I am often asked how I prepare for my trips. Through trial and error, I have learned how to build itineraries, book accommodation, and select flights. I always look for the best value which means I don’t always travel cheaply, but I do always travel well. Below is a collection of the best travel resources I personally use for airfare, accommodation, and transportation.
Kayak is one of my go to search engines. The site allows you to select one way, round-trip and multi-city flights and compares prices from a wide array of air carriers. Kayak does not include many budget airlines, however.
Much like Kayak, Skyscanner compares prices from many different airlines. The best thing about Skyscanner is that it is great for flexible travelers because of its “everywhere” as a destination option and allowing people to search for very flexible dates.
Accommodation Search Sites
AirBnb has taken the travel market by storm. The site allows travelers to book rooms or apartments from individuals around the world. Hands down this is my favorite site. You get to see pictures of the apartments you are interested in, read review, look at availability, and contact the owners. If you book through this Link we both get $20 in travel credit.
If you can get past the stress-inducing notices that rooms are filling fast and accommodation options are disappearing into thin air, booking.com is a fantastic resource and its search engine allows you to filter for different accommodation types by price, rating, accommodation type and more. If you book after clicking through this Link, you and I both get $20 off the next booking! It’s a win win.
Pretty much the same as Airbnb but with different offerings. I often have a combination of the two when traveling to multiple cities. It’s been my experience that HomeAway has more upscale choices but you really need to check both.
Couchsurfing partners travelers and hosts around the world. Through the website people can sign up to host travelers for free on their couches or in their spare bedrooms. This isn’t for me and some caution needs to be taken if you’re a single person, especially a female.
Hostelworld is a great website for booking inexpensive accommodation in hostels. The website contains over 33,000 properties in 170 countries and is an important booking tool for budget travelers.
Lonely Planet Thorn Tree Forum
If I have a question about a specific destination I often submit questions to Lonely Planet’s Thorn Three Forum. The forum is a wonderful place to get itinerary help and suggestions from others.
TripAdvisor allows travelers to learn a bit more about the places they plan on visiting by reading reviews from other travelers. TripAdvisor reviews cover everything from restaurants to hotels to tours. While generally quite helpful, it can also be a place for complainers. Take everything with a grain of salt.
If I need to figure out how to get from point A to point B, I look no further than Rome2Rio. The website shows travelers the best ways of travel between places using trains, buses, airplanes and private vehicles. Indispensable if you want to travel around a country in the most inexpensive way.