I’ve done a lot of traveling over the years, and now I’ve finally decided to make a list of all my favorite travel resources! Feel free to use any of these links to book your next trip!
Google Flights: There are plenty of apps and services that help keep an eye on flights, but sometimes I just want to do a search for myself. In that case, I go to google flights, click the three lines in the top left, and select “explore map”. This lets me enter a starting airport and then moving the map to see flight prices to different destinations all over the globe!
When in the flight search, you can also click on the calendar and see price estimates for each day, so you don’t have to enter in a new day each time to see the price. By far one of my favorite travel resources for booking flights.
Airfarewatchdog: This service let’s you choose the flights you are going to book, and then you receive a notification when the prices drop. Works well if you know your schedule far in the future!
Skyscanner: A great service for comparing local or obscure airports in your area. Also a great tool for searching hotels and car rentals (I use it more for this than for flights!).
Momondo: Searches 1,000’s of sites and airlines to find the cheapest fares. Great for obscure destinations!
Kayak: Another great site for comparing flight prices. One of the fastest and least complicated sites to use. Quick and easy!
Expedia: If you’re looking to book flights, hotels and car rentals all at once, this is the site to do it. Expedia is one of the biggest and oldest sites around. Their database is enormous!
Abroaders: A way to turn your frequent flyer miles into plane tickets for far less than what most airlines will give you.
Kind Traveler: A unique kind of hotel platform that gives discounts for traveler’s looking to be a force for good. Donate $10 to a local charity and it unlocks discounts to local hotels. Nice ones too, available throughout North America.
Bouteco: A round-up of the most stylish and sustainable hotels on the planet. These places are green and gorgeous.
Airbnb: Allows you to stay in homes and apartments rented by owners. Of all my lodging travel resources, this is the one I personally use the most; the hosts are a treasure trove of information about the area, and many of the places are incredibly unique, giving you a one-of-a-kind experience! Click here to save $15 on your first reservation.
Wimdu: Another service that hooks you up with locals looking to rent their homes. Great for those on a modest budget. Make sure to read the reviews and fine print: a cheap stay often means you have to wash your own sheets or bring your own towels.
VRBO: Great for large groups! Sometimes you can find houses for rent capable of hosting over 15 people! If you’re planning a small group event, this is a great resource.
HomeAway: An awesome resource when you want to stay in a unique location. HomeAway has plenty of homes and apartments for rent, but you can also find rooms available in cottages, sailboats or even castles!
Homestay: Service that connects you with locals renting out homes, apartments or even individual rooms to travelers. Has a slightly different fee structure than the other home rental services here, so you might find the same home for a lower price.
Couchsurfing: Often you will quite literally be sleeping on a couch, but it’s a great way to see a new place if you literally have $0 for a hotel room. Couchsurfing is one of my favorite sites when traveling alone. I’ve made lifetime friends across the globe!
Booking.com: A great source when searching hotels, booking.com has an enormous database that includes hostels as well as top resorts, plus super specific filters so you can find exactly what you’re looking for.
Hotwire: If you don’t really care about the hotel and are more concerned with decent location for an affordable price, hotwire searches hotels with unsold rooms who are willing to lower the price to get them filled.
Hostelworld: The largest resource for hostels anywhere in the world. Hostels are getting to be a pretty big deal; many of them are just as fancy as a standard hotel room, but still half the price!
YHA Hostels: A good place to look for hostels specifically in the UK, but they have great deals in Australia and New Zealand as well.
HI Hostel: You can search hostels around the world, but this is a particularly good resource for hostels within the United States.
Agoda: A fantastic resource for low-cost lodging, and one of my favorites for less-traveled destinations!
Hotels.com: Their search database is awesome, but the real appeal is the deals they’re constantly running on their site. If one of their promotions matches up with your destination you could score a huge discount!
Hotel Tonight: While technically an app, this is lifesaver when you’re stuck in a location with nowhere to stay and need to find a room now. You can book up to a week in advance, but this is always a great one to have on your phone just in case your reservation falls through.
Celtic Castles: Allows you to book a room in a castle, or book the entire castle itself for a private event! Searches real castles throughout Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England and France.
Cross Pollinate: Hand-picked BNB’s throughout Rome, Florence, Venice, Paris, Barcelona, London, Istanbul and Lisbon.
Luxury Retreats: These places are pricey, but if you’re planning for the vacation of a lifetime (your honeymoon perhaps?) this is a great service to find your perfect getaway.
Agriturismo: Search for accommodations at hundreds of farms throughout Italy! Many of these places include meals made from food grown on the farm.
France Homestyle: This service searches boutique rentals throughout France. You can find some amazingly beautiful places here!
Paradores de Tourismo: These are government sponsored inns all throughout Spain. Many of these are stunning gems only available on this site. Search by region and don’t be afraid to dig a little bit. You may end up finding a great deal at a super unique location.
Pousadas de Portugal: Another government sponsored site of historic inns, this time in Portugal.
Monastery Stays: Staying in a monastery gives you an experience like no other. This service lets you search monasteries and convents all throughout Italy. Even if you aren’t particularly religious, this is an amazing way to experience Italy.
Home Exchange: One of my FAVORITE sites, this is an amazing service if you own your own home and don’t mind switching with a fellow traveler. Simply search for homes in your destination, then narrow it down based on hosts that are looking for homes in your destination. Contact the host and coordinate your dates and bam – you’re both staying for free!
Trainline: One of the most convenient travel resources when searching available trains and busses across Europe. Also one of the best travel apps I’ve used yet!
Rome2Rio: One of my favorite sites for getting from Point A to Point B no matter how far apart they are. Enter your departure and your destination and it’ll show all possible ways of getting there. Super convenient when traveling to more obscure destinations.
Eurail: If you’re planning on traveling to more than one country, this is where you’d buy your rail pass. Each one comes with different requirements, but it could save you a lot of money depending on how often you’ll be on a trail and where you’re planning on going!
Rail Europe: An extensive rail system that searches tickets on most available train lines, and also offers specific country rail passes. If you’re planning on staying within one country for the duration of your stay, a country pass will give you unlimited travel on the rail system!
Deutsche Bahn: Germany’s rail system, but useful for booking trains all throughout Europe.
SBB: The Swiss rail line that runs across Europe. Of all the train systems, this was my favorite one to ride. It’s especially convenient if you have children and are hauling around a stroller.
Eurolines: An extensive bus network running through all of Europe.
Greyhound: The most extensive bus network in all of the United States.
FlixBus: With new routes in the United States and an extensive European network, FlixBus offers incredibly affordable but tickets. Read the fine print if you have little ones though, they often require you to have a carseat for children under 3 years of age, and they do not sell or carry ones so you have to bring your own.
BoltBus: A newer bussing network in the United States, though currently only offered on the east and west coasts.
MegaBus: Available in the United States, Canada and the UK, this bussing network covers a variety of locations. They even have power outlets available at every seat.
AFerry: Ferry connections all throughout Europe. If you’re staying in a country bordering a waterway, it may do you well to search through this site before booking a train ticket. To get from Venice, Italy to Rovinj, Croatia by land takes a couple train connections and a bus. By water it takes one ferry.
Auto Europe: Car rentals all throughout Europe.
RentalCars.com: The worlds biggest car rental booking service. Available wherever major car brands are offered.
Uber: Incredibly convenient, affordable car service throughout Europe and the United States. In some countries it’s prevelant, others it’s sparse or even banned. Here in the states we use it constantly. Download the app and check before you visit to know your options!
Lyft: Another car service, though only available in select cities in the United States.
Walking Guides: If you’re headed to any of the destinations I’ve already written about, check out my walking guides before you go! Drop a pin at your hotel, download the full Google map to your phone and plan your own walking routes around your favorite places!
Kynder: Brings together resources all throughout Europe and the United States. Whether you’re looking for a place to stay or a restaurant to try, Kynder lets you know which ones have eco-friendly and humane practices. One of my favorites!
World Travel Guide: One of the best sites for planning your trip, in my opinion. Enter any destination, and you’ll find out what to do while you’re there, tours, how to get to the city center from the airport and more. I check this site constantly when traveling to a new destination.
Time Out: Shows local events and new information in larger cities throughout the world. A very useful tool when putting together your dream itinerary.
TripAdvisor: You can search hotels and flights, but the real draw here is location activities and eateries. With thousands of detailed reviews, you can get a ton of info when planning your trip!
CityPASS: Offers bundled discounts to some of the best attractions. If you’re hoping to see all the main tourist stops, these are a great deal. Available in some of the largest cities within the United States. And also Toronto, for some reason.
Rough Guides: Free guides for thousands of destinations around the world. Constantly updated!
WWOOF: Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms specialized in ecotourism and “volun-tourism”. Booking is not done through the site, rather first contact, and then you and your host finalize all plans.
CCUSA: Working holiday visa program for a variety of countries around the globe.
SWAP: Working holiday visa program for Canadian residents.
BUNAC: Working holiday visa program for a variety of countries and citizenships.
Ecocompanion: A eco-travel and booking platform that features the world’s best eco-lodges and conservation programs, so you can stay in an off-grid cabin in Scandinavia or join in on a rainforest conservation project in Costa Rica.
Busabout: A unique way to see Europe. You can choose the “hop on, hop off” pass and stay at predetermined locations. You can also choose options for music festivals, or island hopping on a sailboat!
REI Adventures: An amazing way to “rough it” if you’ve never been camping and don’t trust yourself not to get lost or injured. These adventures are perfect for the entire family too, not just young, lone travelers. The best part is REI is extremely environmentally conscious, and their trips reflect that. You don’t have to worry about unintentionally participating in unethical trades to tourism.
G Adventures: They cater specifically to 18-35 year olds, but the ages are soft and families are welcome. They participate in tours of all kinds, including marine tours! Personal favorites because they go out of their way to make sure any animal they encounter are ones that are treated humanely and ethically.
Earth Changers: A booking platform that brings together conservation opportunities. Join a sailing expedition in the Galapagos or explore a horse ranch in Croatia.
Steppes Travel: A tour service dedicated to interacting with wildlife in their natural habitat, with tours led by conservation experts and professional wildlife photographers. Available on every continent, even Antarctica.
&Beyond: An ethically conscious and eco-friendly tourism company, &Beyond offers tours in Africa, Asia and South America.
Undiscovered Mountains: A sustainable tourism company specializing in experiences in the Swiss Alps. Everything from mountain biking to building an igloo! Great for families and single travelers.
Adventure Alternative: An ethically responsible travel and eco-tourism company based out of Ireland, but servicing countries all over the world. A fantastic company to use if you’re looking for mountaineering trips and have no idea where to start!
Intrepid Travel: Intrepid has been around forever, and they’ve been leading the herd when it comes to sustainable tourism. They’re now supporting over 50 conservation projects located all over the globe. Book if you want real-life experiences!
Kind Traveler: A unique kind of hotel platform that gives discounts for traveler’s looking to be a force for good. Donate $10 to a local charity and it unlocks discounts to local hotels. Nice ones too!
Aracari: One of the most well-established, luxury tour provider in South America. You stay in private homes and learn about local philanthropic organizations. You don’t just see the surface of a place, you really get to learn the culture, it’s challenges and how you can be more involved.
Rickshaw Travel: Previously only available in Asia, Rickshaw Travel has expanded to Central and South America, with USA and Canada on the waiting list. They’ve set a high bar for eco-tourism, immersing their customers in local customs and experiences.
World Nomads: The best travel insurance I’ve found yet. Available virtually anywhere.
NordVPN: Ensure private internet access wherever you are, even in China!
Official CDC: Up-to-date information on vaccination requirements and disease outbreaks around the world.
CIBTvisas: Quick reference for visa information, including what is required and how to get it, depending on your current citizenship and departing country.
Travel.State.Gov: Passport information for United States citizens.