Vagobond is constantly searching for ways to make travel more enjoyable, cheaper, and easier. Here is one way that might work for you.
For those of you who travel in similar ways to me, one thing that may help you determine where your next trip will be to is where you can get cheap flights to.
While there are no shortage of search engines that look at airfares, I’ve usually had a pretty hard time finding them and then when I do, I’ve got so many extra windows opening up, so many special regulations and rules, and frankly, I tend to get confused by it. What I’ve been looking for is a simple way to say, find all the cheap flights to Los Angeles during a given month, year, or time period.
Houston, I think I’ve found a winner. In the interest of full disclosure, this is an affiliate servie, i.e. we get a small commission with each purchase, but you can rest assured that it is also an honest review. As always, I stand by what I say. At first glance, Vagobond Flights looks like just about all the rest, but when you scroll down, you find recent cheap flights from all over the web. U.S. domestic flights ($397 to Hawaii!) and then international fares to top destinations ($697 to Berlin!) and they are placed there like a menu in front of a starving man. Bring on the meal my friends!
Okay, so now that I’ve seen the menu, I want to start looking at the specifics. It turns out Vagobond Flights isn’t actually a travel agency, it’s a search engine. Like google, but for airfares only. So let’s dive into that.
Let’s say I’ve got a hankering to go from Istanbul, Turkey to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Easy enough to enter in the names of the cities, rough travel dates, and roundtrip for one passenger. Some fare finders make you select which airlines like Kayak or open up multiple windows. I like the fact that our engine opens up in the same window and shows me the fares from cheapest to most expensive. In fact, I’m shocked at the $400 ticket that comes up! I didn’t expect that. I click on more details and it takes me to a booking agent.
This is the part where the price usually goes up 30% or more because of taxes and fuel charges. Nope. Still $400 but they do add on a $20 booking fee which seems to me to be reasonable considering I was expecting the price to go up to $650 at this stage. That’s it. It stays there.
I try a few more searches and see that it holds true. I appreciate the fact that they haven’t asked for my email address or offered to send me the results. I hate that. The searches are less than a minute each and come back with many results.
When you come to the homepage, there is a ‘travel deals’ button. Clicking on this brings up the latest travel deals scoured from the internet. These are mostly U.S. domestic flights- to be honest I’d like to see more international destinations. There is also a travel theme button which has things like ‘Easter travel’, not really my kind of thing, but I know there are a lot of retiree type travelers that probably love that stuff. The last minute flights are a great thing to be able to hover over and see. I do like that. Hey, let’s go to New York for the weekend for $99! Again though, I’m more focused on international travel so I would like to see those last minute deals too.
The travel guides are a nice touch too. Just click on a region and select a city. For instance the Las Vegas travel guide first tells you about the general stuff. History of the city, some sights, etc but then it goes straight to the point- Poker strategy! How to play Hi-Lo, and other gambling tips! Now that is a guide. The guides are a little bit light on sight seeing stuff, but everyone probably either has a guidebook or knows about wikitravel by this point, so that’s okay. The point is that you can find a cheap fare and learn a little about where you are suddenly going. And maybe even win the money to pay for your trip- but don’t count on it, those casinos didn’t get big by losing.
There’s quite a bit more going on here. There’s a fairly active community of travelers, resident experts to answer your travel questions, forums, and plenty of travel tips make your trip better.
If you’re looking for ideas for your next trip, I actually liked pretty much every story I found on the blog. Macabre Travel, Hiking in New England, Off the beaten path in Havana. Seriously good stuff and good writing.
Easy to navigate
Fast results with low booking fees and no extra charges/taxes
Travel guides that go beyond the boring
Not intrusive and doesn’t open a hundred windows
I’d like to see more interaction on the forums
I’d like to see more of a focus on international cheap fares
I’d love to see a function that allowed you to see all the cheap flights from a particular airport over a given range of time
Overall though. I recommend you check this out the next time you are looking for a cheap fare or trying to figure out where to go next.
If you’d like me to write a sponsored review of your business or product on Vagobond.com, you can contact me using my contact form, just make sure you want an honest review…if your site or product stinks- I won’t hold back! ~Vago