Better and faster Internet access coupled with the transformative power of affordable smartphones have made online travel agents (OTA) more popular than ever. But with so many platforms to choose today, how do you know which one offers the best price – and more importantly, without hidden fees?
If you have booked flights or hotels online before, you would understand the frustration when there are booking fee, taxes and other pluses added to the final price.
Here’s where Traveloka.com comes in. Launched in 2012 in Indonesia, Traveloka is one of the leading flight and hotel booking platform in Southeast Asia and they aim to revolutionize the travel and tourism industry through technology. In other words, users like us get the best deals available.
And of course I won’t simply claim that Traveloka is the preferred platform to book flight tickets and hotels without doing my research first. After comparing the same return flight from KL to Penang on AirAsia with three other major OTAs, Traveloka emerged as the cheapest option. Here’s the breakdown:
Besides a fully functional website, Traveloka is also available as a mobile app. What I really like about the app is that it’s lightweight, non-flashy and does what it says.
Thanks to the user-friendly interface, searching for a flight or hotel with Traveloka’s app is a breeze – you don’t even need to read any manual to get familiar with it.
Filtering and sorting is particularly useful when you are fixated on taking a certain airline at certain hours. It also saves you time because you will be looking at the flights that only interest you.
For your convenience, any flight e-ticket and hotel voucher purchased are stored securely under your ‘My Booking’ tab. This is a well-thought feature that saves you the hassle of printing them, or in case you forgot to perform your web check-in. At the reception, simply use your smartphone to check in!
When searching for return flights, always keep an eye for Traveloka’s Smart Combo because you get cheaper rates within the same airline.
For example, lets say you have decided to fly with MAS. In your search results, select a departure flight marked with Smart Combo and your return flight (with Smart Combo, and with MAS as well) will be cheaper compared to other airlines. Do note however, that Smart Combo option is only available to certain airlines.
If you are the type who wants to get things done quick, then you ought to know about TravelokaQuick. This dandy app-only feature lets you book hotel and flight in one click.
You can fill in the passenger(s) details automatically by using the Travelers Picker. It stores the information of your frequent traveling partners, so you don’t have to key in them manually. And if you have your credit card information saved, you can make 1-click payments securely.
When it comes to hotel booking, the process is pretty much the same. However, for those who book your room while logged in, you get a Traveloka Member-Only hotel special price – that’s an extra cookie worth getting!
Taking Heliconia Hotel in Penang for comparison sake, you can see that Traveloka’s price is about 20% cheaper than what Agoda’s for the same type of room and for the same booking period.
As useful as Traveloka is, it’s not a perfect app – at least not yet. There are still certain things that you can’t do such as selecting your seats, buying insurance and booking meals for your flight. Luckily, these are optional stuff that you can still complete while checking in online or through the self check-in kiosk.
To be a smart traveler, it’s good to be aware of the free available tools that will help you make an informed decision while booking for a flight or hotel. After all, we all want to get the biggest bang for our buck and make our trips as efficient and affordable as possible. So get Traveloka’s app on the App Store or Google Play and start planning better for your next vacation!