Travel related websites: For flights, hotels, and transportation. As a full-time budget leisure traveler, I use these as often as everyday. First flights, for travel within Europe, I most often use Ryanair because it is the cheapest airline and has a decent service level. I sometimes use Flixbus depending on the cost, and including inter-country transfers. Sometimes Ryanair with the cost of the priority carry on luggage can be a bit more than Flixbus so it really depends on the route. Below are some website i use to search flights.
Flixbus – They offer a high service level for bus travel that rivals air travel in my opinion. The interior of the buses is nice and the prices are reasonable. They are very well organized and always seem to be on time. Ive taken the Flixbus from Sofia to Bucharest, and also from Gdansk to Krakow. Here’s a few things i like about taking the Flixbus in Europe: #1. They dont make me place my backpack under the bus where it could be stolen (it is 45 liters). #2. They are always on time. #3. prices are reasonable. #4. The interiors of the bus are nice and safe, clean and new!
Ryanair – So for me, these two companies are just about neck and neck in terms of my travel $ and usefulness. So far I’ve traveled to about 30 countries and 90 cities or so, in 34 months. For air travel in Europe Ryanair just has a lock on budget travel. The reason is that they are 90% of the time the cheapest airline on a route. Occasionally i do see fares from competitors like Wizzair, but for me, when i add the priority bags into the cost, Ryanair always comes out on top. The only exception is when they dont serve a particular airport. www.ryanair.com.
Travel Websites: I like kiwi.com is probably my #1 for flights. Why do I like it? here is why… a user can enter something like fly from Europe to Asia, or Europe to Thailand or Europe to Bangkok. The website kiwi will then decide which airports offer the cheapest prices for the dates that you need. A user can also search by connection, for example limit the @# of connections to 1. I have lately been tooling around for a return trip to Thailand or a related trip to Vietnam, Philippines and so on, just to see what was offered (I am as yet undecided as to whether i will take that segment of the trip). Also included in the ability to search, a user can choose which airlines to limit the search to. Runner-up choice for flights:
Google Flights. Google flights has some of the same functionality as kiwi.com, Second runner-up: Ryanair.com. This of course searches only Ryanair branded flights. It does have a feature for searching around any place that Ryanair flies to, mostly within continental Europe. This feature suits me because my timeframe as well my locations are flexible while my price is usually towards the bottom end.
Lodging – Booking.com is number #1. They by far have the best selection of listings for nightly rates in this phase of my travel. Because i have a lot of stays, i get a deep discount compared to other travelers. Sometimes ill check competing sites, apps, Agoda, and Hostelworld and Airbnb to see how they compare but Booking.com usually comes out on top. Beware, one tip, sometimes if you pay in cash, a hotel or hostel will give you a higher exchange rate, so they end up charging you more than you would otherwise pay online.
Hostelworld – this is a good section option. Sometimes there are places listed here that are not listed on Booking.com, hostels of course. I also like the option to pay a down payment ahead of time then pay the balance upon arrival. Occasionally i will get a better deal here than i would on Booking.com.
Airbnb is also a good option. I usually use this for long term stays as these offer by far a better value than nightly rates, but here, it really depends on the location and the landlord, sometimes these rates can be hard to come by.