Every wise trip planner should use only the best tools, avoiding unnecessary distractions. Nowadays the number of travel apps and websites is so large, that sometimes it is difficult to pick just the right ones.
We will keep a minimalist approach, listing here only the essentials while constantly checking for newbies to eventually add them to the list. Feel free to get in touch if you know of any travel startup that deserves to be noticed.
KAYAK LO-BA-NY Rank: #1
If you want to book the cheapest flight in minutes, you can not go wrong with KAYAK. Their price forecast, based on analysis of historical price changes, is a cool add-on to take the right decision. It appears to be trawling the largest number of sites, and that surely helps to become the leader.
Skyscanner LO-BA-NY Rank: #2
This Scottish forerunner in metasearch flight comparison can count on sixty million monthly users and is now part of China’s largest online travel agency Ctrip. Just recently, it introduced a brand new feature for undecided travelers (destination “Everywhere”) to respond to the ever increasing competition.
momondo LO-BA-NY Rank: #3
Cheapflights LO-BA-NY Rank: #3
Very similar to momondo, except for the much more minimal interface. Also in this case, the readability of the search results is impressive, but at times collides with a relative lack of flexibility. Launched 20 years ago in the UK, Cheapflights is a pioneer of flight search and one of the biggest movers in our rankings.
Airbnb LO-BA-NY Rank: #1
Despite the many problems linked to P2P lodging and the clutter introduced by the ads offering local experiences, Airbnb remains the best alternative for those travelers who don’t really need the alleged extra comforts of a hotel and prefer to have more space available and greater freedom of movement at a fair price.
Booking.com LO-BA-NY Rank: #2
After years of inertia, the world’s most popular hotel reservations website has renewed itself by broadening the offer to include homestays and improving the user experience with better maps and features. Booking.com generally has the lowest prices and is particularly focused on instant and last-minute bookings.
Hotels.com LO-BA-NY Rank: #3
Belonging to the Expedia Group, Hotels.com offers one of the widest range of accommodation options at competitive rates. Its user interface is very intuitive and usable, making the booking process painless. Search results are enriched by TripAdvisor ratings and can be filtered also on map view mode. It’s one of the few hotel booking sites providing the average nightly price for longer stays.
Agoda LO-BA-NY Rank: #3
Fairly no-frills hotel booking engine, that has become quite competitive price-wise, and not only in South East Asia, where, however, it remains the strongest player. Agoda, just like KAYAK, Booking.com, and momondo, is part of the Priceline Group, the world leader in online travel and related services.
In alphabetical order: Citymapper (local transportation), Google Maps (local navigation), Google Translate (communicating in a foreign language), Hopper (flights price predictions), Numbeo (worldwide travel prices), Oanda (currency converter), OneNote (taking notes), Rome2rio (trains & buses search engine), Spotted by Locals (city guides), Weather Underground (weather forecast).