With the use of the internet, travel planning has become a far easier task to handle. We can now cover the A to Z of planning using different tools and websites that are available to us absolutely free. Here’s my list of most trusted websites, so you don’t have to spend the time searching for them yourself and can go straight to planning your next adventure or getaway.
The ultimate list of travel planning tools
- Skyscanner: Hands down my go to website every time I need to look for flights. You can check for oneway, return and multicity flights. You can choose anywhere as the destination and it lets you browse the cheapest flights from your starting point to anywhere in the world. I also like to check the map option, at the right corner of the date, to see the prices in the map – this helps with inspiration if you are running short on that!
- Scott’s cheap flights: Subscribe to get the best flight details on your continent. You get to choose where you live and they send you emails when a flight offer has been found. Those emails will let you score some amazing flight deals if you are able to take leave/travel on those dates!
- CheapOair: One of the most under appreciated or lesser-known websites, Chepoair will find you deals for both flights and other travel packages from your starting point to your destination based on the selected dates.
- Airwander: You enter your dates, point of origin and point of arrival and it will find you the best stopovers. By using it you can add another destination to your trip without paying for an extra flight. A Stopover is stopping between 2 planes that have been bought on the same ticket, but allowing you to have anywhere from hours to days in the middle destination.
- Skiplagged: A completely different concept right here: finding cheaper flights by looking for a longer flight to a further destination and then offering you to get that one and just stay in the “connection” destination (as that is the final destination you want to go to.
- Hopper: This app keeps track of a flight you want to buy and updates you on price drops (or increases) so you don’t pay more than you need to for your flight. You can also select a route with no date for the app to tell you when something new comes up.
- BONUS: Lounge buddy: This has to be one of the best apps life has brought my way. Lounge Buddy let’s you buy entrance to certain lodges all over the world. The lounge makes travelling more comfortable. It is not worth it if you are in a destination for only an hour with barely enough time to go to the toilet and connect with your next flight, but anything longer than that and I would say it’s time to get a lounge pass. Lounges are restricted areas in airports where you get access by purchasing business class flights, owning a certain debit/credit card (like AMEX) or paying to get in. Prices start at 25€ but you have to look at it as an investment. Wifi is quicker than in the general area, there’s food for you to eat and complimentary drinks. Chairs tend to be comfier and some of them have coaches as well as plug points so you can charge your devices.
- Airbnb: the leading apartment website in the world, Airbnb lists private houses/rooms/apartments/properties available for short-term rent so that you can stay in them during your trip. If you have never used it before, here’s a link to get 25€ DISCOUNT on your first purchase. What I like about Airbnb besides how convenient it is are the filters. As someone obsessed with sleeping in unique places being able to filter for “hot tub” or “campervan” or “castle” makes all the difference.
- Booking.com: The place to go for guesthouses and hotels. I like that you can select via map, stars, category and filters like “late check-in”. When I’m flying and arriving at a place late at night this is my go-to website to make sure I can check in and someone will be there to give me the keys. Us this link for a cheeky discount!
- Hostelworld: My bible for the cheapest accommodation and central locations. I like hotels because you get to know people and are surrounded by those who want to interact with other travellers. The receptions are always full of local advice and if you have grown too old or tired of dorms, it’s always worth considering the private rooms.
- Glampinghub: if like me you love to sleep in treehouses, tipis or other great places, this website is for you. They have a selection of unique accommodations that you can choose from and book directly.
- Agoda: a great hotel booking platform mostly focused in Asia.
- Rome 2 Rio: it is like the bible of transport. They tell you how to get from point A to point B by car, bus, ferry, tram and flight. It is a very interesting tool to use when you’re not sure of what the transportation options are for your upcoming trip.
- Rental Cars: my go to website to compare different individual companies. You can book through their website and I like the interface, it is easy to use and understand.
- Seat 61: get all the information you need to travel by train in Europe and around the world. From routes to timetables and other information that you need to know before you start your train trip!
- Get your guide: Even though I am not really one for set activities, there are some experiences that benefit from a guide/tour whether I like it or not. For these I like to check local operators by googling the activity I’m interested in doing or following previous bloggers recommendations. When that fails I use them.
- World nomads: I think it’s the easiest website to buy insurance from. It is a little bit cheaper if you buy from local insurances where you live, but it is good to compare all your options.
TRANSFER MONEY INTERNATIONALLY
- Transfer Wise: one of the best platforms I’ve come across. They let you transfer money internationally with a fee that up to 8 times lower than the one chargesd by traditional banks. The way it works is pretty intelligent: they have bank accounts in different countries. If you are in France and need to send money to the UK you will transfer your amount to a french bank, and with the exchange rate of the day from TransferWise, their account in the UK will send the equivalent in pounds. Life saver and so useful!
Shameless self promo for the spreadsheet that is going to make it possible
These travel planning tools are essential when I’m booking a trip. Knowing where to go for the right information also saves me time! I recommend you bookmark this page and come back to it when you need to find something specific.
Let me know if you use any other travel tools that aren’t already on this list?