Confused about where to start in regards to travel planning?
I get it...believe me. when I first started i had no clue what websites were worthwhile and what resources i actually needed to use...
So, below, I've compiled a list of resources that I personally have used and prefer over most others. Between checking out flight deals and knowing what to pack..I've got you covered. I'm confident that these websites will be just as useful to you as they were to me.
P.S. This post does contain affiliate links that I earn a small commission for at no extra cost to you! Any purchases you make through these websites help keep my site running so thank YOU in advance for all the support!
Flights & Transportation
If you're looking for weekend getaways, long-term travel or don't have a particular destination in mind - Skyscanner is the website for you! With their wonderful 'Everywhere' search option, a world of opportunity awaits you. Add on a hotel & rental car if you see fit but using Skyscanner will make searching for flights less of a hassle and more fun!
STA Travel is one of my all time favorite websites. When I was searching for a flight to London, I looked all over for the best deal before I stumbled upon STA. They offer student discounts as well as discounts for Adults over the age of 26. Instead of paying $1300 for my plane ticket, I only paid $500. They have all sorts of deals and even adventure travels you can plan through them. Check them out for discounted tickets & adventures!
Secret flying is one of my favorite websites/services. If you subscribe, then you will get a daily newsletter with all of the current travel deals. My favorite way to keep up with them is through the Secret Flying Facebook Page. You can find great deals from California to Australia and much more! If you are flexible in your travel dates and don't have a set place you'd like to go really - check out Secret Flying!
Megabus is perfect if you are super strict on your budget and don't want to waste time at the airport. I have taken several megabus rides: one from London to Belgium and another from Edinburgh to London. While these are the most luxurious bus rides you'll ever take, they do offer flexibility and are great for budget travelers! Check them out if you are interested in another form of transportation besides plane and trains!
Booking.com is something I use quite frequently when searching for hotels or good deals in different cities. I love how it sorts the listings however you'd like because I always do the cheapest one first! If you love staying in hotels during your travels - Booking.com will be your best friend!
I'll be honest - Hostelworld is probably the website I used most while I lived in Europe. I found the best (THE BEST) deals on Hostelworld: an $8 hostel in Krakow and a $10 hostel in Ireland and much, much more. If you are OK with dormitory style housing - then Hostelworld is perfect for you! However, they do have the option of getting a private room, which costs a little more, but at least you have that option if you'd like!
I can't say enough good things about Air BnB. I've used them twice: once in Ireland and another in Rome. I couldn't get over my apartment in Rome - it was absolutely gorgeous and right near the Vatican! If you're looking for a more localized type of travel, I would highly recommend using Air BnB!
Google Maps is probably my go-to when I plan out trips. For my recent trip to NYC, I created my own personal map and I highly recommend doing this! It was so great to use it while I was walking around the city and I believe there is an offline option if you don't have cell service where you are traveling. This will give you a visual representation of the places you are wanting to visit as well as the proximity between the locations. I highly recommend using Google Maps for creating a personalized travel guide!
When I visited Scotland for the first time, I collaborated with Lonely Planet in order to plan my trip. I used their Scotland travel guidebook and it was perfect! I was able to plan out where in the Scottish Highlands we were going as well as exploring the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. I love Lonely Planet because it gives you route options as well as activities, hotels and more! It's an all-in-one type of website/book and I couldn't recommend it more!
my favorite travel gear
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