You Should Try These 6 Innovative Travel Sites Today
While travel is expensive today, it doesn’t have to be. High quality airlines like Qatar Airways and Emirates can be quite pricey, but if you use travel deal sites or an app sale for coupon codes, you can save 40% off your flight easily. For UK travellers, a site like Couponfly.org offers coupons for Expedia, Hotels.com and nearly all the major booking sites operating out of the U.K.
The expensive nature of travel doesn’t necessarily come from the costs involved. In many cases, it is simply inflexibility and poor design that raise prices.
Many travel startups are chipping away at every problem you’ve ever had with the way the travel system is built. Here are six of the most innovative services on offer today. You’ll probably end up using all six at some point.
Share your hotel and share the costs
If you’re willing to share a cruise ship cabin or a package tour hotel room with another traveler, you only pay for yourself. They charge you per-person double occupancy rates. Hotels tend to go by a strange convention, though – they have no way to let you share a room. Hotels would be much cheaper if they allowed per-person double occupancy pricing, too. Thanks to a new service called EasyNest, this is the exact service you get. EasyNest puts travelers traveling by themselves together so that they can share hotel rooms. Your hotel bills get cut in half right away.
What do you do with a nonrefundable room that you can’t use?
When you book through Priceline and other opaque reservation sites, they don’t tell you about the exact flight or hotel room that you’re getting until after you’ve paid. It’s the trade-off for the discount you get. The other trade-off with opaque reservations is that they tend to be nonrefundable. What do you do, though, if you’ve made such a hotel reservation but need to cancel because you can no longer go? Up until now, your money just went to waste. A new service called Roomer, though, has an idea – you get to post for sale any nonrefundable room that you may have. You can offer it at a discount and wait for someone to show interest. Once you make the sale, Roomer will try to talk to the hotel to arrange a name change for the reservation. Most hotels do go along.
What if you don’t even get to decide where you’re going?
Opaque booking sites like Priceline don’t tell you what airline you’re flying on or what exact time it will be. If you book a hotel through them, they don’t tell you what hotel you’re getting – you only know what amenities you get for your money. GetGoing has a new take on the opaque booking idea – you get a great deal, except that you don’t know where you’re going until after you pay. You simply get to state your preference for a few cities. GetGoing will give you whatever city it can get a deal on.
Why don’t hotel booking sites tell you about the extras?
Nearly no hotel booking site today allows you to compare hotel rooms on the final prices that you’ll pay – ones that include fees, taxes and other extras. They only give you prices before these add-ons. You either need to painstakingly research booking sites for information about parking fees, Wi-Fi fees, resort fees and other bill-inflating add-ons or wait until you actually get there. It can be very hard to compare hotel prices with these extras included. TheSuitest, a new Hotel price comparison service, breaks the mold here. It offers you the ability to compare hotels by what you will actually pay – not some arbitrary low price that includes none of the extras.
Get a local expert to show you around
What does it feel like to visit a new city and be shown around by a knowledgeable local and not a professional guide? Vayable offers exactly such a service. Whatever city you are visiting, you can pick from among their roster of locals with special knowledge of whatever part of life in the city interests you – street food, art, architecture or anything else.
How about hotel price tracking?
Many websites with names like Yapta allow you to track flight tickets after you book them. If prices drop, you get a refund for the difference. Tingo is a new service that brings this ability to hotel bookings. When you book your hotel rooms through them, you get a refund if prices drop afterwards.