I don’t go on vacation very often, but I do go on short citytrips quite a lot. Also, it’s one of my favourite things to do when I’m pointlessly surfing the internet – planning imaginary vacations and city trips. Meanwhile I know the best websites to book flights and hotels, and some tips where you should pay attention to.
First of course you need to plan on where to go, and how to get there. Is it somewhere near?
A good way to check what is the fastest or the cheapest is the website GoEuro.com. This website compares bus, train and flights, and shows you exactly what is the fastest, the cheapest, and you can directly find a link to book your travel.
Here you can see an example, I searched for a one way ticket from Berlin to Prague. You see that it takes almost the same amount of time to travel by bus or by train, but by bus it’s only €14,- in stead of €44,- by train. And look how much extra time it costs if you want to go there by plane!
Also, this website has an option to search for accommodation at the same time, through Airbnb.
Then there’s destinations where you know you can only go there by plane, then I would suggest trying Skyscanner.net.
Skyscanner is a great way to discover which companies fly to the destination you’re looking for, and also it has great filters. For example you can choose how many stops your flight should have at maximum, or how many hours your travel should take.
However, I’m sceptical if it comes to actually book your flight through a website like Skyscanner, because it often directs you to a website like “cheaptickets”, “travelgenio” or whatever those websites are called. Sometimes they offer a better price than booking it through the airline website directly, but be aware that you always have to wait for a confirmation which can take several days! They have the right to cancel your booking until that point, and the flight price might have gone up big time.
I would suggest you only use these type of websites to see which airlines fly to your destination, but book it at the official airlines website.
What I find super cool about Skyscanner too, is that you can get inspired by not filling in the destination, and it will randomly show you affordable flights to different countries. Or simply fill out the country, but not the city, and let Skyscanner inspire you. Fun right?
Then my favourite websites to book an accommodation is Booking.com, don’t always believe the pictures but read the reviews too! There’s always someone that will complain about loud neighbours or overcooked eggs at breakfast, and you can probably ignore that, but if there’s more than 1 guest review that says the bathroom is poorly cleaned or the staff is unfriendly, you’re possibly better off looking for another place to stay.
What I like about Tripadvisor.com, is the possibility to check out pictures that guests made and uploaded. They’re not always as nice as the pictures on the website of the hotel itself :-P but very reliable.
And of course I have to mention Airbnb and Wimdu. A great way to find a place to stay in different price categories. And if you’re lucky, your host will give you great insider tips too because he knows his hood very well, better than the staff in a hotel does!
Aren’t you inspired to plan a citytrip right now? Which are your favourite websites to explore and book?