Travel resources and suitcase essentials from your personal Trip Anthropologist!
These are the places I go to when I need the best and most reliable providers and gear at the best price. I use, trust and recommend each of these products and sources. Some of them I have been using ever since my first fieldtrip as an anthropology graduate student. For others, I have been been one of the earliest adopters of their platform! You can book your next trip with confidence from these reputable providers at a fantastic price.
Momondo’s meta search engine was described by Forbes in 2016 as one of the most intuitive. It was bought in 2016 by Booking Holdings and is now part of Kayak.com. I use it mainly to find how to get from Place A to Place B in a way that isn’t just the most convenient for the airlines. There are often ways of getting to your destination that are different or interesting. These are sometimes even cheaper (or as cheap) as a more conventional routing. The intuitive nature of the meta search engine helps find more options than other flight sites.
Google flights uses a continually improving predictive algorithm that is second to none. It predicts when flight prices will rise and by how much (using historical data like Hopper does), alerting you just in time. It knows what “extras” aren’t included in the price. Its flight tracking system lets you know when a price drop or special occurs. I use it when I’m looking for the best price rather than the quickest option. Sometimes, for example, it’s much cheaper for me to fly into Europe to Vienna or Frankfurt or Amsterdam and then hop a train to the centre of the city I’m staying in.
Ctrip bought Skyscanner in 2016. A Chinese friend and I once booked the exact same flight from Brisbane to Beijing via Hong Kong. He booked with Ctrip and saved several hundred dollars! Since then I have loved Ctrip and always find cheap fights to an from Asia with them. I find this China-based website the cheapest!! Check the skyscanner price then check directly against the airline(s) they recommend for the flight to make sure you are getting the best deal on the day. Skyscanner lets you see the whole month and the cost of the flight for each of those days. It has become my favourite go to for all flights now and I always check it first.
HotelsCombined is a massive accommodation aggregator site that gives you the lowest price (and all the price options) from all of the large accommodation sites such as Booking.com, Agoda, Expedia, Hilton, Hotels.com and many more. It won the 2017 World Travel Awards and has been used by 400 million people for hotel bookings in 2018. It has no booking fees.
Booking.com has become my absolute go to. Just occasionally it doesn’t have some smaller places but it is vast, growing, with excellent prices and incredible customer service. It will be in touch with hotels to get refunds for no shows and if I want to leave a day earlier it negotiates with the hotel to get me a full refund! I can’t recommend their customer service highly enough.
Airbnb has given my family unforgettable holiday memories and we have met the most wonderful hosts (especially in France). I’ve had truly cheap homes overlooking castles and breakfast balcony across from Notre Dame cathedral! But I have also had accommodation cancelled at the very last minute in peak season in downtown London, so you always need a plan B!