How to buy plane tickets and book hotel rooms for the best deal

Take advantage of these tools to find maximum savings when booking a trip


Google Thursday announced a new flight, hotel and trip planning features that can save travelers money with tips on the question of whether a flight will go up or down to toggle the display of the dates when the hotels will be cheaper.

On Google Flights, users can now for the advice provided by means of machine learning and historical airfare data on when to buy, such as “the prices are lower than normal” (you might have to buy) and “the prices will not drop further” (again, so maybe you should buy).

Similar advice will be available at the hotel looking for: Google will now show as the room rates on certain dates are unusually high — and even help travelers understand why, whether it is a holiday, festival, or conference.

While that advice will not be of much help if you absolutely must visit in a certain time (or if you’re going for that holiday, festival, or a conference), it saves flexible travellers a lot of money.

Both the flight price tips and hotel tips are available worldwide on desktop and on mobile devices.

On the phone, a number of additional functions are available from Thursday for hotel planning. After selecting a hotel of interest, users can sign up to get notifications when the rates go up or down. (The feature is rolling out to the desktop, sometime next year, according to Google.)

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The hotel provides are similar to what Hopper, which has long offered airfare alerts, recently introduced by means of the app. There are a few differences, however. Hopper is indexing hotel properties in the major cities (the roll-out of New York City first) and offer detailed advice about where prices are headed. For now, Google’s advice for hotels is a bit more general. The extra airfare advice added by Google, however, is more similar to Hopper functions.

Regardless of which service you use — of course, there is also Skyscanner, Momondo, Kayak, Expedia, Priceline, etc. — more and more functions are focused on the prediction of the prices. According to a recent Google company phocuswright study, men stress more about getting the best prices” for a holiday than about the cost of things, such as appliances or house repairs.

Finally, Google is adding discounts for tickets and guided tours in the Google-Travel-app.

If you have been looking for somewhere to go in the new year, you’re not alone. So far, the top trending destinations for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday in Florida and Hawaii in the USA, and Cancun and Bangkok international, according to Google. For the President’s Day weekend, some of the most popular destinations are the tropical Hawaiian islands of Oahu, Maui and Kauai. Internationally, in addition to Cancun and Bangkok, and European capitals — Barcelona, Paris and Rome — are popular.

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