10 Travel Websites You Might Not Know About

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10 Travel Websites To Help You Get More From Your Next Trip

Travel websites come and go and some that I've loved have died a quiet death while others have imploded spectacularly. In such a competitive industry getting cheaper flights, better accommodation for less and more local experiences is the key to ensuring the best trip possible. The following websites are ones I use and LOVE. I might not use them all every day but they help me out on a regular basis. Enjoy!

Homestay

URL: www.homestay.com

For: Homestays – its pretty self explanatory!

Why: Homestays can provide you with much more affordable accommodation while offering you the locals exposure to what to do during your stay. I've used them in Japan, Korea, The UK and many more locations. Check out this Homestay search I've done for accommodation in York in the UK for example. You can see how far from the centre of town each location is, the price is clearly visible, and you can even drill down for Amenities you might require, like Wi-Fi for example.

What do I like about this website? I love that you can make an informed decision quickly and easily. Prices are transparent, locations are listed and the filters enable you to look for exactly the situation you would like to stay in.


Black Tomato

URL: www.blacktomato.com

For: Luxury holidays and adventures

Why: Before I explain this website I must say this is one I almost never use. I don't have the money for luxury safari's or adventures however I have a friend who has used a few services from this website and raves about it. She spends one month per year away usually and doesn't want to compromise on quality of anything so Black Tomato is her first stop. As a comparison, this Ethiopia trip on Black Tomato starts at €7000 pp (around $11500 AUD or $8300 USD) for a suggested 10 days, and is customized to exactly what you would like to do.

Ethio Tours By Locals does a 20 day Best Explore Ethiopia trip that does all over the country including the Danikil Depression for around $4000 AUD. Or this Aman Ethiopia Tours 30 day tour is $4800 AUD. You can see Black Tomato are expensive but they do use the best accommodations and tour operators.

What do I like about this website? They not only have tours they have experiences with a solo travel category. I love that idea. There should be more of it and again, while their trips are not cheap, that is a great feature.


Rome2Rio

URL: www.rome2rio.com

For: Getting from A to B via Z!

Why: If you've followed me for any amount of time you know that Rome2Rio is one of my most used and favourite travel websites. Use it like Google Maps by simply putting your addresses in to get from A to B and it will show you every way you can do that. I love that I can find small bus companies that I would otherwise not know about and can work out if the time to fly is worth the extra $100.

What do I like about this website? There's a lot to love about Rome2Rio. You can search from towns, airports, specific addresses to get the exact activities you need to get from point to point. Prices are displayed and you can click through to each provider to check timetables and costs.


Responsible Travel

URL: www.responsibletravel.com

For: Responsible Travel Operators.

Why: Responsible Travel list tours from small group operators and custom providers. They are pioneers in selling authentic and sustainable holidays by connecting you to over 400 tour operators who run the trips for them. They have Last Minute options, do regular offers and their Travel Guides are amazing! They aren't like a book though, they are interactive on their website, but offer great insight into each location.

What do I like about this website? I love that they are focused on sustainability and I love the diversity of their offerings.


Skiplagged

URL: www.skiplagged.com

For: Hidden City Flights

Why: Skiplagged can find flights you can't find anywhere else. Beware however – they are often 3 and 4 legs with overnight stays so while they can be extremely cheap there are hidden costs.

Because of this I don't often use them for flights to and from Australia as the discount is massively outweighed by the time of the journey. They are much better in the US and Europe, however in Australia we are limited with airlines and that comes into play.

What I do love about Skiplagged is their hidden city flights. These flights can only be travelled with hand luggage and you shouldn't do it too often and upset the airlines, however they are so much cheaper than direct flights usually.

A Hidden City flight is one that is split into 2 legs and you get off at the connection point and don't go all the way through to the final destination. Often a flight from New York to Atlanta might be $250 but a flight from New York to Miami with a layover in Atlanta might be only $130.

You book the full flight but get off at the layover.

There are risks of course and their FAQ will answer them for you, however of course you need to have ONLY carry on luggage.

What do I like about this website? They are really upfront with what to do and what not to do. They tell you not to connect your frequent flyer points as the airline can get antsy and cancel your account (yes they can do that!) and they give you other tips on what not to do for hidden city flights. Yes I've used them multiple times in the US and loved it. Don't forget their regular flight prices are also very cheap but check the connection times.


Seat 61

URL: www.seat61.com

For: Train Travel mostly

Why: If you fancy going the slow way (I should say the more scenic way I guess) this website is for you! While some of his “no fly” routes are almost no longer possible, there is so much info on this website for anyone who wants to avoid flying and travel by train. The website is very crowded and out of style, but the info is what you are there for so put your reading hat on and see where you can go

What do I like about this website? I love that there is so much info about so many options and in particular I love the Great Train Journey he showcases. Usually I go straight to Buy Train Tickets and work from there.


Bookaway

URL: www.bookaway.com

For: Bus Travel

Why: So while we are on alternative travel options, try Bookaway. They are based around bus travel and while they haven't quite expanded to some regions yet, they are growing daily. I just searched for a bus from Arusha to Dar Es Salaam and you can see that a bus ticket is $26 USD while a flight is $219 USD.

What do I like about this website? I love that you can also see transfers and shuttles on this website. That is often a great option that is so hard to find if you aren't local to the area. I found a shuttle in the Dominican Replublic easily and it was less than 10% of the price of a taxi from the airport to my little house.


Jenny Marsden - Charge The Globe
About the author

Meet Jenny, a passionate Australian travel blogger who has explored 103 countries to date. With over 30 years of travel experience, Jenny has a wealth of knowledge to share with her readers about the cultures, landscapes, and people she has encountered on her journeys. She's always battling unfashionably frizzy hair and you will never catch Jenny in anything but comfortable shoes. Learn more about Jenny and her travels.


Context

URL: www.contexttravel.com

For: Personal guided tours from an expert. Use this code to get 10% off your first tour! CCB9FFC9

Why: A homestay family put me onto this website in Cape Town and I've used it many times since. Their premise is small group tours run by a specialist to the subject matter. Scholars, anthropologists, historians and architects have taken me on some wonderful tours of suburbs and cities around the world. I have loved it.

It does look expensive, however most of the prices are for at least 2 people and I have often messaged and asked if they could do 3 or even 4 people. Usually they will do 3 for not much more and even if there is an extra price, if you split it between you it is way more affordable.

What do I like about this website? I've found every guide (bar 1) to be very passionate about their special field and very personable. Don't be scared to ask if you can join another group if it is just you.

I've done the “I'd love to but I can't spend $180 on a morning tour myself, if you have any other tours today or tomorrow could you ask if I might join that one and pay a more budget price?” I think I've done that 3 or 4 times and its always worked. Use this code to get 10% off your first tour! CCB9FFC9


AirHelp

URL: www.airhelp.com

For: Compensation claims for flight delays or cancellations.

Why: I sat in Fukuoka airport for 10 hours a few years ago after my flight was delayed. They gave us next to no info they just kept saying it was delayed. Because I had already checked my luggage I couldn't get on another flight and the flight that was supposed to leave at 9:45 am ended up leaving at 10pm.

I got to Seoul airport and the train had finished for the night so I was stuck until a very nice lady offered to call a small hotel nearby which luckily I got a room in (and saw this amazing bathroom). She told me about this AirHelp and wouldn't you know it I ended up with over $400 AUD in my hand! Noice!

It does take AGES though. I think it was maybe 4 months after I claimed that I got the money. There is a fee of 35% of the compensation but you pay nothing up front. If there is no claim it doesn't cost you. That is a high percentage but are you going to fight it out with a major airline? No, so if I have been seriously let down I just lodge a claim and wait. If they get some money I don't care if I give them 35%.

What do I like about this website? It is so easy to use. You MUST have your documentation though so keep your boarding pass if you did end up flying. I always take photos of airport flight monitors too just in case but I've never had to use them. Just put in your info and check if you qualify for some compensation.

We used them again in July 2022 when we had a flight delayed for 9 hours with Air Serbia and we got 560 Euro back which was really nice. We were already home but I had credit card bills to pay from the trip so it was really nice to see that $$.

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