MoneyMagpie

Apr 05

Best money-saving travel websites

Ready for a nice sunny holiday? Aren’t we all, which is why we’ve hunted down the best money saving travel websites to save us all a fortune. We show you where to find cheap airline tickets, incredible holiday accomodation deals, paradise package breaks plus the best sites for all those little holiday extras.

This is our fantastic flight comparison tool – it’s very easy to use. Just enter the destinations you want to fly between, the dates on which you would like to fly, and the number of people who are flying.

Best for comparing short haul flights…

Kayak.co.uk

Find flight prices with ease and speed on Kayak. The best thing about this site is that prices include taxes and fees. You can also change the flight times with a simple drag button on the left hand side of the results page and there are ‘fare fund history charts’ which show you how much airlines have been charging for a particular flight recently – giving you an indication of the best time to buy.

Momondo.com

The Momondo flight search engine allows you to compare flight prices across hundreds of websites quickly and easily. Newer features on the site include a hotel search function (not yet quite as good as the flight checker) and a travel guide with updated articles (worth a look but not as good as guides you’ll get on sites like Worldreviewer).

Best for comparing long haul flights…

Expedia

Expedia have an easy to useflight search engine. They have direct contact with airlines, and so often have special rates and deals you won’t find elsewhere. You can also often get great discount deals if you a book a hotel through Expedia at the same time.

Liligo

Liligo also has a great flight search engine – it will search over 250 travel sites for you to bring you the cheapest flights. You can also get cheap hotel deals and car hire prices through the site – it’s well worth a look.

Opodo

If you’re looking for long haul flights a well known site is usually a better option, and Opodo is a great site for finding good prices to far flung destinations. The best way to use Opodo is to take advantage of its clever ‘AirTools’. There are five tools which are very useful for anyone searching for flight prices. The filter options are also extensive so you should be able to find exactly what you’re looking for.

1. CombiFlight – this allows you to combine two airlines to and from a destination, to get a cheaper airfare wherever possible.

2. EscapeMap – this provides ideas on where to go. You simply select a budget, rough area of travel, type of trip and the map suggests locations with flight prices.

3. CheckFlight – this finds the cheapest flights to popular destinations (over 250 are covered) so you don’t have to spend time searching for them.

4. MyAirline – if you prefer to stick with just the one airline, you can compare your preferred airline with the average cost of a flight across over 100 airlines. This will show you the cheapest dates to travel with your favourite airline.

5. FlexiFlight – this is a mega handy money-saving tool that shows you how much money you could save by being flexible with departure dates and flight times.

Best for travel bargains…

Lastminute.com

Most of you will be well aware of this site but we couldn’t have a travel list without mentioning it. Despite the name, Lastminute.com is not necessarily the best place to go if you’re planning a trip at the very last minute for a specific date and time, (always compare deals on other sites like Holiday Hypermarket, Cheapholidaydeals and Latedeals). But it really comes into its own when it  has one of it’s many mega sales. If you can be flexible and you get in quick before all the best deals go, you can grab yourself a real bargain. Sign up to the newsletter so that you know as soon as one of the sales starts.

The latest travel deals straight to your inbox…

Travelzoo.com

This is useful for finding the latest special offers. Sign up for the weekly newsletter and you’ll get the top 20 bargains around on the internet emailed straight to your inbox.

Expedia.co.uk

This travel agent offers fares from over 450 airlines and has a ‘build-your-own holiday’ facility as well as pre-packaged holidays. The newsletter is pretty good with travel tips and exclusive deals. There is also a nifty desktop tool called a ‘Fare Alert Tool’ so you can stay up to date on the best rates without clogging up your inbox.

Kip on someone’s couch for free accommodation…

Couchsurfing.com

Why pay for accommodation? Couch surf instead and stay for free in the destination of your choice for free. It’s a great way to really involve yourself in the area you’re staying in and it’s quite likely that you’re hosts will be willing to show you around and give you an authentic experience. Similar sites include  Globalfreeloaders and Hospitality Club.

For families you can sleep for free by doing a house exchange. You literally swap houses with a family who is a member of the swapping organisation. The Moneymagpies have tried and tested house swaps with Intervac and you can also do it with Home Exchange.

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The best train travel sites…

Seat61.com

If aeroplanes aren’t your cup of tea, trains are a great alternative. Seat 61 has comprehensive links to help you organise train and ship travel from both within the UK and Ireland, and across the world. You can find detailed route information and extensive advice on how the train system works in any given area, plus clear information on how to buy your tickets. So it really is the only place you need if you’re travelling by train.

Redspottedhanky.com

Search and book for train tickets on Redspottedhanky.com and you can not only save up to 80% but also, you can earn loyalty points. Get 1 loyalty point per £1 spent and then redeem these points against future train journeys. What’s more, there are no credit card or delivery charges (except next day delivery) and if you find your ticket cheaper online, Redspottedhanky will refund the difference in loyalty points.

Raildude

For those of you who are wanting to explore beyond the UK, Raildude is a great resource for European rail travel, as well as for travel in some places outside Europe. They have an extensive timetable covering all rail networks in Europe and also have all sorts of inter-country offers. If you’re planning on travelling around Europe they offer InterRail tickets for EU residents, EURail tickets for non-EU residents and also single country passes.

Find accommodation to suit your budget…

Priceline

If you’re on a budget, but are willing to be flexible on exactly where you travel to, this  site allows you to name a price and destination and it will find accommodation to fit your budget. However it’s still a good idea to check directly with the hotel to see if they can offer you a better deal.

Dine for less abroad…

OpenTable

You can book your meal abroad with OpenTable and gain points to put towards a free meal. OpenTable covers lots of cities and towns including Paris, Turin, Amsterdam and Madrid. There are always great deals to be found – simply click on the ‘special offers’ box on the city/town of your choice and see where all the bargains are.

Get cheaper phone calls abroad…

GoSim

Get yourself an international SIM card if you go abroad and want to take your mobile with you. There are various packs available on Go SIM starting from just £10 and not only do they allow you to receive calls for free but they will also usually beat the rates of your domestic provider on making calls to the UK. For our full guide on saving money with your phone abroad, click here.

Cheapest travel money…

Travelex

Never change your money at an airport. You’ll almost certainly get a poor rate and lose money unnecessarily. Always shop around when exchanging money. According to Which? magazine, Travelex consistently offers the best rates and they do have an online guarantee to give you the best price, or refund you the difference.

Bargain travel accessories…

Amazon

This is one of the best places to go online for cheap travel bags and passport holders. You can buy pretty much all of your travel accessories here, from suitcases of all shapes, colours and sizes, to travel hair straighteners and travel adaptors.

Make cash from your holiday…
Buy your holiday through a cashback site for a quick and easy way to make money. You won’t necessarily make big bucks but it is money for nothing. There are plenty of cashback sites around – have a look at several as different sites cover different retailers. Find out more in our full article on cashback sites. It makes sense to start with cashback sites that give you money just for signing up like these:

  • Ecashback – £2.50
  • Cashback shopper – £5

If you’re looking for an adventure…

Worldreviewer.com

As well as being full of award-winning travel guides, Worldreviewer allows visitors to search for activity and sightseeing guides. So if you love cycling you can read a full, detailed guide on the best cycling trips with reviews of cycling holidays all over the world. Even if you’re not planning a trip anytime soon, this site still makes for an interesting read and the blogs in particular can be truly entertaining.

If you want to pay less for airport parking….

Aph.com

If you’re planning to leave your car at the aiport reserve your space online with APH. Not only will you pay up to 25% less than you would just turning up on the day, but APH have also offered Moneymagpie readers a further 5% discount. Just follow the special link above for a quote, and your 5% discount will automatically be added.

If you love a bit of gossip…

Gridskipper.com

This is a travel blog full of quirky bits of information on various cities around the world. There are blog entries for New York, Los Angeles, Paris, London, Berlin, Washington DC, Sydney, Tokyo and San Francisco so if you’re going to visit any of these cities it’s well worth a look.

If you’re taking a city break…

Timeout.com

The ideal one-stop shop for info on various cities. Find out what’s on in the city of your choice, read reviews of shops, restaurants and various attractions. Look out for the ‘Editor’s Picks’ which are often full of fantastic ideas on ways for you to spend your time in any given city.

If you’re looking for fun things to do on holiday…

Tripadvisor.co.uk

Another useful review site or ‘travel community’. Search either by selecting a destination and take a look at the top-rated hotels and suggestions on things to do when you get there. Many destinations will also have free downloadable guides for even more information and tips. The forums are also great for a more independent idea on your destination and it’s a good idea to post your own questions if there’s anything you’re unsure, or curious about.

If you want to avoid dodgy travel companies…

Travelwatchdog.com

This site will reveal the dodgy travel companies that you need to avoid. You can also find advice on things like insurance and tips on ways to keep safe when on holiday.

If you need some travel safety advice…

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Get the very latest official travel advice. There is a travel advice section so that you’re aware of any precautions you should take and any local customs and laws. There is also a thorough checklist so you can make sure you haven’t forgotten anything important.

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WHAT DO YOU THINK?

6 thoughts on Best money-saving travel websites

  1. Don’t forget Holiday Goddess either. We’ve found luxe campervans for under five quid a day, and even a $1 flight with Air New Zealand! Pick up some free luggage labels from us when you visit: holidaygoddess.com. In the true spirit of Money Magpiedom, we say ‘Caw!’




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  2. I really enjoy using trivago, which is a hotel price comparison site, where you can also find unbiased travel information. They now have an US site, so why not take a look?!




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  3. For travel money there is a much better currency exchange called Thomas Exchange Global. I have travelled overseas more than 30 times in the last 2 years and have required different currency each time. They have beaten every other exchange rate in the is country.




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  4. The Daily Express (Jasmine Birtles published a coupon for cheap airport parking with APH – where can I activate this offer, please?




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