As we move towards a comprehensive digital world, so too do our travel plans. Many sites offer to help navigate the digital tourism industry, but few actually make the challenge less challenging. Below are a few sites recommended by the The Frugal Traveler, which I happen to agree are pretty darn good.
Though the below won’t solve all your travel woes or make the experience with airlines or the TSA any more enjoyable, they will certainly help organize and entertain your travel needs.
- European based Skypicker sorts through the abundance of low cost European carriers providing the absolute cheapest flight options whether it be through multiple connections, date changes or mixing and matching airlines to meet your needs. Bonus: if you just want to leave town but don’t care where, Skypicker will display a number of the cheapest flight options available to you from your departure point on the date you wish to travel. The ultimate in pick a price and fly. (www.skypicker.com)
- Knowing what you want to see when traveling is only on piece of the puzzle. Fitting the attractions, sites, restaurants, etc into one logical trip itinerary can be far more challenging. Enter Stay.com: with over 100 destinations on the site’s roster, users simply check off the attractions that appeal to them (that’s right, you don’t even need to know what you want to do beforehand) and the website transforms the information into a printable, smartphoneable personalized itinerary. The accompanying app lets you keep the info on your phone as well as a handy map that’ll even offline. As you travel and your preferences change, so too does your itinerary which is dynamic in real time. (www.stay.com)
- While Expedia and Orbitz can be great for hotel searching in well-known destinations, they often do not serve in the same capacity for more unusual ones or offer access to small, locally owned (and more sustainable!) hotels. Trivago fills the need, accessing local search engines for hotel data and availability as well as comparing them against the major ones. With one click, users can search over 613,000 rooms from 141 websites. (www.trivago.com)
- Deciding where to go can be the most frustrating part of the journey. To help the decision making process TripTuner is the answer. Six nodules covering active vs. relaxing, adults-only vs. kid friendly, parka vs. bikini, beach vs. mountain, urban/lively vs. remote/quiet and high end $$$ vs. thrifty $ allow users to state their preferences along a sliding scale. Once the choices have been made, TripTuner will spit out destinations to match your desire. (www.triptuner.com)
For the full list of Top Ten Travel Websites, visit the Frugal Traveler Blog, hosted by the New York Times.