It’s been a hell of a couple of years. COVID has changed our lives in every way: we started to work from home, we were not allowed to see any of our friends or family, and strange terminology like R-rates and mRNA became part of our day-to-day jargon. Life under lockdown in the middle of a pandemic was hard, and hopefully, the worst of it is behind us. But one of the things we miss the most is being able to travel. As more and more countries are opening up, people all around the globe are considering their options for a fantastic vacation abroad. And hey, after this long of being stuck in a house, we have to make it count.
Many fresh travel start-ups have popped up in the past few years, making booking affordable holidays easier than ever. “Hotel chains and cruise lines have size on their side but are still grappling with the question of how to integrate digital capabilities into the organization,” explain the experts at management consulting firm Egon Zehnder. “Meanwhile, the online players are working to use data to anticipate the demand for new customer experiences. And both sides are trying to stay ahead of virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and other fast-moving technological advances.” The potential of these market disruptors is clear, then. But which one is the right choice for your first post-lockdown vacation?
Finding a good hotel room is tough. There are so many factors to consider, from location to quality, from reviews to price. Bidroom aims to take the stress away of endlessly scrolling through hundreds of similar options by flipping the process of hotel booking on its head. The way it works is simple: you fill in the dates of your vacation and where you’re flying to. Bidroom then negotiates with their network of over 120,000 hotels on your behalf, securing deals that are 25% cheaper than other booking services, as they do not take commission. The only catch is that you have to be a member to enjoy the service — but don’t worry, there’s a free membership option to get you going. However, if you opt for this you won’t get many of the added perks such as discounted travel insurance and car rentals. This website is particularly good if you just don’t have the time or energy to go through an infinite number of hotels, or if you’re planning to make up for lockdown by traveling over three times a year, according to Bidroom themselves.
We don’t know about you, but when we travel, we like to make the most of it. To see all there is to be seen. However, it’s very difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff when there are so many recommendations and competing reviews online. Whether it’s hotels, bars or restaurants, Twisper is there to relieve that weight of your shoulders. The community, founded in 2019, is built around the idea of positivity. You will not find negative reviews. No disses. And definitely no scathing 1-stars. It’s a place for travelers to share their best experiences and help their fellows to have the time of their lives without distractions. It’s a digital word-of-mouth platform without the toxicity, which — let’s be honest — is exactly what we’re trying to avoid when we hop on that plane. “On TWISPER, there are no negative comments, no unfair ratings and no selling of user data,” they explain. “People simply recommend the places they love in an easy, unique and positive way”.
If you’re heading to a destination far away, you may suffer from the dreaded jet lag. This could really put a damper on your trip, making you spend a whole day (or more, if you’re particularly sensitive) in bed. What a waste of time, right? Although modern technology still hasn’t managed to overcome this hurdle medically — although melatonin never hurt anyone — Timeshifter can help you make the most of your break regardless. This smart app allows you to add your flights and plans, and creates a personalized plan to combat your jet lag through a new sleep and activity schedule. It bases it on your travel itinerary, but also your sleep pattern, chronotype, and other preferences you may have. It is built with practicality in mind, ensuring the advice is easy to follow, and provides reminders even if you forget to turn on the app or if you’re offline. You could even start adjusting before your flights.