I’ve spent my fair share of time in planes, trains and automobiles. I figured I should share some of my favorite planning tools that I’ve found along the way. After all, planning can be almost as fun as the trips themselves! ….almost
Travel Destination Websites:
- MrandMrsSmith.com: The team at Mr. and Mrs. Smith boast a hand-picked collection of the most special boutique hotels in the world. They’ve personally visited and anonymously reviewed every single one, so readers can rest assured they’re in safe hands.
- SecretEscapes.com: A British “members-only” site (you can become a member for free with just an email address) that has really taken off since it launched last year. The prices are in pounds, but if you’re willing to make the conversions, it’s a really great travel planning tool. I’ve used it a few times now and have only had good experiences. They get you great deals in prime locations – what more could you ask for?
- Jetsetter.com: My new favorite. Pretty similar to Secret Escapes but partnered with the Epic flash sale site, Gilt.com. They don’t always get you the best prices, but they have a great little collection of hotels and destinations where you really can’t go wrong. Plus, the magazine is a fun read for those travel junkies out there like me.
- VoyagePrive.com: Similar to the two above. Great reviews of great hotels in great destinations. Plus, their “exclusive private membership” is free to all and easy to sign up for.
- TripAdvisor.com: Old faithful. This site is the most comprehensive list of everything from hotels to flights to things to do when you reach your destination. The comprehensiveness of this site can be a blessing and a curse. I tend to reference it if I have a very specific thing to look up. Otherwise, it can make travel planning really overwhelming.
- Lonely Planet: I started watching the Lonely Planet travel show when I was about ten with my mother, and I always thought the hosts of that show had the best lives. This site is all about how to experience a new place like a local.
The Best Flight Booking Sites:
- Google.com/flights: The best deals are found here
- Skyscanner.net: European flight booking website with all the airlines.
- Kayak.com: The every airline website. Also great for booking rental cars and even hotels.
- Easyjet.com: Cheap airline that flies around Europe. My personal favorite – I’m a sucker for a good deal.
- Ryanair.com: The cheapest airline in Europe. No frills…like seriously, no frills at all. But it gets you where you need to go
- Southwest.com: The only American airline that still seems to prioritize being on time