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International flight prices this summer are already beating summer records set in the last five years.
US travelers booking a trip to Europe this summer paid an average of $1,100, while visitors to Asia paid an average of a whopping $1,800.
With airfares soaring, many travelers take extra steps when planning their trip to ensure they get the best deal. But which website should you trust?
Here are 5 online tools to help you find the best flight deals this summer:
1. Google Flights
Although the search engine was originally developed for travel agencies, Google Flights is not an online travel agency. In other words, your flights are not booked for you.
Instead, this search tool allows travelers to see all the fares available on airline websites in one place, and then book the ticket directly with the airline (or a third-party agency, if you’re really into flirting with danger).
Google Flights sets itself apart from its online competitors by offering the most customization options and detailed information without sacrificing usability or readability. Plus, it leads the industry in transparency, with the fewest hidden fees or surprise rate changes.
Google Flights has the clearest and most comprehensive fare calendar, as well as the best rating for ranking all “best flight” options, shown first based on price and convenience.
Many other search engines will help you find the best time to book or tell you about price reductions for planned trips, but Google Flights is the only one that offers travelers “always” price alerts for their favorite destinations.
While Google Flights doesn’t always list the cheapest price for each route, it ultimately offers the best flight deal by allowing travelers to search multiple departure and arrival airports in the same search to find the cheapest route.
Another real money-saver is the new Price Match Guarantee feature, available on many US flights, which refunds customers the difference between their Google Flights fare and any future price reductions.
Of course, no resource is perfect. Google Flights can be slow to update, sometimes lagging behind the airline’s price by a few minutes or hours. It’s missing fares for some major airlines like Southwest, AeroMexico, Turkish Airlines, and a significant percentage of major Asian carriers.
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This hybrid online travel agency and search engine offers lots of detailed information on one page, including route-specific delay probabilities and durations, as well as at-a-glance summaries of airline health precautions and baggage policies.
The main advantage of Momondo is that it uses dropdown options to show the most important details of each flight option on the main results page while still in comparison mode.
Unlike Google Flights, there is no need to switch from the main results page to a flight-specific detail view to fully zoom in on a given route. Momondo’s “When to buy” feature is also a highly visible and easy-to-understand cue for searching travelers who are pondering whether to buy or wait.
Unfortunately, all this additional knowledge comes at the cost of loading speed and the loss of complex multi-city flight designs.
Another downside is that Momondo achieves the cheapest prices by showing a large percentage of self-transfer flights and questionable third-party offers in the top search results.
The best practice for smooth handling of itinerary changes, cancellations and delays is to book directly with the airline, which gives Google Flights an edge over Momondo here.
The best way to snag a great flight deal is to fly to where prices are lowest. Skyscanner does just that – and takes the guesswork out of it.
For example, a New Yorker looking to get out of town as soon as possible could use the Go Anywhere feature for the month of June to find last-minute round-trip fares under $400 to destinations in the Caribbean, Latin America, and Find Scandinavia and Great Britain.
Travelers can enter an entire country in the search box for both arrival and departure, rather than selecting cities individually and searching again. Skyscanner does this nationwide search function better than even Google Flights.
Unlike Momondo, Skyscanner helps travelers by showing a star rating for external travel agents in search results, which hopefully can help avoid travel disasters due to unreliable middlemen.
Hopper is a great mobile app to find the cheapest routes on the best travel dates and buy them at just the right time to get the best price.
Travelers love Hopper’s accurate fare predictions that help them identify the best time to purchase a particular ticket, as well as its cheap and convenient pricing.
What really sets Hopper apart from the crowd is its mobile-friendly flight search tool. Google Flights isn’t as user-friendly on mobile, while searching on the mobile apps from Momondo and Skyscanner is a snail’s pace and lacks some of its benefits without the interactive map features. In comparison, Hopper is made for mobile devices, and it shows.
Error rates are exactly what they sound like. Airlines make pricing errors due to human error, technical glitches, or incorrectly calculated currency conversions.
“We’re talking about $23 round-trip to Puerto Rico, $63 round-trip to Chile, or $249 round-trip to Europe in business class,” Going’s website reads .
Formerly known as Scott’s Cheap Flights, Going offers free and paid memberships for travelers to receive real-time emails with the best wrong flight prices.
But it’s not just about cheap tariffs. Before calling you with a ticket price missing a few zeros, Going will determine if the flight is comfortable enough (non-stop or a reasonable connection) to really represent good value for money.
For the more spontaneous traveller, Going has the most incredible flight deals this summer.
travel warning: Don’t forget travel insurance on your next trip!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com