If you are researching about your next trip, where to go, and where to book your tickets, you have probably heard, that you need to use a travel portal.
What Is A Travel Portal? A Travel Portal is an online marketplace, in form of a website or app, that offers easy comparison of essential travel related services from wide range of companies. For example:
- Booking Airline Tickets
- Charter Holiday Packages
- Hotel Accomodations
- Booking a rental car
The best thing about travel portals is that they often makes it easier for you to book a vacation, and almost always cheaper to use these services, because the airlines or hotels are competing for your order.
Only just a few years ago, planning a trip would require a lot of time and it was often easier to use a travel agency for help.
Technology has made it much easier, and more importantly, much more transparent for consumers to book travels. With just a few clicks these travel portals save time and a lot of money.
I have a few favourite services that i’ll tell you about in this post, but I will also try to list even more services, for you to pick and choose from.
More information about travel portals
Some of the most important features in a great travel portal is ease of use and a quick and direct comparison of your choices.
I like my travel portals to show the cheapest option at the top, and something special I like, that TripX* offers is that you are able to choose a variable length of stay, flexible travel dates and even have the ability to not select a destination.
This gives you the option to say, between this date, and the other date I just want to feed my wanderlust. I want to travel and go somewhere, maybe somewhere new.
If you want to know more about wanderlust, you can click this link: my article on what wanderlust is.
I recently booked a trip to Prague through TripX* and due to the features of flexible travel dates, I moved my dates from Friday to Sunday, to be going Thursday to Saturday. Which saved me over 50% of the trip.
As described above, is one of the key features of a great travel portal.
Another feature I enjoy is, offers from specific vendors. Recently I went to York, England, and I looked for hotels at both Booking.com* and Hotels.com* and on Booking.com, the Hilton hotel had a special offer, which made it just as cheap to stay at Hilton (which I always enjoy) than any other “lower hotel”.
You could say that being great at using these travel portals, makes you a very savvy traveler. It makes traveling easier, cheaper and you are able to discover new destinations and offers.
Let’s dive right into it.
RECOMMENDATION: Why don’t you bookmark this page? I promise to keep it updated as the time goes so that you can circle back and revisit this page, every time you are going to travel.
Comparing Essential Travel Services
This list compares the travel portals I looked at, and tells you what basic services are available.
|Flight||Hotel||Pack Deals||Rental Car|
Comparing Key & Vital Travel Features
This is actually where it gets interesting. Some of these features makes a huge difference, when picking which travel portal to use. And especially the flexible search option, can save you a lot of money.
|Flexible Search*||Reward Program||Discover*|
Flexibile search*: must at least include the feature to decide whether you want to go an exact date or not, and could include include features as “choosing the cheapest date for me”.
Recently I just saved more than 50% on a trip, because i chose to go one day early, and leave one day earlier than I originally had planned.
Take Skyscanner as an example, they have the feature to depart and return, cheapest month of the year, or just cheapest dates within a month. This gives you the opportunity to save a load of money, if you are able to plan accordingly.
Discover*: is the feature to search without putting in an end destination. If you just want to feed your wanderlust and go to the cheapest location, or maybe find somewhere you have not thought about.
Not more than a week ago, I booked a trip with a friend of mine, we wanted to go away for two days, we did not know where, it just had to be trip.
Only the travel portals where I marked them yes, with this discovery mode, are you able to not put in a fixed location, and just search for cheap trips.
Comparing some other features
As i found that Booking.com & Expedia has, as the only ones, the feature to book airport taxis i made a third list with “other features”. I have never been on a Cruise, and I don’t dream about going, so I put the Cruise Ship feature down here.
|Cruise ships||Activites & Trips||Airport Taxi Service|
My favorite travel portals
Hotels & Accommodation
See how I didn’t include AirBnB? It’s because I don’t use Airbnb, even though it’s maybe one of the most popular accommodation portals in the world, I do not know how to operate it properly, and I always find cheaper and especially better, accommodation at Hotels.com & Booking.com
Full-service charter portals
- TripX – sadly this travel portal is only available in Scandinavia. But I think it is very good to use, and I actually just used it.
Airline Booking portals
I have actually never used a car rental service, so I can’t really have a favorite. With that being said, I would probably do it via Skyscanner, because I have used their travel portal before, and I see that they have car rental as well.
Neither have i ever booked a cruise at this point, so I can’t tell you what to look for, but i what I can do is tell you what I use, and then I can compare the services available.
3 Pro tips for using travel portals online
Do you want to be a savvy traveler and save some money on your next trip? then you will benefit from learning the following advice from me.
#1 Look for reward programs
Don’t just select the travel portal online, because it has a reward program. Actually, I would say, that it should not be something that decides what travel portal to use.
But, if and when you book a trip, do look for a reward program on the website or app. Sometimes they might be hidden away, and sometimes there are none, but do sign-up for the extra added bonus, if you do find them on the website or travel app.
#2 The discover function is really nice
If you are anything like me, and you and your significant other are trying to plan where to go, on the next family holiday. – Or if you want to go on a spontaneous trip somewhere, you just don’t know where then this features I tremendous.
I just recently booked a trip to Prague with a friend, and before deciding on where to go, we did not even discuss Prague as a destination, it just showed up, everywhere as a cheap place to go, and after googling Prague, we decided it could be fun.
#3 Flexible dates save a ton of money
The unique feature from Skyscanner to tell you the cheapest month a year, to go to a certain place, is very cool. Especially if you are out to save some money, and have the luxury to plan your vacation days as you like.
But just a 1,2 or 3-day flexibility in selecting days, can actually be key to saving a lot of money.
Do you have a vacation planned already, how about saving 50% on moving both arrival and departure one day early?
I just did that by going Thursday to Saturday, and not Friday to Sunday, we saved at least 50-60% on our flights and accommodations.