Struggling to find a hotel at the last minute? Do you have customers who want to go anywhere at anytime? Check out my top ten consumer travel websites, they may help you, writes Sarah Slattery.
Skyscanner’s everywhere and anytime searches are perfect for the ‘Martini’ client (any time, any place, any where)! You can literally choose a particular weekend (ideal for bank holidays, New Year etc) and select ‘everywhere’. It will bring up a list, in order of price, of all destinations from a particular airport. In fact most of Skyscannner’s searches are really good, for example if someone wants to go to their house in Spain ‘anytime’, you can search by the cheapest month and literally quote prices to your customer in seconds, without having to go in and out of various websites and search boxes.
SeatGuru is powered by Tripadvisor and similarly has reviews from customers as well as photographs of aircraft seats. The seat maps will show you if you are close to the galley or if the seat is located in a particularly noisy area. If you want to book a seat behind one that does not recline or are looking for extra legroom – SeatGuru will show you. This is also a great website to show to your customers – hopefully they will spend hours reading all the reviews and just call you the next morning with their seat number request!
This is an app rather than a website. You will need to download it from the app store but, trust me, it is worth it. Ever try to get a hotel for someone literally at the last minute and find yourself ringing every person you know? Or have an overbooking issue and wonder where to start? (Not that travel agents ever have overbookings!) This app can literally be a life saver! It shows everything available for that night and for seven days afterwards.
Ok, so I know you all know about Tripadvisor and I am sure you use it on a daily basis, but do you check hotel prices on it? This can be a really quick tool to compare accommodation prices across various bedbanks and websites. Tripadvisor shows prices and availability for booking.com, hotels.com, expedia, laterooms, travel republic, lowcostholidays, otel.com and many more. This is also useful to know whether the price you are quoting to your customer is competitive. Let’s face it, your customer will probably check the reviews on Tripadvisor anyway, and they just may check hotel prices too, so at least this way you will be prepared!
I love this site. It has weather updated every four minutes and is the quickest and easiest way to check weather forecasts anywhere. It doesn’t stop there though! How many times are you asked what do you think it will be like in the Algarve in November, or will it rain in the Caribbean in September? Wunderground has a historical weather tab, so you can check what the temperatures and precipitation levels were like on a particular day the previous year, or for many years. This gives the best indication to a customer as to what the weather ‘should’ be like when they want to travel.
iFly is the largest online resource for airports worldwide. Need to track a flight arrival or see a terminal map? It lists restaurants, bars and shops in airports worldwide, as well as things to do during lay overs. It also offers security wait times in the US. If you still can’t find what you are looking for, it provides a list of contact email and phone numbers for various services at each airport.
This website is run by three lads who have been to more than 500 different ski resorts in 22 different countries. They have written features about skiing in every national newspaper and 100s of UK and international magazines as well as TV and radio. The site features an encyclopedia of the world’s ski resorts which search options including value for money, family holidays and resorts for beginners. They also offer snow forecasts and snow reports, updated twice daily. This is the best ski blog / website by a mile.
This is the tripadvisor for cruising and I’m sure many of you use this already. For anyone who doesn’t and sells cruises this may be your bible! It is the ultimate cruise guide offering in depth reviews on all ships, cabins, excursions, ports and much more. There are also reviews from customers, similar to tripadvisor.
This is another one of my favourite sites, it can save you SO much time! When someone asks you to go to the Cinque Terre and you frantically look for the closest airport, only to discover there are no direct flights to Genoa from Ireland. This website will show you the closest airport available from your departure point and show you the train and bus services needed to reach your destination. It also gives you the overall journey time. Without any effort at all you can advise your customer whether a weekend in Vernazza is really worth the distance.
This is probably the largest travel news and information website and is a great source for worldwide travel news. Based in New York it’s skift trends reports are particularly interesting. This site can provide useful tools for social media managers looking for the lastest news in the worldwide travel industry. Of course if it is Irish travel news you seek, the best place to find it is on ittn.ie.
Hopefully you found these interesting and you will bookmark this page for further reference. Have you any more good websites to recommend? Leave some comments below and we may publish a follow-up post with your suggestions.