These are my favorite companies to use while traveling the world. They consistently return the best deals and user experience.
Flight booking tools
- Skyscanner – a great tool for finding the cheapest flights with lots of filter options.
- Kiwi.com – one of my favorite flight search engines, especially when you’re really flexible with the dates you travel. Kiwi allows you to choose specific dates, date ranges, or length of travel to multiple destinations at once so comparing prices is easy. Their Nomad tool is also handy if you’re planning multiple flights in a row and aren’t sure about the cheapest order in which to do things!
- Google Flights – I’ll often start with this tool to get a broad overview of flights available. Their discovery map tool is also helpful.
- Scott’s Cheap Flights (US) – I love SCF for saving hundreds, or even thousands, on flights every year. There is a free version that sends you some great deals. But for just $49/year, you can get customized, comprehensive flight deals sent directly to your inbox, personalized to your departure airports. The (paid) Premium membership ensures you don’t miss a single deal. I think it’s safe to say this one easily pays for itself, and quickly!
- Jack’s Flight Club (UK/Europe) – This is a great alternative for those of us in the UK and Europe. It’s a very similar concept to SCF. I love their app feature that sends you instant notifications for cheap flights, because sometimes a deal is already gone by the time you look at an email in your inbox!
Accommodation booking tools
- Agoda – Agoda has got some fantastic deals lately. Using their booking system, I was able to stay in a presidential suite at a 4-star resort in Mauritius for practically half the price offered on most other sites!
- Booking.com – a gold standard in accommodation booking. If a hotel is anywhere, it’s probably on Booking.com. I also really love Booking’s loyalty program Genius, which has allowed me to score some pretty sweet deals.
- Hostelworld – also a gold standard in accommodation booking, but for hostels. If you want to get the best, most comprehensive reviews of hostels from travelers just like you, check Hostelworld first. Then see whether Hostelworld or Booking.com gives you a better deal with loyalty rewards.
- Rentalcars.com – the most comprehensive rental car search tool to price compare between the top reputable companies.
- FlixBus – my favorite way to travel by bus across Europe. Coaches have heating and AC, toilets, and charging ports. You can often get between major cities for less than $15 with FlixBus.
- Eurail – if you’re looking to ride the rails through Europe, the Eurail pass is an excellent option. It’s an all-in-one ticket that allows you to visit 33 countries across the continent in comfort. The Eurail pass is the non-EEA-citizen version of the Interrail pass.
Guide- and attraction-finding tools
- GetYourGuide – if you’re interested in finding guided tours at your destination, GetYourGuide is the way to go. From food tours to private walking tours, you’ll definitely find something you’re interested in. Seeing reviews from other travelers and booking is easy.
- Intrepid Travel – if you want to go on a group tour, Intrepid Travel offers the best. Their tours are small, intimate groups led by local guides and with a small ecological footprint.
- Viator – Viator has tons of activities, experiences, and tours available for thousands of destinations around the world. They’re a great way to add a fun activity onto the itinerary.
- TripAdvisor – TripAdvisor has loads of travel booking tools, but my favorite use for them is looking up top-rated restaurants by other travelers. Their tour/activity recommendations can be decent. However, their lists of top attractions at certain destinations might not be more than “which attractions will be the most crammed with tourists?”
Favorite $0 foreign transaction fee travel rewards credit cards
- Chase Sapphire Preferred – my first travel rewards card, this $0 foreign transaction fee card has mighty rewards for the frequent traveler. At the time of writing, meet the $4,000 spending minimum within the first 3 months and get 80,000 bonus miles worth at least $800 to put towards flights, hotels, and more! In addition, this card has excellent insurance to cover expenses if your flight gets delayed or cancelled, or your baggage gets delayed or lost.
- CapitalOne Venture Rewards – my current favorite travel rewards card with $0 foreign transaction fees. Besides their price prediction and protection travel booking portal, I love their comprehensive car rental insurance. At the time of writing, earn 60,000 bonus miles worth over $600 when you meet the $3,000 spending minimum in the first 3 months.
Travel insurance tools
- World Nomads travel insurance – after getting covered for the thousands of dollars in rental car damage and my stolen camera after thieves stole my belongings on a beach in Saint Martin, Things can and do happen when you travel. Don’t risk it.