Rome2rio – Plan Your International Journey with the All-Rounder Global Trip Planner
Rome2rio Direct Link
Are you making any new vacation getaway plans this season? Maybe a nice honeymoon trip to the exquisite Maldives or just having a solo adventure because you're obsessed with travel? Well, it’s about time to pack your bags and catch flights instead of feelings. Cliché, we know.
If you've planned a trip in the past, you'll recognize the hours of research that often goes into the transit options of a multi-stop tour. Anyone can fly from home to resort and simply chill by the pool, but true adventurers demand a bit more from their time away. That can mean planning onward travel from hotel 1 to hotel 2, organizing day trips away from the accommodation, and doing it all while staying on top of a tight budget.
Thankfully there are a bunch of tools out there that can help with this task. One of our favorites is an app that goes by the name of Rome2rio - an idea born from a backpacker's experience of trying to get around foreign countries and turned into a product that everyone can use. To put it simply, Rome2rio lets you enter where you are (or will be) and where you want to get to, and will then present you with all the options for your transit, including train, plane, boat and car.
It's a great way to save time on your trip, letting you organize even the most complex of itineraries in a couple of clicks. Here's everything you need to know...
What is Rome2rio?
Rome2rio consolidates all your travel options into one handy platform so that you can see precisely the steps you'll need to take to get from where you are to where you want to be. The travel options include driving yourself, taking a taxi, flying, going by train, bussing it and even by ferry. Added to this, the tool indicates the amount of time the journey will take, as well as an approximate cost for the trip.
Some travel options are even bookable right there on the app or website, while those which do not have details of how you can make the booking via external companies. If you haven't discovered Rome2rio yet, you're in for a treat, because this is the site that can take all the headache out of planning a trip, no matter how complicated it might be.
How to use Rome2rio
Getting started on the platform is easy. Simply head over to rome2rio.com to begin your search. There are also apps available on both the Google Play Store and the App Store, which can be more functional if you're working on a mobile device.
We're looking for transport options here, so make sure the top filter is placed on Transport and not Tickets or Hotels. Now you can go ahead and put your starting location into the search box. You can search by the name of the city or town, by a landmark or even by an individual street address. You don't need to know the entire address; just start typing the part of the address you know, and the platform will do the rest of the work.
Let’s suppose, right now, you are in Szeged, Hungary, and you have a hankering to visit the stunning Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany - the famous landmark that inspired Disney's Sleeping Beauty castle. What's the best way to get there?
Rome2rio can help. You don't even need to know the address of Neuschwanstein Castle - simply start typing it in the destination box and it will know where you mean. Now just hit search, and let's see what happens!
Note: If you leave the 'search accommodation with Booking.com' ticked, you'll have a separate browser window open with details of local hotel options displayed. You can untick it to stop this from happening, whatever you prefer.
Choosing journey options with Rome2rio
The first thing you'll see when you hit search is a useful map showing where you're starting from and where you're planning to go. By default, the map will show you the top travel option, which is generally considered to be the 'best' by the platform, based on time taken, cost and other factors. Here, we see the system has suggested we take a train via Munich as our first choice.
Mousing over any of the other options in the list will show a route map of the other available transport options. Different transport methods are indicated by different colors - purple for train, orange for bus, green for plane and grey for car. As this route doesn't cross any bodies of water, there is no ferry option, but we can tell you it's displayed in blue when it's relevant. It also doesn't include a taxi or shuttle, which would otherwise be displayed in red.
The number of icons on the route line on the left indicates the number of different services you'll need to get. So in our top option, we can see we have a short train journey followed by a long train journey and finally a third short train journey. In the second option on the list, we can see we have a medium length bus journey, a medium length train journey, a shorter train journey and finally a shorter bus ride. It's quite handy for checking how long you'll spend on different modes of transport and how many changes you'll have to make.
Also useful here is the estimated journey time displayed below each travel option. Our top option here is estimated to take 14 hours and 11 minutes to travel, but is it the fastest?
Scrolling down through the rest of the options shows that, no, it isn't. There are flight options, so let's have a look at one of those.
Although Rome2rio suggests that the train-train-train option is the best in overall value, there is a faster way to take our trip. It involves a train to Budapest, then a flight to Munich, then a few more trains to our destination. There are also options to take the train to Vienna then fly to Innsbruck to make it to our destination. Both are under 11 hours travel time, but much more expensive, so travelers can decide whether time or money is more important to them.
Some of the options have approximate costs displayed under the journey. Rome2rio doesn't display all the prices, particularly when it comes to very variable costs such as trains. But where it can, it helps you out by giving you a ballpark price guide.
Using Rome2rio to see your exact journey
Once you've decided which option is right for you, you simply click on the 'see details' button to get the full itinerary for your trip. This is where the magic really happens, because you'll be able to see which bus or train you need to take, what time it arrives, any waiting time between your connection and the approximate costs for your journey.
For our example route, you can see you'll need to take a train from Szeged’s train station and after a traveling duration of 2h and 13m costing around $8 to $11, you will be transferred to a bus. The name of the bus stop and arrival time are displayed, so you don't have to worry about which bus to catch. Once you get on this bus, it will take you to the next train station in Budapest in just five minutes.
This train will take 7h and 36m to take you to the next station called Augsburg Hbf.
Once you get to this train station, there is a traveling duration of 1h and 55m to get to the next station called Füssen. From this point onwards, you will get a bus that will take you to Hohenschwangau, Königsschl, which is the end of the line as far as transportation goes. The app then advises you that you'll have a 1.5 km walk to get to Neuschwanstein Castle, a walk that should take you only around 18 minutes.
We love that the app lets you see every part of your journey in full detail, so there are no questions about how it's going to work or where you need to go next. You can also plan your budget for the trip more easily, thanks to the estimated costs included. It's also really useful that it tells you how frequently the trains or busses run, so if you get delayed and miss your connection, you already know how long you'll have to wait for the next one.
Booking transport tickets using Rome2rio
You might have noticed that, for each leg of your journey, there is a right arrow next to the transport details, indicating we're not quite done exploring the tool yet. Let's go ahead and click that arrow to see what more the platform holds for us.
As you can see below, this brings up all the times and details of the departing services for that particular leg of the trip. You can change your desired departure time and date using the options at the top, so yes, forward planning is possible.
Clicking on the service that you're thinking about booking brings up further details, including all the stops on the route between your departure and destination points.
In this case, Rome2rio does not support booking train tickets directly on its platform. Instead, it includes a handy link to the operator's website, where you can go ahead and make your booking. The link opens a new tab in your browser, so that you don't lose all your carefully curated travel plans. However, it doesn't pre-fill the details of your journey, so you'll need to make sure you enter that correctly to buy tickets for the service you want.
Rome2rio does support buying other sorts of tickets directly on its platform, mostly tickets for flights. It is connected to the Global Distribution System (GDS), which means it gets similar results to sites like Kayak, Expedia and Skyscanner. However, be aware that not all airlines work with the GDS, so some options will never display on comparison sites. As such, you should always check with local operators directly to ensure you're getting the very best price.
Choosing different means of transportation with Rome2rio
If you're not keen on the suggested means of transport for one of the legs of your journey, there are ways to explore other options too. Scroll right down below the details of the operator, and you'll see a section that allows you to compare other services that can help you make that same journey. There is also a link to the website for booking, so you can do everything in one place.
Share or save your Rome2rio trip
If you're just doing research at this stage and don't want to commit to anything just yet, but also don't want to lose your progress, creating an account with Rome2rio opens up options to save the trip you've created. You can create a free account with your email address and a chosen password or you can choose to sign in with Google to save time.
Once you've created and signed into an account, simply hit 'save trip' to add your trip plan to your favorites. Next to this is a 'share' button, which will let you share your plans with friends or social networks. There's a link you can share any way you choose, or buttons to publish straight to Facebook or Twitter.
Adding accommodation to your Rome2rio trip
Of course, you'll need somewhere to sleep on your big adventure, so why not see what Rome2rio can throw up for you in terms of accommodation options?
There are a few ways to see the results of an accommodation search. At the bottom of your trip planning results, you'll see a link to '[destination] accommodation.' Clicking this opens a display of the top four picks from Booking.com as well as a map showing you the location of the hotels around your destination. You can adjust price per night, number of guests and arrival and departure dates right there in the app.
You can also get to this from the homepage. Simply make sure your origin and destination are entered correctly, and choose the 'hotels' tab at the top instead of transport and away you go. Rome2rio is powered by Booking.com, so you'll always end up on that site to make any accommodation booking.
In case you prefer exploring more options, you can just check the ‘Search for Accommodation with Booking.com’ box below the search bar on the home page. And you will be directed to the official website of Booking.com.
The pros and cons of Rome2rio
There are both positives and negatives to planning your trip with Rome2rio. Some of the key benefits include:
- The ability to search between any two points, including landmarks, attractions, addresses and cities, even if you don't know the full details
- The ability to add more destinations to your itinerary using the pink plus (+) button - add as many as you like!
- The easy navigation and simple display of transport options
- The ability to book some legs direct on the site, and to find the booking agent for others with a single click
- The site also has real people providing support, so if something goes wrong, you can get help
But the site does have its limitations too. For example:
- The projected prices can be rather inconsistent, and don't tend to track in real-time the pricing for volatile markets such as air fares
- There are some limitations in terms of filtering options - for example, if you hate taking trains or don't own a car, it would be good to be able to exclude these from the search results
- Accommodation booking options are all powered by a single source, so shopping around could potentially yield savings
- Similarly with flights - the site is not as good at finding bargains as Google Flights (or Mighty Travels, for that matter!), so it's better to use this as a tool to establish your best travel options, and then shop around for a good price
One of the biggest advantages of Rome2rio is that it's completely free to use. You aren't obliged to sign up for an account unless you want to save and share your trip plans, so there really is no downside to making use of the facility. However, we find it better to use as a starting point, to see what the travel options are, and then to do our own research into the best prices for flights, trains and accommodation independently.