The bargain flight site EVERYONE should know about that can find the best deals on the planet… just one of the websites savvy travellers rely on
- We’ve selected the most engaging sites to help you become a craft traveller
- Jack’s Flight Club scours airline prices to uncover offers and mispriced flights
- Send My Bag is a leader in the field for door-to-door luggage services
Travel has exploded online in the past two decades, so much so that it can all be a bit bamboozling.
Twenty-one years ago Google was founded, and since then we’ve been clicking away to book holidays with abandon. Trouble is, there’s so much choice that it’s difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Here we’ve selected a few of the most engaging sites to help you become a craft traveller…
‘Travel has exploded online in the past two decades, so much so that it can all be a bit bamboozling,’ writes Tom Chesshyre
Founded in 2016, Jack’s Flight Club (jacksflightclub.com) scours airline prices to uncover offers and mispriced flights for subscribers including recently, for example, London-Tokyo for £248 return and Inverness-Hawaii for £289 return. The basic newsletter is free, but best offers come from the ‘premium’ service: £35 a year. ‘I live for uncovering cheap flights and sharing them,’ says founder Jack Sheldon, a Texan native who moved to London eight years ago and swiftly built a reputation among his friends for always finding the cheapest fares. Sign up with your email address and start receiving deals on international flights from the UK and Ireland once or twice a week. The firm makes its money through premium members rather than from travel companies, so deals are unbiased and always the best value.
You’ve booked a hotel room but feel like spoiling yourself. Upgrades are not just for airlines, some hotels do them too and a brand new company offers to bag discounts of at least 50 per cent of what a normal unpgrade would cost. Simply register (for free), enter your hotel dates and Upgradus (upgradus.com), set up by Guy Ratcliffe, a British entrepreneur with a financial background, will negotiate on your behalf.
If you’re sick of looking up separate emails for flights, hotels, car hire and activities, U.S.-based Tripit (tripit.com) could be for you. Sign up online for free then email them information about your trip as it comes in. The website creates a clear itinerary with all the elements of your journey; easy to share with others.
Relax in a lounge
Booking an airport lounge is easy with LoungeBuddy (loungebuddy.co.uk). Rates for lounges are from as little as £20. Click to check pictures and whether free snacks, alcoholic drinks and wifi-access are included. Then book via the website, which has been around since 2013, providing your arrival time.
Travel bookings sometimes go to waste when they cannot be used or sold on. Transfer Travel (transfertravel.com), founded three years ago by British entrepreneur Simon Powell, is a safe online platform putting buyers and sellers together. When we checked, return Bristol-Naples flights for two people were from £100 (85 per cent off), or a 13-day holiday for two with flights and a spa hotel was £501 (55 per cent off). Powell created the website after splitting up with a girlfriend and realising there was a market for unused holidays as they had been about to go on a £3,000 trip.
Door-to-door luggage services can save a lot of hassle. Send My Bag is a leader in the field
Door-to-door luggage services can save a lot of hassle. Send My Bag (sendmybag.com) is a leader in the field. Transporting 60kg luggage to Spain costs £70 one-way with door-to-door delivery, while on Ryanair — lugging it through airports — this would be £75. Services are particularly popular on long-haul trips Down Under (30kg for £318 return).
Off the beaten track
More than 600 airlines are listed on Alternative Airlines (alternative airlines.com), which specialises in lesser-known carriers such as Belavia (Belarus), Cebu Pacific (Philippines), Firefly (Malaysia), Lacsa (Costa Rica) and Yakutia (eastern Russia). It’s perfect for those needing flights off the beaten track.
Crafty ways to save are what it’s all about at Turning Left for Less (turningleftforless.com), which was founded by high-end travel enthusiasts in 2016 and promises ‘champagne travel on a prosecco budget’. This is for super-savvy flyers, many using loyalty schemes. Advice is provided on how to cash in ‘points’ to maximum effect. It’s especially handy for British Airways, to which a section is devoted. Newsletter subscription is free.
Swap houses free
The idea of simply swapping houses with like-minded people and travelling round the globe for the cost of travel tickets alone is appealing. Love Home Swap (lovehomeswap.com), which has an annual sign-up fee of £8, puts you in touch with house-owners in the United States, Thailand, Ireland, Spain, Australia and many other spots.
Register as a pet sitter with TrustedHousesitters (trustedhousesitters.com) and a whole new world of travel opens. It’s £89 per year and once signed in, you can express interest in pet-sitting in destinations as far afield as Australia, the United States and South Africa — as well as in Europe. Stay for free and make a new furry friend.
No sign-up is required to check out carefully selected airfares to the likes of New Orleans, Istanbul and the Seychelles on Secret Flying (secretflying.com), sometimes with 50 per cent savings. The website, founded in 2014, monitors prices on skyscanner.net and flags these up daily. The latest included London to Guatemala for £368. Download the app for specific searches.
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