My brother is getting married this June; about 2 month from the time this post is written. He’s super busy with wedding planning, and has had no time to plan their Honeymoon.
They want to go to Florence, Italy, and have done some shopping for flights, and found all flights were $1,000+ round trip.
They are traveling in beginning of Summer after all, and flights are bound to be expensive as it’s peak family vacation time.
I offered to help them look for flights, and thought this would be a good time to share some tips/tricks on finding flight deals. You can apply the trips here on any destination you’re traveling to, not limited to just Europe.
Parameters of the Trip
Departing City: Los Angeles (LAX)
Destination City: Florence, Italy (FLR)
Dates of Travel: June 2nd to June 9th. (plus/minus 1 day for departure and return flights)
How to Use Google Flights Flexible Destination Search
Google Flights is my default website to flight search. You can plug in your flight parameters just like any other flight search engine. We can see that the cheapest flight is about $1,100.
You can also click on the “Data Grid” button to see flights for other dates.
We can see the if we choose a Monday, June 3rd, return flight, the price will be $928 instead. A nice saving, but it won’t work for my brother’s fiance, as she has to be back to work on Monday. Let’s see if we can find something cheaper than $1,100.
Use Flexible Destination Search
This is a great feature that’s not used enough on Google. We can plug in destination like “Italy” or “Europe” and get lists of flights to all cities to Italy or Europe.
It can be cheaper to fly to a hub city like Rome of Milan, and then take a train or low cost airline flight to Florence, instead of flying to Florence directly.
So on Google Flights’ search engine, let’s type in “Europe” and see what we get.
The deal that comes up is $674 to London. Which is not bad.
But, this is not the BEST deal. In order to find the best deal, we need to zoom in on the map to see the airfare to all the cities.
After zooming around, I found the airfare to Manchester was only $585 round trip.
We still need to get to Florence somehow. We can again use flexible destination search on Google Flights. This time, we can search for “Manchester” or “London” to “Italy”.
After searching for a bit, the cheapest route seems to be from London to Pisa, for $53. Pisa is just a 1 hour train ride from Florence.
London to Milan is another option also at $34, but the train ride would be about 2 hours.
Do note that, by flying to London, then flying to Pisa and taking the train to Florence, there is extra traveling time and hassle added.
There is an airport change in London, which requires ground transportation.
Flying low-cost carrier from London to Pisa is not everyone’s cup-of-tea either.
But the estimated cost for the itinerary is definitely lower: $647 + $53 + $50 (ground transportation cost) for total of $750, is much lower than the $1100 by flying directly to Florence from LAX.
And you get to visit London and Pisa too, for no added cost!
Overall, it’s not too hard to find airfare deals. It just takes a little research with Google Flights. While it’s a great tool, it won’t automatically piece together the lowest routing. Use the flexible destination feature, and piece it together your self.
I think I will suggest the LAX – London – Pisa itinerary to my brother, or just point him to this blog post, and see what he thinks.