Spring is here and summer is coming up quick. And for many people, that means there’ll be plenty of traveling in their near future.
Of course, if you’re traveling this year, you probably already know about your trip. For most of us, a trip is something that’s carefully planned months in advance with a set destination. But there’s a certain thrill and merit to simply “throwing a dart” at a map and seeing where it takes you.
That’s basically what Escape does, just updated for the digital era. Escape, built by a team from the MIT Sensable City Lab in Singapore, is a search engine for flights. Like other travel aggregators, it pulls results from other popular travel sites so you can get the best deal on a trip. But it differs in some key ways from platforms like Kayak or Hipmunk.
Instead of displaying results as a simple list, Escape is an interactive map. What the map shows is all of the flights leaving from a given destination, in a given budget, in a given time frame.
You can probably already see the potential: the ability to view every city in the world, that you can afford to travel to, at this very moment.
Just type in your location and what dates you’d like to travel on and Escape will display a series of flight paths. They’ll be divided up based on how much they cost, with the cheapest flights in green.
It doesn’t stop there. You can sort the results by a particular destination’s popularity, weather, or general location (region, country, etc.). There are even options to filter the results based on whether or not they’re direct flights or by visa requirements.
When you click on a particular flight path, you’ll be taken to a more in-depth page with other possible flights to the same location, so you aren’t restricted to that red-eye. There’s also other helpful information on the destination — including a list of activities and sights to see.
Best of all, Escape is completely free to use and simple to navigate. So you have no excuse not to check it out (and spark some serious wanderlust). Of course, don’t forget to peruse our list of the best tech accessories to carry in your travel bag this year.