Don't get me wrong: I love my travel search engines. I love Kayak (especially Explore). And AirfareWatchdog. And Hipmunk. And even Orbitz, very occasionally.
I just found something extra-specially cool, however, for location independent folks with flexible schedules and insatiable wanderlust: Adioso.
- It's built for folks who are traveling for passion, not requirement. It's structured to support wide-open schedules and worldwide interests. Sound like anybody you know? Yeah.
- It's a natural-language search. Just babble at it, basically. I plunked in "Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur in October" and got lists of the "best," "cheapest" and "fastest" options that month, quick as a bunny. Try "flights to San Francisco for under $500" and boom! There it is. (If it exists.) "European destinations in July"? Done. "Malaysia to Cape Town after Halloween"? Done. Throw in a city you want to visit, and Adioso will chart your course there from wherever your laptop is currently sitting.
- It gets good stuff. I ran across a few fares in there that really got me wiggling.
- It's fun to play around with. Try the "wanderlists" for a dreamy browse through the realm of possibility.
It shows a lot of potential for folks like us with open schedules -- but it's not done yet. According to TechCrunch, "Future plans include expanding the service’s airline and destination inventory as soon as the Adioso platform has stabilized, currently Adioso only covers a selection of airlines in Australia (the home country of founders Howard and Fenn Bailey), Asia, Europe and the USA."
What I hope is next: travel search that side-by-sides paid flights and miles-redemption flights for the program(s) you flag. Oooh, huh?