One of the biggest concerns when it comes to booking travel is the cost. You want to take some risks and go on a trip, but then trying to stay within a budget can prove tricky. Thankfully, technology can now help you pay only what you want to pay.
Our new favorite way to search for trips? The “Explore Destinations” section of Google Flights. Let's say you want to take a vacation somewhere—Europe, Asia or anywhere, really—but you don't want to spend more than $500 in airfare. The search engine allows you to set a spending cap and then search all the locations available at your budget.
Google's not the first to pioneer this. Kayak has a similar Explore feature. And much like Hopper, it crunches historical price and schedule data to suggest if now is the best time to book. But true to form, Google simplifies the whole process, making it extremely easy and fun to use. Plus, you can customize your search to ensure your trip ticks the necessary boxes for your preferred travel style. If you hate layovers, you can search for direct flights only. If you're worried about those sneaky “basic economy” baggage fees, you're able to select an option to only list fares when your carry-on baggage is guaranteed for free.
To get started, you plug in your local airport and choose how flexible you want to be in regard to your schedule. Then you set your maximum price and start scrolling around a constantly updating map with the most affordable prices at various destinations. It's an incredibly easy (and fun) way to see just how far your money will take you and proves that your next great trip doesn't have to be as expensive as you might fear.
Make a copy of your passport (or snap a photo on your phone) and keep it separate from your passport book. You can't use it to travel, but in case you lose your passport overseas, this will help expedite the process for embassy officials.