Below you can find some of our favorite travel-related resources.
NOTE: I always suggest searching for flights and hotels in an incognito browser window. (If you’re using Chrome as your browser, simply go to File > New Incognito Window.) This ensures that the site isn’t saving any information about your searches, and therefore means that you’ll actually see the best deals!
Skyscanner — I often turn to Skyscanner when I’m looking for flight options. It searches a TON of airlines — and I’ve found some great deals using it (especially when looking for flights within Europe). I also really like the “Everywhere” search. Using this, you can choose your departure city, but then just choose “Everywhere” as your destination. The site then shows you where in the world you can fly for the least amount of money
Kayak — Kayak is another of my go-to sites when I’m looking for flight deals. It’s very easy to use, and you can set price alerts if you’re keeping your eye on a specific fare. On certain routes, Kayak also will show you the price trend on that route, and will tell you whether you should buy now or wait.
Similar to Skyscanner’s “Everywhere” search, Kayak has an “Explore” option hidden under the “More” tab on its site. Here, you choose your departure city and the month you’d like to travel, and Kayak shows you flight prices for destinations all over the world. This is super handy – and also just kinda fun to look at.
Momondo — This is another one of my favorite search sites. First of all, I like the design. Their flight search is great because you get results sorted either by ticket or by timetable, and they also show you which flights are cheapest and which are quickest. Plus, Southwest flights actually show up on Momondo!
Momondo also has a fun search function called Trip Finder. Using this, you can define the type of trip you’re looking for, your ideal weather, your budget, and even what mood you’d like to experience. Then the site gives you some suggestions — I love playing around with this when I’m bored! (Just don’t forget to select your departure city in the bottom left.)
Booking — Over the past year, I have become a big fan of Booking.com (and it’s not just because of the amusing TV ads). I like the information the booking site offers, and also the wealth of helpful reviews. I’ve booked properties based on Booking.com searches in multiple countries, and have never been disappointed. I like that you get lots of options when booking rooms here — including options that include breakfast, and/or booking options that allow for free cancelation or the ability to pay later. If you write reviews after a stay, you can also earn “Genius” status, which unlocks more Booking discounts.
Yonderbound — This is my new favorite; not only can you search for accommodation, but you can also save your favorites in “Yonderboxes,” either to come back to later, or as a way to recommend places to others.
Trivago — Speaking of memorable TV ads, we all can picture “Trivago Guy” by now, right? Well Trivago is another great site to keep in mind when you’re searching for a hotel. Trivago isn’t actually a booking site, though. It actually will search 262 OTHER booking sites and show you the results and best prices all in one place. You can then scroll through, add hotels to the “compare” bar on the righthand side of the page (I love that you don’t have to click out of the search results to see all your favorites), and then click over to whatever booking site has the best price once you’re actually ready to book. If you want to search a lot of the most popular hotel booking sites at once, Trivago is your best bet. The interface is really clean and simple to use, and you can find some great deals comparing so many sites at once.
Hostelworld — My go-to when it comes to booking hostels has always been Hostelworld (though, now that they’ve merged withHostelbookers.com, I would recommend them, too. Both of these sites offer a really comprehensive listing of hostels in a ton of cities around the world, complete with reviews and other useful information.
Booking Other Accommodation
AirBnB — Hotels and hostels definitely are not the only accommodation option to use when you’re traveling. Sometimes, renting an apartment can be the best option — especially if you’re staying in a city for a long amount of time, or if you really want to get a “local” feel for a neighborhood.
Homestay — If you’re looking for a really “local” experience, consider looking into a homestay, i.e. staying with a local person/family in their home. I tried this out in Dublin and really enjoyed it.
Getting Travel Deals
Everyone wants to save some money on travel, right? Here are a few newsletters I subscribe to for great deals:
TravelZoo — This deal site is always full of goodies, from flight deals to cheap vacation packages. I’m signed up for the Top 20 newsletter, which collects and sends out the best travel deals once a week.
Living Social Escapes — Living Social is good to follow for all kinds of deals, but I especially like checking out their “Escapes” section every once in a while. I’m told Groupon often has similar deals.
Get airfare alerts — I’m also signed up to get airfare alerts from my home airport through Hipmunk. You can also get some great fare alerts from Airfare Watchdog, or search for current flight deals at The Flight Deal.