I had no intentions on creating this post, but the final straw came when my girl, Jamila from I Don't Do Clubs, kindly requested that I gather together a list of sites I use when planning a trip. Now, if you have been reading along with me, you know there is only so much "planning" that goes into my trips. I am extremely spontaneous, but I do have resources that I rely on heavily right before or after I arrive at a destination. Best of all, I am sharing some of my favorite websites I use to find great flights!
If I'm completely unfamiliar with an area, I consult Viator for things to do. They offer tours with a high number of reviews, so I don't feel as apprehensive about it. Usually, whenever I discover a water activity while on a trip, it's due to Viator.
Check out Viator here.
I've been obsessed with Yelp even before I became an Elite member. I try to find out about great places to eat and hang out when I visit new cities (including those abroad) and Yelp never steers me wrong. Typically, the more reviews the better. What I truly enjoy about the app are the different categories, whether it be brunch, coffee, clubs, or happy hour. It is the all encompassing "hook you up" app!
Check out Yelp here.
I stumbled upon these articles back on Pinterest when I started getting into travel. As much as I love extended travel, sometimes you only have the time or funds for a quick getaway. That's what makes these articles so dope. You get a jampacked itinerary with ideas for what to do in various cities that you can tailor to your style. I still look at these especially when I am planning a domestic weekend trip.
Check out 36 Hours from The New York Times here.
If you are ever procrastinating on finding lodging (yeah, you), this is your go-to app! It's free and searches out the best hotels in the area for you. My favorite part about HotelTonight are the labels they use, including, "basic", "solid", "hip", or "luxe".
Check out HotelTonight here.
I used to be big on Expedia. I'm not quite sure why I drifted away from using them, but I did. I started using Hotels.com more often and eventually signed up for an account. I love the website (or app) because I can use PayPal but also, after your 10th night, you get 1 night free! Who doesn't like free?
Check out Hotels.Com here.
The Ace of Spades when it comes to researching hostels. If you don't use HostelWorld and you're considering backpacking, you're making a grave mistake. No matter the area you are staying in, HostelWorld has you covered. Yes, I typically book directly on sites but that's only after doing a thorough investigation on HostelWorld first.
Check out HostelWorld here.
My baby! My #1. My all. My everything. I think everyone has their own favorite website for finding / buying flights, and Google Flights holds me down. Every time. (Can't you tell how much I love this site?) It's especially useful because I can search for 5 airports simultaneously (that's actually how I found my Boston to Portugal flight).
Check out Google Flights here.
I appreciate Kayak Explore because I can add in certain filters. For example, for my birthday, if I wanted to spend $300 on a nonstop flight from DFW in April (or Spring) 2017, it would give me all of my options. If you have a certain budget, Kayak Explore is the way to go! You can also set up alerts in case you want to check back (or stalk) the prices in the upcoming weeks.
Check out Kayak Explore here.
Similar to Google Flights, I am mildly obsessed with Rome2Rio. It is an app, but also a website that I rely on heavily. Rome2Rio is the way that I figured out how to get around in Belize since I was staying on two islands only accessible by boat or plane. Rome2Rio will break down costs, time, and different route options available. You can determine if you'd like to travel slow or fast, which was definitely a plus for me while I was in Europe. Sometimes, I needed to fly, but other times I didn't mind taking a bus or a train. Rome2Rio for the win!
Check out Rome2Rio here.
I'm sure you all are familiar with AirBNB. Wouldn't it be great if they had something similar for cars? Oh wait, they do! Meet Turo. Your tax free option for renting cars in various cities. It has saved me plenty of times. When I had to go home to New Jersey for the funeral, I was able to rent a 2016 Corolla and drive from DC to NJ. It still ended up being cheaper than flying directly into Philadelphia. If you're interested, you can use my code so that we both get a discount (yay, more money).
Check out Turo here.
Related Post: 5 Apps I Couldn't Live Without While in Europe
I wanted to differentiate this section, because this is where I go specifically for cheap flights and not just when I'm shooting the breeze and creating fake itineraries.
I had to do something for The Big D! This website is just for us! Currently, as I'm writing this post, I see the Devil is trying to convince me to buy a $209 flight from DFW to Antigua. If you have zero willpower and live near the metroplex, leave this website alone. I am NOT responsible for your busted budget prior to the holiday season.
Check out Cheap DFW here.
The Flight Deal
I think the name is self explanatory? What I love about this site though is it's broken down by city. I can laser in on Dallas and see what deals are hot. Just be mindful, they go FAST! Some other cities with their own sections are New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Miami, and Philly. I also recommend following them on Twitter @theflightdeal.
Check out The Flight Deal here.
This is another helpful site. You can search for the current best deals, buy tickets, and research about airlines (like their baggage fees). They also have a hotel component and an area for you to set up deal alerts. So, basically, there is no excuse for you to be wasting valuable coins.
Check out Airfare Watchdog here.
Related Posts: Confession: Love Flights, Hate Traveling
I certainly hope this has been a useful post to you and you share it with others that will be planning a vacation soon. Holiday season is rapidly approaching (eek) and the travel season will be jumping. Make sure that you are prepared and don't forget to purchase your trip insurance!
What are your favorite websites to use while planning a getaway? Let me know about some I should check out in the comments.