Best websites and apps
- Author: Jim Toner
- Date: May 1, 2014
- Location: Perth, Australia
Here’s a list of the most helpful websites that we’ve used to make this trip possible, affordable, and navigable. Those are a lot of “able”s.
1. Skyscanner. My friend, soon to be your friend. Go to it right now–skyscanner.com–and click the flights tab, and let the fun begin. This site gathers data from all airlines and brokers and presents them in a clear format. If I want to fly from anywhere in Indonesia to anywhere in Australia on any day in May, it’ll come up with options that’ll get you to think, “Hmm, only $90 to fly from Lombok to Perth on May 1st, compared to $300 on every other day to every other location. Okay, let’s buy it.” That’s pretty much why we’re in this airport in Lombok on our way to Perth on May 1–because it’s a deal.
So, yes, this trip would’ve been impossible without Skyscanner. For one thing, all of our flights are one-way, which is an easy to enable on Skyscanner; and for another, we’re flexible enough that we can make broad choices about days to travel. Put it together and we’ve toured the world on a shoestring: $70 from New Delhi to Nepal; $420 from Istanbul to India; $41 from Rome to Greece.
Sometimes I’ve used Skyscanner’s hotel feature, but mainly it’s been my go-to site for all flights. Use it.
2. Agoda. I’ve booked most of our lodging through this site. Their prices are always the lowest; they provide lots of pictures and reliable reviews; and you can pay them with a credit card, which can be a big help because many of these hotels only take cash at the front desk. You can also accumulate reward points that pay off with a free room.
3. TripAdvisor: After finding a room on Agoda, I often google the name of the hotel with TripAdvisor, and up pops a load of reviews on the place from actual travelers. You can set a filter for something like “reviews from families,” which helps us. If the reviews look good, then I usually go back to Agoda and buy the room–but only for one night. You never know if the place is right until you test it out.
A side note: Sometimes I’ve booked on Booking.com, whose prices are comparable to Agoda.
4. More later… I’m being called onto a plane now.