The Most Useful Websites for Trip Planning
“You can’t buy happiness but you can buy a plane ticket and that’s kind of the same thing.”
But what happens when that plane ticket is at a price that could clear out your savings? Or you’re traveling to an unfamiliar country and have absolutely no idea where to stay or dine?
Well, we’ve compiled a list of websites to help plan your next trip that we love and recommend. We hope these useful websites for trip planning will inspire you and even save you a little cash while doing so!
Useful Websites for Trip Planning: General Travel Websites
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – Logan and I swear by TripAdvisor for advice on local restaurants, hotels, sightseeing suggestions, and so much more. TripAdvisor also will compare the prices of different hotels, flights, and vacation rentals while you are looking up the opinions and reviews of other travelers.
Useful Websites for Trip Planning: Flights
Skyscanner opens the doors to the many possibilities of travel, including an open search capability. No weekend plans? Enter the keyword ‘Everywhere’ and see what your next destination could be! Skyscanner has quickly become a favorite of ours when looking for cheap flights anywhere in the world.
For international flights, we love using Kayak. Kayak compares the prices of other popular ticketing websites and gives you the best price on a flight even if it isn’t on their site. It also tells you whether to buy or to wait! We also use Kayak when searching for rental cars as they typically have the best prices other than booking a rental car with our Costco membership.
Cleverlayover is a unique travel website that allows you to combine your airline tickets with non-partner airlines to save money and even find a cool location to have a long layover if you aren’t on a strict schedule. When we flew to Australia we had a 30hr layover in Fiji and though brief, the opportunity to visit another city can be really fun!
Useful Websites for Trip Planning: Hotels & Accommodations
Airbnb is a wonderful website that allows people from all over the world to safely use their home as a vacation rental at various different price points. We’ve stayed in a number of Airbnbs all over the world and have had nothing but positive experiences. Some places are a little dated, but if you read the reviews of the places you’re looking at staying, they typically ring true.
However, there are some places we wouldn’t recommend booking an Airbnb. For instance, in some parts of Europe, Airbnb isn’t the best choice. Lisbon, Portugal is one of the places we visited and heard about how Airbnbs are forcing inflated rent prices and pushing many locals out of their homes and that isn’t okay.
Before booking an Airbnb make sure that you ask for their Government ID number if it isn’t listed and look for articles about Airbnb in specific countries and areas to see if it’s a good idea.
Bed and Breakfast
Although similar to Airbnb, Bed and Breakfast comes in handy when searching for local and well-known B&B’s at a low cost. Most of the 30,000+ listings are in the United States but there is also a number in Europe and other locations in the world too.
5 Star Hostels
When most people think of hostels the first image that comes to mind might be a grimy room with bunk beds and a thin mattress. However, 5 Star Hostels ramps it up with sustainable, eco-friendly, and affordable hostels that also come highly rated in cities all over the world.
We love Hotels.com because it allows you to search for accommodations at thousands of properties. You can usually find terrific last-minute deals that are updated frequently on their site. Travelers that like to plan ahead can also find great deals on this site with seasonal sales and other offers.
Haven’t sold you yet? Well, Hotels.com also has a rewards program. You can earn a free night’s stay for every ten nights you spend at any of the program’s properties.
Useful Websites for Trip Planning: Mapping Routes
Rome2Rio quickly identifies route options and allows you to easily compare costs, time, and ease of access. We don’t always use this travel website because we still find Google Maps to be the easiest way to plan the route of our trips. However, Rome2Rio does have a unique feature to see the flight, train, and car routes all at once. Overall it’s an awesome way to plan your trip quickly and easily!
Useful Websites for Trip Planning: Travel Hacking
If you are a believer in travel credit cards like we are you’ll love Evreward! This site allows you to maximize your rewards points by searching websites you frequently use and seeing which card would reap the most benefits.
Are there any other websites that you love to use when planning or traveling? While you’re on a hunt to find amazing travel tools, you may also be interested in looking at these useful free travel apps!
Comments & Reviews
Sarah Ricks says
This is a blog post worth bookmarking. I’m a big fan of Trip Advisor, AirBnB, and Kayak. But I hadn’t heard of several of these other sites. I’m especially looking forward to trying Bed and Breakfast. Thank you for the helpful heads-up!
Awesome tips. I swear by most of these, but there are a few I hadn’t heard of before. Now I have more travel websites to feed my addiction.
Thank you for putting this list up) I’ve been using most of the websites while travelling, though I’ve just discovered Evreward) Looks like a great source. Thank you for sharing!
We do find TripAdvisor such a great resource for checking a wide range of peoples experiences before we book particularly with accommodation but also activities and places. Not only can you get a range of current updates on condition and cleanliness but you can sometimes see that a place is undergoing renovations that you wouldn’t be told otherwise and find some good tips and recommendations on what’s nearby.
Cleverlayover sounds very intriguing to me. I LOVE adding in layovers to my trips – we recently had a free day in Newfoundland while on route to Europe and it was a great way to explore and discover a small part of the province.
I love that you have a couple of websites that I’d never heard of like UsingMiles and CleverLayover. I’ll definitely check them out. Thanks!
Melissa Jones says
This is so useful! I swear by Skyscanner for flights and Hotels.com for hotel bookings but I hadn’t heard of a couple other of these websites like the Rome one so I’ll definitely be checking them out to look for more travel deals. Can’t get enough of those for us travellers 😉
Completely agree with you Melissa! Let me know how you like rome2rio! It’s a really unique site. 🙂
Wow, I hadn’t heard of a few of these! Thanks for letting us know about what you use. I need to look into CleverLayover. 😉
Glad you found it helpful! CleverLayover has become one of our favorites, especially if you have the time! 🙂