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For even the savviest of travellers, organising a holiday usually requires a stressful research session involving hundreds of tabs and handful of websites. An overwhelming number of options, deals and offers can leave you feeling intimidated and unsure, while fluctuating flight prices can trigger an endless process of checking and re-checking rates.
Luckily, a new generation of London-based entrepreneurs are working to make the holiday booking experience more fun, efficient and affordable. Optimising every stage of the journey from flights to accommodation reservations, these are London’s best travel tech start-ups.
One of the fastest-growing travel tech start-ups in London, the Luckytrip app generates a complete and unique holiday with a single tap. Ideal for aspiring travellers who hate the planning process, users simply set their ideal budget and dates, and Luckytrip automatically generates a destination, flight, hotel and in-country activity.
Luckytrip is free to download and available on the iTunes app store. It’s coming soon to Google Play.
Free email service Jack’s Flight Club sends subscribers deals on cheap international flights leaving from the UK and Ireland. Texas-born, London-based founder Jack Sheldon and his team hand-pick the offers, scouring the internet for hidden deals, discounts and even super-low fares advertised in error. Recent finds include a £248 round-trip London-Tokyo ticket and a £319 return flight between Birmingham and Costa Rica.
You can sign up for the free service with your email address. A paid premium membership offering four times as many deals is also available.
Taptrip is a quick and easy solution for finding a flight time that fits your schedule. The app displays flight options in the context of your personal calendar, making it possible to compare times, airlines and price all in one view. After an initial account set-up, return users can pay for flights with a single tap and the AI-driven service even learns the airlines, routes, times and loyalty schemes you prefer. The search function works via text or voice, and voice search understands natural language phrases such as ‘my meeting in Paris’ or ‘next weekend’.
Taptrip is free to download on the iTunes app store.
Private tour booking platform Touriocity connects users with private, local guides in 50 global cities. All tours are exclusive to just you and your group, and being guided around by a local means you’re likely to go where the open-top bus tours can’t.
Touriocity’s online booking service is free.
Booking platform Much Better Adventures helps travellers book hassle-free ‘active adventure’ packages from ice fishing and dog sledding under the aurora in Finland to hiking Mt Toubkal and exploring the Sahara. All excursions are guided by local and independent hosts, and include everything from accommodation to meals and equipment.
The easy-to-use site lets users sort trips by country and activity type, and even indicates how many days off work the excursion will require. Comprehensive pages detailing each trip offer activity overviews and details about what to expect, FAQs, accommodation details, location insights, dates, pricing info and photos from previous trips.
Much Better Adventures’ online booking service is free to use.
A local guide and map-based travel journal app, Firef.ly tracks your route as you travel and lets you instantly capture memories with photo, video, audio and written notes. Firef.ly then overlays your journey and the captured media and notes against a map for an easy overview of every trip you make. Based on your check-ins and interests, a built-in travel guidebook offers a curated list of nearby sights, restaurants and activities.
Firef.ly is free to download on the iTunes app store.