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The prospect of travelling can be exciting and stimulating but the planning process can sometimes turn into a daunting process. With thousands of search engines and products contending for your attention everyday it’s easy to get absorbed into the world wide web and spend hours upon hours researching, hoping you found the best prices.
To save you time and effort we’ve complied a list of the most useful travel resources that we personally use and purchase through for our personal travels.
This is one of our most reliable and favoured flight search engine. Over time and countless hours comparing search engines and battling pop ups we have found Momondo to be a clean and efficient flight search tool.
Flight search results are quickly arranged by Tickets or Timetables and you can choose to scan through flight options by budget (cheapest flights) or time (quickest flights). Multiple travel companies offering the same flight are grouped together under that flight so you can easily compare different flight price points and travel times rather than go down a list of the same flight offered 13 different times with similar price points.
Little smiley faces with a ranking system between 1 and 10 (the higher the number being the better option) are found in the corner of each flight result to indicate balance between flight total flight including transit time and the price.
We use Skyscanner to trim the fat when it comes to selecting desirable dates, destinations, and prices.
It searches through a multitude of airlines and it’s a great resource for finding flight deals.
When you are in the pre-planning stages and are looking for inspiration, input the closest departure city to you then choose “Everywhere” as your destination city. You would be surprised at the number of affordable fares that appear for a variety of countries and cities that you may not have considered otherwise.
Under departure and return dates you can choose to compare across a whole month or find the “cheapest month” if you have a flexible schedule.
TIP: While we actively use Momondo.com and Skyscanner to find our flight routes and connections, we usually try to book directly with the airline rather than a third party operator if the price is the same.
If the third party operator is able to offer a price drastically lower than what is offered by the official website than we will take advantage of that. However, we prefer to book direct with the airline company itself. The reason for this is that in the event of a delayed or missed flight that produces a ripple effect by missing subsequent flights, airlines employees tend to be more amicable and willing to take responsibility if you booked the series of flights directly through them.
Booking.com is a well established accommodation booking website and has a wealth of information. Real reviews left by previous guests provide insight to provide a relatively balanced look at the positives and negatives of each property listed on Booking.com.
You can customize your search by choosing hotels that include breakfast or free cancellation policies.
Signing up to be a member of Booking.com gets you access to exclusive rates not shown to guests. Members with “Genius” status unlock even more discounts after writing an honest review, saving you more money for your next trip!
Trivago is an accommodation search engine combing through hundreds of accommodation booking sites to find you best prices for the dates and destinations you’ve chosen.
If you want to cut your time down on finding accommodation, using Trivago will speed up the process. You are able to quickly compare prices between major accommodation booking sites on an easy to navigate and clean interface.
Once you have your options in front of you, add filters to narrow your search, compare your top picks, then go ahead and click through to the booking site with the most desirable price.
Agoda has become a notable accommodation booking website over the past years, expanding past the Asian market and is a healthy competitor for booking.com in the European market and worldwide.
Agoda offers an extensive list of hotels to choose from, particularly in Asia, but focuses more on higher price points or luxury accommodation rather than budget stays.
Signing up to be a member gets you better deals and daily deals offering additional 5-10% for various destinations around the world.
Agoda also advertises a no commission fee structure for home listers!
Booking Hostels and Bed & Breakfasts
The best resource for hostels is at Hostelworld.com, there’s no question about it. Hostelworld offers an extensive listing of hostels from around the world packed full of honest reviews and tips for future travellers. You will be able to find lesser known accommodation not listed on other websites and overall, a larger database of budget accommodation.
If you want to stay in a lively, social environment such as a hostel but prefer to have your own privacy, choose a private room and get the best from both worlds!
For a more local touch while travelling, booking a bed and breakfast through AirBnB might just be what you were looking for.
AirBnB hosts may offer a weekly or monthly discount which makes it ideal for short term rentals. We often use Airbnb as a couple since it strikes a great balance between affordability and privacy, particularly in Europe.
We also enjoy getting to know the locals and Airbnb helps us get an insider glimpse into their daily lives and cultural quirks.
Sign up with a new account on Airbnb and get a $30EURO or $35USD discount on your first stay!
I’ve been using Groupon for years in Canada mainly for major restaurant and bar savings, horse-back riding in the Rockies, and hotel deals.
Since Groupon is based in the UK, travelling in Europe just got more affordable with great deals for 1, 2, or 4 people (sometimes more). Banners often pop up below the search bar a few times a month offering additional 10 to 15 percent discounts on Groupon deals.
Click here to sign up for a 10 dollar credit to use on any Groupon deal.
Similar deal sites include Social Living and Travel Zoo. Sign up for their newsletters to be notified of new deals and discounts in your own city or for planning your next city trip or weekend getaway!
Travel insurance is a necessity when you travel. From personal experience we know how exorbitantly high medical treatment is when travelling aboard. Whether you are participating in an athletic sport or walking across the street, you never know if there’s going to be an unexpected bump in your path or if the sun is in an incoming driver’s eyes and they don’t see you. Accidents occur when you least expect it and you have to anticipate that otherwise you have to cut your trip short or pay out of pocket.