Need help planning a trip? Look no further…here are my top six resources that help me plan my trips and stick to my budget.
The price of the flight basically decides where I am going. Travel rewards programs are clutch. Points add up fast. Also, check out credit card perks – ex. when opening a new card some companies will give you 30,000 to 40,000 points just for signing up (this could get you a round trip flight…depending on where you want to go).
My top 3 sites for researching airfare
Skyscanner has an awesome feature that allows you to search “Everywhere”, it will pull up recently found prices for cities across the globe. I like how I can search by month as well, very handy when your dates aren’t set in stone.
Similar to Skyscanner when searching for prices, however…there is a really cool map function allowing you to click on different cities to see the prices. I’ve found that feature helpful when I don’t have a specific place in mind and I am only looking for the best price.
All of these sites have something in common, it is the ability to search prices with flexible dates, Kayak is no different. I like the layout of their matrix when you search + or – 3 days.
Have you ever looked up a flight, got side tracked, went back to look up the flight again only to find the price has increased? When this happens I think “those little turds, how could the price increase by $50 in 25 minutes?” Well, the internet is smart and it is tracking you. Clear your cookies in your browser and try the search again, more than likely the price will go back down (no promises).
I like it cheap, but not too cheap. Let me explain, back in college when I was travelling around Europe I didn’t care if I spent the night in a hostel dorm with 12 other people. Back then I was generally traveling with a group of friends and there wasn’t much time for relaxing. We needed a place that was close to bars where we could stumble back easily, pass out, and wake up groggy eyed the next day to get the free toast and jam. Now…I kinda do mind where I sleep. I’ve learned I like to stay in budget and boutique hotels or hostels where I can get a private room. It isn’t that I don’t want to be friendly, it is just that sometimes I need a nap or I want to sit in my room in my underwear and relax. You can’t really chill in your underwear in a shared room. But hey, you do you.
My top 3 accommodation booking sites
I love Airbnb! I think it is one of the best booking sites out there. Ever imagine staying in a van in Iceland or a School bus in New Orleans? The lodging on Airbnb is unique, available around the globe, and has a price point for everyone. Every time I’ve stayed with an Airbnb host I have felt I got more out of the trip than I would have by staying in a hotel; they often share the history of the area, recommend places that are off of the tourist map, and might even make you a home cooked meal.
Vacation Rental by Owner is a great site if you are looking for something out of the hotel/hostel box. Again, there is a price point for every budget and lodging is available across the world. These cabanas in Belize were quaint, right on the beach, budget friendly, and featured on HGTV! There are several filters to help you find your perfect place, including one of my favorites – the “Pets” filter to find pet friendly lodging.
I used this site to book most of my Iceland trip. Generally you don’t have to pay until you arrive at your hotel/hostel and most of the rooms offer free cancellation within 24 hours of arrival.
*Disclaimer* these sites are not paying me to write the wonderful things I have to say about them. This is me telling you they rock.
Try to book a joint that includes breakfast. I am a breakfast eater, if I don’t get something in my tummy expect me to be a crabby PITA* by noon. Also, free breakfast = less money you have to dish out for food.
*PITA – Pain in the Ass