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My Favorite Travel Sites

by Krista
Favorite Travel Websites

Favorite travel websites? I’ve got a bunch for everything from flights to hotels to staying organized! Come check them out.

My Favorite Travel Sites

I hit a bunch of new countries in 2017: Cambodia and Malaysia at the beginning of the year and then also Oman, Morocco, Cyprus, Malta, and Indonesia as smaller trips throughout the year. That’s seven new countries for me, bringing my grand total of countries visited to 57 as of October 2017. I’ve set this goal for myself to hit 100 countries by 50 so I still have a lot of work to do, but the Internet makes that easier now doesn’t it? As I planned my travels, there were some sites I kept coming back to over and over again to help me book tours, give me peace of mind, and track information. Here are some of my favorite travel websites.

Favorite Tour Websites

Urban Adventures: Before I go anywhere these days, I check Urban Adventures for tours. I find the quality to be pretty consistent and the types of tours they offer always tend to be exactly what I’m in the market for. Lots of creative food tours, in particular. My food tour in Cambodia was a definite highlight. Every time you go on an Urban Adventures tour, you get a discount off your next tour — which I *always* forget to apply. Don’t be like me.  Claim your discount. This is honestly one of my absolute favorite travel websites.

City Discovery: I’ve also become a little obsessed with City Discovery. They have a lot of great food tours and city tours all over the world. There are more than 8,000 sightseeing tours in 700+ destinations and airport transfers in 700+ airports worldwide at City Discovery.

TourRadar: I love just browsing all the tours on TourRadar. To be fair, I’ve yet to book one BUT one day I will. This is a great site if you are thinking “Hmmm….I sorta want to go to Egypt” but haven’t gotten any further than that. Lots of package tour options from all the big players. Tours of all sizes and styles. Super great for wanderlust.

Viator: Viator is the granddaddy of city tours. It’s becoming more and more popular as people seek to book tours online prior to departure. I’ve had some amazing experiences with Viator — the tours I went on in Venice were a highlight. I love the variety of tours on offer and the convenience of booking everything through one site — even airport transfers! This has been one of my favorite travel websites for a really long time.

Eating Europe Food Tours: Eating Europe offers tourists and foodies the chance to experience local culture and food through unique, one-of-a-kind travel & food experiences. With over 20 different tours and cooking classes across 5 destinations and new ones added every year, Eating Europe is the market leader in culinary tourism. In London, there’s an East End Food Tour and in Rome, there is a Evening Food & Wine Stroll and Taste of Testaccio Tour.  They also have a Prague Food Tour and an Amsterdam Food & Canals Tour. They cover some of the more popular cities in Europe.

GetYourGuide: GetYourGuide are the world’s largest online platform for booking tours, attractions and activities. Their goal is to create the best experience possible for travelers so they can enjoy the fun part of their trip. On their site, you’ll find over 33,980 activities in 7,590 destinations around the world (as of April 2018).

Booking Transfers & Airport Pickups

The one concession I make to my mother when traveling alone is organizing airport transport in advance.  If there’s no good public transport from the airport, I will always get a driver to meet me at the airport. I look at the prices of transfers on ViatorGroundlink, and Blacklane.  There’s something so nice about coming through customs and immigration and having someone there with a sign with your name on it. If I’m lucky, they’ll also have a bottle of water for me and a cool towel. What could be bad? Note that Uber is good too but I’ve spent way too much time trying to explain to Uber drivers where I am so I prefer the more traditional airport meet-and-great instead.

Favorite Flight Information Sites

Flight Radar 24: I became obsessed with Flight Radar 24 around the time of Hurricane Irma. There was a chance that I would have to head to Florida to help my parents out. Luckily, I didn’t have to make the trip but it was fun to track Irma and all the flights trying to get into and out of Florida on Flight Radar 24. Now I check it constantly — when I’m sitting at home in London looking out the window, I wonder, “Where’s that A380 coming from?” One of my favorite travel websites for being a total geek.

ExpertFlyer: I am also obsessed with ExpertFlyer. It shows you how full flights are and has detailed seat maps to show you which seats are booked and which aren’t. When I flew back to the US over Christmas in 2017, I knew that an upgrade to First was likely because ExpertFlyer showed me how full my flight was. Like completely sold out in Economy and WorldTraveler+. But a few seats open in business and First. Florida travel in December is mostly leisure travelers so I had a feeling that my status would send me all the way up to the front and I was right — BOTH WAYS! I was upgraded to First both ways! Amazing.

The Points Guy: I can’t get enough of The Points Guy! The biggest thing I’ve learned is always try to get an airline to status match your status with another airline. I learned a long time ago to sign up for all the frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programs but now I am even better at this and more conscious. For example, before I book a hotel now, I always look through my inbox and check to see if any hotels are having any point promotions. (IHG Accelerate is a great example.) The Points Guy should be everyone’s favorite travel websites.

British Airways: Earlier this year, I finally attained BA Gold status. While it kills me that the Gold entrance at Heathrow is so far away from the Heathrow Express exit, I still love the private check-in desk. The Gold lounge is a lot busier that I expected, but the wine glasses are MUCH bigger than the glasses in the Galleries lounge and the snacks are more plentiful too. Apologies — I am talking all about the lounge and not the website! I’m sort of obsessed with BA’s Flight Deals page and also the Last Minute Holidays page. You should be too!

Kayak: I LOVE searching for flights on Kayak. I love the matrix search results that Kayak presents if you are fairly flexible with when you want to travel. That’s how I bagged my (relatively) cheap business class flight to Thailand and Bali recently (BA outbound, Qatar business class inbound — which was amazing). Earlier this year, Kayak is how I figured out Malaysian Airlines was having a huge business class sale, which worked for my flight to Vietnam and back from Langkawi. If you’re flexible and have a window of time to work with, using Kayak’s search functionality can yield some great bargains. This is seriously one of my favorite travel websites for booking flights.

Favorite Hotel Booking Sites

Booking.com: I used to use Expedia just because it was there. But now I love Booking.com. There’s just something about their data presentation. It’s so clear! Also, I can’t believe how many property reviews they have. My default search is to look for properties with guest ratings of 8 and above. The site can get a little confusing sometimes because they lump hotels and apartments and all sorts of properties together, but as long as you know what you want, the rest of the information is very neatly presented. One of my absolute favorite travel websites for hotel reservations.

Hotwire: I’ve written about how much I love Hotwire before. If I know that there’s no downside risk, I will often book 5 star mystery hotels through Hotwire and save a bundle. It definitely takes some research and I wouldn’t recommend it if you are traveling with small children or have inflexible plans, but if you’re visiting a city you know well and are good at detective work, Hotwire is great for saving money. Use Hotwire together with Better Bidding if you need help!

Kaligo.com: This is a great site if you are looking to earn more frequent flyer miles. Specifically, I use Kaligo to earn Avios sometimes, but only when I’m booking a non-chain property as Kaligo won’t let you double-dip and earn both from the hotel chain and earn Avios.

Travel Insurance

World Nomads Travel Insurance: As I get older and more conscious of my surroundings, I tend to worry a bit more about accidents and health care and evacuation insurance. Yes, I have become my parents. The current global climate — and the affect the current global climate has on my parents — doesn’t  help with this either. So I’ve been much better about booking travel insurance this year, and World Nomads is my purveyor of choice.

Techie Stuff

NordVPN: When I went to Oman earlier this year, I needed to make a bunch of Skype calls but Skype is blocked in Oman. Luckily, I signed up for NordVPN which sorted me out. I’ve started to use NordVPN for other things like accessing some videos on YouTube that may not be available in my region and to get around the new GDPR blocks too.

TripIt: How much do I love TripIt? I really cannot count the ways. (I’ve written about my obsession with TripIt Pro before here.) Trip stores all my flight itineraries and most (but not all) of my hotel itineraries. (Now if only hotels had a consistent way of reporting booking information so TripIt could read all these different hotel emails.) TripIt will often tell me that my flight is delayed before the airline does!

Others I still need to write up… Qatar Airways deals.

What are you favorite travel websites? Please let me know!

This post contains affiliate links. 

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Nicole @ Bento Momentos 2017 -

This is a great resource — Thank you!

Krista 2017 -

Aw, thanks!

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