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How To Use Google Flights Explore Map to Find Cheap Flights?


Nowadays, almost everyone wishes to wake up to someone telling you that you’re finally having a vacay and everything is booked/packed. Well, it’s undoubtedly a dream for many of you as it’s been relatively exhausting the past couple of weeks. Some of you may even say, “Get me on the next plane, it doesn’t matter where as long as it’s cheap.” Certainly, it’s necessary to escape the monotony of life and relax for a bit with your loved ones. So, once you find the cheapest flight tickets to your favorite destination, there’s no holding back!

What is Google Flights Explore?

Google Flights is the leading travel search engine, and it’s here to help! It comes with an unexpected feature known as Google Flights Explore, which allows you to find the most budget-friendly tickets possible. It’s an impressive feature as Google still offers you ample power to lay down the ground rules while also revealing various destinations that are usually unnoticed.

Furthermore, rather than selecting the destination before bookings then searching for the cheapest flights, it offers you an opportunity to search for the cheapest destinations to fly in the range of dates that are decided. Doing so, you can pick out from the destinations it recommends, and everything is guaranteed to be the cheapest.

So, when you plan to book international flights to India from the USA or vice versa, MintFares does precisely this to help you save a lot on flights. Although, for people searching for a more DIY (do it yourself) approach, the Google Flights Explore Map feature may come in handy.

Ways to Find Google Flights Explore

Although Google doesn’t profoundly promote Google Flights Explore, it’s still easy to find. In case you want to know the basics and are thinking about how to utilize Google Flights to book your cheap flights, here is an extensive guide on that for you to go through. It will definitely explain why Google Flights Explore is the perfect tool for finding the cheapest flights possible.

Follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Google Flight homepage at
  2. Type in your departure airport, but leave your destination empty and press search.
  3. A map will pop up along with several options.
  4. You can restrict the price by utilizing the slider.
  5. You can further restrict the number of stops by selecting one of the following options:
  • Non-stop only
  • 1 stop or fewer
  • 2 stops or fewer
  • Any number of stops
  1. You can further select from the Travel Mode, in which you’ll come across the option to either pick ‘Flights only’ or ‘All’. It also includes cars as a mode of transportation.
  2. You can set a restriction to your interest by selecting:
  • Popular
  • Outdoors
  • Beaches
  • Museums
  • History
  • Skiing
  1. You can put a limit on the airline. It will make sense if you’re an elite member. Thus, you can either pick ‘All airlines’ or one of the following options:
  • Star Alliance (United)
  • SkyTeam (Delta)
  • Oneworld (American Airlines)
  1. You can even edit the time ranges if you want to avoid early departures or late arrivals.
  2. There’s an option to move ahead with your carry-on bags, too, if you wish them to be included in your flight tickets.
  3. Lastly, you can avoid long layovers by utilizing the duration slider.

 How to Use Google Flights Explore?

Google Flights Explore looks and runs just like Google Flights itself. Ensure to check out this guide on how to use Google Flights to find the cheapest non-stop flights to India. The actual charm of this tool is that it allows you to be a master of your choices and allows you to explore. If you’re looking for non-stop flights, you must get it! Although, if you can’t handle long-duration flights, your wish will be the tool’s command. If you plan to spend your weekend only, put in the dates and you shall get precisely that! Moreover, the same goes when it comes to destinations, which means your destination can be as broad as the entire US or anywhere in India.

Despite the fact that it’s easy for almost anyone to use Google Flights Explorer Map, some savvy users can edit the website URL to acquire even more specific results. For instance:

  • Limit the price results more precisely by editing the “mp=” amount.
  • Searching for first or business-class flights rather than economy by simply adding “;sc=b” for business class or “;sc=f” for first class.
  • Get rid of Allegiant (G4), Frontier (F9), and Spirit (NK) results by just adding “;a=-G4,-F9,-NK” and it also works for some of the main carriers (American AA, Delta DL, and United UA).

To put it simply, you get origin and destination bars, date fields, one way vs round trip options, the ability to select your cabin, and the number of passengers. Furthermore, you can move the map to explore various other options available. For instance, if you want to book the USA to India flights and have already entered the USA as your departure port, you can waver on the map to India and check the cheapest destinations you can fly to.

What is Google Flights Good at?

Google Flights has a number of certain benefits that you can’t ignore:

  • Lightning-fast: Google Flights is said to be quicker than any other flight search engine available in the market, showcasing a month’s worth of fares in a matter of a few seconds.
  • Calendar-based fare view: It comes with a simple, straightforward, and intuitive calendar view that displays you the cheapest flight tickets over the next 6 months.
  • Several airport searches: It allows you to search for the cheapest fare between up to 7 origin and 7 destination airports, without declining the search.
  • Map-based search: The Google Flights Explore map allows you to view and check the cheapest destination to fly from your airport during your chosen dates/date range.

Utilize Filters to Lay Down Some Ground Rules

Even if you’re flexible in your options, there could still be some preferences that you can’t ignore. Well, no need to worry as you’re still in control, although the Explore feature doesn’t offer you the same level of customization as the standard Google flights page.

  • Stops: You can choose the number of stops you’re planning to make during your whole trip or note if you only wish for nonstop flights.
  • Bags: Need a carry-on bag included in your flight ticket? Switch this filter on to only view fares that consist of a carry-on.
  • Airlines: Even though you can’t state or eliminate an individual airline, you can still filter the results as per the three main airline alliances.
  • Flight Duration: Have a maximum length you can stay on the plane? It allows you to separate ultra-long trips or fares with longer layovers (under ‘more’).

Key Factors Regarding Google Explorer To Remember

  • It’s essential to understand that this feature is not all perfect. It doesn’t display results beyond six months unless certain dates are manually put, unlike Google Flights that pops up results up to 11 months.
  • When you’re searching for the cheapest flight tickets, the tool may take up to 15 to 20 seconds for the prices to load.
  • If you’re traveling to the U.S., you’ll have to look for flights on Southwest Airlines separately. Google Flights doesn’t show SouthWest flights as this specific airline doesn’t share its prices with OTAs or search portals.
  • The results for the searches aren’t classified by rates, nor are they always emphasized on the map. Thus, you should scan through the results on the map for certainty or see if anything is missing.

Latest Updates To The Explore Feature

Google Flights is one of the most popular and trusted flight search engines on the Internet. It’s easy to use and extremely customizable, making it a perfect tool for finding the cheapest flight tickets. Moreover, Google constantly aims to improve its features, and the ‘Explore’ feature is no different. The latest update that is still undergoing tests which is why it’s not available to all but has a few interesting modifications as follows:

  • The number of stops & cheapest date pops up in the summary bubble

Earlier, while hovering over the Explore Map, you could only view the rates over the destinations. However, now, the number of stops together with the cheapest dates pop up while exploring the map too.

  • Major National Parks Are Now Added to the Explore Map

There is a growing interest in outdoor travel activities that are close to nature; because of COVID-19, Google has mentioned main national parks globally. If you simply hover over a national park, you’ll find all the information related to the price of a flight, the nearest airport, and the time it will take you to reach the park from the airport.

  • Commercial Airports Have A Blue Airplane Icon

While this feature is currently available for the US audience only, it will potentially be available to everyone worldwide. Moreover, as part of Beta Testing, this feature might not be available to you for now. Although, in this feature, the interest factors (beaches, cities, parks, etc.) have a blue dot.

It’s another latest addition; points of interest on the explore map for you to see and check what there is to do near every destination. So, when you hover or click on the blue dot points of interest, you can see what the nearest flight is, and how far a drive it is from the airport, along with other information.

Obtaining a Refund on Flights Booked through Google Flights

As Google Flights is a search engine and the Flights are literally booked directly with the airline, refunds are up to every airline’s policy. In general, there is a 24-hour rule that ensures you can cancel your flight within 24 hours of ticket purchase and acquire a full refund. Moreover, the rule applies to any flight departing from the US. So, as long as the ticket was booked directly with the airline and the booking duration is at least 7 days prior to the departure date, you can apply for a refund.


Considering everything, Google Flights is one of the most recommended flight search sites. It’s easy and straightforward to use but boasts enough latest features that you can unearth flights that most other search sites and OTAs (online travel agencies) won’t be able to. Moreover, with the above information, it’s easier to find the best non-stop flights to India or vice versa at the best price for your requirements.

So, if you’re planning to travel and want a cheap getaway without caring what the destination is or just need some travel inspiration, the additional Explore tool is extremely helpful. Most importantly, the new feature helps you find the cheapest way to travel to some of the countries’ widely popular national parks is just the cherry on top of a cake. That’s what mainly makes this an impressive flight search tool.

Even though this new tool is impressive if you don’t have a destination in mind, Google Flights has specific restrictions as it doesn’t display the prices provided by OTAs and particular airlines. Fundamentally, it only displays the prices by leading airlines and other OTAs. As it neglects other travel agencies, it restricts the passenger’s chances to enjoy the cheapest rates. That’s where MintFare comes to your rescue. You can do thorough research on this tool and get back to the experts for the best prices, and they’ll see what they can offer.

Doing so helps you experience the best of both worlds. Sounds great, right? In case you’re planning to take a break from your hectic schedule and want to travel to any destination you like, Google Flight Explore Map can be your best friend. Well, what are you waiting for? Try this tool and remember to consult the experts at MintFare to clear all your doubts and queries related to international flights to India from the USA or vice versa. They are always ready to help!