Sites or travel aggregators I use to find out how and where to go
First step – Knowing what’s out there
- Omio – all your transit options
- Google Flights – flight options for anywhere
- Trip Advisor – reviews for anywhere
Omio – all your transit options
One of the hardest things to know are what all are you transport options from one city to another. From my experience, the best site that gives you this is Omio (previously GoEuro)
Just type in your destination city and starting city (works best between European cities) and it will give you the different options for going by train, bus and flights. You can sort by price, by duration, and you can see all the stops or layovers needed for each connection.
I tend to never book in these 3rd party sites and just use it as a reference point to look for that same voyage in the actual company’s site. It’s normally easier to deal with cancellations/changes, etc when you book directly. The prices are also almost always normally the same as booking directly anyway.
Google Flights – flight options for anywhere
I am a big fan of Google Flights. There are a bunch of other travel aggregators such as Skyscanner, Momondo, Kayak, but for me Google Flights is the most comprehensive and easy to use. To be clear, this hasn’t gone any kind of scientific testing but rather just a quick comparison from previous times that I wanted a cheap flight (
but eventually couldn’t get any anywhere because I was flying holiday season and I booked too late).
There are several ways you can search for flights in Google:
- You have set dates but not itineraries – Using the Explore Map function, you can easily look at the cheapest round trip flights within your dates. It also tells you what would be the cheapest destinations for the dates you’re going
- You have set itineraries but not dates – Once a source and destination city is selected, you can select the dates on when you will fly. From here, the calendar shows you the lowest price available for a round trip flight on those dates
Google can also allow you to track prices for a certain voyage and get updates on whether prices go down or go up.
Once you’ve selected your cities and dates, you are able to see all available flights, with recommended flights based on price and duration coming on top. You are able to select combinations of flights and times and at the end, Google gives you the option to book directly or with 3rd party sites like Expedia
There are a lot more features I missed on talking about but I would highly suggest to try it for the next flight you want to book.
P.S. It captures price information during airline promotions so you don’t need to worry about missing out on those discounts.
More information about airports and flights to come on my Plane post (TBC)
Trip Advisor – Reviews for Anywhere
At this day and age, I think anyone who has ever tried to search for a hotel online knows about trip advisor.
Granted that there have been some issues with Trip Advisor and the quality of reviews, I still find it the best site to find a review on pretty much any establishment, tour, location that you want to do or go to.
The best way to use Trip Advisor is to already have an idea on the hotels, tours or establishments that you want to go to. From there, just search for it on the site and voila, reviews galore.
Another great thing about Trip Advisor for hotels is that you can get an idea of the prices across different booking sites and get an instant comparison. This can help you get an idea on which booking site to go on.
Best advise is to take everything said in Trip Advisor with a grain of salt. There are a lot of reviews that give such low ratings for something really trivial like a forgotten towel (easily asked for), the reception didn’t say good morning to me (- really?).
What’s useful here is reading about actual experiences and reading useful descriptions such as the location of a hotel – does it seem safe? How far is it really from the metro? Are there convenience stores nearby? What’s the best way to get there? All these you can gleam from reviews if you look hard enough.
Lastly, the site is also a great place to see some real photos of the location. Photos uploaded by travelers are way more reliable than staged photos from the company. Is this really a pool or a bath tub?
I’ll probably talk more about Trip Advisor on my Lodgings post (TBC!)
In the meantime, check out my Trip Advisor reviews here