Travel was once a subject of much speculation and myth. Thanks to the internet, it’s become available to all.
The experiences of travellers have been thoroughly and extensively documented and are now easily available at the click of a button. Blogs, vlogs, websites, magazines are but a few of the ways through which the information may be accessed.
You name what you need and it’s probably already waiting to be found in the alleys of this virtual labyrinth. We are just here to point the way to the myriad shortcuts that are available to you.
This article lists websites that caught our discerning eye for various factors like usefulness, user-friendly interface and authenticity. Discover what tools are available to make your trip perfect.
1. Google Flights
No matter your destination, Google Flights helps you buy flights within your budget. The website makes it easy to compare multiple airfares and pick the one best suited to your needs.
Google Flights can help you find small local airlines that will ferry you to your destination much more cheaply than big carriers. You can also compare rates for other airports nearby and find cheaper flights. You can also monitor the lowest price for your trip, and receive price alerts and travel tips by email.
A simple and functional design with no frou-fra, Google Flights is efficient in finding itineraries, competitive prices, maps, calendars and more according to your needs. Set alerts to track your flights so you can buy when prices are at their lowest and you’ll save a lot more than you expected.
2. XECurrency Converter
If you aren’t a finance wizard, you may need help to ferret out reliable information about currency and exchange rates. XE.com simplifies the information for your understanding and offers you appropriate tools to calculate travel expenses, credit card charges etc.
You’ve chosen your destination and booked your tickets, but to make your trip hassle-free, it is preferable to arrange for accommodations that suit your requirements. Booking.com does just that.
One of the best things about Booking.com is that it allows free cancellations on many of the booking options. And if you’re willing to confirm your booking, you might just end up saving more.
As a Genius Rewards member, you can get an extra 10% off at thousands of popular properties worldwide. Just look for the Genius logo when you search. Geniuses also get free travel perks such as late check-out and free airport shuttle.
Unexpected cancellations, lost baggage or travel mishaps can throw a spanner in your plans and result in considerable discomfort and loss. Health emergencies can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses abroad.
WorldNomads offers a way to circumvent the effects of being caught by surprise. They also come highly recommended by some of the best travel experts.
Backed by a suite of strong, secure, specialist travel insurers who provide you with comprehensive cover, 24-hour emergency assistance and the highest levels of support and claims management when you need it most. And their prices are some of the most competitive online.
Want to take off on an impromptu trip or follow the love of your life without obstacles to bar your way? Following your heart can sometimes be tough if luck is not by your side. momondo is a price comparison and travel inspiration site comparing billions of cheap flights, hotels and car hire deals. They come highly recommended by CNN, The New York Times and Forbes.
They are not a travel agency and do not sell flight tickets. They are managed by KAYAK. Their latest travel tips, expert hacks and industry insights to help make your journey one to remember. With its clean, simple and user-friendly interface, you can navigate momondo easily. So don’t wait, just click and go.
Yapta’s sole focus is to save our customers money. It is guided by technology experts and veterans of the travel management industry who know what it’s like to balance travel budgets, wondering whether it’s better to book now or wait and see.
To find the greatest savings, they developed FareIQ™ and RoomIQ™ Intelligent Price Tracking™ services for corporate travel and Yapta price tracking technology for personal travel.
Airfares are dynamic and ever-changing as dictated by the market and some airlines are thoughtful enough to give you a refund if the price drops. If the price of your flight drops below what you paid, Yapta helps you get a refund for the difference.
It does this by tracking the fares and walking you through the process of collecting your refund. All you have to do is enter your flight details at Yapta.com. Definitely a very useful little site, this one.
The perfect deal awaits you at priceline.com. Go crazy with the fabulous discounts on hotels, cars, flights, packages and cruises. Pick and choose what suits you best because here you will be spoilt for options.
You can even name your own price for flights and car rentals. Once you specify the details, your price can be negotiated down to a whopping 60 %.
8. Roomer & Cancelon
Even the best-laid plans go awry and you may find yourself with a flight/hotel/cruise/car rental booking that you cannot use. Luckily there are other people looking for a ticket and there are sites that connect you to them.
Cancelon and Roomer are two reliable ones that help you in your quest. With their aid, you can find a buyer at a slightly lesser price than what you paid
- Tip: Set your price below 20% of what you paid and you’re good to go. While Roomer will switch the reservation to the buyer’s name, Cancelon requires you to do it yourself.
TripAdvisor hosts crowdsourced reviews on various hotels around the world. Reviews by the millions are available to help you choose your accommodation according to the kind of trip you intend to take.
A host of options are available for business trips, pleasure trips, family trips, luxury and more. Professional and amateur travellers have pooled in their experiences to create a safe path for the people who follow.
Tip: Filter the results with keywords and focus on the reviews with mid-ratings as they are likely to be more authentic.
Would you like to stay with real people and families, and experience the local community and culture of the place you’re visiting? Homestay.com features hosts that are real people, sharing their homes, offering guests a unique window into life in a new place and earning much needed extra income.
At the core of the homestay experience is the host being present to welcome the guest into their home. Before allowing you into their home, the hosts can get to know you using the website’s messaging system and video call feature to ask more questions.
Hosts are required to offer a light breakfast to guests such as cereals, pastries, tea/coffee, juice. Even if they don’t serve it themselves, they can just let you know where everything is.
HomeExchange.com allows home swapping here you can actually trade places with fellow adventurers.
It covers 65,000 active exchange members in 150 countries swapping primary and secondary homes, apartments, rental properties, timeshares, B&B and hotel guest rooms, yachts, houseboats, cottages, tree houses…. really, anywhere you can sleep. Members even swap cars.
Feel like a home away from home? Thanks to the sharing economy, sites like Airbnb.com offers a rather delightful service that allows hosts and superhosts to list their homes as possible accommodations for travellers.
There are many people who prefer the appeal of a home, and the conveniences of being able to do your own laundry and cooking, to the impersonal aura of a hotel.
Travellers can look up the available amenities and reviews of people who have stayed before to make their choice. For families travelling together, this is a better option than booking a number of hotel rooms or suites.
BeWelcome is a hospitality exchange network. Most members of BeWelcome offer hospitality to travellers and/or can show them around. Every member of the network has a profile. Members can search for other members at their travel destination, check out their profiles and send them a message.
Joining and being a member of BeWelcome is free of charge but you must be over 18 years old. The open-source website is run by BeVolunteer, a non-profit organisation of volunteers who created BeWelcome to promote “friendship and better understanding across boundaries.” They are not-for-profit, open-source, and exclusively run by members in a transparent and democratic way.
BeWelcome is a great way to meet friendly and like-minded people from all over the world. This website is also a significant resource for travel information and provides many tools that can help you to plan your next trip or document a previous journey. Read their FAQs to learn more.
Want to save money on sightseeing? Instead of spending a fortune on tickets and entry passes for separate attractions, get the day pass for more than 60 museums and attractions, including metro.
Get an all-inclusive sightseeing pass to experience Paris, Berlin and many other cities. See more and spend less at 60+ top attractions and museums, skip the lines, and travel for free on public transport.
A smooth-sailing cruise is not an impossible dream even if you think you’re anchored by your budget. Cruises can be magical experiences or not depending on the ship you choose. CruiseCompete.com is a free, anonymous way for cruisers all over the world to get the best cruise deal.
For the people drenched in wanderlust, Cruisecompete.com does not let high prices dampen your enthusiasm. A plethora of deals, offers and services just await you. And what’s more, your personal information remains quite secure with no one the wiser about your identity.
In just a few moments, you can create your account and request quotes. Independent travel agents will respond with their best cruise values. You can enlist the help of live agents from more than 300 travel agencies to guide you through the booking processes via chat or phone calls. Bon Voyage!
Get the lowdown on the hottest deals in car rentals in town or whichever town you plan to visit. Hotwire has eight rental car company partners that are at your service to provide you with that sweet ride that will make your trip perfect.
You can also avail of ‘hot rates’ from companies that won’t be identified until you make your payment. But what’s life without a little mystery right? Especially, since the risk here is minimal. The website is easy to use and a tremendous boon for travellers.
For the European trippers, Eurail is your Gandalf when you need to check timetables and book tickets. The easy-to-use interface is a point in its favour apart from the awesome offers and promotions.
Rail passes, exclusive benefits and the works are available for travellers who choose to book through Eurail. Come to think of it, Raj and Simran might just have had an easier time of it if only they could have referred to this app.
Even with the best airlines, your trip could be less than perfect simply because of factors like weather conditions. Flightstats.com gives you an advantage by giving you close to accurate information on the best times to catch a flight depending on the destination and other factors like weather, airline etc.
Also, find out which terminals to avoid connecting flights. Furthermore, the site keeps you updated with flight delays and phone alerts.
Although this website has a crappy interface, with a tiny font, it offers a lot of useful features. You can get breaking news about your frequent flyer programs through this website.
Keep on top of your frequent flyer miles so that you can redeem the benefits in the best way possible. Keep track of those promotions that require registration and find the information you need to take advantage of them.
The Mileage Mall keeps track of all the mileage-earning deals at your favourite frequent flyer online shopping malls. The useful Mileage Converter tool shows you exactly how to transfer miles and/or points between frequent travel programs – and shows you exactly what you’ll end up with.
It is a highly useful website if you can get past the tiny font size, which can be slightly off-putting. If you don’t like the interface, another useful website that can keep track of your award points is AwardWallet.
Lost your passport or need a passport photo in a pinch? Save yourself the hassle of going to a photo studio to get a passport-sized photo. Instead, you can upload a picture from your digital camera and get it appropriately sized on the epassportphoto.com, after which you can use your printer to get copies.
You can save time, energy and money because this service is available just for $1 whereas a professional photo can cost you up to $15.
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