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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