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For my work I have to visit remote villages abroad. Sometimes, the closest international airport is more than a 100 km away. Also I do not like driving.

As an example: I need to travel to Agordo, Italy from Budapest, Hungary. I checked many options:

  1. Flight from
    1. Budapest
    2. Vienna, Austria
  2. Flight to
    1. Venice
    2. Padua
    3. Vicenza
    4. Bolzano
    5. Trento
  3. Public transport from the available flight destinations to Agordo

It took more than 40 minutes to find the best one; direct flight from Budapest to Venice, then 3,5 hours on a train (actually 3 trains).
First I used Google Maps to find the possible bigger cities around the final destination, then Kayak to plan a flight to them, then Google Maps again to find out the time from the airport to my hotel. Then compared the total times.

I am looking for a website, that can show me the fastest possible route in one step. Google Maps would be perfect if it handled flights as just another option for public transportation, but it does not.
Is there a better option to find the fastest connection?

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  • 3
    Good question! If you have to combine flights and other means of transport and the connections are infrequent, the most obvious route is not necessarily the fastest. Rome2rio may help on some routes, but often makes mistakes. In your case, it actually suggests to fly from Budapest to Venice and then take a bus to Agordo. That is supposed to take 9 hours, but the single daily bus leaves 8am and no flights from Budapest are early enough to catch that bus, so you would evidently have to stay over night in Venice and that is not considered properly in the alleged travel time. May 5 at 9:25
  • Check this question: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/20875/… It's at least a good starting point.
    – PMF
    May 5 at 9:58
  • Related, but only air travel and cost focused: How can I find the cheapest flights to a small airport that isn't in the ITA matrix May 5 at 18:04
  • 2
    One concern is that the itinerary with shortest travel time might achieve it by having very short connection times. So while it might be shortest in theory, the high likelihood of missing a connection may mean that in practice, it is likely to take much longer. May 6 at 3:38

1 Answer 1

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Rome to Rio (https://www.rome2rio.com/map/Budapest/Agordo) does a good job at this particular example and even found a bus connection from Treviso to Venice to Agordo which may be easier than they train connection.

Another good tool for "rough" planning is www.flightconnections.com which is map based. You can quickly see that the nearest airports to Agordo are Bolzano (BZO), Treviso (TSF) and Venice (VCE). By clicking on the dots, you will see that only Treviso (TSF) has a non-stop connection to Budapest (Ryan Air and Sundays, Wednesdays and Saturdays).

Once you have identified the best airports you can use an advanced flight search tool like ITA Matrix https://matrix.itasoftware.com/search to look for flight options. This tool has A LOT of options and you can build very complex queries including arrival, airlines (include & exclude), max layover, total travel time, multiple airports, etc.

Unfortunately ITA Matrix doesn't cover budget airlines like Ryan Air, so if this is an option you may have to search on sites like momondo.com or https://www.azair.com/ (which allows also multiple airport and date ranges).

Once you have a viable flight options, you can use rome2rio or even google maps to quickly check public transport options from the airport(s) to your final destination.

At the end you still will have to manually stitch it together. Unfortunately, even train tickets have been become very complex: Deutsche Bahn offers 5 or 6 different ticket types for each trip with different rules and restrictions.

In general you will not find a website that can accommodate sand rank all of your preferences since this is just too complicated. Choosing travel involves very complex trade offs between convenience (depart time, arrival time, #of transfers), price, overall time, mode of transportation, flexibility, refundability, baggage, etc. Each case is different and some preference are also deeply personal. The fastest connection doesn't help if it arrives an hour later than you need to be there.

There used to be flight search site called hipmunk.com which sorted options by "agony" which was trying to estimate this trade off. Unfortunately they were too good at it so they got bought by Concur (American/Express) and shut down.

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  • As I already pointed out in a comment to the question, Rome2Rio does not a very good job in this particular case. The bus it suggests to take from Venice to Agordo leaves at 8am and there are no flights from Budapest that early. May 5 at 13:03
  • I did check rome2rio, but it did not find the direct Ryanair flight from Budapest to Venice, even if I searched for the days it flies.
    – András
    May 6 at 7:27
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    Hence I gave you momondo and azair as tools to look for budget airline flighst
    – Hilmar
    May 6 at 12:51
  • If I have to check several sites, it is not faster than my current solution
    – András
    May 9 at 7:49

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