The travel industry has experienced a profound transformation in recent years, driven by a wave of innovative European startups challenging the status quo. As travel prices increase, more people look for budget-friendly travel options. Platforms such as booking.com, one of the European leaders, and Expedia, a renowned American travel company, offer all types of accommodations and activities to create the perfect itinerary without breaking the bank.
To spark things up and propose new websites and apps to plan out your travels, this article highlights 10 European alternatives to Expedia that have emerged as trailblazers in travel booking. From optimising flight search to offering unique transportation options and exclusive deals, these startups are reshaping how we plan and experience our trips.
Kiwi.com: An online Czech travel agency that has significantly impacted the industry with its groundbreaking search technology. It allows users to combine flights from different airlines. Kiwi.com creates custom itineraries that often come with remarkable cost savings, making travel more accessible to a broader audience. Founded in Brno in 2012 the remarkable startup has raised over €95 million.
Viatu: This Zurich-based startup, is on a mission to create a solution that cuts down the time spent creating a travel itinerary and offers travellers more sustainable options. The platform provides so-called “connected trips” that allow users to book all parts of their itinerary, from accommodation, experiences and car rental, through a single platform. The startup has raised over €1.5 million to fuel its international growth and become a leader in sustainable travel.
TravelPerk: Serving a slightly different target group, this Barcelona-based unicorn focuses on corporate travel management. TravelPerk has revolutionised how businesses organise and book their trips since it was founded in 2015. The comprehensive platform allows businesses to easily manage and book flights, accommodations, and other essential services with ease. Since their foundation, they have raised above €380 million.
Hostelworld: Headquartered in Dublin, Hostelworld has established itself as a global leader in providing budget accommodation solutions. With an extensive network of hostels and budget hotels, their user-friendly online booking platform caters to a diverse community of travellers, enabling them to discover and book affordable and comfortable lodging options in various destinations worldwide. Pre-pandemic, 60% of the bookings on their platform were by solo travellers, which led them to launch a networking platform on their website and app called The Solo System. This platform caters experiences to solo travellers to make friends and plans while on the road.
GetYourGuide: With headquarters in Berlin, GetYourGuide has unlocked the world of experiential travel. As a leading platform for tours, activities, and attractions, this company empowers travellers to discover unique experiences in various European destinations. GetYourGuide recently secured a round of €182 million to further digitise travel experiences with AI, summing to a total of €995 million since its foundation in 2009.
Bidroom: This Dutch-based online travel community offers members exclusive deals and discounts on hotels and accommodations. Founded in 2015 they have been able to raise over €20 million to continue providing cost-saving opportunities for travellers while also benefiting hotels with a commission-free model. Bidroom encourages hotels and travellers to be more eco-conscious, and with this goal in mind, they have partnered with SQUAKE to support global sustainable projects.
Worldia: Founded in 2012, this Paris-based startup recently closed a round of €25 million to expand globally summing to a grand total of €44 million. The innovative platform empowers travel distributors and suppliers, including travel agencies, major e-commerce brands, and concierge services, to provide exceptional and personalised travel experiences. The platform simplifies creating, organising, and booking trips to over 80 global destinations by utilising exclusive technology, a meticulously curated product catalogue, and custom-tailored services.
Momondo: This remarkable Copenhagen-based company has a versatile travel metasearch engine that enables users to compare and book flights, hotels, and rental cars from various sources. Its comprehensive search capabilities have made it a favourite among budget-conscious travellers. In 2017, Momondo became a part of The Priceline Group, which KAYAK is also part of and who assumed leadership of Momondo. Even after the merge, Momondo still operates under the original brand name. So far they have raised more than €135 million.
Hotel Manager: In today’s tech-savvy world, hotel guests have high expectations for a personalised and seamless experience during their stay. To ensure these expectations are met, Hotel Manager offers hotels a comprehensive management suite with a user-friendly, no-code platform. The software allows hotels to mix and match modules like chat, check-In, and commerce and promote in-house services to enhance revenue and streamline operations. The startup took part in EU-Startup’s FutureTravel Pitch Competition in 2022 and weeks after they secured a funding round of over €1 million. To date, their total funding has surpassed €3.5 million.
Welcome Pickups: Founded in 2015, Welcome Pickups is an Athens-based startup that provides a personalised greeting to travellers as soon as they arrive in a new city and throughout their stay. Their hand-picked local drivers act as friendly guides, sharing insider tips and recommendations to enhance the travellers’ experience and ensure a smooth and memorable journey. With a seamless online platform and a strong focus on customer satisfaction, and with a total of over €11 million in funding, Welcome Pickups is expanding its services to various destinations worldwide.
As the European startup ecosystem continues to flourish, these 10 alternatives to Expedia have emerged as pioneers in the travel industry. They are changing how we approach travel planning and booking by offering innovative solutions, seamless experiences, and diverse options. As these startups grow and evolve, they are set to redefine the future of travel, making it more accessible, personalised, and exciting for travellers all around the globe.
If you are looking to meet more innovative startups in the travel industry, join this year’s Future Travel Summit in Barcelona on October 27th. This is your opportunity to meet more than 400 global travel industry leaders from across the globe, discover the latest trends, and innovations. You can buy your tickets here!
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