Just looking for an Amaymo invite code? Sign up to Awaymo with my referral link or code 3T0SB to get a £20 discount off your first booking of £250 or more (I get £20 off my next trip, too)
One of my goals for 2019 is to travel more, and to more destinations. I want to see more of the world and I want to take advantage of more long weekend travel alongside my bigger, week or two week long trips. This presents me with a couple of challenges:
- Travel is expensive – and to get good deals on long-haul flights, like transatlantic ones to New York (probably my favourite long weekend destination lately) means booking far in advance – which is annoying, because I’d rather not have that money tied up several months before I travel
- Travel is complicated – so if I want to go on more long weekend trips, that means more finding good airfare, figuring out a nice place to stay and researching the destination – stuff I don’t have time to do! Plus, with new destinations there’s no guarantee of quality – and I do value my time away being relaxing and helping me to recharge my batteries.
I’ve recently started using a couple of cool (traveltech?) startups to help scratch my travel itch that each solve one of my two big travel problems, Awaymo and BRB, and I wanted to share them because they’re both pretty cool!
Awaymo fixes my travel is expensive problem – and it’s how I fund most of my trips to New York to catch broadway shows, and will likely fund all my other long-haul travel in the future. The Awaymo website basically operates just like Skyscanner – you search for the origin and destination of your tip and then they search a basket of airlines to find you your flights. I’ve found that flights cost more or less the same as booking directly from the airline – sometimes a bit less, and occasionally a tad more.
Here’s the cool part though – once you book, you pay in 10 equal interest free monthly repayments. So that £350 return flight to New York becomes £35 per month. This lets you lock in the saving of an advance booking, without the upfront cost. Their team can also find you hotel deals, too – which they can add to your account in the same way (just remember they’re a travel agency, so you won’t get your Hilton/Marriott/IHG etc. points with bookings made through them – you will get air miles though).
When you sign up, they’ll give you a credit limit, and when you book a flight you pay 10% upfront and then the remaining 90% is taken from your account by direct debit each month in nine monthly repayments. They also only do a soft pull, so you can check you’ll be approved before you sign up, and it won’t affect your credit rating at all even once you accept the limit.
I’ve already used Awaymo for two trips, and am planning to book more. Everything went really smoothly, and you can get your booking reference quickly from the service team to do things like reserve seats, add your KTN if you’ve got Global Entry and you’re going to the States or add your frequent flyer number to earn air miles.
Use my referral code 3T0SB when you sign up to Awaymo to get a £20 discount off your first booking of £250 or more (I get £20 off my next trip, too) – this Awaymo coupon code can be combined with their interest free credit offering
So, that’s the cost of my expensive planned trips sorted. How do I travel more without all the planning though?
Named after the out of office auto-responder we all yearn to turn on, I’m a big fan of these guys already. BeRightBack is a travel club – sort of like Netflix for travel. For £49.99 a month (£89.99 if you like to travel with someone), you get three long weekend breaks to somewhere in Europe each year. Where? It’s a mystery.
When I created my account, I was able to exclude places I’ve been before (Paris, Rome, Mallorca – the big obvious destinations we’ve all seen at least once!) and tell them my travel preferences – so I indicated I was looking for trips that were full of culture, chilled out, a little quirky, photogenic and with good food – and through what I left out, the BeRightBack team should figure out I’m not really looking for a booze and sun trip (I hope!).
Then, I set my first travel date (February 8th – 10th!) and now I wait. In January, one month before my trip, I’ll find out where I’m heading. I like that this forces spontaneity on my part and I’m excited to hopefully check out a few new places I wouldn’t have otherwise tried in 2019 through these guys – going back to the same destinations can be so well… samey).
But equally important to me is having a high quality trip. The destinations list on the BeRightBack website really reassured me on two counts – first, that the trips would be to interesting destinations across Europe (and they had lots of places to send me!) and second that the hotel was guaranteed to be comfortable and of decent quality – I am not a backpacker. Indeed, their FAQs guarantee hotels of at least a three star standard.
I’m looking forward to finding out where I’m headed first with these guys! No referral code to share (they don’t seem to have a scheme for that yet!) but sign-ups are open on their website.
How do you travel?
I’d love to hear about any travel startups you’ve found. I feel like travel has been a really stagnant place for a really long time, and it’s exciting to see UK startups doing something to change that – and creating products that help more people to travel and see more of the world.