Travel can be expensive and often financially prohibitive. To address the concerns of travelers struggling with rising living costs and travel expenses, Google Flights is introducing three new features designed to help individuals discover budget-friendly options.
Any frugal traveler knows that the first secret to finding cheap flights is to book in advance. But the pressing question always remains: is it better to book now or wait for lower prices?
The new trending data from Google Flights helps answer that question. When searching for flights, the site now shows when prices were typically lowest based on date and destination. This makes it easier to see if prices are usually lower two months in advance or just before departure.
The second feature update allows travelers to track prices for a specific destination with an automated notification email when tickets drop significantly. This feature has two notification options between specific dates or “Any Dates” which can include offers any time between three and six months from the activated date.
Although the third feature is only available as part of a pilot program for select bookings departing from the US, it could offer travelers more security. This is a “Price Guarantee” option.
“You will see a colorful Price Guarantee sign, which means we are extra confident that the price you see today will not go down before departure,” the website reads.
If the prices go down, Google will pay the person the ticket difference via Google Pay.
These new features come at a time when many Canadians are expressing concerns about traveling in 2023 due to financial constraints in their home country.
In a recent Nanos Research poll commissioned by CTV News, 38 percent of Canadians said they would rather spend less on their summer travel plans, up from 31 percent in 2015. Additionally, 57 percent of Canadians say they won't have any this year Interested in traveling internationally.
For the survey, 1,055 Canadians over the age of 18 were surveyed between June 29 and 30 via phone calls – both landline and mobile – and online.
For some of the Canadians who end up traveling, the expected downtime isn't as restful as that time is usually filled with stress, guilt or work-related activities, another survey found.
Another study conducted by ELVTR, a US-based online education platform, found that the majority of American and Canadian workers (68 percent) are unable to stop work-related activities while on vacation.
This could ruin vacation or travel plans as people unsuccessfully spend money to get away from work and everyday life.
The survey, which included 2,300 workers from Canada and the United States, found that the recession and economic downturn have impacted vacation time for many working Canadians. For example, 37 percent of Canadians surveyed are taking fewer vacation days, while 20 percent are unable to take any vacation at all due to staff shortages following corporate layoffs.
For those who can take some time off and want to fly during the winter holidays, according to Google, the best deals are around the beginning of October, as prices for trips starting in mid-December are typically lowest 71 days before departure. The best time window to buy tickets is currently 54-78 days before departure.