Today I want to shed some light on one of my favorite apps of all time: HOPPER! Fun fact, I have had a pen pal in Holland since I was fifteen, thanks to a Backstreet Boys Yahoo Group! Well, for over a decade and a half she and I have been talking about visiting one another, and this past fall I finally did it! And it's all thanks to the deals and ease of setting it up on, you guessed it, Hopper! It's easy, just pick your start and end destinations and Hopper finds the lowest fare for your selected dates from a pool of airways. You don't have to worry about individual choices of this or that airline and comparing the services that only have a $4 difference between them. What I love about it is that you can put an alert on your trip locale and Hopper will announce if the prices you were seeing have gone up or down significantly and their tips on if they think it will go down even further. Well, it took about two months but my husband and I managed to score round trip deals from Detroit Metro to Schipol Airport (Amsterdam) for $622 after taxes and fees (including international fees). When I looked at DTW and Windsor's flights they were RT for about $1300 each with more layovers than the one stop flight we had from Hopper. And, from Hopper, we booked an RT flight to Dublin and back to Holland for $126 after fees. It was really easy, took about ten minutes for everything once I had my credit card and passport in front of me and all of our flight info was saved on the app as well as emailed over for extra security.
The good: Everything is easy to work with and manage. Check in was fine and printing boarding passes at the airport was a-ok. Hopper sent an alert when it was time to check into our flights a day ahead, as well.
The Bad: When the deals hit and it alerts you it only last about a day or two. So if you're not immediate upon the deal it may raise a smidge next day.
This is a test I did for a screenshot's sake. See how it aids?
Another App/website that I was turned on to is Travel Pirates. For flight deals I'm not sure how I feel about it- yes the deals are great but the ones they boast about (lately it's Fly to San Fran for $20) are only if you start from a nearby location to the place mentioned. For instance, to fly to San Fran for $20 you need to be coming from Vegas only. Coming from Chicago or New York are back over $100 one way and Detroit isn't an available airport. Plus about 6 pop-up ads hide on you from hitting enter on any click. For flights it's basically your run-of-the-mill flight adjustment deal sites raking through airlines for cheapies, which is still great! But for the flight aspect it's nothing special and my airport only makes the cut half the time. However, the deals you can get for trips away are really looking good right now- a round trip flight with 4 star hotel stay in the French Quarter for a long weekend for $491*? Pretty good! (*that price is the entry level starting point. It goes up from there so I would recommend booking this early if you want it so that you can get the best deals before places book.)
The good: The deals seem pretty good! Especially the package deals.
The Bad: Not all airports are included. For most of the trips, if I wanted to book I would have to drive to or book another flight to Chicago O'Hare just to cash in, which kind of eliminates the savings. And all of the alerts I saw when I had the app were for generic trip deals, not anything I had specifically searched out or saved. Sometimes there were 5 or 6 a day to things I wasn't interested in at the time.
Has everyone heard of WOW? It's a cheap fare service from the USA to Iceland and Europe. The app includes options for hotels and car rentals, if you're looking for that. I mostly only hear about WOW when talks of Iceland come about (DO narwhals exist??), but it's nice to know that you can also fly to about 15 other main European cities as well (such as the nicest people in the world capitol, Amsterdam and my beloved Dublin). Like Pirates, not all airports are on the list of take off list and you may find yourself having to fly to an international (or more specifically international than DTW) just to cash in on that deal. If you get lucky, or you're not looking for too complicated of a trip, WOW can suit you just fine, I suppose.
The Good: The deals are pretty good! RT from Detroit to Reykjavik at Basic WOW fare (no add ons at ALL) is about $500 with fees but can add up to over $800 for perks like luggage and leg room. It's still a pretty great price!
The Bad: You can't go whenever you want to these places. There are chunks of time where there is no flight listed from here to there and vise versa. Looking up flight info for this fake trip we're going on together right now took me to May because March and April both had zero availability to book on any day. Also, like other budget airlines (Not the same as budget purchases FOR airlines like Priceline or Expedia, etc) budget airlines "nickel and dime" you for extra money. If you want a great deal from Detroit to Iceland for 10 days but only plan on bringing your purse or laptop, then you're all set with the cheapest price. But if you're like most even slightly clean people, you may want to pack some extra socks and underwear or a granola bar, even, so you will have to pay more or strap it to your body somehow or light layer up. The flights are also nonrefundable and as you can see by this crudely taken photo, only the highest priced trip offer cancellation protection. I can't function the rest of the site unless I begin to build my flight plan, so I can't tell you what is offered as an add on, but I imagine all items in the Biz section can be added on to your tickets. So, you're saving money, but when it comes down to it with all of the itemization, you will be spending a prettier penny than it appears, so you may be surprised.
The app wouldn't show the same screen to capture a clearer shot. Sorry, I'm a caveman.
Now, I know there are many more apps, and I plan to research, try to use and review all that I can. But as someone who supports my fellow bloggers, I read a lot of blogs throughout the week. And I absolutely hate when the blog post looks like it could fill 17 pages if printed. So I will bid you adieu for now and return with another set of apps to help or de-hinder your travel experiences!
Please, if you have any suggestions of another app to try for some good deals or have used the apps mentioned today, let me know in the comments! I'm always happy to strike up conversations about learning and deal hunting!
Check me out on Instagram and as always, be kind to one another!