For many of us, planning is half the fun of a trip. I’m a parent with an annoying dietary restriction, so for me it’s more like a necessity. Whether you just like to fantasize about where you’re going or you absolutely need to have everything nailed down in advance, these online tools will help you plan the perfect journey.
WHERE TO GO?
A good place to begin planning your trip is to see what you can afford. Google Flights (google.com/flights) lets you do broad searches, such as for flights to beachy destinations in May. (Miami for $174? I might take that.) Then there’s the mobile app Hopper (hopper.com), which analyzes current and historical flight prices to tell you not only the best time to fly, but the best time to buy.
Want to micromanage your flight options? Google’s ITA Matrix (matrix.itasoftware.com) is a long-standing favorite of expert flyers, as it gives you precise control over your airlines and routings. More important for average travelers, it surveys several different flight search engines, and allows for vague searches involving multiple possible destinations and long potential time periods.
If you’re lucky enough to have a whole lot of frequent flier miles, AwardAce.com can tell you where your points can take you.
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