We're all used to using searching for flights in this day and age. You know which cities you're going from and to and you pick the dates. If you're lucky, the search engine will let you be flexible on dates by say +/- 3 days. After your results are in you're able to filter. Now the fundamental assumption here is that you know exactly where you want to go and when. What if you don't?
That's why I wanted to share with you guys this idea of an “everywhere” search. I've seen this feature added in a few places but someone that's done it really well is Skyscanner. The truth is that I've known about them for a long time. When I was an exchange student in Europe, I found out about this search engine and started religiously using it because it was able to do searches on more low cost European airlines than some of the ones I was used to using such as Kayak.
As a backpacker with no specific dates I was tied down to and as someone that was in Europe for the first time ever, I loved that I could do open-ended searches.
Where do I want to go? Anywhere in Europe.
When do I want to go? Anytime this month.
Step By Step
So why don't we dive right into it. The following is a detailed walkthrough of how to use Skyscanner to do open ended searches
1 Enter Your Open Ended Search Parameters
This step is the key part. You have to enter in a From destination but what isn't obvious is that you can enter a country instead of picking a specific airport. For the To destination, just type in “Everywhere”. The last part to truly make it open-ended is to change the dates to be “Whole month” and then choose either the specific month your'e interested in travelling in or just pick “Cheapest month”.
Yep it's that easy!
2 Initial Search Results With Breakdown By Country
After that it's smooth sailing because you'll start with search results for the countries with the cheapest air ticket fare sorted in ascending order.
3 Pick Your Dates
The calendar feature makes things so easy because it essentially tells you the price for each departure date in the month.
Pick your departure (green for cheapest) and then once you have that, pick the return which will show you the corresponding price.
You can also look at the results in chart format.
4 Review Search Results
Skyscanner will then crunch through all the data from the providers it's linked to and voila you
Now the question you probably have is, if it said $252 up above, why is it $311 in the final results? The reason for that is simple. Fares are changing all the time and Skycanner tries it best to store search results for every flight combination out there. That being said, it'll never be perfect so you always want to make sure you get to this page to know for sure how much it'll cost.
5 Pick Your Flight and Provider
The last step is to pick who you want to buy your ticket from. In this case WOW air is the cheapest but some of the bigger guys like Expedia are $9 more.
What About On My Phone?
Skyscanner has a mobile app where you can pretty much do the exact same thing so if you're ever looking to do some trip planning or you need to make a last minute purchase. I've used it and it's just as easy to do as on the desktop.