Want to find cheap flights?

One of the more common questions I see is how to get ahead of flight deals, rather than read about them when it’s too late. Bloggers and flight deal websites spend a considerable amount of time finding flight deals and delivering them to your eyeballs. There are obviously ways to automate this using alerts with Google Flights, Kayak, Hopper, etc but the majority of the traveling public doesn’t have the time nor know-how to do it…and that’s okay!

One of the best tools in the game for finding flights is ITA Matrix, which was bought out by Google. Much of the capability was integrated into Google Flights in a cleaner format and while ITA Matrix is a bit advanced and manual, it’s still live and I find great use out of it.

You already know about Google Flights’ ability to search up to 5 origins and destinations at one time. This is great for casting a wide net and finding the very best deal, assuming you’re willing to re-position to a different city.

But wouldn’t it be nice to search ALL of Europe for multiple months and not just 5 cities? With ITA Matrix, you can do just that.

When you go to ITA Matrix, simply enter your origin and destination. From there, click the ‘Nearby’ button on the right side of the box. This will bring up all airports within a specified radius. Keep in mind that for the Origin, the system will only search cities in one country, though in the Destination, you can use cities in multiple countries.

Why is this is good…

Let’s say you live in Los Angeles and just “want to get away” to some place beautiful in Europe, but you really don’t care where you go. All you care about is the cheapest deal.

All you would do is enter Los Angeles as your origin then choose a city in Europe as the center point (i.e. London). From there, you click the Nearby button and select your radius. In this example I chose 1,000 miles. This will search all flights from LAX to cities in a 1,000 mile radius from London.

Then you’ll select ‘See calendar of lowest fares” which will search from the date you select and a month after. Click search and let ITA Matrix do its thing…

Here you can see flights to London and Madrid for as low as $415 on American Airlines, which is a pretty damn good deal. 

How to Book

Once you find a flight you like, head over to Google Flights and punch in the dates and cities. Here is the Google Flights link for the LA-Madrid deal above.

It’s really that simple. See, you didn’t think I was going to give you the inside baseball did you? There are no secrets, folks 🙂

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JaphethDomMike Recent comment authors
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I love this feature – back in the days when I used to do mileage runs, I would search for cheap fares to LAX and use the nearby feature since I didn’t care which airport I was traveling to. I found many sub-$300 fares from DC to – worked great!


You can also use bookwithmatrix.com to try and ticket the itinerary presented by ITA Matrix!


[…] found these deals on ITA Matrix, but Google Flights is your best bet. Here are some examples for your convenience: Miami to Rome […]