Planning that holiday trip to see the fam? Oh, fam? You know, those people―your people. That hot mess of dysfunction that's wildly inconvenient in planning for, and an even greater disturbance while in their company?
Just kidding. The biggest headache is never them (okay, sooooo that's a lie), it's always coordinating that sh*t. It's figuring out where you're staying, what's the absolute longest you can stay without your head exploding, and how to get there without breaking the bank.
Well, nobody can really solve the first two for you (pro-tip: don't read The Corrections in conjunction with this planning. It might actually kill you. That's science.), Google's got a new site that will help you master the latter.
As reported by Mashable, Google Flights is now equipped with the tools to help predict airfare changes and will notify you when they do so you can find the absolute cheapest airfare for flights you're interested in without having to watch the fares like a hawk.
And once the fares do change, Google Flights will also let you know how long they're predicted to stay that way.
How? Oh, f*ckin' magic is how.
Not really. Slightly less reliable magic. So, like, close-up magic you learn from one of those kits you SHOULD definitely get your adolescent niece or nephew (15-18 year-olds) THIS Christmas because, let's face it, they probably haven't gotten one in their lifetime and we, as a society, need to make sure that every child gets one in their lifetime. Otherwise, we're all failures and we deserve whatever tragic calamity befalls us on account of climate change (which, to be clear, is real, unlike magic).
That right there, unnecessary though it was, is a 100% bonafide spoiled NYC Holiday Gift Recommendation. You can get it right here. On Amazon. And, if you have Prime, buy it today ($14.16 + S&H) so you can get it tomorrow (October 19th), and PRESTO! Avada Kedavra! You're officially an overachiever!
BUT! Google doesn't use magic of any kind. It uses―eerily similar to those Climate Change theories supported by years and years of evidence―science, or, in this case, historical flight data that simply show airfare patterns over the past several years.
So is it 100% accurate? No. It recognizes patterns, trends, and makes suggestions based on that data so while you're not guaranteed to get the cheapest flight of all time, you're at least able to avoid price increases.
Of course, if you don't know where the hell you're looking to go, Google Flights also has a new "tips" feature which, according to Flights product manager Nabil Naghdy's blog post, "can include things like recommendations for alternate airports or dates. You may also see a new tip telling you about an expected price jump based on historic prices for that route."
Sweet! Forewarned is forearmed is forehead!
The only problem is that Google Flights doesn't have its own mobile app yet, but they're currently optimizing their site for mobile purposes so that it's not an absolute nightmare to use.
Also on the way, is updating hotel searches with a "deals" tab that'll show discounted rates as well as when there are lower rates as part of hotel's loyalty program. And someday, they'll figure out how to marry the two into one convenient app.
"Oh, like Booking.com?" Yeah. Maybe. The only problem there is that, as part of the Priceline "PRICELINE NEGOTIAAAATOR!" Group, their mindblowing low airfares aren't really determinable until you've actually paid for it.
Google Flights allows you to track specific flights―airports that are actually convenient―rather than trying to get what looks like the perfect flight only to realize that it's at 5:00 a.m. and gets you to a cheaper airport that's actually two hours away from the airport you wanted to fly into―which, because God hates you during the holidays, was already an hour away from your destination.
Now, will this change how we feel about JetBlue flash sales? Hell no! We love a good flash sale. Sheeeeeit, we love the term itself. Go on! Say it! Flash Sale! Don't you feel like you just saved money?
Real talk though, is this a way of competing with, I don't know, Hopper, the app that's pretty much already solving some of these headaches? Probably. Or they're just trying to make up for things they let fall through the cracks which, if you're Google, how do you let that happen?
All of that (gift guide included) is to say, "Yo. Fam. Save yourself from at least one holiday headache this year. Consider Google Flights."
Or Hopper. Try it all. Just don't spend bookoo bucks on travel this year.[via Mashable] [Feature Image Courtesy Instagram]