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The Best Resources to Plan Better Travel

We often get asked what resources we use when planning out own travel. Below you can find our favorite sites we use including flights, tours, hotels and more. These resources are best, especially if you are looking for budget travel options, for booking your own travel. Want help planning your travel? You can also shoot us a message adn let us help plan the perfect adventure. As a travel agent I have additional access to sites to book and search for even more travel options.

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Some of the links may be affiliate links below which means we make a small commission if you make a purchase through a link.

Points and Miles

Before I jump into the apps and sites I use to search and book travel, it’s worth mentioning that if you travel frequently, it is 100% worth it to sign up for points and miles. At the very least, I recommend signing up for the mileage program for and hotel of airline you use. I also recommend getting a good travel credit card that will earn point.

Our absolute favorite credit card to earn travel rewards is the Chase Sapphire Card.

Using points to book travel has been a complete game changer for our family and is the number one reason we are able to book as many trips as we do each year.

You can learn more about booking and earning with points in many places, but our favorite is 10x Travel. This site has a free, short course you can take that goes into the details of building up points and miles. Once you take the course you can join the Facebook group which is awesome with how to actually make the most of points and miles.

The Points Guy is also a great resource.


If you are planning to fly for your next travel, flights are often the best place to start. I often book my flights and then take the next 24 hours (when you can usually cancel for a full refund) to figure out the rest of the trip. It’s best to book your flights 3-9 months in advance if you will be paying with dollars and longer if you will be using points or miles.

As often as possible I try to book flights directly with the airlines as it is easier to problem solve if things go wrong, but I usually start my seach with site that does searches across multiple airlines. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Google Flights – I love using the ANYWHERE feature when I’m searching for a specific week so you can compare different locations
  • Kayak – use this site to search many airlines for the best deal
The Wentworth by the Sea in NH


The next thing to book is hotels. Many hotels have loyalty programs. Since Dave travels a lot for work we tend to book Marriots often, but you can also join any loyatly program you prefer.

Since we are a family of 5 and many hotel rooms don’t take more that 4 people, we’ve found it helpful to search different sites as well – here are our favorites:

Booking – This site is our go-to for hotels/apartments/etc. We’ve found some amazing options especially in Europe.

Google – I also simply use google maps and search for hotels then visit teh individual sites to get more details

AirBNB and VRBO – If we are staying somewhere for more than a few days we often will book a house through one of these two sites.


When we travel we usually book our own travel experiences through local tours although sometimes I’ll book a multi-day tour. Here are our favorite sites to search for local tours:

Viator – this has lots of tour options often run by local guides.

Get my Guide – I usually search both viator and Get my guide for tours

If I am looking to book a longer trip, I often use a tour search site that pulls tours from many different sites.

Travelstride – this is a great site to review different tour options.

Other Transportation

Once I’ve got my flights, hotel and other big logistics booked, the next thing is local transportation like trains, buses, cars, etc. Here are the sites I use to book and search for these types of travel.

Cars – we often use Hertz since Dave rents often through them, but I also always search through a general site.

Discover Cars – You can use this site to search for multiple car rental companies

Turo – this is like AirBNB for cars and you can rent a car directly from another person. We used this service once and had a good experience.

Rail Europe – an easy place to explore European rail travel

Travel Insurance

We never travel without travel insurance, espcially outside of the country. If you get a travel credit card you may have some built in travel insurance, or if you can sometimes purchase insurance through individual suppliers. Otherwise we search for the best insurance using the site below:

Visitors Coverage

Adventure Travel Gear

We always recommend buying high quality travel gear that will last a long time. Depending on when and where you are heading we have lots of ideas for travel gear, but we also can recommend a few companies that we return to again and again including

Lonely Planet – for travel books

EMS and REI for Adventure Gear

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