- Finance content creator Sam Jarman shared a Google Flights “hack” to save money on travel.
- In a viral TikTok video, Jarman says to avoid using airlines’ websites to search for cheap airfare.
- Google Flights can help travelers on a budget — but requires some flexibility. Here’s how it works.
With travel costs up since the start of the pandemic, it may be time to employ some travel hacks to land the best deals. And for travelers with some degree of flexibility, a TikToker’s recent “hack” could help save hundreds of dollars.
Sam Jarman, a finance content creator with more than 4 million followers, has shared a “hack” that “airlines do NOT want you to know.” Instead of searching for flights directly on an airline’s website, Jarman suggests using Google Flights’ map feature to find more affordable airfare.
As of Saturday, the video had 1.2 million likes and over 14.3 million views. And while some commenters have pointed out that his suggestion is less of a “hack” and more just “using Google Flights,” the tip can save some money while booking flights — especially if your travel plans are flexible.
How to use Google Flights to land deals
In his video, Jarman says to open a browser and search for the Google Flights webpage. He’s using his mobile phone, but you can search on a desktop as well.
On the website’s search page, select the “roundtrip” option, and choose your departure city — but do not enter a destination.
Instead, open up Google Flights’ map feature. According to CNBC, this step will prompt Google to search for the cheapest locations it can find.
It’s at this point that Jarman’s “hack” comes into play. Pull up Google Flight’s calendar setting, and instead of choosing specific dates, select “one week” for your trip’s duration, and “all” for the month you’d like to travel. This will allow Google to search for the best deals throughout the year.
Plus, there are other features you can select while using Google Flights, Jarman says in his video. For example, by selecting “nonstop” you can search for flights without lengthy layovers. You can also search for flights that allow carry-on bags to avoid paying added fees for your luggage.
The key to Jarman’s travel hack is flexibility — and the best deals require more freedom. If you don’t have a destination in mind, you’ll be able to choose from the cheapest locations Google can find. And if you don’t have a date set, you can choose the most affordable time of the year to travel.
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