Here are all my favorite resources for trip planning and booking. This page has info on booking cheap flights, finding the best hotels and hostels, getting travel inspiration, where (and why) to get travel insurance, and some info on travel hacking + credit card rewards. Hope you guys find them helpful for your next trips!!
Where I Get Cheap Flights
I use Skyscanner religiously for international flight bookings! They always have the best deals and their site is super easy to use. I also love that they let you book multi-city trips in one go, since I tend to visit more than one country on my trips.
For flights within the USA, it’s Southwest or bust. They have the best customer service, free carry-on/checked baggage, wi-fi, and the drinks are strong. What more could you want. I have a Chase Rewards card that gets me Southwest points, so I always fly for free in the USA!
Where I Find Amazing Hotels & Hostels
My personal go-to is Booking.com because they 1) usually don’t make you pay in advance 2) usually allow cancellations 3) have an AWESOME loyalty program (Genius) that gets you 10-15% off participating hotels once you’ve booked 10+ stays. It’s saved me literal thousands over the years.
A couple other trusted booking platforms are Agoda and HotelsCombined. I’d suggest Agoda if you’re traveling in Asia as they have a lot more variety. I do NOT recommend sites like TripAdvisor because they’re known for manipulating reviews and some deceptive advertising tactics. No ty.
I also love Airbnb. Although the premise is a bit weird, there are some incredible properties on here that normal people would never get access to otherwise. Like this dope seashell house in Mexico, or this amazing Indonesian tree house!! It’s also a great budget option. Get $40 off your first stay here!
If you’re going for hostel accommodation, HostelWorld is the only way. They have the biggest network of hostels and they have tons of recent ratings from other travelers. This platform is LEGIT, easy to use, and I trust it with my life lol. I never book hostels through any other platform.
I always go for hostels that are well-rated (duh) and have people explicitly mention the social atmosphere. Some hostels look nice but aren’t very social and the reviews will always mention it. Go for one that’s known for being a good place to make friends, especially if you’re traveling alone! And make sure it has a bar (easy to make friends, plus you’re on vacay and you deserve a beer).
For some reason even though people go in and out of hostels all the time, different hostels ALWAYS attract the same crowds. So make sure you don’t end up in a party hostel when you just wanted to chill, or a total dud of a hostel when you’re traveling alone and wanted to make friends.
Where I Get Travel Inspiration
I get inspired for trips by either Googling and reading a few travel blogs, or browsing Instagram! Before I visit anywhere, I stalk a couple popular tourist destinations via the location’s Instagram geotag. I find some people with cool photos, then stalk their profiles to see where else they went. I then click into those geotags, stalk other tourists & locals, and so on. I end up with a HUGE bank of unique places to visit. This method has never failed me!
I use World Nomads because they’re affordable and the plans are straightforward. Travel insurance is often overlooked but it’s so SO important and an absolute must-have for traveling abroad.
I spent 3 months backpacking across Europe last summer and paid only $130 for insurance for the entire trip! I’d never bought travel insurance before, and wouldn’t you know it – that trip I went into anaphylaxis and had to be hospitalised, for an allergy I didn’t even know I had.
The moral of the story is that you should PROBABLY ALWAYS GET TRAVEL INSURANCE. You really never know what will happen and people often don’t realise that you can get into a literally life-ruining amount of debt if you have a serious injury or accident abroad.
Travel Hacks and Credit Cards
For travel within the USA I rely solely on my Chase Rewards card, which gets me Southwest points and means I basically never pay for a domestic flight.
See The Points Guy for all your other credit-card-related hacking needs! The main point is that certain credit card companies offer some CRAZY signup bonuses which you can use to travel essentially for free.
The best card out there seems to be the Chase Sapphire – you can read more about it here. You get access to participating airport lounges worldwide, plus a killer signup bonus and tons of travel + dining perks!