While there is no shortage of phenomenal websites that cater to your every travel need, here are my top five that I come back to again and again:
Kiwi is hands down the best tool I have found to book cheap international flights. I know many people prefer sites like Skyscanner, but I have had way more luck with Kiwi than any other site.
Kiwi searches every possible option for how to get you to your destination, whether that be changing airport in London, taking an 11 hour layover in New York, or taking some strange connections in Italy. If you are the kind of person who is up for a little adventure with your flights, you can find some dirt cheap rates on Kiwi.
Kiwi is also great for booking more “by the book” flights, but I find that it really excels when you are looking to book the cheapest flight possible.
While I could spend all day browsing through their different tools for booking flights, hotels, and cars, I tend to primarily use this site for booking flights.
My only word of caution is to make sure that you read the conditions of your flight very carefully. Kiwi utilizes airport transfers, long layovers, and roundabout flights to get you the best rate, so just ensure that you double check what you are booking before you do so.
When it comes to domestic flights, Google Flights is tried and true. Essentially Google Flights works just as you would expect a Google sub-site to work; as a giant search engine. Though Google Flights works amazingly well for international flights as well, I typically prefer to use it for shorter haul flights where the difference between the lowest rate and higher rates isn’t as extreme.
Make note that some budget airlines aren’t included in the Google Flights search parameters. I know with certainty that they don’t include Southwest and I have also read that they do not include RyanAir, Turkish Airlines, and Vueling, though this may have changed.
TripIt is a phenomenal trip organization tool and the only way that I compile my trip details. I find that the free version does everything I would ever want it to do.
I use TripIt to create a single document that details my flight times and details, lodging information (including details on how to check in to non-hotel lodgings), contact information, activities… anything and everything you can think of.
TripIt is an incredibly simple tool that does so much. You can really decide how detailed you want to be. You can use it just to add your dates or travel or drill all the way down in to the nitty gritty of your travel plans.
Once I have built my TripIt, I just print it out, stuff it in some corner of my bag, and just use it as needed to reference my travel details. It has saved my butt more than once!
I use AirBnb to book 95% of my travel lodging. I know it’s not exactly revolutionary to say that AirBnb is a great travel website, but I really don’t think it can be repeated enough.
I know there are competitors to AirBnb on the market, but I haven’t found any other sites that have comparable inventory, prices, and simplicity of booking.
Recently, AirBnb has also started including “Experiences.” While I haven’t tried any of these yet, I would love to hear about your experience if you have!
If you are still booking the old fashioned way *cough* hotels *cough*, it is definitely worth at least taking a look at AirBnb before you book anywhere else!
Hostel World is the most comprehensive hostel booking site around. If you are interested in staying at a hostel or at least checking out what is out there, this is the place to do it.
Hostels have a bad rap, but there are many out there that are incredibly nice and come with cool locations, amenities, and even private rooms.
Hostel World also includes reviews and a score, which can help guide you to places that places where you can get the most bang for your budget.
Hostels are a wonderful place to meet people (especially if you are traveling alone!) and stay in central locations for less. Try to throw away what you have heard about hostels and use Hostel World to guide you to lodging that is as nice as some hotels with a much lower price point!