Travel tools

We Collect Postcards blog map, camera, sunglasses and travel tools

Planning a trip on your own sometimes gets complicated. You have to book flights and find the best deal for the dates when you have availability, look for a hotel that is nice but also fits your budget, book travel insurance that is as complete as possible but doesn’t cost too much and also attraction tickets and tours. We always travel on our own and usually on a budget. Here we will show you the tools we use to get the best deals on flights, accommodation, tickets and tours.

Flights

The first thing you need to do when planning a trip is to book the flight. We usually book our flights through Skyscanner. Unless you have a special offer or discount on a particular airline, Skyscanner is the best option.

SKYSCANNER

Skyscanner is a global search engine that compares flights, hotels and car rentals.

Here are some of our favorite features:

1. Everywhere

If you want to travel but if you haven’t decided on your destination or you don’t care where you go as long as it’s affordable, you have the option to select “everywhere” as your destination. You have to introduce your preferable dates, the departure airport and the destination “everywhere” and you will find the best deals arranged by countries and ascending prices. This is an excellent solution when you want to travel but don’t know where. 

2. Whole month

If you know exactly where you want to go and you are flexible about the dates, a great option is to search the whole month and find out when it is cheaper. This way you can save some money that you can spend later on accommodation or activities. This is our secret tool. We found a ton of cheap flights using this feature.

RYANAIR

When traveling in Europe, searching for flights directly on the Ryanair website may be a good choice. Opinions about this airline are mixed but we had no problems with them and we traveled with this company quite a few times, especially because it’s cheap.

Ryanair also has some nice features that help you to search for cheap flights.

Like the Skyscanner website, Ryanair also has the “anywhere” feature, but you also have the option to choose the maximum budget. By clicking on “Go” you will be redirected to a page where destinations are shown in ascending order of price and the month in which they apply the offer.

One other thing we like about Ryanair’s website is that if you are sure about the destination, you choose the dates and it shows the prices for those specific dates, but also for the two previous and subsequent days. This way, if you have more flexibility about the dates, you can save some money just by travelling one day before or after the preferred date.

Other than flights, they also have accommodations, car rentals and vacation packages (flight + hotel), but we haven’t used them yet.

Accommodation

When it comes to accommodation, there are a million possibilities: from shared-room hostels, apartments and hotels, to luxury villas, you can always find the accommodation that suits your needs and budget. Here are some of the websites we usually use:

BOOKING

The first site we search on when we want to book accommodation is Booking. This platform has a huge number of accommodations, with complete descriptions, a lot of filters and a lot of feedback from people who have already stayed at those hotels. We like that they give you the possibility to cancel a reservation without being charged at most of their hotels. It doesn’t have to be necessarily because you have to cancel the trip, but because after booking a hotel, you might find a better one. We have been using Booking for years now and we have always had good experiences. We recommend you to pay to search for accommodations that have a rating higher than 7 and also for those who have more feedback (and read comments, of course). If you have a Genius account, you can get the best prices on some chosen accommodations. Booking Genius is the loyalty program that Booking offers to regular customers. These customers receive a discount over the prices of the participating establishments.

Example of price with Genius account:

Price example without login:

In this case the difference between having a Genius account and not having it is 4 euros. But if you are going to book more nights, you can save even more. If you are looking for a hotel for your next trip and you want to book it at a reasonable price, we have a 10% discount that you can use when booking accommodation. BOOK YOUR ACCOMMODATION WITH 10% DISCOUNT

AIRBNB

Airbnb is a great choice for accommodation when traveling low cost. It’s a platform that connects people who are renting their homes to guests who are looking for vacation rentals. We have been using this platform for years and the truth is that we are very satisfied and we recommend it to all our friends, relatives and readers of this page. Airbnb has a variety of accommodations. From modest rooms to luxury flats and villas, you can find the ideal accommodation regardless of how you travel or your budget. As we have mentioned above, you can rent a room or the whole property. Unless we travel with more people, we always book just one room. This way it’s a lot cheaper than renting the whole accommodation or a hotel room. For more than 7 days stays, there are accommodations that have special prices, and if the stay is more than one month, it is even cheaper. By introducing the dates, we will see that if it exceeds 7 days you will get a discount that is usually around 10-20% and for stays over a month, the discount can be up to 50%. Check the discounts for each accommodation listing because this depends on the host.
By registering to Airbnb you can invite your friends to use it and get a discount for each one of you. The discount applies the first time the people you invite make a reservation of more than 65 euros. You get 15 euros for the next booking and the one you invite gets a 25 euros discount on the first booking of more than 65 euros. Here is the link with our invitation in case you are not yet registered on Airbnb. BOOK ACCOMMODATION WITH 25 € DISCOUNT

AGODA

Agoda is an online accommodation booking agency, based in Singapore. They are specialized in Asia, but they offer accommodation all over the world.

We only booked once with Agoda (so far), but from what we’ve seen it has lots of accommodations and great prices. It’s quite similar to Booking, especially because it is part of Booking Holdings Inc.

One of the things we liked about Agoda is the offer of the day.

They usually have between 5 and 15% discount for some destinations. If you are lucky enough and you find your destination on the discount list, you can save some cash.

Insurance

The travel insurance is one of the things that we don't pay attention to when organizing a trip, but that doesn't mean it's not important. We often wonder if we really need to hire an insurance if we do not even know if we will use it or not. There are countries where it is required to have travel insurance in order to obtain a visa, but in the others it is optional. We do recommend having an insurance, for whatever may happen. Luckily we've never needed it, but we won't stop hiring it. You can never take for granted that nothing is going to happen to you and that you will not get sick while traveling, so we believe that having a travel insurance is fundamental.

IATI INSURANCE

IATI is the only one we have booked with, not for any special reason, just because the prices are more than decent and because they have several types of policies, depending on what we are going to need. We usually book the Iati Standard. Visit their website to see what it includes. Here is a list with the different types of insurance.

If you are looking for the ideal insurance for your next trip you can book it with a 5% discount.

BOOK YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE WITH A 5% DISCOUNT

Tickets and tours

Another thing you need to do when travelling is to book tickets, excursions and activities. We recommend you to book always in advance to make sure you have your spot. Civitatis can be a good option when booking activities and excursions.

CIVITATIS

Civitatis is an online company that sells guided tours, excursions and activities.

If you like guided tours, group excursions or you’re just looking for a reliable page to book your tickets, on Civitatis you’ll find all this and more. Civitatis has a lot of options all over the world. From gastronomic tours to air balloon flights, there are thousands of activities that can be booked on their website. They also offer free guided tours in a lot of cities.

These are the main tools that we use when planning our trips with the best prices. We hope that they will help you to plan your next trips.

We want to mention that some of the links on this page are affiliated. That means that if you book through our links, you will help us make our dreams come true at no additional cost to you.

If you know any other search engines with better prices than the ones we have indicated above, or you have a discount that you want to share with us, please leave us a comment or contact us through the CONTACT section or by email at hello@wecollectpostcards.com.

Happy travels!

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