Travel Resources for Savvy Travelers
We’ve planned many trips over the years and have come to trust and rely on certain companies for travel products and services. The travel resources below are ones we love and believe in.
We’ve also learned a few tips along the way (e.g., why you sometimes don’t want to book airline tickets with third-parties like Expedia). These are shared below too.
Pssst! Some links are affiliate links, meaning that if you make a booking or purchase through the link, we’ll earn a small commission (at no cost to you). Thanks!
As professional travel writers, we’re often invited to stay at hotels for free so we can review them. When we have to pay for accommodation, we use Booking.com. The site has a huge selection of hotels and resorts around the world, and it doesn’t charge any booking fees. Plus, it’s so easy to use.
Most properties offer free cancellation and don’t require payment in advance. (You can often pay less, however, for non-refundable prepayment.)
Our hotel reviews
As travel writers, we’re often asked: “What’s the best hotel you’ve stayed in?” These swanky villa resorts with private pools top our list.
Vacation Homes & Apartments
If you’d rather not stay in a hotel, but would like more space to spread out – and a kitchen! – check out VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner). Having a “home away from home” is especially nice when you’re staying put for a while.
VRBO is like Airbnb, but it only offers whole apartment units, cottages and homes – no single rooms in a house (so you don’t have to worry about “sharing” the space with someone else).
You can also sign up for price drop alerts.
Skyscanner is another good tool to help save you time and money when booking flights. One of the first fare aggregators to include low-cost airlines, it’s still one of the best at coming up with the lowest ticket prices.
It’s especially great for booking low-cost flights within Europe.
And don’t forget to check SeatGuru before booking your seat!
It provides seating plans for most airlines and planes. You want to pick a “green” seat. (We personally also like to be closer to the front of the plane.)
Read Our Airline Reviews!
What’s it like to fly Emirates in economy class between Seattle and Dubai? We dish on the best seats, legroom, food, amenity kits and more…
They’ve won a slew of awards, including “North America’s Leading Cruise Travel Agent 2019” (World Travel Awards) and “Favorite Cruise Travel Agent” (short-listed in World of Cruising’s 2020 Wave Awards).
Find deals on mainstream cruises like Celebrity Cruises, MSC Cruises and Holland America Line, as well as luxury cruises like Crystal Cruises, Seabourn, Silversea Cruises and Viking Ocean Cruises.
You can book luxury river cruises through CruiseDirect too.
Hertz is one of the biggest rental car companies, with over 3,700 locations in the U.S. and offices in 150 countries around the world. You can find offices in cities and places away from airports, which can be convenient if you don’t want to rent directly from the airport.
Hertz also has a very good loyalty rewards program.
Small Group Tour Companies
The world’s largest small-group adventure travel company, Intrepid Travel uses expert guides to take you to more than 120 countries. Cycling, sailing, trekking, whale watching in Antarctica – they’ve got you covered.
The average group size is only 10 guests, and the company is dedicated to travel responsibly.
Pssst! Pick the “Comfort” trips for a little more luxury.
Local Guided Tours
Traveling independently? You might want local experts to show you around in the city or country you’re visiting.
GetYourGuide is where you can book guided sightseeing and other tours plus adventure activities.
It’s a global platform, used by millions, that connects travelers with more than 40,000 tours and excursions around the world. Choose from a wide range of experiences – everything from guided walking and bicycle tours to cooking classes to pottery lessons with local artisans.
Sights & Attractions
CityPASS bundles the admission fees to some of a city’s best attractions and tours in one low price (saving you up to 30 to 50%). And you get to skip many ticket lines too.
Cities where the pass is offered include New York City (Yeah! We loved visiting the Met Museum and other NYC hot spots with CityPASS), Seattle, San Francisco, Boston, Toronto, Chicago and more...
Our travel gear reviews
WiFi at airports and cafes can be unsafe when traveling. This free new browser allows you to browse the Internet privately and securely. Bonus: Watch Netflix abroad!
Carry-On Essentials For a Great Flight
Collapsible water bottle, slipper socks, the best sleeping mask out there? Trust us, you need to pack these airplane essentials in your carry-on bag for a better flying experience.
If we need travel gear, but don’t have time to go shopping (or can’t find what we need in local stores), we buy it online from Amazon and have it shipped to our door.
Ladies, fess up! Do you ever wear the wrong shoes when you travel? Then you might get a laugh watching this...
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