as my jumping off point for finding the cheapest flight prices.
Now you know my trick for figuring out the cheapest way to get anywhere in the world, no matter what time of year.
If you have time to explore more…
Got some time to play around? If so, there are some other neat Explore map features you should check out. In particular, try using the filters at the top to control things like…
- Only going places that will be hotter than 80 degrees
- Finding destinations with beaches or ski resorts
- Restricting your travel time to a particular month (like January) or season (like Spring 2016)
Happy exploring, everyone! I’ll be back next week with the third tip in the series!
Note: I’m not affiliated with Kayak.com. I just happen to really like their website and use it extensively when booking my own vacations. Hopefully you’ll find it useful, too!