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Want to go on a beach trip but not set on the destination? Or, how about a foodie getaway? Google Flights’ Explore Map can help you find a great flight option for a list of interest categories. Here’s how it works:

First, you’ll need to set dates. If you’re flexible, you can tinker these later. Next, select an item from the list of Interests: Adventure travel, Beaches, Culture, Ecotourism, Food, Honeymoon, Islands, Nature, Outdoor recreation, Shopping, Wildlife or Winter Sports.

You can then personalize the results more by:

  • Limiting the number of Stops (nonstop, up to 1 stop, up to 2 stops).
  • Limiting the Price. Using a slider, you can easily hide the results costing more than a specific amount.
  • Limiting the Airline. If you’re an elite member, you might be interested in limiting results to a particular airline. In this map view, you’re limited to selecting alliances: Oneworld (American Airlines), SkyTeam (Delta) and Star Alliance (United).
  • Avoiding early departures or late arrivals by editing Time ranges.
  • Avoiding long layovers using the Duration slider.
For a beach trip on these sample dates, I can fly AA to either coast for under $250.
For a beach trip on these sample dates, I can fly AA to either coast for less than $250.

More savvy users can edit the website URL to get even more specific results:

  • Narrow the price results more specifically by editing the “mp=” amount.
  • Searching for first or business-class flights instead of economy by adding “;sc=b” for business class or “;sc=f” for first class.
  • Eliminate Allegiant (G4), Frontier (F9) and Spirit (NK) results by adding “;a=-G4,-F9,-NK” and this also works for the major carriers (American AA, Delta DL and United UA).

Limitations

Google Flights Explore Map isn’t perfect. One glaring error: no Southwest flights — as Southwest currently doesn’t share its prices with online travel agencies. Also, it might take 15-20 seconds for prices to load, so don’t get frustrated if you don’t see any cities light up at first. Selecting particular airports prompts Google Flights to explore prices to that airport — and surrounding airports — more closely.

Do you have any tips to share for using Google Flights?

Featured image courtesy of kasto80 via Getty Images.

American Express® Gold Card

With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
See Rates & Fees
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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