So you’re planning a trip. Or maybe you’ve been doing more dreaming than planning. Whatever the case, I won’t judge. If you’ve thought about it – even just a fleeting thought – chances are if you haven’t done it it’s because there was something standing in your way. And while I can’t get you more vacation days or a bigger budget, I can help you by sharing a list of the travel websites that I use most frequently for travel planning to help reduce my costs.

All 7 of these websites have mobile apps available. So no need to stay tethered to a desktop to enjoy their benefits!

 

Airfare

Depending on where you’re traveling to (and what tools you use) airfare can be one of the largest expenses you incur while on a trip.

 

Skyscanner

Skyscanner is my go-to website for finding cheap fares. So far, it hasn’t failed me yet (knock on wood). The website is super simple to use and has all the usual fields to fill in that similar sites have.

skyscanner home page view

Skyscanner homepage view

 

One of the things I love about Skyscanner is that you can filter the search results to get the cheapest option vs the fastest (which obviously normally costs more). You can also remove options with multiple stops and just look at direct flights

skyscanner sample search results

Skyscanner – Search Results

 

Another of my favourite features is the month view option, which is great if you have some flexibility with booking your trip. I have saved up to $150 on a trip with this feature. It allows you to view fares for the entire month to see when they are lowest and fares are color coded.

skyscanner month view

Month view

Momondo

Momondo is very similar to Skyscanner. It’s still helpful to use both to see if there are any price differences though. I’m biased toward Skyscanner and use it as my main search site but both have pretty much the same features.

Both sites also have an option to save your searches and sign up for alerts when prices drop once you create an account.

Momondo homepage view

Momondo homepage view

 

 

Momondo search results

Results page

TravelPirates

Travel Pirates home page

TravelPirates homepage

TravelPirates is a website that I only recently started using so I haven’t booked any trips with them yet, but I definitely have a few saved.

Unlike Skyscanner or Momondo, TravelPirates has actual discounted trips that they promote on their website. Trips often include accommodation and airfare for a set number of days within a designated time period, and actual costs will vary depending on which city you fly from.

 

travelpirates deals

Available deals

 

Rome2Rio

rome2rio travel app for transportation

Homescreen of Home2Rio website

Rome2Rio has been a lifesaver on many occasions. This website is the perfect tool if you want to figure out your options to get from point A to point B. Is a bus better than the train or flying? Which is cheaper? How far from my hostel will the Airport shuttle leave me?

These are all questions Rome2Rio answers effortlessly with a few clicks of the keyboard or taps of the screen.

 

how Rome2Rio travel website works

How Rome2Rio works

 

In the example below I wanted to confirm what my options for transportation were from the airport in Hanoi to my hostel.

The website uses autocomplete so I’ve never had to type out the full name of any location. It always gives the right suggestions for me to select from.

The website returns a list of options with estimated travel times and costs along with a route map. So far I’ve used it in over 8 countries and the times and costs are surprisingly accurate.

Rome2Rio sample search results

Search results with multiple transportation options.

 

In this case, I’m only interested in budget transportation so I checked both bus options by clicking on each. As you can see below, Rome2Rio also shows you bus numbers, the frequency of the bus and the company that runs the service. I’ve used this handy feature to book several bus trips in advance.

I ended up going with the Bus Transerco shuttle as it gave me a shorter walk from the bus stop to my hostel – 4 mins :-).

Rome2rio detailed transportation results

Detailed transportation view.

 

Accommodation

Accommodation generally accounts for another big chunk of the budget but depending on where you’re traveling to and what kind of traveler you are this expense can definitely be managed, thanks to the websites below.

 

Booking.com

Booking.com is my absolute favourite resource for booking budget accommodation. I have used it for most of my trips, the only exception being when I’m looking for something homier and I opt for Airbnb.

Booking.com Homepage

Booking.com home search screen

 

Once you enter your search options Booking.com allows you to apply filters. Want breakfast included? Wifi (yes, that’s still optional in some places)? Specific star rating?  Free cancellation? Balcony? Only wanted properties rated 8 or higher by previous visitors? All these can be specified along with a long list of other filters.

Booking.com results screen

Results with filter options

You can even save your favorite properties by destination and revisit them later if you’re not ready to book. As a frequent user of Booking.com, I also receive additional discounts and occasional cashback (on average 10%) on some properties.

CLICK HERE to sign up for Booking.com and receive 10% BACK on your first trip.

 

 

AirBnB

airbnb home screen

AirBnB home screen

AirBnB is my preferred option for long stays and for when I need more privacy and want a home away from home. If you’ve never heard of it, chances are you’ve been living under a rock. Depending on where you’re traveling to you can find accommodation as cheap as $15/day. (Got to love Asia!) The site allows you to save your searches as well, which works well for trip planning.

CLICK HERE to sign up for AirBnB and receive $25 toward your first trip.

 

Agoda

Agoda is another website that I only recently started using (I did my first booking in early September – a hostel in Kuala Lumpur). I don’t use it much but I’ve been told by other travelers that they generally have good rates comparable to and sometimes better than Booking.com (though my bias makes me doubt this).

Agoda home search screen

Agoda home search screen

 

Agoda allows you to use many of the same filters as Booking.com and works very similarly as far as features.

Agoda search results

Search results

 

How many of these sites have you already used? Are there any others that you would add to this list? Let me know in the comments.

 

 

 

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