Sunday, May 13, 2007

Bored to Death

I've found a new way to kill time -- a New York Times article a few weeks back mentioned kayak.com in passing, and holy cow, what a great tool.

It's quite simple: plug in your dates, plug in your departure and destination, and it trawls hundreds of airlines and ticket sites to find the cheapest deal. Some of the things I look up are for legitimate purposes -- searching a roundtrip to Singapore for next year, for instance, or figuring out that I can go Atlanta-Kiev roundtrip for about $800 if I don't mind going in the dead of winter (and I don't, baby).

But others are fuel for the imagination -- when I get bored at work I normally daydream about going elsewhere, and this gives me a price for those flights of fancy. Atlanta-Bishkek? $1250. Atlanta-Asmara in January? More than $4000 (but down to $1800 if I waited a month). Atlanta-Peshawar? $1582, but the outbound trip takes 70 hours thanks to a two-day layover in Doha.

It's a lot of fun to conjure with these names. I've only found a handful of sites that Kayak can't take you -- Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, and (oddly) Greenland. Everything else seems possible. Now I just need a whole lotta money.

3 comments:

Brushback said...

My own stupid way to pass time on-line lately is to look up directions on Mapquest, then click on "aerial image" and zoom in to a street-level view so I can see the cars and houses.

I've been looking at baseball stadiums and crap this way.

Anonymous said...

Take also a look to a site called Trabber. Here is the address - www.trabber.com

asynchronous said...

my favorite feature of kayak.com is the 'buzz' section.

From: ATL
To: *pick a continent*

then it displays many destination cities and corresponding prices mashed up with google maps. very useful if your travel plans are flexible.