We all know the travel site staples – Expedia, Priceline, Trivago, Kayak, et al, promise to find you the cheapest deals on hotels and flights. LonelyPlanet is the leading resource of online travel guides, with detailed information about any country in the world. Airbnb will help you locate cheap or unique accommodations just about anywhere.
But what about those hidden gems – the sites you really need to know about, but haven’t heard much about? We’ve compiled seven of our favorite travel sites to help you with everything from finding the perfect lunch in an unfamiliar city to securing the best deal on airport transportation.
Sometimes, the cheapest flight to your destination may be a layover. Instead of flying directly from Phoenix to Chicago, for example, it might be cheaper for you to book a flight from Phoenix to Cleveland, with a layover in Chicago. Then you simply stay in Chicago and never finish the last leg of your trip. Skiplagged scans all flights from each airline to find you the actual cheapest way to get to your destination.
Unlike Airbnb, in which a proprietor may just have an extra place they want to rent out, Homestay places with you with actual people in their actual homes. It’s an authentic experience that shows travelers what it’s really like to live in that country or city. Once you’ve participated in a Homestay, it’s hard to go back to other types of travel. Consider opening your own home to curious and passionate travelers around the world to keep the legacy going.
So, this isn’t exactly a website. Rather, it’s a New York Times column that highlights Frugal Traveler Seth Kugel as he travels the world on a budget. A $100 weekend in DC? A $1,000 day in Paris for less than 1/10th of the price? Follow his musings here if you want to know how to get the most out of your vacation with the least amount of money.
TripIt is the perfect resource for those who love to plan, plan, plan. It’s also quite handy for those who tend to forget, forget, forget. TripIt organizes all of your travel plans and situates them into a lovely itinerary. It also sends you real-time alerts, reminders, and updates while providing you with special perks and insider tips, like locating alternate flights and letting you know when a better seat has opened up.
Foodspotting makes use out of everyone’s favorite travel activity: photographing their meals. Users upload and tag their food photos to the Foodspotting app, where other users can browse and locate meals throughout the city. Mmm… that looks good.
Planes aren’t the only travel options. If you want to forgo a flight and instead take an alternative or unusual mode of transportation to your next destination, The Man in Seat 61 should be your new go-to guide. Trains, ferries, boats… it’s all there. This is a particularly helpful guide for first-time or solo travelers, especially those from area where trains are scarce, who are looking to save money and have a more unique travel experience.
So, maybe it’s a bit shameless to plug ourselves in this blog post, but we have a lot to offer when it comes to making travel plans on a budget! We have many different options for each type of trip, but one thing ties them all together – we’ll get you where you need to be at a price you can afford. Not to mention, with our new mobile check-in and updated mobile apps, the guessing games are over. Skip the lines, keep track of your van in real-time, and feel good knowing that the money you just saved on airport transportation can now be used for, well… literally anything else.