Now, anyone that knows me will know that over the past few years I have travelled quite a bit. I mean in all honesty It’s only been Europe and a couple countries in Africa (at the time of writing this) but travelling is definitely something I like doing for the most part.
This website TeddyBearsTravels.com I decided to start for this reason. I’ve published a couple posts now but I thought I would do this one to offer a few tidbits of advice for different travel apps and websites for budget travel that I use for my trips.
This is a pretty general list here. Many people ask me about how I travel so often for so cheap. I think it’s really a combination of things. Knowledge is definitely power I would say but if you can avoid mistakes this is a BIG ONE.
However, I would say for cheap flights, places to stay and tours etc. this list should be a good reference. It is helpful if you can make money whilst your on your travels. eBay and blogging serve me pretty well but either way knowing how to save money is a great idea too.
I will begin here>> In no particular order. I hope this helps…
My Top 12 Travel Apps And Websites For Budget Travel
Now, first things first BOOKING FLIGHTS CHEAP is a big part of this. You should take care here really. Consider how;
- You are getting to and from the airport.
- What time are you flying back?
- Which airline you are flying with?
- What is your baggage allowance?
All of these things can lead to extra costs. To really travel cheap these are good things to know but as for actually finding cheap flights – This is how I find mine>>>
#1 – Sky Scanner for Cheap Flights
Skyscanner is the first place that I really look to use for booking flights. Usually I look for flights with stop overs. It is better without them but this is a great opportunity to see other places and often can save you money in most cases.
Just be sure that you consider things like accommodation (if you are staying overnight) and the cost of living in each area. I recently made this mistake flying back from Cape Verde via Amsterdam. Really I was glad I went and got to see the place but I was shocked about how expensive it was.
Sometimes it is better to pay extra for direct flights. It depends where you are stopping over and for how long. Although, also be careful with budget airlines.
Ryanair & Easyjet are good examples of this. They are great for cheap flights but be very careful about how much luggage you are carrying. This has happened to me TOO MANY TIMES now where I’ve gone to catch the plane and they have took my last £50 off me.
There are TikToks of people dumping all their clothes on the floor just so they don’t have to pay the 50 Euros. It’s a pretty horrible thing to happen when your on your way home. So look at adding a bag with Easyjet if you think its neccessary. It’s about 20£ GBP but will save you 30£ in most cases.
Not done this yet myself but maybe on one idea I might have for one of my next trips.
*Note if you choose no extra bags initially on the next screen some people have found you can save £10 with a last chance offer. See video;
Skyscanner is a good tool to search with. I would be pretty lost without it but actually it is not the only search engine for budget flights. Also check out…
#2 – Search For Flights with The Kiwi App
Oddly enough Skyscanner doesn’t always provide the best deals for flights. In my experience Kiwi.com I’ve found is another good website to try.
It has a mobile app too which is pretty convenient as saves having to find your booking in your emails etc. I actually check Kiwi alongside Skyscanner and many times I’ve found cheaper flights.
You can also use Kiwi for local transport. I’ve not done so myself but this is another reason to download their app on your device. But don’t just get the Kiwi App. Also get…
#3 – Don’t Overlook Trip.com
For me in the past the Trip.com App/website has been very useful alongside Booking.com and Hostel World for both finding cheap flights and also for accommodation. In my experience I have found that its good to check each website / app to see what your different options are.
Usually I’ll check Skyscanner, Kiwi, then Trip.com. Although out of all these different options I kind of prefer Trip.com because you are rewarded with Trip points.
You can also earn these for leaving reviews at places you stay and with these Trip points you can use for discounts on future bookings.
It is not a whole lot of money you will save but if you can get £1-£3 off it’s nice to save what you can and this also gives you the chance you earn more points. Viator is good like this too (I shall get to this soon) but ONE more App/website for Budget Travel I’d really like to mention is as follows>>>
#4 – Find Deals With Jacks Flight Club
There are MANY THINGS I like about Jacks Flight Club. Even as a Free Member it is WELL WORTH joining. My trip to Cape Verde OK I had an 8 month wait between booking flights and actually getting there but £176 from Brussels I thought was an incredible deal.
I mean I later learned that if I wanted to I could actually do this again for the same amount of money. It would just be a case of waiting for the right opportunity but if it wasn’t for Jack’s Flight Club I wouldn’t have known about this.
In fact, only a week ago I was very tempted to use another one of their flight plans. From Heathrow To Manilla for £450 return with an Extra Bag Free.
*I wimped out on this one but this App even for free members WOW but this is nothing compared to their paid membership. It gets EVEN BETTER – here are just a few examples to see>>>
You should see what I mean here but continuing on with my 14 Apps and Websites For Budget Travel – let’s look at Accommodation and places to stay whilst away.
#5 – Don’t Forget Booking.com
This Is a must have travel app for me. When I went to Bratislava Slovakia I really could have done with knowing about Booking.com There are 2 hostels in Bratislava – The Wild & Urban Elephants Hostels. I booked to stay in one of them on Hostel World
I got there at about 21:30pm and they told me I could NOT stay at either of them because of my age (over 35). That night I (luckily) ended up at another hostel the Patio Hostel but as I booked myself into a Female dorm (yet again!) I had to pay up instead for a Private room (60 euros) as there were no beds in the male dorms left.
I got a free drink which was nice but I was on my phone and I looked again and on Booking.com – just around the corner was another hostel that was 5 euros a night.
I felt so silly as was trying to make this trip as cheap as I could but I guess if your reading this then you will now that this is a good app to download.
It’s not the first place I look for accommodation but it’s always worth a look.
However, what I usually do is…
#6 – Check Out Hostel World
I remember when my cousin first told me about HostelWorld.com. It was my first time in Gibraltar. It was 2020 during lockdown. All the pubs were closed in the UK and I booked a flight here as I see that Gibraltar still had bars and shops open for business.
There was a 10pm curfew which was pretty rubbish. A couple of nights I remember being starving hungry at my place but anyhow I got here and hadn’t booked anywhere to stay.
I was very worried because I was here for 9 days. That night I paid up (about £70) to stay at the Bristol Hotel – a nice place but I was quite relieved to find out about HostelWorld.com.
With this website I found the Emile Hostel @ £30 a night for the rest of my stay. I’ve been here twice now and next time I am back in Gibraltar will be back again.
Although, I will say Hostel World does have it’s problems. I would say you should always try to contact the place your staying before you get there as Hostel World still takes bookings even if you can’t stay at your place. The common one is booking an all male/female dorm when you are the opposite sex – be careful for that one but also there are places like the Elephants Hostel.
My top tip is again to double check your booking. Call, email get hold of them and make sure you definitely have got the room for the night.
And REMEMBER THIS TOO – Write down full address on paper in case you get lost with no battery (or no phone), make sure your hostel isn’t 2 hours away (another mistake I’ve made) and MAKE SURE you have photo ID (I almost had to sleep rough in Inverness because of this).
Thankfully Booking.com to the rescue here for finding me the Waverly Guest House.
Highly recommend the place but also something else to consider…
#7 – Don’t Forget About AirBNB
Really I can not leave AirBNB off this list. I’ve stayed in a few AirBNBs now. The last one was in Espargos, Cape Verde. What I really liked was my host arranged for a taxi to pick me up and take me straight to my room when I got off my plane.
It depends where you are staying. When I stayed in Visoko Bosnia my room was only £11 for the night. You can definitely find cheap rooms on here so always worth checking.
PLUS ALSO The 3 apps above do not always bear fruit and AirBNB can actually be great here.
Its also usually much cheaper than staying at a hotel and I’ve definitely found some good ones.
So – for booking Accommodation – remember these sites Booking.com, Hostelworld.com and AirBNB. Also, check out (never used before but) Opodo.co.uk and Kayak.co.uk
#8 – Viator / TripAdvisor.com
This a new one for me. Only used once to book a day tour of Sal Island Cape Verde. The tour was great (read all about it here) but yes I used Viator to book this. The tour was about $50 USD, the App was easy to use and best part I thought was that I earned $2.37 off my next booking.
You can share a link too where you get 20% off your next trip and a friend gets 10% off their next trip if they sign up through your referral link. It basically has everything on here that is available to do. I was gutted coming back from Lanzorote for not booking a tour with Viator. I am planning to go back especially for this reason and everywhere I go now I will definitely use Viator I think.
Probably one of my favourites on this list but there are another 4 apps and websites I also recommend for my fellow travellers.
#9 – FlixBus For Getting Around Europe
For me getting from one country (or City) to the next for less than £20 is a great feeling. I have used Flix Bus for this purpose numerous times over the past few years. The National Express I also like to use – especially for the trip to Edinburgh from London Victoria. I haven’t used for any other long trips but Flix Bus I’ve used to get to Paris from London.
I used to get to Amsterdam from Brussels, Budapest to Bratislava, Vienna to Prague and from Zagreb to Bosnia. Literally any city in Europe you can use this for. I want to travel a bit more round Europe and the Yugoslavian states at some point and I just know I will use this service.
But the great part about getting the app is you can earn loyalty points and money off the next time you travel with one of FlixBus’ Coaches.
>>>Download The App HERE<<<
It is well worth doing. Same as getting one of the following…
#10 – Caxton.io For Intl. Card Payments
I only joined Caxton very recently after a google search for a travel card. I was actually quite disappointed because I could not get a balance in Cape Verde Escudos. Even though it said online that they offered this currency they did not. Although it was STILL very useful to have.
PLUS after losing my one and only bank card in Magaluf and being left broke, hungry and out on my ear for the rest of my holiday I learned that you need to have a travel card.
It is not just a good back up plan but it’s also a great way to save on currency conversion fees.
I am sure there are plenty other options available for travel cards but Caxton is good as any (I think) and its a good resource for saving up before you go away. Although you can only deposit £50 at a time but it works for me and this is why I recommend it.
The next 2 are kind of silent heroes here and actually these are both extremely useful to get.
#11 – Trainline For Booking Trains In Europe
Many people might not know this but Trainline is not just something that you can use to get the train in the UK you can it all across Europe. I did not actually know this before so I think it is a good one to mention.
For me it is so helpful because you can book tickets a lot easier than you can on the ticket machine at the train station.
It still can be confusing Rome2Rio I have found very helpful in situations. Experience definitely counts and it is a good download I think.
#12 – Learn To Use Google Maps
So there was a few holidays I had where I never had a contract sim with internet for on the move. I think my luck run out here on my friends stag do in Prague. It was so bad. For most of this trip I was lost most the time.
The amount of miles I must of walked and I was outside on the streets till early hours most nights. There is a lot going in Prague. In the old days this was the capital of the Bohemian Empire so you can imagine there is a lot happening. It is actually somewhere I love but you got to know where you are going. It’s a lot like London lot’s going on here.
Anyway so after this time I knew I had to get a phone with roaming data to use Google Maps. It makes a HUGE difference.
Although here is something people might not know – you can download the Google Maps App and you can download maps of the cities you visit, and you DO NOT need Internet for whilst your on the go.
*If you are travelling outside Europe you definitely want to learn how this works. In Cape Verde I didn’t get lost for long but I was drunk one night and it was quite a scary experience – no one spoke English and I was walking round lost for about 2 hours. I got in a taxi and they tried to drive me from Espargos to Santa Maria – I literally had to jump out at the traffic lights and chuck them my money.
*If only I had the map there to use.
Well now, for me this (at the time of writing this) is kind of like my travelling tool kit. Knowing about each of these I’m sure will help me save money in future. I’m still waiting for my new phone after losing my last one in Lanzarote but once it arrives pretty much all these I’ll download.
I think they are good ideas for everyone and this is why I’ve shared this information. For my fellow travellers I hope this is useful.
I will update if I think of any others but anyhow this is my 12 Top Tips…
Keen traveller and digital nomad looking to share my stories from my international trips with my faithful companion Mr Bean 2.0 (Alex Chivers).