If you know anything about me, you know that I love travelling and saving money. Is that even possible? Of course! One of my favorite travelling on the cheap tool is the “Explore” function on the website kayak.com.
If you have never heard of the “Explore” option on Kayak, you are not alone. For whatever reason, Kayak does not do a very good job of making this feature easy to find. When you navigate to the home page, you will have to select the drop down from the MORE button on the top. Then click on Explore to start your search for flights throughout the world for pennies on the dollar. There are usually many roundtrip flights for less than 100 dollars.
The first thing you will see is your home city and a map of all the wonderful places in the close vicinity that you can travel to and different prices. These prices represent a round-trip flight to different cities. Many of these flights will often be under $100 and that includes taxes and fees. As you can see from the screenshot below, I can fly from Denver to Chicago for $57 or to Fort Lauderdale for $75 or even Baltimore for less than $60. When you are travelling with a family this could mean hundreds of dollars in flight savings.
Clicking on each of the price tabs will show you the dates that those prices are valid. A quick glance would show you that you can take that round trip flight to Las Vegas for less than $50, but you will have to leave on a Tuesday and come back on a Thursday.
If you are anything like me, you can’t just leave your day job and jet away midweek to the home of SlotZilla. But even if you are not a wealthy trust fund baby with weekdays to spare, don’t worry. You can use this feature to select specific dates that you are able to travel. The best way to do this is to select a month or two that you may be able to be flexible with dates, but this will work even if you have specific dates that you simply cannot change. You can even use other filters to specify whether you would like only nonstop flights, what your total budget is, or how long you want to spend far from home.
The way I’ve gotten the best use of this feature is when I know I want to travel to specific region of the world (like on a recent European trip the VacationFam took) and I don’t really care where we start, but wanted to get there cheap. Let’s say we were planning a summer trip to Spain. Before I knew about this feature, I would have probably checked the prices to Madrid and to Barcelona. As you can see below, getting to Madrid would cost $858 per person and Barcelona would cost me $773. However, if I fly into Malaga (a part of Spain I have never heard of) would only cost me $657. For a family of three that would be a savings of over 600 dollars! That is money I can spend on tapas, sangria, and jamon iberica (look it up!).
That is how I use Kayak Explore to save a bunch of cash for the VacationFam. I would love to hear in the comments about how you have used this incredible tool to cut your travel costs. In addition, if you have any questions about how we travel, ask in the comments, or if you would like to see how we use technology to help plan for our getaways and vacations check out using Google Sheets to keep your travel plans organized.