Whether it’s family vacations, solo travel, study abroad, business trips, or a one-year sabbatical, I’ve been traveling my whole life. I’ve tried and tested dozens (if not hundreds!) of different booking services, tour companies, travel products, and gear. Some were fantastic, others… well, not so much.
Below is my list of travel resources with the companies and brands that I keep going back to. All the companies listed here are the exact ones I use when I am planning and booking my trips. From my experience, they are the best in terms of customer service, reliability, and deals. So I’ve bundled them all here, just for you!
I am a big fan of these companies because they make my travels and semi-nomadic lifestyle better, and that’s the only reason I recommend them.
Thank you for clicking: This page contains affiliate links. This means that if you book or purchase something by clicking them, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. This is how I am able to keep this blog going, and I highly appreciate your support. If you have any questions about any of my recommendations, please email me.
Hotels & Other Accommodations
I use it for… booking hotels and short-term rentals (vs. Airbnb).
Booking.com is my go-to for most accommodation situations. I’ve found them to be the most reliable for booking hotels and short-term rentals all over the world—and they usually have great rates. Their customer service team has also gone above and beyond to make things right when one of their partners f*cks up. One time, they refunded a non-refundable stay that I had to cancel because the listing incorrectly said the hotel was pet-friendly (I had to scramble to find another place to stay with Finnegan at the last minute).
I use it for… finding great last-minute hotel deals.
HotelTonight thrives on the fact that empty rooms are bad for hotels. You can get highly discounted rates in some pretty awesome hotels if you book less than a week in advance. Use promo code DENCRUZ and get $25 off your first booking.
I use it for… booking top-notch short-term rentals (vs. Airbnb).
This a new find for me now that I’ve stopped using Airbnb. Plum Guide has much more rigorous standards and hand-picks only the best vacation homes and apartments to feature on their platform. If you have a bigger budget and are looking for a more luxurious stay, check them out.
I use it for… comparing hotel rates across multiple booking sites.
Hotellook is a good place to start your hotel search. Their platform compares the prices of hotels around the world. They highlight the one with the best deal and show you the rates of the other sites. Note: Just beware that most of the lower rates are from SuperTravel, which uses AI to send hotel deals via text, Whatsapp, and Messenger. I have not yet tested SuperTravel, but their reviews are terrible.
I use it for… hostel booking and budget stays.
While I don’t stay in many hostels anymore, I still turn to Hostelworld when I’m doing a solo trip and looking for a bed or budget single-room option. They have a huge inventory and a passionate community that leaves great, super honest reviews to help you pick the best hostel.
Travel Resources for Finding Airfare Deals and Booking Flights
I use it for… searching and booking the best deals on flights.
Skyscanner searches a multitude of airlines for the best flight deals, even smaller ones. I’m also a fan of the “everywhere” location and “whole month” search options—they’re great for spur-of-the-moment trip ideas. If you are flexible on your travel dates, Skyscanner can save you a bunch of money on airfare.
I use it for… getting great deals on hidden flights.
Skiplagged looks for flights that have your destination as a stop on a flight heading somewhere else. Sometimes these connecting flights are cheaper than if you were to fly directly to your destination. So you can book the connecting flight, disembark at your destination, and skip the last leg of the flight. Is one of the best resources for finding cheap flights that you would not see otherwise.
I use it for… researching flights and routes.
Google Flights is great for researching airlines, routes, connections, and travel dates and how all those variables may impact the price of your plane ticket. I particularly like entering a departure airport in the “explore” feature and seeing all the possible destinations pop-up on a map.
I use it for… finding the best deal on car rentals.
Discover Cars compares rental car rates among hundreds of car rental companies, including smaller ones, in cities all over the world. They have the best deals on rental cars by far, and their customer service has always been responsive. Even if you’re renting from one of the big companies (Avis, Hertz, Budget, etc), it is worth starting your search on Discover Cars.
I use it for… renting RVs.
If you’re not ready to commit to life on the road, RVshare has a huge selection of RVs you can rent directly from owners. It’s kinda like Airbnb but for recreational vehicles. You can rent anything from a boho Class B van to a luxurious Class A Motorhome.
Tours, Excursions, and Activities
Get Your Guide
I use it for… booking local tours and activities anywhere.
Get Your Guide is my favorite site for booking advance tickets and unique experiences. They have a ton of local tours, excursions, and activities like food tastings, dancing lessons, and art classes all over the world. Get Your Guide makes it easy to search for tours and spot the good ones (reviews are great for that).
I use it for… booking local tours and activities that I can’t find on Get Your Guide.
Whenever I can’t find something on Get Your Guide, I’ll go to Viator. Most people are more familiar with Viator (especially in the US). Viator is a much larger company and has a greater number of listings worldwide, which is great for options, but it can be difficult to pinpoint the bad ones.
Small Group and Adventure Travel
I use it for… small group travel to places I probably wouldn’t want to go solo.
I generally prefer to make my own travel arrangements but G Adventures makes it possible to visit incredible places that I either wouldn’t feel safe traveling alone or would just be more fun to experience with a travel group. They have tours ranging from budget to luxury and from a couple of days to a whole month in every corner of the world. And I love that they work with local companies and tour guides (or Chief Experience Officers) and emphasize sustainable tourism practices and cultural immersion experiences. You can read my review of G Adventures here.
Travel Gear and Accessories
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones
I use it for… a more enjoyable and less noisy flight.
They do take up quite a bit of space, but I don’t get on a plane without my Bose noise-canceling headphones. Like ever. While they’re great for music and watching movies onboard, most of the time, I just have them on to drown out the airplane. The over-the-ear cushions are also much more comfortable than wearing my iPods on long flights.
And there you have it: the best travel resources that I use and recommend. And I hope they will make your travel planning and experience much better.
Do you know of a great resource I should try? Let me know.
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