Travel Tips and Tools for Trip Planning
Before you travel anywhere, you have to pick a place to go. There are 195 countries to choose from to satisfy your desire to explore the far off corners of the world. This Travel Resources page is here to help you plan your trip. Whether you want to go somewhere far away or you want to travel somewhere just a few hours away from your house. No matter where you want to go, you will need a few tools to help you out.
Long trips or short weekend getaways all require the same process. The first thing you have to do is plan. From the fun part of deciding where to go to the stressful part of finding a good flight and everything in between, planning a trip isn’t easy. If you don’t take the time to plan out the details, your vacation could end up being a huge letdown. So to help you have a successful trip, I’m giving you a lot of travel tips and the tools to plan a great trip. All you have to do is figure out where you want to go next!
This Travel Resources Page has some of my favorite websites and apps I use to help me plan my trips as well as the exact ways I plan my own trips.
Disclosure: Some of the travel resources in this article contain affiliate links in which I earn a commission from qualifying purchases at no cost to you.
Travel Resources: Flights
These are some of the best places on the web to find deals on flights. I always check 2-3 sites to find the best deal before booking. Once I find a good deal I’ll then go to the airline’s website to see if the price is the same. If it is, I’ll book through the airline’s website.
NOTE: Don’t forget to open an incognito window when searching for those flights! Most airline sites (and any site that you’re on) will follow what you’re searching for through cookies. You know those pop up windows you have to click acknowledging that the site uses “cookies”? Well those help with the user experience by allowing the site to remember that you’ve been there before.
So if you have items in your cart and leave the site and then come back, the website remembers you’ve been there and your items will still be in the cart. However, sometimes when you search for flights you might end up with a higher price than the first time you searched. So to avoid this, you can use the incognito mode so the website doesn’t remember that you were searching for that flight.
Google Flights is always the first place I go when I’m searching for a flight. It scans on the websites to find flights and even gives you price options with and without checked luggage.
I always check more than one place when I’m looking for flights. Kayak will show you price trends of the flight you want to book and whether or not it’s likely to go up or down in price.
Skyscanner is a travel search engine site that scours websites for deals and then sends you to another website to complete your purchase.
Travel Resources: Subscription Plans
There are also sites that you can sign up for that will send out emails with flight deals. They all have some form of a free version but the best deals come with their paid subscriptions. From mistake fares to deals in business class to personal support, you get a little more with subscribing to their paid plans. Be aware that if you see a great deal come through your email and you want to go, grab it. The deals don’t last forever. Once people start booking at that price the prices will start to go up.
Going used to be known as Scott’s Cheap Flights. They just recently changed their name so I’m putting both of them here for now. Going has a free and paid version. The Premium Plan will send out mistake fares and lets you input more options. It costs $49 a year. They also have an Elite Plan for $199 that gives Business and First Class deals.
Dollar Flight Club has a free version and a subscription version. The free version lets you choose your region and sends you a few deals a week. The annual subscription fee for the Premium plan is $69 a year and lets you choose your departure airport and sends more deals. They have a $99 plan that also sends you business/first class deals.
Matt’s Flights has free and paid versions. You get more with the Premium Plan such as choosing your preferred airport(s) for departure and 1-on-1 support from Matt. The Premium Plan is $59.99 a year.
Travel Resources: Accommodations
Once you’ve booked your flight you’re going to need a place to stay. Accomodations are probably the most expensive part of the trip. Sometimes more than the flights. There are TONS of places online to do your search and it can be ovewhelming to know which ones to trust. Whether you’re looking for a hotel or you want to rent a whole house, these are a few places online that I use looking for a place to stay for my own trips.
Booking.com is the main site I use when searching for hotels. I love that everything is in one place and you can message the hotel directly about your needs through the site. I love their app too and everything about your stay is right there.
Hostels are known for being cheap places for young adults to stay. Most have dorm room accomodations but many also have single rooms. Some hostels have age limits so make sure you check before you book. You can find a hostel at Hostelworld.
Airbnb is where people list their vacation home (or home) for rent. It’s especially great for large familes or for a group of friends who want to all stay together in one place. It’s always nice to have a full kitchen which can save money on meals.
Travel Resources: Travel Tours & Tickets
This is my favorite part of Travel Resources: the itinerary! Once you know where you’re heading it’s time to start thinking about what you want to see and do while there. Even if you don’t want to book a tour it’s a good idea to check out the sites that specialize in tours in the areas you’re headed. It gives you a good idea of the most popular things to do there so you can plan your itinerary.
Once you figure out your itinarary check and see if entry tickets are cheaper through one of these sites. Sometimes they are, especially if you’re doing multiple things. You also want to see if there’s any “skip the line” options available. Buying in advance and paying just a little bit more might be worth not having to stand in line for 1-2 hours. That’s time you can spend doing other things!
The Get Your Guide site has it all: Tours, Skip the Line, One of a Kind Experiences. You can choose from Guided Tours or just purchase discounted tickets and go on your own.
The Viator site gives you tours and experiences tickets including small groups. They also have tours to multiple sites. Just be sure to compare to the sites websites to figure out if the tour makes more sense money-wise.
Klook not only has tours, they also have transportation tickets on trains, buses and private car as well as searching for hotels. They also have discounts to restaurants, tickets for spa services and more.