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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.

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The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.