7 Golden Platforms For Your Next Low-Budget Trip
Platforms / Apps for Planning a Low Budget Trip
Airports and borders are re-opening soon and as you can imagine, we literally can’t wait any longer. The date we originally set is getting closer and closer, and we’re trying to find all kinds of excuses to shift it even nearer. In the meantime, we’ve been doing some research and decided to organise some things… starting with the apps on our phones. They were all scattered around like some messy kid’s room.
While doing so, we thought we’d have to share with you a group of platforms and apps we constantly use to plan our travels. Surely, it wouldn’t hurt having them saved for your next getaway!
Let’s Start With Air Travel
Amongst all our favourite apps for planning a low budget trip, this has to top the list as it’s the first platform we ever encountered. It made it so easy to grab cheap flights, sometimes from airlines we didn’t even know they existed. We have written a whole article on different ways to use the platform. Perhaps, you can start planning a fun trip to somewhere that never even crossed your mind. Who knows?
Kiwi works in a similar way to Skyscanner, however with a slight twist. The advantage it has got over the previous app is that it combines flights, trains and coach transport altogether. Thus, it shows the user the ultimate cheapest way to get from point A to point B. Would it be the most comfortable or fastest option? Not a chance! But hey, how many times are ‘comfortable’ and ‘cheap’ mentioned in the same sentence?
A bit of a downside is that Kiwi makes money via commission on each purchase. Unlike Skyscanner, Kiwi’s commission comes from the traveller’s pockets. Unfortunately, this makes the ticket price a bit more expensive than the one coming directly from the airline, train or coach company. However, for this slight surcharge, the app user gets some peace of mind as they throw in protection: Kiwi.com – Guarantee. This basically protects you when you have connecting modes of transport if for some reason there’s a schedule change, cancellation or delay. Let’s say your baggage was delayed at the airport, and you missed the coach because of that. In that case, Kiwi will put you on the following one to your destination.
Shouldn’t you want to pay more for such service, that’s okay – Kiwi can still come in handy. Use the platform just as an indicator of the connections available, which as mentioned earlier, will be the cheapest options at the moment.
And… Land Transport
How funny would it be if this platform wasn’t used for booking coach transport? Well, it is and it makes one awesome keyword. Anyways, why not just go ahead with Kiwi for land transport? It’s solely because up to this point, when it comes to coach transport, Kiwi works with the largest coach companies around the globe, such as Flixbus for example. They do offer some great deals. However, there are times when the cheapest deal would come from the smaller local bus company. Checkmybus works with over 2094 companies in 70 countries around the world. It’s most definitely worth having a look next time you book land transport.
This platform mirrors the one above, so no need to repeat all of that. The only difference is that its focus is on the Asian continent.
There are some parts around the world where not all land transport is accessible online. Unlike throughout Europe, not all companies have made the step and put their tickets for sale via an online platform … but ‘The Man in Seat61’ comes to the rescue. The author, Mark Smith, is a world traveller who built a website based on his own experiences and those of others. It includes LOADS of helpful information regarding land transport.
How else would you know about that €3 bus trip in Bangladesh if the only option is to buy the ticket over the counter?
We love staying in hostels, not only because of their vibe but especially when it comes to Europe, dorm rooms are a great way to save up on accommodation costs.
From our experience, Hostel World is very reliable and safe when it comes to booking through the platform. Also, the vast majority of their income is coming from hostels paying a ‘fee’ to part of the pool on the platform. For us travellers, that’s a win, simply because the money isn’t coming from our pockets as an additional commission (most of the time).
Go ahead, do your homework! But we have to admit that from our experience, it can sometimes turn out even cheaper by booking through the platform. Another benefit is that it makes it so easy to compare one hostel with another through photos, descriptions and most importantly reviews from other backpackers.
It may be obvious to mention Airbnb. However, some techniques are not all well-known (at least not to us). Firstly, Airbnb is mostly worth it if you plan on renting out an entire place for a long period of time (e.g. a month). The majority of hosts apply huge discounts just for the fact that they would much prefer renting their place for a month (or more) all at once, to the same people. This is mostly visible in countries around South-East Asia, where costs for a beautiful bungalow can cost just around €150 a month.
The photo above shows a random search we did today, in a destination considered as a hotspot throughout the continent. Check out how cheap an ENTIRE bungalow costs for 2 persons in BALI for 1 WHOLE FREAKING MONTH!