Booking travel is sometimes the most stressful part of a holiday. When we first started on our big trip I had no idea where to start when looking for great travel deals. We had a travel agent book our initial flights & that probably cost more than what I’d be able to find now.
Since being on this trip I have learnt so much when it comes to booking travel. Where to look, when to look, how to find good deals & what sites to use to help me do this. There have been some serious learning curves along the way, but I have gotten to the point where I know what works & I feel confident in recommending these sites below. They are all sites that I use on a regular basis & wouldn’t recommend if I didn’t use them myself.
Most of our travel is on a budget, so the sites below are very helpful when travelling on the cheap but also give the option for more luxurious travel.
Rome 2 Rio is great for working out how to get anywhere by Planes, Trains, Buses, Ferries & Automobile. We started using this app for the first time this trip & haven’t looked back. It provides you with all the info you need to get to your destination using the method of transport you choose. You just put in your ‘From’ & ‘To’ locations & it will come up with a list of multiple options as to how to do it. It also provides an approximate cost & time it’ll take. You are also provided with a map showing each alternate route.
We use this site to get a comparison of different companies that provide the same service, & also use it to see what the cheapest transport option will be. The site doesn’t book it for you but directs you to the website of the transport option you decide to go with.
I know, I know, everybody already knows to look at Tripadvisor. But did you know they can often save you money on deals offered elsewhere? When we were in Paris , I wanted to go to a show. I went to book it through the companies website but decided to have a look around first & guess where I found a better deal? Yep, on Tripadvisor. Instead of paying $64 for just a ticket, I paid $58 for a ticket & a glass of bubbles on arrival! Don’t mind if I do, thank you very much.
So make sure you always double check things on Tripadvisor before you book them.
Or just go straight to Tripadvisor to find what to do in certain cities, hundreds of thousands of people before you have been & thousands of those people have written reviews on what you should or shouldn’t see in a city or what cities you should go to, or even what countries for that matter. So when stuck for something to do, remember to check out Tripadvisor.
Booking.com is a great way to find all sorts of different types of accommodation at reasonable prices. They offer you the best available rates & will price match if you find a better deal on the same booking elsewhere.
Booking.com offer so many different types of accommodations, which you can find here. It’s a great place to find a different type of accommodation in your holiday destination, especially if you don’t want to stay in a standard hotel. Here are few of the unique accommodations you can find:
1. Riads – Visiting Morroco? Why not stay in a Riad. The term ‘riad‘ means garden but it is applied to townhouses built around a central courtyard.
2. Capsule Hotels – Very common in Japan, but we are starting to see them pop up in other countries. A capsule hotel is a hotel that features a large number of extremely small “rooms” intended to provide cheap, basic overnight accommodation. Good for a low budget if you can find one at your destination.
3. Ryokans – Any idea what these are? I didn’t, but I definitely will be staying in one when we get to Japan. Ryokans are traditional Japanese inns that have existed since the eighth century A.D. during the Keiun period.
4. Farm Stays – Basically, a farm stay is any type of accommodation located on a working farm. A great holiday if you need to get away from the city & is also perfect for a family vay-cay.
5. Homestays – Like Air BnB, you rent out a room or a whole home from the owner.
6. Luxury Tents – Also known as glamping, posh camping, boutique camping ect. ect. Basically, you pay to have all the hassle & uncomfortableness that camping can bring taken away. The tent is set up & ready to go for you when you arrive & most of the time even has a proper bed in it. There are so many different companies that do luxury camping. The best part is that a lot of the time it is very affordable.
I also like using Booking.com when I have dates that I can go away but I’m not sure on my destination yet. You can put in your dates & click search, the option to ‘Discover The Perfect Place’ then comes up & shows you a myriad of featured destinations for your dates.
Some other features include being able to buy now & pay later at check-in, make changes to your booking at any time, free cancellation on most bookings, & 24/7 customer service not to mention the millions of accommodation options at your disposal.
Skiplagged is by far one of my most used. It brings up cheap flights that no other search engines have found. You select the flight you’re after & it directs you to where you need to go to book the flight.
It is a search engine that will find you the cheapest flight to your city of choice & also shows you a graph of the month you’re planning to travel & when the cheapest flights to your destination are. It’s brilliant for working out when the cheapest time to fly is that month.
It also includes “throw away tickets”. “Throw away tickets” is a whole new eye-opener for me! How they work is you buy a ticket to a less popular place (which are often a lot cheaper because of the lower demand) that has a stopover in the city you actually want to go to. Instead of continuing on to the final destination you get off at the first stop and “throw away” the last part of the ticket.
You need to be careful though and make sure you don’t check in any luggage because it’ll head to the final destination of the booked ticket. And don’t book a round trip, because once you throw away one part of the trip the rest of it will cancel out as well.
Air BnB is starting to be our go-to website to book accommodation. It’s just so cheap & easy, & if you’re willing to take the risk of maybe getting a dodgy place once in a while then it’s definitely worth your money.
There are thousands of properties available in each country for you to choose from. You can go super basic & book someones spare room like we did in Copenhagen or you can book a whole house like we did when we went to Naxos with the family.
Air BnB has also got search pages for ‘Experiences’ & ‘Restaurants’ now. No longer is it just an accommodation booking website.
Haven’t used Air BnB before? If you join Air BnB with this link you’ll save $49 on your first booking.
So there are what I think are the best travel booking sites. Next time you’re looking to plan a trip remember to check out these travel booking sites.
Do you have any sites that you like to use regularly? Drop a comment & let me know! I’d love to find out your go-to ways of booking travel.
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Want to know my secrets to booking cheap flights? Check out my post, Booking Cheap Flights.