Finding the best travel deals with online tools and apps could save you a fortune when it comes to booking your next trip, but do you know the best places to look, which apps or tools to use and the key things to look out for? Here, we’ll talk you through a range of handy ways to secure your next getaway for less when using online applications.
Why are Travel Apps and Online Tools so Useful?
Online travel apps and tools are designed to make life easier. Mobile phone and tablet users can benefit from having everything in one, easy-to-use place - enabling them to plan most, if not all, of their journey from the palm of their hand.
Such is their popularity, that millions of people around the world now use their smart devices for travel apps and tools. Indeed, according to Statista, in 2022 “Google Maps recorded around 113 million aggregated downloads on iOS and Google Play. The apps of Uber and Booking.com placed second and third on the ranking, with roughly 107 million and 80 million downloads”.
Whilst some travel apps and online tools provide more specific services, many offer an end-to-end travel experience; allowing customers to browse for flights, hotels and other extras such as car hire and travel insurance. Alongside booking your trip, you’ll typically be able to access your account information and travel documents and make any alterations that might be required. Although physical travel agencies still exist, there’s certainly been a shift in customer booking habits.
Which are the Best Apps and Online Tools to Use?
There are a number of popular travel apps and online tools that could make a difference to your shopping experience, and a personal favourite of ours is the booking.com app. Its simple-to-use interface allows for effortless browsing; offering customers a fully immersive experience thanks to the sheer volume of flight and apartment listings that are available to be selected all over the world.
Thanks to a member's reward scheme known as ‘Genius’, regular customers can enjoy lifetime discounts and other exclusive extras every time they make a booking. There are three tiers to unlock (the higher the tier, the better the perks), and the more that people stay, the faster they’ll move up the tiers.
Booking.com isn’t the only travel app of this kind. Indeed, there are a range of other providers such as Expedia, Skyscanner and KAYAK and they all offer something similar - including complete end-to-end booking services and rewarding loyalty programmes. Other, more traditional, holiday providers are worth considering too, and agents such as On the Beach, lastminute.com, TUI and Jet2holidays all provide a variety of getaways to a range of destinations. What's more, most agents like these will provide in-app exclusive offers, too.
Moving away from end-to-end service providers, there are plenty of money-saving apps and online tools that can help you plan specific parts of your trip. Google Flights, for example, is a popular online application that scours the web for the best possible prices for your chosen destination and dates. It’s free, easy to use and once you’ve made a selection it’ll take you straight to the provider's website to finalise booking.
Hotels.com and Momondo are other good examples, both of which offer a range of unique accommodation listings and come with their own individual benefits.
Have you Ever Considered Joining a Travel Club?
Travel clubs are another clever way of finding the best travel deals. You’ll need to register with your email address (normally for free), and once signed up you’ll gain access to a range of exclusive offers and promotions that you won’t find elsewhere. Clubs such as Voyage Prive and Secret Escapes specialise in luxury holidays for less by promoting ‘flash sales’, with offers in excess of 80% off sometimes available! You’ll get regular mailers with all of the latest discounts, too, meaning you’ll never miss out on a holiday bargain again.
Jack’s Flight Club is another app you’ll certainly want to be aware of. This clever tool searches the web for the cheapest possible flights and takes pride in offering its members huge savings. Jack’s Flight Club don’t sell flights - instead, they provide ‘tip-offs’ on the best discounts, price errors, and any other hacks that they can find. Alongside cheap flight suggestions, they also provide a range of content to help inspire and encourage people to travel.
Other Handy Travel Apps and Online Tools
Alongside booking flights and accommodation, there are plenty of other ways that apps and online tools can help you plan and organise your holiday even further. Holiday Extras has an app called ‘HEHA!’, which is designed to provide customers with add-ons to their trip, including airport hotels, holiday insurance, car hire, airport parking and much more.
Citymapper, a city-specific map app that details everything from public transport to alternate journey types, is another handy tool, as it is the ever-popular Google Maps. PackPoint is also a useful app - essentially, it’s a premium packing organiser designed to help travellers decide on and prepare what they might need to bring with them.
What Should I Look Out for When Using Apps and Online Tools?
As always, we recommend being cautious when booking flights, hotels or package holidays online unless you completely trust the provider. Hidden fees can lurk beneath the surface, and although standard additional costs like local tourism taxes may apply, it’s always worth double-checking the small print before you book to avoid any nasty surprises.
UK holiday providers should either be ABTA or ATOL-protected, but be sure to check that they hold the necessary certificate before you finalise payment. By doing so, you can be confident that your holiday will be covered should something go wrong and the company is no longer able to fulfil your trip. Customer service is also an important factor to consider, with some providers offering much better hands-on assistance than others.
The apps and online tools listed in the article all come with respectable customer reviews, meaning you should be able to utilise them with complete confidence. We also have a range of discount codes for many of them, which could help you to further save on your next trip! Be sure to visit the travel section on MyVoucherCodes to find out more.
As a former sports journalist and content creator, I swapped the press box for a permanent desk several years ago. Since giving match reports the red card, I have enjoyed developing my writing and research skills in a few other areas, and now I spend my time doing something I really enjoy - sharing the best ways to save on travel with our wonderful readers.
I love nothing more than exploring different parts of the world and learning about new cultures (and taking in the occasional sporting fixture, if at all possible). I’m just as happy on a quick city break in Lisbon as I am navigating my way across the width of America, and firmly believe everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy travelling regardless of their budget.