Smart Living | Lifestyle

Lifestyle | 26 Apr 2019

Best holiday booking apps: How to catch cheap flights and bag the best hotels for less

Here are our favourite holiday booking apps to take the pain out of booking and get a great deal on that getaway break.

Mainstays such as, AirBnB, and Tripadvisor are brilliant for getting your late 2022 holiday planning off to the right start.

But whether you’re looking for a city break, a staycation, or a traditional sun, sea, and sand holiday, it’s also worth investigating the many lesser-known apps designed to make it easier to reserve everything from cheap flights to memorable excursions.

So, here’s our pick of the holiday booking apps you might be yet to discover (links are provided at the end of the feature). And bear in mind that if you’re prepared to travel outside of the peak holiday season you’re more likely to get a better deal.

Hopper | Android, iOS, Free

Making new friends while you’re on holiday can make a good trip great. Finding out they paid a lot less for the same hotel room is less fun.

So how can you ensure you’re getting the best possible deal on your 2022 break?

Downloading Hopper is a good place to start. This mobile-only app tracks flight and hotel prices and helps you work out the best time to buy using both price-drop notifications and estimates of when prices are likely to rise.

Expedia | Android, iOS, Free

One of the better-known all-in-one travel sites, Expedia makes it quick and easy to search for flights, accommodation, package holidays, cruises, and car rentals from a wide range of providers.

Other one-stop shop apps worth checking out include Kayak, which also offers access to flights, hotels, and more, as well as a currency converter, an itinerary planner, and a handy tool that suggests destinations based on flight prices for your dates.

But while Expedia bookings are made via the app, Kayak sends you to an external provider once you’ve made your choice.

HipCamp | Android, iOS, Free

If staying close to nature on a holiday under canvas is more your bag than hotel living, Hipcamp can help you find the perfect spot to pitch up.

In the UK, for example, it works with more than 300,000 campsites, farms, and country estates offering camping spots, campervan pitches, or glamping options such as yurts and treehouses.

You can filter the search results by whether they allow pets or campfires, as well as by amenities such as showers and picnic tables, to find the ideal location for your stay.

TripIt | Android, iOS, Free

TripIt is a clever trip organiser app that builds a chronological agenda of your travel plans by checking your inbox for emails confirming reservations of all kinds – from flight tickets and hotel bookings to organised tours – and collecting the most important information.

If you don’t want to give TripIt the access it needs to do this, you can forward emails to the app instead, or manually enter the details yourself. That kind of defeats the point, though.

Viator | Android, iOS, Free

From theatre tickets to week-long adventures, Viator is a day (or evening) trip specialist.

And if you need to cancel your plans, you’ll get a full refund if you tell the app at last 24 hours beforehand.

The downside is that it’s not so useful if you prefer off-the-beaten-track destinations – and this is reflected in the number of activities it can suggest.

While there are 1,860 activity options around the Colosseum in Rome, for example, at the time of writing there are only two tours available to those holidaying in the Welsh town of Wrexham.

Trippy | Android, iOS, Free

Hitting the open road for a holiday where the journey is the destination?

Trippy helps you get from one place to the next without taking a single wrong turn and even suggests where you should stop off for lunch or – on longer journeys – for the night along the way.

Other features include location-based airport recommendations and helpful guides giving you the lowdown on different areas in many cities.

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