If you lived through the 1970s, 1980s or 1990s, you remember everyday things that kids today think are ancient relics. You may have heard, for instance, that old telephone booths that used to be on every street corner are on display in Times Square.
It's funny to think back to just a few years ago. Why in the world would you need to stand in a big plastic box to make a phone call?
The same goes for travel agents. Oh sure, you may still use agents for complicated trips with lots of family members flying or cruising to and from multiple destinations. But, generally speaking, it's a lot easier, faster and ultimately less expensive to book your own vacations.
One easy way to do that is Google Flights. If there's an easier or faster way to get loads of updated information on airline flights, we'd like to hear about it. (Let us know in the comments if you have a site you like.)
Google Flights, simply stated, is amazing. You can talk into your smartphone using whichever voice-activated search tool you like or type in a search. "Flights today from Phoenix to Reno."
Bonus: Keep reading for two simple ways to get price alerts on Google Flights.
If you haven't used Google Flights, try it now. In the example below, we're tracking flights from Phoenix to Reno. You can try any destinations that you'd like.
In about a second or two, you have more information at your fingertips than a travel agent a few years ago had after a day or two of researching flights. On one screen, Google Flights will show you the "best flights," or the lowest priced flights to your destination.
You'll get a Date Tip (in green). It shows you how much money you'll save if you book your trip for a different date.
Google Flights will also give you a little warning about when prices will likely go up. Google uses algorithms based on past travel trends to alert you to price increases that will probably happen.
For example, see the red box below. It says, "Prices will likely increase in 3 days."
If you click on Learn More, here's the insight from Google Flights about this trip: "Historically, 90% of the time the cheapest price on this route increased 13 days before departure by at least $19."
Like we said, amazing. Yet, this isn't Google Flight's best money-saving trick.
Bonus: Keep reading for two simple ways to get price-change alerts from Google Flights.
Google Flights Price-Change Alerts
If you're a regular reader of Komando.com, or you listen to Kim Komando's podcasts and radio show, you know we love to save you money. After all, why are you going to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars more than you have to?
You can use those savings to pay bills, treat yourself to a day at the spa, get a new car or store it away for your grandkids' college funds. However you spend your money, you don't want to waste it, right?
If so, Google Flights has two easy-to-use tricks to alert you to price changes on your flight. The first way is to turn on its Track Prices feature. Note the S after Price (see red arrow below.)
You put in all the information about the trip you'd like to take, including the destination. You'll receive alerts when prices have changed for that trip.
When you see a price you like, book that flight. Easy, right? Keep reading for one more simple tip to save money.
Note: You may be asked to sign up for a Google account if you don't already have one.
Google Flights Track Price
Google Flights can also help you save money on a specific trip. Say you selected its recommendation for a trip on American Eagle from Phoenix to Reno.
You found a good price and the flights leave and arrive when you want them to. Plus, you get more details about that specific flight, such as whether it has Wi-Fi.
You can book that flight if you'd like. Just select Book with American (or whichever airline you're flying). Or, better yet, you can track the price for this specific trip.
Click on Track Price, no S (see below). Google Flights will keep you updated on prices for this trip. So, before you leave for your next great vacation, spend a little time with Google Flights to save money.