Planning for your upcoming trip can be extremely stressful. Luckily, after years of traveling the world, I have a few tips and tricks to make travel planning a lot easier! From travel inspiration to travel booking, here are my top recommended travel planning resources.
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions are my own.
Looking for this year’s Black Friday travel deals? Click here!
My Top Travel Planning Resources
Flights, Trains, and Transportation
To get the best deal on flights and transportation, you’ll need to check multiple sites and compare prices. Don’t depend on a single website!
These are my top websites for booking flights, trains, and other transportation:
Dollar Flight Club is a free flight alert newsletter that will send you flight deals from your choice departure airport. Snatch up flight deals that can save you hundreds of dollars on tickets!
Skyscanner is an amazing resource! It searches for the cheapest flight options across multiple sites to find the cheapest, fastest, or best value flight for your trip. You can search for specific dates or, if you’re flexible, search an entire month to find the best dates to fly.
Read More: How to Use Skyscanner
WayAway helps you find cheap flights and earn cashback! It searches for the cheapest flights across hundreds of sites to find the best and cheapest flight for your trip. Their premium WayAway Plus membership allows you to earn up to 5% cashback on flights and up to 10% cashback on other travel services (and they have a 7-day free trial, too!).
Hot Deal: Get 10% off your WayAway Plus membership using the promo code PaigeMindsTheGap or by clicking this link.
Read More: How to Use WayAway to Find Cheap Flights
CheapOair is a great site for finding discount flights and flight deals to destinations all around the world.
Expedia is a top tool for finding cheap flights. You can compare ticket prices at a glance from their large inventory of carriers and earn rewards on every booking when you become a member.
Orbitz is another top-rated tool for finding cheap flights that allows you to compare ticket prices easily.
Aviasales is one of the largest online search engines for flights that lets you compare prices from hundreds of airlines and dozens of travel agencies.
Omio is a great platform for searching and comparing cheap trains, flights, and buses in Europe.
AirHelp can help you receive compensation for delayed, canceled, or even overbooked flights flights.
Rentalcars.com is a great site for booking cheap rental cars anywhere in the world.
There are a ton of great websites for booking the best cruises at affordable prices. Check out some of my top recommendations below!
Uncruise is an intimate small-ship cruise company that focuses on community, culture, connection, and environmentalism.
Big Savings: Get $500 off per person per cabin on any destination (minus Galapagos) using the code PAIGE500 at checkout!
Expedia is a great source for finding cheap cruises and last minute cruise deals anywhere in the world.
Orbitz is another amazing place to search for cruise deals and get top cruise tips from travel pros.
Cruise Critic covers the world of cruising with more than 650,000 cruise reviews, advice from cruise experts, itinerary information, and deals and money-saving tips. With this site, you can easily find any information you want to know about your next cruise.
Where you’ll rest your head is an decision when planning a trip. Will you stay at a hotel, a hostel, or in a vacation rental?
These are my top websites for booking accommodation:
Hotels.com is my go-to for hotel bookings. I like that I can compare hotel prices in the area, earn loyalty points on their website, and still earn loyalty points with the hotel brands.
Read More: How to Use Hotels.com
Read More: How to Use VRBO
Booking.com is another highly-rated website for finding hotels, but they have other options as well. You can find hostels, bed and breakfasts, apartments, and houses on this accommodation site, too.
Early 2024 Deals: Look for the “Early 2024 Deal” badge to find discounts of 15% or more on bookings made from December 5, 2023 until April 1, 2024.
Read More: How to Use Booking.com
Tripadvisor isn’t just for looking up reviews, although it’s a valuable resource for that too! You can also compare prices and book hotels through the travel site.
Read More: How To Use TripAdvisor
Getaway House has cozy, tiny cabins all over the U.S. perfect for a weekend getaway. All of Getaway’s outposts are about 2 hours from major cities, allowing for the perfect getaway to nature.
Valentine’s Day Sale: Get 30% off all tiny cabin bookings
Hostelworld is a hostel-focused online booking platform for hostels located all around the world. Hostels are one of the best budget-friendly ways to stay, and this site makes booking so much easier.
Expedia is another top website for finding hotels and vacation rentals. They also allow you to bundle with flight and car rentals for a cheap package.
Orbitz is yet another great website for finding hotels, allowing you to compare prices at a glance and easily plan your trip.
CheapOair isn’t just a great tool for finding cheap flights, it’s also great for finding cheap hotels and hot hotel deals!
Trivago can help you compare deals for millions of hotels and other accommodations in 190 countries, so you can find your best stay at the right price.
Hotellook is another wonderful tool for comparing hotel prices. What’s great about this site is that the price they show already includes all taxes and fees so you’ll know exactly what a hotel room costs upfront.
Hilton Honors Points are a great way to save if you love the Hilton brand of hotels. You can use points to book free stays or get room upgrades.
Tours and Activities
It’s time to start planning what you’ll do on your vacation! While blogs are helpful for those who want to go it alone, many people find peace of mind in booking tours, excursions, and guided activities.
These are my top websites for booking guided tours, excursions, and other activities:
Viator is my go-to for booking day tours. They have thousands of day trips, skip-the-line passes, and multi-day tours from destinations all over the world.
Read More: How to Use Viator
GetYourGuide is another great option for day tours. They have thousands of walking tours, day trips, skip-the-line-passes, food tours, and cooking and craft classes in destinations worldwide.
Read More: How to Use GetYourGuide
Deals and Discounts: Find discounted tours and entry tickets up to 50% off here!
CityPASS is my go-to attraction pass. Get discounted admission to top attractions in major cities across North America, from Atlanta to San Francisco.
Tripadvisor now offers tours and activities you can book through their platform. The best part is, you can read through the millions of traveler reviews before you book.
Orbitz also offers deals and rewards on day trips, city tours, attraction passes, and more.
AmazingCo is a unique activity company that specializes in mystery itineraries. You can go on a Mystery Picnic, a Food Trail, Insta Worthy Adventures, and more.
Read More: Our AmazingCo Mystery Picnic Date Experience
Read More: AmazingCo Mystery Picnic Review
Tinggly is another unique activity company, but they specialize in experience gift boxes. You can gift yourself or a loved one the adventure of a lifetime in the form of a bucket list experience or a weekend getaway.
Valentines Day Deal: Get 15% off experience collections and hotel stay collections from February 1, 2024 through February 15, 2024. And with my code PAIGE-QM20, you can get an extra 5% off for a total of 20% off all collections!
Eatwith is a unique activity experience that allows you to attend cooking classes, food tours, and meals with locals while you travel.
Flytographer allows you to hire a local photographer when you go on vacation for the perfect travel souvenir.
Hot Deal: Get $25 off your first photoshoot! Just use my link or enter my promo code: MINDSTHEGAP
Go City offers multi-attraction passes for top tourist destinations worldwide at up to 65% off the initial cost. Get entrance tickets to various museums, tours, and attractions in top cities around the world for a fraction of the price!
iVenture Card is a simple way to see all the top attractions in a city. This flexible attraction pass allows you to enjoy top attractions at your own pace.
ResortPass is a unique way to experience resort-style pools and spas without having to book a night at a hotel. Make any day a vacation with a day pass to a luxury hotel for access to the pool, spa, and amenities.
Tiqets is a great site for finding museum and attraction tickets for top destinations all over the world. They have direct partnerships with their museums and attractions, so you know the tickets are legit. You can even book from your phone at the last minute.
Valentine’s Day Deal: Get 5% off romantic tickets and attractions worldwide using promocode VALENTINE5 now through February 18, 2024.
Fever is the best place to find tickets to local events like immersive experiences, candlelight concerts, escape games, discounted attraction tickets, and more.
Passport, Visa, and More
Streamline the process of updating your passport or applying for a travel visa, access luxury airport lounges, get discounts on eSIM services, and more!
These are my top websites for all those extra travel services:
iVisa is a simple way to get your visa. They provide guidance for any visa application worldwide. Their experts will even review your documentation to ensure a minimal chance that your application will get rejected due to technicalities.
Subscribe & Save: iVisa Plus is the best way to save money when you need a lot of travel documents. With iVisa Plus, you’ll get free standard processing for an unlimited amount of eVisas, Health Declarations, and Embassy Registrations, discounts on rush processing fees, and all applications reviewed by visa experts.
iVisa.com/photos delivers your passport photos straight to your home in just 4 to 7 business days. Their online platform will help you get the perfect picture that is totally compliant with the regulations. You can actually get photos for any document type, not just passports: you can get photos for visas, green cards, or work permits, too. Photos can be delivered to your home or to a CVS or Walgreens for pickup.
Airalo is the first eSIM store that gives you access to digital SIM cards. You can download and install a digital data pack for over 200 countries/regions and get connected anywhere in the world.
Priority Pass is a card that gets you access to hundreds of airport lounges in airports all over the world. You don’t have to spend a lot to fly in style!
Sometimes you just need to be inspired! Travel inspiration sites can help you decide what destination is right for you.
These are my top websites for travel inspiration:
NanoWhat lets you download city guides right to your phone. Find curated maps of recommended spots to eat, see, and play so that you can discover a city like a local.
Pinterest is the perfect travel planning site! Explore Pinterest to find local travel tips, packing guides, and reviews for any destination. You can organize everything into one board for your destination for future reference.
TripAdvisor is great for figuring out what you want to see once you have a destination in mind. You can create a whole travel itinerary just from looking at reviews!
Etsy is full of unique items that can help inspire your future travels and help you organize your old travel memories. I love their travel planners and unique maps and prints that can spark wanderlust whenever you look at them.
Travel For Cheap
Travel can be expensive, especially if you don’t know the tricks to find cheap travel options. I’ve already given you some of my top resources for planning my travel, and all of these sites help me cut costs when it comes to travel expenses.
But if you want to know more in-depth tips and tricks to planning cheap travel, check out my Travel For Cheap course! In this course, I’ll teach you how to cut costs when traveling, how to plan for the cheapest days to travel, how to get free trips, and more! This is perfect for those just starting out as a budget traveler or even for seasoned travelers who want the latest tricks to low-cost travel.
Ready to take a vacation? Plan your trip with these tips.
- Find cheap accommodation: Use my tips for finding cheap accommodation for travel every time.
- Book your flight: Find the cheapest flights using Skyscanner, my favorite flight search engine.
- Pack for your vacation: Make sure you've packed everything you need by checking out my packing list resources.