16 Secrets To Booking A Cheap Flight

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If you save money on your flight, you’ve got more to spend on holiday right? Here are 16 superb tips that might just help you secure yourself a cheap flight for your next holiday!

  1. Follow the airline’s social media, it is a great way to hear about upcoming offers and deals.
  2. Search the airline’s website direct, it can often show tickets at a very different price to third party travel websites.
  3. Get on your airline’s mailing list, anothergreat way to hear about the latest deals, discounts and promotions.
  4. Always search incognito,sometimes you can get a better price if your search history doesn’t show you’ve been shopping for holiday clothes!
  5. Erase all search history before doing a new search, because believe it or not, repeatedly searching for a particular flight/destination can actually cause the price to show higher!
  6. Choose off-peak travel times, it might be less convenient to travel at 5am, but the savings could make it worth it.
  7. Sign up to a frequent flier programme, so you can work towards those elusive perks.
  8. Get a credit card with air miles, because indulging in a bit of retail therapy and to then get rewarded with cheap flights is a solid win-win.
  9. Don’t fly direct, just one short stopover can make a huge difference to the ticket price.
  10. Mix (don’t match) airlines, sometimes the return flight is the costly one, but booking two one-way tickets with different airlines you could save a pretty penny.
  11. Search one ticket price at a time if travelling in a group, that way if there is one cheap spot it will show up.
  12. Check prices of nearby airports, as it may be cheaper to land a little further out and pay the transfer.
  13. Use a flight booking app, Skyscanner and Hopper are both great tools to analyse and predict flight prices.
  14. Sign up for email alertsfrom cheap flight websites and apps, so you know about the best deals before they are gone.
  15. Consider going all inclusive, as bundling hotel, transfers and flights with just one provider is often cheaper than booking the separate elements.
  16. Wait for last minute deals, it is a risk that just might be worth taking to save a few quid.

Don’t forget your travel insurance! The emotional and financial impact of missed flights, delays or a cancelled trip can be huge – make sure you are covered before you jet off on your next trip!

Tripcast App Review – Travel App of the Month July 2019

tripcast logo Don’t want to lose best bits of your travel adventures in your social stream? Get a digital travel journal! It’s a great way to document the places you’ve been and keep family and friends in the loop too. 

What is the Tripcast App?

It is billed as a living journal for your friends back home, designed to document travels with ease. Compared to the likes of Facebook and Instagram Tripcast provides an ego-free platform for choosing to share with your nearest and dearest, and of course building an awesome travel journal for posterity while you’re at it.

What does the Tripcast App do?

It allows real time updates of images and notes. It can be linked to other users, so great if you are travelling in a group, and it allows you to put everyone’s posts in one album. The only people who can view it are those you invite – so you are free from the prying eyes of the public masses or your 10,000 social media friends. Those you invite can comment and ‘like’ on any post made and can interact through the website. Lastly, the app automatically tags the location, so you can later view posts by where rather than when and download the whole lot when you get back home.

 

tripcast screenshot

Who is the Tripcast App for?

This app is really great for young adults going off on their first solo trip, or on a backpacking adventure with mates, because it will help parents trying not to feel nervous feel connected. Obviously, the kids want to share their amazing time with the folks back home, but they will also like the fact they don’t have to check in every 15 minutes to let the folks know they are safe!

 What do the Tripcast App reviews say?

All in all, lots of praise for this app and it’s simplicity. iPhone users are definitely happier with how the app works for them, but it appears that the developers have ironed out a range of issues that were affecting Android users, so maybe there will be better reviews from the Android crew soon. The app is free, so definitely worth giving it a try!

 

Get it on Android

Get it on iTunes

 

 

Best Places For Backpacking in 2019

Backpacking travel insurance Image by Pexels CC0

Image by Pexels CC0

Here are the top places to head in 2019 with a pack on your back and just enough money in your wallet for a hostel. Idyllic whether you are backpacking for gap year giggles, travelling on a budget, or you just fancied having a wholesome adventure!

Philippines

Seeking adventure? Tick! Seeking tropical beaches, with crystal clear sea? Tick! A unique honeymoon location? Tick! You’ll need to think of things to add to your bucket list after backpacking in the Philippines.

backpacking Philippines Image by my000693 CC0

Image by my000693 CC0

Made up of over 7,000 islands, you’d expect a taste of paradise, adventure and excitement and that’s exactly what you get. Go scuba diving, swim with great white sharks, indulge yourself under the tranquil waterfalls or relax with a beer by a lagoon. It’s also cheap – a pint of beer is about 75p at the going rate.

Iceland

Spectacular, rugged, breath-taking, glacial – it’s hard to describe Iceland within a limited word count. You’ll be able to honestly hashtag #nofilter when you snap the majesty that are the northern lights in all their prancing, dancing, ethereal beauty.

backpacking Iceland travel insurance Image © 43kcreative.com

Image © 43kcreative.com

Hire a car to tour the glaciers and ice fields, bathe in the geothermal springs for a unique getting back to nature experience and take in the local Reykjavik culture, with its charming Nordic nightlife. Be warned Iceland isn’t cheap, but this small island nation packs in more natural beauty per square mile and you get more than what you pay for.

Nepal

Nepal is a mountain nation. Get your head around that for a moment and think what that can offer. You don’t even have to climb a mountain (only recommended with proper guidance) to have a life changing experience in Nepal. Paraglide through the soaring valleys, take a plane ride across the Himalayas, visit temples, national parks and stunning monuments.

backpacking insurance nepal Image by Squirrel_photos CC0

Image by Squirrel_photos CC0

Nepal is a true adventure. If you do choose to trek around Everest, put at least a week aside and go off season – it gets extremely busy. If you’re after an experience that doesn’t require as much extra oxygen, take a trip to one of the national parks and observe tigers in their natural habitat.

Turkey

If you’re looking for a unique backpacking experience at a low, low cost, you can’t beat The Shoestring Cave House in the Cappadocia region. From just £7.00 a night, you can sleep in a cave, relax at the outside pool and even enjoy a ride in a hot air balloon.

backpacking turkey Image by adibalea CC0

Image by adibalea CC0

With views that are going to set your Instagram alight, balmy Turkish evenings and a once in a lifetime opportunity to sleep below the ground, this is a perfect stop off for any backpacker. Be warned, Turkey is politically unstable at the moment and this may not be the time to go. If you’re determined however, the people are some of the most charming on the planet and a joy to share a shisha pipe with.

Worldwideinsure.com Longstay Travel Insurance has been tailored to meet the needs of those on extended breaks and backpacking adventures! It has greater flexibility than standard travel insurance, and you can add activities as you go.

 

Airport Travel Hacks – Tiny Tips To Save Your Sanity

Airport Travel Hacks Image by skitterphoto CC0

Image by skitterphoto CC0

Air travel is a mixed bag of experiences. Waiting, rushing, mild panic, boredom, elation, feeling travel sick… Here are a few things you can do to even out those highs and lows and be a bit less stressed next time you travel by aeroplane.

Hacks for before you check in

  • Customise your hold bag – bright tape is perfect for making your luggage stand out at baggage collection.
  • Pack all essentials in your hand luggage – just in case your hold bag goes missing, you’ll still have your chargers and toiletries to get you through the first day.
  • Download all your tickets and passes – just in case you have no connectivity make sure you can access them offline!
  • Have a hard copy of all essential travel documents – just in case your phone gives up altogether.
  • Take a photo of where you park – bay 6B is not memorable after a week in the Bahamas.
  • Wear your bulky items – to avoid paying for extra baggage.

 

Hacks for before you go through security

  • Pack your devices and liquids at the top of your hand luggage – it saves time!
  • Empty your pockets before you get to security – it saves time!
  • Finish up the water in your bottle – so you can get a cheap refill the other side.
  • Choose the security queue with business travellers – they tend to be more prepared so go through faster.
  • Never queue behind families, hen parties or stag dos – they tend to faff more and be less prepared so go through slower.
  • Choose the left queue – apparently most people are right-handed so will go right as it is easier. Left hand lanes should therefore be quicker.

 

Hacks to get you through the wait the other side

  • Use headphones for noise cancellation – not for music so you don’t miss important announcements.
  • Connect to the airport Wi-Fi – or risk maxing out your data allowance before you even get to your destination.
  • Brush up on key phrases – Duolingo is an addictive language learning game and will make the time fly while you actually boost your language skills!
  • If you haven’t already got it, get your travel insurance! A call with the lovely team at worldwideinsure.com will make the time fly while you’re waiting for your flight.

 

Hacks for on the plane

  • Board last – if you are the last on, you may well get that elusive upgrade.
  • Sit over the wing – you are less likely to feel turbulence. Morning flights are less likely to be turbulent too.
  • Don’t sit by the bulkhead – that’s the safest place to secure babies in bassinets, so more likely to be where the screaming is.
  • Ask for seconds if you are hungry – not all passengers take their meal so why not have what’s leftover if you are still hungry.

Tour de France 2019 – What To Eat, Drink and See (Other than Cycling)

Tour de france travel insurance

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Heading across the Channel to catch a slice of Lycra-clad cycling action? Well, at the pace they go, spectating will be over in a flash. Here’s what to eat, drink and do once you’re done during every stage of the 2019 Tour de France.

 

Brussels (6th– 7thJuly)

What to Eat: Mussels

What to Drink: Trappist Beer

What to See other than cycling: The Atomium

 

Binche – Épernay (8thJuly)

What to Eat: Pan fried crayfish

What to Drink: Chimay beer

What to See other than cycling: Bonne-Espérance Abbey

 

Reims – Nancy (9thJuly)

What to Eat: Local seafood

What to Drink: Champagne

What to See other than cycling: Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims

 

Saint-Dié-des-Vosges – Colmar (10thJuly)

What to Eat: Foie gras

What to Drink: Local wine

What to See other than cycling: Wine tasting tour

 

Mulhouse – La Planche des Belles Filles (11thJuly)

What to Eat: Pork trotters

What to Drink: Alsatian Muscat

What to See other than cycling: Skiing

 

Belfort –Chalon-sur-Saône (12thJuly)

What to Eat: A cheese board

What to Drink: Cote Chalonnaise wine

What to See other than cycling: Musée Nicéphore-Niépce

 

Mâcon – Saint-Étienne – Brioude (13th-14thJuly)

What to Eat: Steak

What to Drink: Cocktails

What to See other than cycling: Basilique Saint-Sernin

 

Saint-Flour – Albi (15th– 17thJuly)

What to Eat: Warm goat cheese

What to Drink: Local white wine

What to See other than cycling: Sainte-Cecile Cathedral of Albi

 

Albi – Toulouse – Bagnères-de-Bigorre (17th– 18thJuly)

What to Eat: Cassoulet

What to Drink: Quinquina

What to See other than cycling: Garonne River Cruise

 

Pau (19thJuly)

What to Eat: Lamb

What to Drink: Sweet white wine

What to See other than cycling: Funiculaire de Pau

 

Tarbes – Tourmalet (20thJuly)

What to Eat: Street food

What to Drink: Local red wine

What to See other than cycling:  Jardin Massey

 

Limoux – Foix (21stJuly)

What to Eat: Lobster Bisque

What to Drink: Sparkling wine

What to See other than cycling: Etang de Soulcem

 

Nîmes (22nd– 23rdJuly)

What to Eat: Truffles

What to Drink: Rosé

What to See other than cycling: Local Roman sites

 

Pont du Gard – Gap (24th July)

What to Eat: Giant prawns

What to Drink: Chardonnay

What to See other than cycling: Roman Aqueduct

 

Embrun – Valloire (25thJuly)

What to Eat: Pork Ribs

What to Drink: Local glacier water

What to See other than cycling: Col du Galibier

 

Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne – Tignes (26thJuly)

What to Eat: Seafood

What to Drink: Chignin

What to See other than cycling: Snowboarding

 

Albertville – Val Thorens (27thJuly)

What to Eat: Veal

What to Drink: Peron Jean-Yves wine

What to See other than cycling: Maison des Jeux Olympiques

 

Rambouillet – Paris (Champs-Élysées) (28thJuly)

What to Eat: Anything and everything

What to Drink: Take your pick

What to See other than cycling: The Eiffel Tower

Packr App Review – Travel App of the Month June 2019

packr travel appTake the stress out of travelling by using an app that has your back when it comes to packing and links with TripIt for the ultimate travel companion combo.

What is Packr?

Packr is a well-thought out packing checklist that will ensure you have the right things you need in your suitcase based on what you like to do, and the sort of weather you’ll be expecting at your destination.

What does the Packr app do?

It generates automated checklists based on your destination, weather and types of activities you’ll be doing and adds quantities of each item based on the length of your stay.

  • Automated Lists
  • Tailor Made Lists
  • Multiple Destination Trips
  • Weather Forecast Driven Lists
  • Family Packing Function
  • Connects To TripIt
  • Learns From Each Trip How You Like To Organise Lists

The lists can be edited and customised, and you can create your own custom lists too, perfect for times when the pre-defined activities don’t match your plans! Packr also synchronises with your TripIt app, can be shared, printed, and used across multiple devices!

packr travel app

packr travel app

Who is the Packr app for?

The app caters for families with its multiple traveller mode, backpackers with its multiple destination function, and the fastidious traveller with its customisable features.

What do the Packr app reviews say?

Pay for the pro version! While the free version is great, the small one-off payment is great value for money as it unlocks the real gems that make this customisable tool truly flexible for everyone’s needs.

packr travel app reviews

 

Get Packr on iTunes

Go to the Packr website.

Adventure Travel – Holidays with Good Karma

travel insurance for adventure holidays

Kilimanjaro © Discover Adventure

If you love the idea of adventure you have probably considered signing up for a fundraising adventure – a great way to realise travel dreams and raise money for a good cause at the same time. We spoke to Discover Adventure to find out what makes this type of break a great alternative to a regular holiday, and what to say to sponsor sceptics who think they are just paying for someone else’s holiday!

Why choose a fundraising adventure over just going on holiday? 

On a fundraising adventure, your trip has purpose. Each step you take, you are making a difference to people’s lives and each challenge that you face within your adventure is overcome with the motivation of supporting a meaningful charity and the sum of money that your supportershave donated.

And when it comes to the actual adventure – exploring a new location as part of a sponsored challenge allows you to disregard the expectations you would usually have on holiday. You are more likely to embrace the local culture and communities you meet and expose yourself to the natural elements – refreshingly liberating compared to the usual holiday comforts.

You will also push yourself out of your comfort zone, make friends for life as the emotional rollercoaster of your adventure draws you closer, and you will experience totally new things, things you probably never expected you would.

Ultimately, the benefits of an adventure last for much longer than a relaxed holiday would!

Which are the most popular adventure holidays?

Our Kilimanjaro challenge has been a really popular adventure this year, especially due to the recent #ReturnToKili celebrity team that trekked Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief. However, our iconic once-in-a-lifetime adventures are constant favourites: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Trek, Great Wall of China Trek and the London to Paris Cycle to name a few. Although we have found in recent years our shorter adventures are seeing an increase in popularity as people can squeeze them into busy schedules. Our Saharan Mini Adventure is 5 days long and gives you the real desert experience whilst lapping up Moroccan culture, and our Northern Lights Winter Trek in Iceland is another growing fascination for many of our participants.

travel insurance for adventure holidays

Stelvio © Discover Adventure

Which are the most challenging adventure holidays?

Our adventures are measured on a scale of Yellow, Orange and Red, with Red graded trips considering factors such as altitude, tough terrain and long days on the ground. Our King of the Mountains Cycle Series includes some of our toughest rides, such as the Stelvio & Classic Italian Climbs Cycle. This takes on some legendary climbs including Passo di Gavia, Passo di Mortirolo and Passo dello Stelvio. Whilst on the trekking side of our adventures, trekking Kilimanjaro, Africa’s biggest mountain, and our Everest Base Camp Trek are challenging treks to take on.

Don’t forget your Travel Insurance! Many activities are covered by worldwideinsure.com policies as standard, adventure sports travel insurance can easily be added to your policy, we provide flexible cover for casual or competitive participation AND we offer travel health cover for snowboarders and skiers with our Winter Sports Travel Insurance.

Any tips how to choose the right challenge?

The bigger the challenge, the bigger the sense of achievement – but what one person considers a walk in the park, is another’s mighty mountain. Start a little out of your comfort zone and choose something that excites you. Whether it’s a rush of adrenaline, or a stir of emotion, if it gets you thinking, could I really achieve that? That’s your challenge.

travl insurance for adventure breaks

Great Wall of China © Discover Adventure

What about those who think fundraising adventures are just “sponsoring someone’s holiday”?

A lot of charities may never have seen this fundraising had it not been for the individuals deciding to do these challenges. Bear in mind that people are always willing to sponsor others to do things beyond their comfort zone. Training is essential, preparation is key and the determination to overcome whatever it is that challenges you most from the experience is more than enough to warrant being sponsored.

When you are fundraising you want to showcase the challenges you are facing in order to drum up donations, and you want to be able to pull out some of the most challenging elements of the experience. Whether it’s the fact you are trekking three countries in three days or the many lows you’ll endure alongside the mighty highs along the way. These are the things that make it totally different from a holiday!

Adventure travel challenges are designed to test you, so don’t be fooled by the mesmerising views you’ll catch en route, and remember – it is an incredible achievement to raise any money for a cause close to your heart.

 

Car Hire Travel Tips

car hire excess insurance

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Hiring a car at your destination is a great way to enjoy a bit more freedom while on holiday – but what should you watch out for if you want to avoid hefty and unexpected bills? We reveal all…

1. Do your research on the car hire companies at your destination

Fees vary hugely between companies, as do reputations, so don’t get too hung up on a bargain – they may try to recoup the difference in “damages” claims.

2. Get car hire excess insurance before you go

Car hire excess insurance, also known as car rental insurance, should be purchased before you go so you don’t have to take out the hire company’s own insurance. The excess insurance from hire companies is usually pretty limited cover and has an array of exclusions that practically guarantee you’ll have to pay out upon your return.  Car hire excess insurance from worldwideinsure.com, on the other hand, not only insures for the excess on damage, but can cover the car for total loss up to £50,000, similar to a CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) policy.

TIP: Some car hire companies don’t like it when people arrive with their own car hire excess insurance, as it reduces their potential for profit, so they may try and tell you that the insurance you have purchased is not valid. Not true! They may also say you need to get extra insurance to specifically cover windscreen, tyres and the undercarriage – you won’t need this if you have arranged your car hire excess with worldwideinsure.com. 

3. Familiarise yourself with your destination’s Highway Code

Rules of the road vary between countries so it is worth brushing up on what you should do to avoid breaking the law and risking a fine, as well as avoiding an accident! For example, all vehicles in the EU have to be equipped with high-vis jackets for every passenger and a warning sign. Learning some local lingo to understand road signs is also worthwhile!

car hire excess insurance

Image by Thamlamm CC0

4. Take a fresh credit card 

It’s not unusual for car hire companies to ask for a pre-authorised sum to cover costs, especially if you tell them you don’t want their excess insurance because you have your own. Depending on their T&Cs you may also need to pre-pay fuel costs. Speaking of which…

5. Read the T&Cs!

To avoid unexpected charges after returning your vehicle make sure you know the fuel policy, and the mileage limit.

6. Take pictures or videos of the vehicle inside and out before and after your trip

In the (very likely) event of being held responsible for damage to the vehicle it is incredibly useful to be able to show photographic or video evidence of its condition before and after hire. Even a small chip to the paintwork could result in a hefty repair charge from a car hire company.

7. Keep an eye on your statement once back home

The reason we suggest taking a fresh credit card with you solely for car hire is that it is easy to see any transactions that have taken place during your holiday and after you return. Not only do you want to check that fuel and damage deductions have been charged correctly and that your deposit has been returned – it is wise to ensure no mysterious payments come out over the following months.

8. Remember you still need travel insurance!

Lost luggage, illness, injury or repatriation all need separate cover even if you have car hire excess insurance!

car hire insurance

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Venetian Flare – A Truly Indulgent Venice Travel Guide

Venice Travel Guide

Image by LunarSeaArt CC0

The Jewel of Italy, the Most Beautiful City in the World, the City of Masks, the City of Bridges, Queen of the Adriatic…  or quite simply – Venice. If you are yet to visit, this city promises to offer arguably the most fairy-tale, surreal and romantically hued experience. Here’s what’s not to miss when you go.

Art

A short paragraph will never do the presence of art in Venice justice, but the fact that just one building, the Santa Maria dei Miracoli, was built to house just one painting gives you an idea of how art is celebrated, respected and revered in this glorious city. Art of all forms and eras can be found here, welcomed by a culture that lives and breathes creativity!

Architecture

Piazzas, palazzi, priceless marbles, churches, and basilicas line the streets of Venice, testament to centuries of opulent architectural experimentation and devotion to creating exquisite spaces. The uniqueness of the style here can be found in the fact that Byzantine mosaics sit beside Islamic arches and Latin influenced gothic buildings. Enough to send history buffs bonkers, and fill the hearts of any visitor with utter joy.

Venice Travel Guide

Image by Sarah_Loetscher CC0

Boats

There are NO cars in Venice at all. It is an archipelago of over 100 islands set in a lagoon connected by around 400 bridges. This means wherever you go, you have to walk, or go by boat. Gondolas are not the only option! Venice is home to a number of styles of boat, from traditional wooden boats, through to powered ferries. Hiring a kayak is a great way to get around, and yes, if you do want to do the Venetian thing and go by Gondola – be prepared to pay for it!

Beaches

Golden sandy beaches aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Venice, but, there are several! Blue Moon is a public beach on the Lido – a 7 mile long sand bar, and free to use. The others will cost to access, but the price you pay is well worth it for a luxurious beach experience! Remember – it is illegal to swim in Venice’s waterways, so definitely head to the beach if you want to cool off in summer.

Backstreet Bars

Bacariare simple bars where you can go grab a glass of wine, beer or maybe a cocktail and tuck into some tapas standing up. They are usually small, dark spaces where people can enjoy a beverage or two, and when the space gets full people quite simply spill out into the street outside.

Venice Travel Guide

Image by Mike_68 CC0

Fine Food

The food in Venice is unique thanks to its aquaculture and influences from the spice routes back when the city dominated marine trade. If you are pushed for time in this stunning city go and get yourself Venetian tapas aka chichetito sample as much as possible. The Venetians are also known for producing some tantalising sweet treats too, the frittelle, which appear around carnival time, are not to be missed!

Fashion

If you like flamboyant, velvet, and especially flamboyant velvet, Venice is the fashion centre for you. Hit up Pied a Terre for gondola slippers and Nicolao Atelier for something suitable for carnival. Don’t forget your plague death masks either – they are a must if you plan to go full Venetian with your flares!

Museums

The Museum of Madness is a delightful example of the Venetian penchant for the weird, the wonderful, curiosities and oddities – packed full of psychiatric paraphernalia from back in the day. The Natural History Museum is also worth a visit for its diverse and impressive collection of bizarre specimens.

Don’t forget your travel insurance! Whether you need insurance for water sports while you are in Venice or just want to make sure you are covered should something go wrong  – we offer competitively priced comprehensive single trip and annual travel insurance, and on family policies kids go free!

Rome2rio App Review – Travel App of the Month May 2019

Get from A to B anywhere in the world with what is essentially the knowledge of a local guide in your smartphone. This app promises to show you the best options available from your front door, hotel, hostel… to your chosen destination by plane, train, bus, ferry and car.

 

 

What is the Rome2rio app?

It’s a transport search engine that even works for remote locations, finding the best routes between point A and point B and displaying a list of options for the traveller to choose from.

What does the Rome2rio app do?

Rome2rio displays travel options, along with estimated prices and durations, accommodation should you need it and handy tips on things to do in those areas. It also provides booking details, so you can essentially plan your entire trip from this one app!

Who is the Rome2rio app for?

While this app is useful to anyone travelling from A to B, it is exceptionally useful for the spontaneous traveller. Whether you are backpacking and have yet to decide on where you’ll end up next, or you feel the sudden urge to go see a landmark on the horizon, this app makes it easy.

What do the Rome2rio app reviews say?

It seems that the iPhone and iPad users are happier with the app than android users – and one of the best features is being able to compare prices of the transport options available. A nine-hour bus journey for £30 suddenly becomes appealing when it is £300 cheaper than a two-hour flight! Should you find that the app doesn’t float your boat, Rome2rio also has a highly rated website you could use instead.

Rome2rio on iTunes 

Rome2rio on Google Play