Are you an adventurous traveler looking for a flexible way to explore multiple destinations on a single trip? Look no further than open jaw flights, a unique ticketing option that can save you time and money while giving you the freedom to create your dream itinerary.
In this post, we’ll dive into the world of open jaw flights, explaining what they are, the reasons for booking them, and the different types and variations you might encounter.
We’ll also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this travel option, and guide you through booking an open jaw flight using Google Flights.
Finally, I’ll show you a real world example of how I used Open Jaw booking for my recent trip to Hawaii. So with the stage set, let’s get started!
What is an Open Jaw Flight (AKA Open Jaw Ticket) ?
An open jaw flight is a round-trip flight itinerary where you fly into one city and return from another, leaving the middle of the journey open for exploration.
In other words, the “jaw” is the gap between your arrival and departure cities.
Open jaw tickets are perfect for travelers who want to visit multiple destinations without having to backtrack to their original city of arrival.
An example of an Open Jaw flight would be booking a roundtrip flight where the departure leg is New York-to-Los Angeles and the return leg is San Diego-to-New York. In this case it would be up to you to travel from Los Angeles to San Diego.
Most people book these open jaw itineraries intentionally so they can explore multiple destinations, and not have to backtrack to their original arrival point for the departure.
Reasons for Booking Open Jaw Flights
Open Jaw flights offer several benefits to travelers, including:
- Flexibility: Open jaw itineraries allow you to explore multiple destinations without being tied to a specific return flight route. This gives you the freedom to create a customized trip that suits your interests and travel preferences and encourages you to explore more destinations. Read more below for my real life example of how I did this in Hawaii.
- Time and Money Savings: By avoiding the need to backtrack to your arrival city, you can save both time and money on flights, accommodations, and other travel expenses.
Types and Variations of Open Jaw Flights
There are two main types of open jaw flights:
Simple Open Jaw:
This type of open jaw flight involves flying into one city and departing from another. For example, you could fly from New York to Paris, travel by train or car to Marseille, and then fly back to New York from Marseille.
Double Open Jaw:
A double open jaw flight has both origin and destination cities different. For instance, you could fly from Los Angeles to Barcelona, travel overland to Madrid, and then fly from Madrid to San Diego.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Open Jaw Flights
- Customization: Open jaw flights enable you to tailor your trip to your interests and travel preferences, giving you the freedom to explore multiple destinations without limitations.
- Savings: By eliminating the need to backtrack, open jaw flights can save you time and money on airfare and other travel expenses.
- Unique Experiences: Open jaw itineraries encourage you to venture beyond traditional tourist routes, opening up opportunities for one-of-a-kind travel experiences.
- Complexity: Planning and booking open jaw flights can be more complex than traditional round-trip tickets, as you’ll need to coordinate multiple flights and potentially deal with layovers or connections.
- Availability: Open jaw flights may not always be available, especially during peak travel seasons or for less popular destinations.
A Real Example: My Open Jaw Flight To/From Hawaii
On my recent 3 week trip to Hawaii, I personally experienced Open Jaw flight booking.
I flew into Honolulu (on the Island of Oahu) for the first part of my trip, but then ultimately departed from The Big Island of Hawaii back to the east coast of the United States.
In between, to get from Oahu to the Big Island, I booked a separate cheap flight on Hawaiian Airlines for the short 50 minute flight from Honolulu to Kona, on the Big Island.
In this case my Open Jaw ticket was roundtrip booking on American Airlines that consisted of a departure flight from New York into Honolulu, and a return flight from Kona, Hawaii back to New York.
How to Book an Open Jaw Flight Using Google Flights
Google Flights is the tool I always recommend travelers start with when researching their travel options. Booking an open jaw flight using Google Flights is simple and straightforward. Follow these steps to find and book your perfect itinerary:
Step 1: Visit Google Flights and select “Multi-city” as your trip type.
When you arrive at Google Flights, by default the search will show results for round trip searches. Simply click on where it says “Round trip” and a menu will drop down allowing you to select “Multi-city”.