New Site Promises an Easier Way to Book Europe Travel

Compare trains, planes, car rentals, and more in one place.

Finding seamless, cost-effective travel in Europe requires a lot of legwork for North American travelers, especially those relying solely on English-language sites (or on the often-surreal Google translations of foreign-language websites).

But the Beta launch of Gopili.co.uk, the U.K. version of the popular French travel search engine KelBillet, creates a limited but useful way to assess all your options. Because the site is geared to U.K. travelers looking for domestic and Europe travel, it’s not a one-stop shop for travelers from the U.S. and Canada. But the multimodal approach—which gathers fares and availability from 500 airlines, train companies, car rental agencies, and bus companies—is a serious time saver and one that can simplify planning.

In my tests, the most robust results came with searches on travel within the U.K. So when I shopped for a March journey from London to Edinburgh, the site displayed 90 options, including four bus routes, 68 flights, and 18 trains. You can see right up top transport-type prices and the times of day when it’s least and most expensive to travel.

When I searched for London to Paris, I ended up with nearly 70 results, including bus, train, car rental, and flight options. This was the only one of the test searches I did that delivered all four of the potential transportation types.

Switching to a search for a journey that took place totally within mainland Europe, the options narrowed some. Comparing prices and travel times between Paris and Barcelona, Gopili returned 55 offers, including dozens of flights from low-cost and major airlines and a handful of train journeys.

The site clearly has plans to grow, so it’s possible that the options for intra-Europe trips will expand as the audience does. Right now, there’s a tab for ride sharing as well, but the section remains under development.

Gopili is still in Beta, but if you’re planning a spring or summer trip, this can be a solid part of your research process now. However, if you can wait a few months, you might have better luck putting this European travel search engine to work.

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By Christine Sarkis

There's a 95 percent chance Senior Editor Christine Sarkis is thinking about travel right now. Follow her on Instagram @postcartography and Twitter @ChristineSarkis.

Christine Sarkis is an SATW-award-winning journalist and executive editor at SmarterTravel. Her stories have also appeared on USA Today, Conde Nast Traveler, Huffington Post, and Business Insider. Her advice has been featured in dozens of print and online publications including The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, and People magazine. She has also shared travel tips on television and radio shows including Good Morning America, Marketplace, and Here & Now. Her work has been published in the anthologies Spain from a Backpack and The Best Women's Travel Writing 2008. She is currently working on a travel memoir.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: The Trtl Pillow. It's easy to pack and comfortable, and makes it so I can actually sleep on flights.

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: Seeing the Aurora Borealis from the comfort of somewhere warm, like a glass igloo or hot spring.

Travel Motto: Curiosity is an amazing compass.

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: Aisle all the way.

Email Christine Sarkis at editor@smartertravel.com.

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