Want to save money on your holiday? There’s an app for that!
Slash the cost of travelling aboard
Summer is here, apparently, and I don’t know about you but my mind has turned to escaping the rubbish English weather and getting my behind on the first flight out of here, ideally on a luxury holiday, paid for by someone else. Sadly, the last bit isn’t going to happen (although I remain open to offers…) and my grand ideas of not spending anything for the last few months haven’t exactly gone to plan. So, as I’m sure some of you are in the same boat, and the wonders of modern technology can help us out, below are my tips and tricks for going on a luxury holiday without the luxury price tag.
Ever thought of saving money by booking a flight to somewhere you don’t want to go, but which stops at your desired destination en route, thinking this may be cheaper? No, me neither. That was until I was introduced to Skiplagged, an app which makes this “hidden city ticketing” possible. You see, if, for example, I wanted to go to New York, it may actually be cheaper to book a flight that stops at Charles de Gaulle, JFK and finally goes on to Heathrow, and I could alight at JFK. Airlines have tried to block Skiplagged, with United Airlines even bringing court action against the company. However, at the moment the app is still available, and is very popular amongst travellers. It’s not hard to see why!
An old favourite, I also use Skyscanner a lot for comparing prices of flights and getting the best deal. As well as allowing me to compare prices to get a bargain, the app also directs me to the sites from which I can buy my tickets, providing simple filters to make the process as no-nonsense as booking a holiday can be in this day and age.
Planning a last minute trip away? You spontaneous thing, you. Hotel Tonight offers hotel rooms at late notice. It was originally for those who wanted to book a hotel room for the same day, only offering rooms in hotels with vacancies that evening. They then moved into the more traditional discount hotel business, offering rooms at reduced rates up to a week before departure. Get booking and take that last minute trip!
You know that awful feeling when you book a holiday and then something, usually bad, crops up and you can no longer make it? Not only are you dealing with this new turn of events, and missing your holiday, but normally you have to still pay for it too! Salt. In. The. Wound. Then, happy days, Roomer came along and this was a thing of the past. Roomer is an app which allows me to sell my unwanted room reservations to other travellers seeking a discount. It also acts as a traditional marketplace for those looking for a good deal, so I often have a browse to check availability if I am planning a weekend away. Simply upload your unwanted hotel room to the app and you will get paid when someone else books the room, or use the app to get the best rates on a last minute reservation. Thank you, Roomer.
I’m not made of money (still working on that), but I like to travel in style. ExpertFlyer uses a database to allow me to find all of the offers and upgrades available for an upcoming flight. I then just download the codes to my smartphone, and then I can upgrade. So, you can get the best deal possible and fly in comfort as you rack up air miles.
Hipmunk acts like a comparison website, comparing rates for hotel rooms, air and coach travel and other incidentals so I can get the best deal. I simply select my destination and dates, or the app can make suggestions, and Hipmunk will provide a visual comparison of the deals available.
Named the best travel app by Apple in 2015, if you want to get the best deal for a flight, Hopper is the app for you. The massive databank allows me to compare prices for billions of flights, and the app will even make suggestions for dates that will be cheaper, and will send notifications to my phone to alert me to the latest bargain.
Who loves airports? People in airport lounges, that’s who. Everyone else finds them stressful, crowded and full of bad food and endless duty-free which you have to walk through before you can get anywhere; a necessary evil to be endured before we are whisked away on holiday. Priority Pass is an app which gives members access to hundreds of airport lounges. Perfect for if you arrive at the airport early (apparently that does happen to some people), so you can start your holiday off in style with cocktails, access to the internet to plan your trip and nibbles. Also try LoungeBuddy, a similar app which I also use.