Every now and again I get that feeling of, ‘I just need to go somewhere’. I don’t care where, let’s just go. I’m here to help you figure out the where portion using matrix software powered by Google. It was once the most powerful way to search for airfare and can still be put to great use! Let’s go!

So how do we decide where we want to go? Let’s break it up into a few distinct regions. Below, I’ve listed a variety of sets of airport codes that would be very valuable to a flexible traveler.

Option 1 – Sports Towns

There are approximately 13 towns in the USA that I would classify as a major sporting hub. They’ve got at least three of the big four sports or some other defining characteristics. Those codes are as follows:

  • BOS, ORD, MDW, DFW, DAL, DEN, DTW, LAX, MIA, FLL, MSP, LGA, JFK, EWR, PHL, PHX, SFO, DCA, IAD

Option 2 – The Budget Traveler

As you probably noted in my previous post, I love flying Spirit. Obviously not for quality, but VALUE! You get the most bang for your buck, a topic we will cover later in this post. Domestic Spirit destinations are as follows:

  • ATL, ACY, BWI, BOS, CRW, ORD, CLE, DFW, DEN, DTW, FLL, RSW, IAH, MCI, LAS, LBE, LAX, MSP, MYR, MSY, LGA, IAG,OAK, MCO, PHL, PHX, PBG, PDX, SAN, SEA, TPA

Option 3 – The Caribbean

Sometimes when you just wanna get away, it needs an umbrella and some dark rum. No more explanation needed. Here are all the major Caribbean airport codes:

  • AXA, BGI, BDA, MNI, TAB, POS, SJU, HAV, MBJ, SDQ, NAS, AUA, PTP, CUR, FDF, SXM, KIN, PAP, STI, ADZ, VRA, STT, GCM, POP, ANU, UVF, STX, SKB, EIS, SLU

Option 4 – European Getaway

The most vast list can be found by going to Europe. If you haven’t wandered across the entire continent you probably haven’t considered yourself cultured yet. Here are all the major European destinations to visit:

  • TIA, EVN, GRZ, INN, KLU, LNZ, SZG, VIE, GYD, MSQ, ANR, BRU, CRL, LGG, OST, SJJ, BOJ, SOF, VAR, DBV, SPU, ZAG, LCA, PFO, BRQ, PRG, AAL, AAR, BLL, CPH, TLL, HEL, LPP, OUL, RVN, TMP, TKU, AJA, BSL, MLH, BIA, EGC, BIQ, BOD, BES, BVE, FSC, LIL, LYS, MRS, MPL, NTE, NCE, BVA, CDG, ORY, SXB, TLS, TBS, FMM, SXF, TXL, BRE, CGN, DTM, DRS, DUS, FRA, HHN, HAM, HAJ, FKB, LEJ, LBC, MUC, FMO, NUE, PAD, STR, NRN, ATH, CHQ, CFU, HER, KGS, RHO, SKG, BUD, DEB, KEF, ORK, DUB, NOC, KIR, SNN, AHO, BRI, BGY, BLQ, BDS, CAG, CTA, FLR, GOA, SUF, LIN, MXP, NAP, OLB, PMO, PSA, CIA, FCO, TPS, TSF, TRN, VCE, VRN, ALA, TSE, RIX, KUN, VNO, LUX, SKP, MLA, KIV, TGD, TIV, AMS, EIN, GRQ, MST, RTM, AES, BGO, BOO, HAU, KRS, RYG, OSL, TRF, SVG, TOS, TRD, GDN, KTW, KRK, WMI, POZ, WAW, WRO, FAO, LIS, FNC, PDL, OPO, OTP, CLJ, TSR, SVX, DME, SVO, VKO, LED, AER, BEG, PRN, BTS, LJU, ALC, BCN, BIO, FUE, GRO, LPA, IBZ, XRY, ACE, MAD, AGP, PMI, MAH, MJV, REU, SDR, SCQ, SVQ, TFN, TFS, VLC, ZAZ, GSE, GOT, MMX, ARN, BMA, NYO, VST, BRN, GVA, LUG, ZRH, ADA, ESB, AYT, DLM, IST, SAW, ADB, BJV, TZX, DOK, KBP, IEV, HRK, ODS, SIP, ABZ, BHD, BFS, BHX, BRS, CWL, EMA, EDI, GLA, PIK, HUY, JER, LBA, LPL, LCY, LGW, LHR, LTN, SEN, STN, MAN, SOU, NCL

So, what do we do with all these three letter possibilities?! Glad you asked. First, pull up the MATRIX ITA website. For starters, type in every airport’s three digit code you’d be comfortable leaving from into departing from (separated by a comma).

Pick your codes for your random getaway and paste all those three letter combos into the destination. Pick your dates and add any flexibility options you may want. You can search a calendar to bring up every single possibility on any given day for any given amount of nights.. but.. you own a computer and are reading this post so my guess is you aren’t a complete hippie and have some sort of 9 to 5.

matrix searching
An example of a flexible search of destinations.

Before pressing that search button, UNCHECK the box for allow airport changes. You don’t want to be going into Boston and out of Denver. The only time I recommend keeping this box checked is for your Eurotrips. If the trip is long enough there’s a good chance you may just want to connect the dots over that 10 day trip and depart out of that latter destination. IE: Arrive in Amsterdam, depart out of Nice. On a 14 day trip you can easily make your way across Europe and spot a few towns in between!

matrix software
Uncheck this box to keep yourself tied to one destination!

Once that’s done, click search! It may take a while. But it will definitely be worth waiting on the results. Now, depending on your search I’d like to point out a couple of key features. Most importantly the ‘price by mile’.

This one filter will work best in finding the best deal out there. Of course, check out the prices first. But you may prefer going to LAX from Washington DC for $300 rather than Boston for $250. More bang for your buck! So click the drop down under price and select Show Price Per Mile, then Sort By Price Per Mile.

sort by matrix

A few other key filters include clicking one specific airline, removing multiple stops, max prices, max durations.. the opportunities are endless. Use them to your advantage! You never know what flight might be hiding out there. You just have to look!

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