One of the questions I am asked most often lately is “How do you travel so often and how do you manage to plan it all?”. Being slightly OCD with planning and organisation runs in my blood, and so over the past few years I have come up with a curated list of my very favourite travel websites and apps that help make planning and booking my trips a breeze. The list below is only the best of the best – because yep you guessed it, I also strongly dislike clutter – even on my phone and in my bookmarks tabs!
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My Favourite Travel Resources
I’m always on the search for new travel inspiration, keeping notes and making bucket lists as I go! Here are some of my favourite tools for getting inspired.
Instagram is the place you will find me hanging out most these days, sharing my latest travel photos but also searching under hashtags and geotags for the latest and most insta-worthy destinations to add to my bucket list! Come say hello!
When I am trying to decide if I want to go to a particular destination OR what I want to eat, see and do while I am there you will find me on Pinterest – the best place to find the prettiest places. Come check out my latest travel pins!
Good old Tripadvisor, although I often turn to Instagram and Pinterest to make my initial list I always double check the reviews on Tripadvisor to make sure I’m not going to be disappointed. You can also book hotels and tours straight through Tripadvisor too!
Lonely Planet has a real nostalgic feeling to me. I remember planning my very first trip overseas and ordering my Lonely Planet guide then spending hours pouring over the book and dreaming of my trip. These guides are always so handy to have on the go when there’s no wi-fi too!
Once I’ve decided on a destination I get more practical with my planning and these apps make it oh-so easy!
Apple Notes is pretty much where I brain dump all day every day. I have my travel notes sorted into their own folder and then each trip gets it’s own page. I make lists, note links, keep records of bookings and paste images to make a tidy little collection of my plans. I also share my travel notes with Jase so we both know the G-O!
GOOGLE MAPS APP
If you follow me on Instagram Stories you will know I get lost A LOT. Without Google Maps I would basically walk in circles my whole life. Make sure you download offline maps before a trip so you can use it without wi-fi. I also like to plot out all the places (and save them in a special travel ist) I want to go to help me plan days with the least amount of back tracking!
GOOGLE TRANSLATE APP
Another tool that comes in handy to learn a few basic phrases before you go, and for on-the-go translation. Make sure you download offline translations for the languages you will need so you can still use it when there is no wi-fi.
I used to use Kayak to help me feel super organised and under control when I first started traveling. Now I just use my notes app, but if you are new to travel or like things to be sorted and hassle free then Kayak is the perfect app.
Travel Saving + Budgets
Whether you are saving for a trip or sticking to a budget while you are on the go I’ve always found it makes a huge difference when you actually keep track of your expenses. And here are the best tools I’ve found!
My favourite app when it comes to tracking income, expenses and savings goals. Perfect for everyday and also great if you are saving up for a trip or you want to track your spendings while you are on the go.
This is one of Jase’s top travel app picks and when we travel in groups he is always the ‘Splittr’ guy! This genius little app makes splitting costs and keeping track of who paid what a breeze (especially when your hubby does it all).
Flights + Transport
Booking and coordinating transport all while finding the best prices can be a nightmare. But these handy little apps help turn that nightmare into a dream!
The best place to search for flights across a wide range of carriers. Skyscanner shows you all of your options and makes it easy to pick the best flights for you. They have a really handy app (for Android or Apple here) for searching on the go too!
When you want to wait for the best priced flights to pop up but you don’t actually want to do the waiting – turn to Hopper. This cute little bunny keeps track of prices and lets you know when it’s the best time to book.
Want to know my secret for being able to travel around Europe so often? The easyJet ‘Inspire Me’ page. Pick your point of departure, the season you want to travel in and how long you want to go for and this clever little tool will tell you the cheapest flights. We’ve traveled return to some destinations for less than $100!
Flying is fast, but traveling by train can be so much easier. I’d rather catch a four hour train than a one hour flight. No commute, no security check or luggage restrictions and more spacious seating. Traveling by train in Europe is especially easy and you also get some great views!
We had our first trip with Flixbus last year and we were shocked at how cheap it was. It cost us less than $20 to get from Zurich to Milan. Perfect for trips that are less than 5 hours – I’d probably find it a bit too uncomfortable for longer than that.
Did someone say road trip? Probably one of my very favourite ways to get around. You have total freedom and control over your journey. Did I mention 90’s music and servo snacks yet? Rentalcars.com makes it super easy to find the best price no matter where you are in the world.
When you are exploring a city sometimes it’s just easier to catch an Uber than to get the metro or bus. We pretty much never use taxis anymore because we love the convenience of booking our Ubers on our phone and the prices are usually better. Get a discount off your first trip here.
I know they say it’s only a bed to sleep in, but it can make such a huge difference to your experience of a place if you stay somewhere that makes you feel at home versus somewhere that makes you feel uncomfortable. I love Airbnb for a good deal and for group holidays but it can be a little painful to organise key hand over and we’ve had a couple of incidents that made our stay not so comfortable (although we could say the same about some hotels!). Hotels on the other hand are great for easy check-in and check-out and having amenities you can sometime miss in Airbnbs. There is always someone around to help if you need it too, which is comforting!
Airbnb is always the first place I look when I am searching for accommodation. Using Airbnb can often be cheaper than booking a hotel and is really great for larger groups too. Get a discount off your first Airbnb stay with this code.
With an endless range of hotels, hostels, homestays and bed & breakfasts and lots of handy search filters, booking.com makes it really easy to find exactly what I am after.
Jase is slightly obsessed with member programs that allow us to collect points and that is what we love about hotels.com – they have a really amazing range of properties and we also get to save up points each time we book and cash them in for a free nights stay once and a while.booki
Tours + Activities
Most of the time we prefer to do our own thing, but we love trying small group or private tours – some of our favourites are bicycle tours, food tours and off the beaten track tours.
We love the new experience service Airbnb is now offering. It’s a great way to do smaller more boutique tours with locals – often at much better prices than larger companies.
When I am looking for tours Viator is always the first place I look to get a good idea of what is out there and what I might want to do. Sometimes I end up booking with them and sometimes I find an alternative, it depends on the place and the type of tour I am after. I always opt for private or small groups rather than large groups.
The one thing that isn’t so exciting to book, but you don’t want to get caught without – travel insurance. Be sure to check your credit card package doesn’t cover you already before you book with a third party!
CREDIT CARD COVER
Always be sure to check if you get Travel Insurance cover with your credit card package. At the moment we do so long as we book a certain amount of our trip with our card. Always be sure to read the T&C’s carefully!
I’ve never used them myself but if I did need to book travel insurance this is the first company I would consider. They are global and a large trusted name.
See my My Ultimate Resource Toolkit for lots of handy blogging tools and tips – I’m sharing it all, even my secret little favourites!