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Travel News Plan your next trip with Skyscanner – a guide to our newest features

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Plan your next trip with Skyscanner – a guide to our newest features

Times are tough for travelers. But with the world preparing to reopen in 2021, we're here to keep you dreaming and planning for your next adventure - whether that's a staycation or flying off to parts unknown. Until then, we've got the latest COVID-19 travel advice and updates to keep you up to date and ready to go.

As we enter a new era of travel, trip planning has undoubtedly changed and with it, travelers’ priorities. Some are looking for security and flexibility, others are committing to traveling greener, while others still are searching for the ultimate deal no matter the destination. Rest assured that whatever your travel needs are, Skyscanner is ready to help you plan your next trip with ease.

In this article, we cover our newest features—flexible tickets and greener choices—as well as review Skyscanner’s longtime favorites, including the multi-city and everywhere search features.

Choose flexible travel for flights, hotels and car rentals.

Flexible tickets: Trip planning with peace of mind

You don’t need us to tell you that certainty is hard to come by these days. But, with the vaccine rollout and new safety protocols in place, we are well on our way to some peace of mind when it comes to travel. Still, it never hurts to have extra assurances.

Many airlines are expanding their booking terms to address the current situation, often waiving cancellation and change fees. You don’t need to spend time figuring out which airlines offer these new conditions—we’ll do it for you! When you search for your next flight on Skyscanner, choose the “flexible tickets only” filter for a list of no-fee cancellation flights in case your plans change.

How to book flexible ticket flights

When searching in the app, type in your origin and destination and then tap on the “filter” button. Scroll down and toggle the switch for “Flexible tickets.” It’s that simple!

Flexible tickets offer travelers security when trip planning.

For searches on our website, tick on the “Flexible tickets only” button below the search panel.

Please note: We do our best to show you up-to-date airline cancellation policies; however, it’s always a good idea to double-check your ticket’s terms and conditions. We also make that easy by linking directly to the airline’s booking policy page.

How to make the rest of your trip flexible

Flexibility doesn’t stop with airline tickets, however. Did you know you can filter your hotel and car rental searches to include only “free cancellation” results? Yup, it’s one less thing to worry about as you plan your next flexible trip.

Greener choices: Eco-friendly trip planning

We love traveling! At the same time, we are committed to preserving this beautiful planet for generations to come. That’s why we’ve developed the “Greener Choice” label—it’s a small green and white leaf that shows you flights that have less-than-average CO₂ emissions. Choosing a greener choice flight allows you to do your part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Search for greener choice flights on the app

We use industry-sourced data to make our calculations, which take into account three main factors:

  • Aircraft type: Newer models tend to be more fuel-efficient. Aircraft size and engine design also make a difference in fuel efficiency.
  • Aircraft capacity: Generally speaking, more seats on a plane means lower emission rates per person; however, with new engine developments, that is not always the case.
  • Route and distance: Distance—long, medium or short-haul flights—dictates how much fuel is needed for take-offs and landings and the final weight of the plane. Likewise, we look at whether a flight itinerary is direct or includes stops.

If a flight has at least 4% less-than-average CO₂ for that route, Skyscanner marks it as a “greener choice.” Sustainable travel is possible, and we want to make it easier for you to make informed decisions as you plan your next trip.

Greener flights have at least 4% less-than-average CO₂.

How to book greener choice flights

In our app, tap the filter button, scroll down to “Greener choice flights only” and toggle the switch. When browsing flights on the Skyscanner website, complete your search as usual and check the “only show flights with lower CO₂ emissions” box on the left side of the search results screen.

Everywhere search: get inspired and save big!

Tried and true, Skyscanner’s everywhere search is the ultimate inspiration and savings feature! It shows you amazing deals across the US and abroad based on your departure point. Use it with specific dates in mind or choose a whole month—or if you have ultimate flexibility, select “anytime” in the app or “cheapest month” on desktop—to see even better deals.

A long-haired figure extends their arms in front of the sweeping landscape

How to search everywhere

On the app or web, going everywhere is within your reach and budget! Here’s how:

  • Choose your departure city, airport or even country.
  • Type in “Everywhere” as your destination.
  • Then enter your preferred travel dates. If you are super flexible, choose the “whole month” or “anytime/cheapest month” option.

You’ll be presented with a list of the cheapest places you can fly. The hard part is deciding which one to visit first.

Everywhere feature finds the cheap flight deals closest to you

Multi-city search: Trip planning around the world

Now that the world is opening up, you might want to make the most out of your next adventure by visiting multiple destinations. Skyscanner’s “multi-city” search feature lets you add a few extra legs (up to six!) to your trip without doing multiple searches.

Whether you’re browsing flights on the Skyscanner web or in the app, all you have to do is select ‘Multi-city’ at the top of the search panel. Select your dates and add up to six flights to your itinerary.

Multi-city feature lets you for look for multiple flight legs in a single search

More tips for booking flights and planning your trip with Skyscanner

  • Worried about cleanliness and safety? When searching for a hotel, keep your eyes out for our cleanliness rating badge, awarded to hotels that score a 4.5 or above (out of 5 possible points) for cleanliness, according to travelers’ personal experiences. For flights, you can review each airline’s COVID-19 safety rating based on our 5-point criteria of specific safety measures for staff and passengers, including deep cleaning and face mask requirements. 
  • Have a few dream destinations on your list? Set a Price Alert on Skyscanner and we’ll send you a push notification to let you know when the price drops on your selected itinerary.
  • Wondering which places are welcoming visitors again? Check our “Where’s Open?” map to see if the country you want to visit has opened its borders for tourism. Sign up for alerts and we’ll notify you as soon as restrictions change for your selected countries.

A few last words

Travel is complicated enough. We just want to make planning it a little easier. Whatever your travel priorities are at the moment, we’ve got a tool to help you get there.

Where can I go?

Making plans to get back out there? Find out whose borders are open with our interactive global map, and sign up to receive email updates when your top destinations reopen.

Skyscanner's map shows you what parts of the world are welcoming visitors

Frequently asked questions

How far ahead should I book airline tickets?

If you are planning a domestic trip, anywhere from 1-3 months in advance should suffice. For international travel, give yourself at least 3-6 months to book a flight. If you are planning to travel during the holidays, the earlier you start your search (for both domestic and international travel), the better.

Should I plan ahead or book last-minute flights?

Last-minute deals can be super sweet, but only if you are flexible in your travel dates and destinations. Also, keep in mind that prices usually drop when airlines can’t fill seats, which generally happens during off-peak periods (or for unpopular and often longer routes) for a particular destination. Lastly, you have better chances of scoring a deal on a short-haul, last-minute flight. When the stars align–the dates and destination are exactly or close to what you want–the savings potential with last-minute tickets is pretty spectacular, and at the same time, rare. So, it’s a question of whether you want to wait it out and take a chance on a last-minute booking or secure your ticket ahead of time and on your terms.

What are the cheapest days to book flights?

For domestic and international flights, the best day to book is Sunday, according to the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC). When booking domestic, avoid Mondays. For international flights, Friday is not the best day to book a flight.

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