Last Updated on February 8, 2022
So you want to search anywhere on Google Flights…
You want to go somewhere, but you are not exactly sure where. You just want to browse flights and see if something catches your eye.
You’ve made your way onto Google flights, you’ve entered your departure city, but the ‘Where to?’ field won’t let you type ‘Anywhere’.
This post will show you how to use Google to browse for cheap flights when you are just at the stage of exploring destinations and flight prices.
Google Explore To The Rescue
Google Flights used to be a separate tool.
But a while back Google rolled their flights search engine along with their hotels search engine into something they call Google Travel.
Here’s the thing. You can’t search anywhere using the Google Flights. Searching for flights without specifying a destination isn’t a feature of Google Flights.
However there is a section of Google Travel you can “search anywhere” for flights and it’s called Google Explore or the Explore tab of the Google Travel app.
There are three ways to get to Google Explore from Google Flights:
You can click the Explore tab on the left.
Or you can simply leave your destination blank on Google Flights and click “Search”. This will take you to the Google Explore map with your dates and departure airport already filled in.
Or you can click on the “Explore Destinations” link. This is the same as clicking “Search” it will transfer any departure info and dates over to the Explore search engine.
If you are not coming from Google Flight you can just click this link to go directly to the Google Explore Map.
Using Google Explore To Find Cheap Flights
Once you are in Google Explore you can add price filters and refine your search in other ways.
You can enter the number of stops that your are prepared to make or specify that you only want nonstop flights.
You can choose from either a round trip or a search for one-way fares.
You can specify that you want to be permitted 1 carry-on bag. That will exclude budget airlines like Spirit or Basic Economy Fares that don’t permit a full size carry on bag.
You can check prices for specific dates or keep flexible dates to find the cheapest ticket.
Importantly, you can leave the “where to?” field empty.
Google Explore will display all your potential flight destinations on the map.
Google Explore shows the cheapest flight price on the bubble pin for the destination.
If you zoom in on the map more destination bubbles will appear. You can zoom into an area to compare prices to land at different airports.
Make sure you have Travel mode to ‘Flights Only’ if you don’t want to see info about road trips.
If you want to explore any destination further click on the bubble pin.
You will then see more information about the destination on the left, including things to do, more flight prices, places to stay, information about the best times to visit, and FAQ’s about that destination.
Scroll down this info panel to read more:
If you scroll down you will see multiple flights.
If you’ve clicked on a destination and want to go back to add filters to the flight search simply click somewhere on the map that is NOT a destination. This will take you back to where you can enter dates and price filters.
Once you have found a destination or a flight that you like the look of clicking on it will take you back to Google Flights. From there you can follow the links to purchase the flight from the airline.
Neither Google Flights or Google Explore allow you to book flights. But they do provide links to the airlines where you can book the ticket.
Keep in mind that not all airlines are on Google Flights. Southwest Airlines isn’t on there and if you are flying internationally quite a few airlines are missing from Google Flights.
You can’t use Google Flights to search anywhere without specifying a destination.
The best solution is to use the Google Explore map to search anywhere for the cheapest flights and most enticing destinations.
It’s an even better solution than allowing you to search anywhere with Google Flights since Google Explore incorporates ‘what to do’ and ‘where to stay’ information in the search.
After all, there is no point scoring a cheap flight if the hotels are super expensive and the activities are not the type of trip you are looking for.