From A to B and Everywhere In Between

Photo by Steve Collier.

Photo by Steve Collier.

Finding transport can be tricky. Flights, train, bicycle, tuk-tuk… Other than signing up to the newsletters of the companies you will be travelling with to be notified of special deals, there are easy ways to quickly check the cheapest deals to get around and here are a few which we found really useful…

Skyscanner

Recently acquired by Lonely Planet to power their flight search capabilities, Skyscanner is a really great way to find the best flight to your destination. The best thing we found is the ability to select “everywhere” as your destination thereby giving you huge flexibility when choosing where to go next. It can be incredibly tiresome trying to find the cheapest airport to fly in to Thailand from Australia for instance and this simple option alleviates that. The app for iPhone and Android is free, smooth and really simple to use. Scroll through to see trends in prices (Off season Tuesdays-Thursdays tend to be cheapest) so you can start to plan ahead for your big trip.

Google Flights

Similar to Skyscanner in that it compares the prices day to day of flights anywhere in the world. There’s no app yet but it’s all integrated in Google Chrome anyway. There’s a really nice feature which integrates with Google Maps which gives you a really nice visual aid in planning which airport is best to fly to. The usual clean Google aesthetic applies and it works great.

Kayak

Kayak is a respected company and their search options are really in depth. As well as a great website with a bunch of options to refine your search parameters, they also have  a really handy app which also allows you to track your flight via gps, collate your trip plans, send you price alerts on flights, currency conversion, packing list, live updated airport information as well as contact information for your airline should you need it. A great app and indispensable once you discover it.

[Insert your airline here]

Have a look at the website for the airline you’re flying with and also see if they have an app. Some come with the ability to choose your seats on the flight, check in online (giving you an extra hour or so in bed!) and even digital boarding passes meaning you don’t have to worry carrying around a load of paperwork (although if your phone dies, you’re screwed). You may also have the opportunity to select your dietary preferences on the flight as well as checking how many air miles you have.

Deals

Having a glance at travel websites is always a viable option. Our flight to New Zealand popped up on a site we’d never used before and was about £60 cheaper than anything else we could find. A quick Google search for “cheap flight Zanzibar” or whatever will bring up those results. Worth a check.

There are plenty of ways to ‘hack’ your way to a good deal on a flight. I would suggest having a look at other travel writers for more detailed analysis of how to do this.

Any tips and advice of your own? Let us know and we’ll share the knowledge!

Bicycle Hire

Hiring a bicycle is definitely one of the most fun, cheap and versatile ways to explore the surrounding area and beyond. It gives you the ability to travel quickly, worry less about parking and tickets, stop wherever you want as well as giving you a more personal experience. Many cities around the world now have centrally run bike hire schemes which allow you to rent a bike for various periods of time from any of the pickup stations around the city and when you’re done, simply return it to any of the other stations.  Here’s a report from The Guardian detailing twelve cities around the world and their varying degrees of openness to cyclists. It gives you some idea of what’s on offer. Local guidebooks will tell you about independent rental companies which may be cheaper and loan you better (and less cumbersome) bikes.

Tube/Metro/Train

Rai/Underground services around the world pack millions of commuters in a year and it’s sometimes the easiest way to hop around a city. Always check travel information before you buy tickets. Simply downloading a map on to your smartphone or picking up a leaflet at the station will give you an idea of the layout of the lines and will allow you to adjust your trip if a line is down for example. All networks have their own individual websites and there’s some great apps which will quickly allow you to buy tickets.

For everything you could possibly want to know about travelling by train around the world check out the wealth of knowledge and advice that is The Man in Seat 61.

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