Best Travel Planning Sites
These are the companies and resources we use to plan and book our travel.
We consider these the best for comparing baseline fares & rates and finding great travel deals.
We would never be without travel insurance and have been thankful to have it on a number of occasions so believe this is the most important and first part of travel planning.
We use World Nomads Travel Insurance as it offers more flexibility at the best rates, especially for longer-term travel.
Travel insurance: simple & flexible
We find World Nomads is one of the most popular travel insurance companies amongst other long term travellers for the following reasons:
- You can buy and claim online, even after you’ve left home.
- Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries.
- It’s designed for cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities for adventurous travellers.
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What to Check Before You Buy Travel Insurance
It also pays to check if your house contents insurance covers any more expensive items such as camera gear while you are travelling. Many travel insurance policies do not cover associated equipment such as multiple camera lenses, tripods etc. These “accessories” are often grouped in as being one camera.
Best Accommodation Booking Sites
Booking.com has become our “go to” accommodation booking platform. You will often find similar properties as on Airbnb but for less, because there are no hefty service or cleaning fees.
Many bookings will also offer free cancellation up to a few days prior to your stay so you can be a little more flexible with your travel.
They also have a very easy to use App to manage your booking on the go which includes all your booking information, contact details, and maps to help you easily find your accommodation.
Become a Genius
Frequent bookers can earn “Genius Status” very quickly which gives you 10% discount every time you book and in some instances, additional perks such as late checkout and airport transfers.
A little like Booking.com, Expedia has a huge range of out of the box accommodation options from standard hotels through to holiday homes, even houseboats. What we love about this site for accommodation booking is the search functionality, especially the free cancellation option. It is great to know your accommodation is booked but also comforting to know you can change your plans at no cost.
What Expedia does very well is a “Bundle and Save” option for hotel, flight and car combinations and a Last Minute search for great deals at – the last minute!.
Search Accommodation or Travel Bundles
We have used Airbnb more times than we can count over the past six years. As full time travellers, it is inevitable you will end up in an Airbnb. However, we will say, it is not always the best value and lately, more often than not we bypass it in favour of Booking.com.
Get Long Term Discounts on Airbnb
Where Airbnb still holds its own is for long term rentals. You can get all the comforts of home and sometimes good discounts.
Look out for properties offering seven days or one-month discounts. These can sometimes be as high as 40%. They are not always advertised so play around with dates and look at the difference in price to identify long term rental discounts.
We love this search function. It’s really really simple and a great planning tool. Enter your destination and your dates and it gives you the normal list of airlines showing the best price. Click on the date bar and it gives you a 2-month view of the best average airfares which is fantastic when you are flexible with your dates.
Don’t know where to go- Just enter your departure port and expand the map, It will show you where you can go for how much. We only use Google Flights for search even though you can click through to purchase, it won’t always take you directly to the airline, it may take you to a less than reputable third party booking site.
We prefer to take the details of the deal direct to the airline’s site or book through a reputable third-party site such as Expedia.
With access to a huge database of the best fares & rates which include local and low-cost carriers some of the other sites overlook, Expedia is a great tool for booking flights online. Again, we love the search functionality of Expedia especially the flexible dates view on the fares. Even with fares, you have access to “Bundle and Save” options with flights, hotels and car rentals which is very easy to navigate.
We often use AutoEurope all over the world as they not only offer the best local rates but often have better cancellation policies and fairer excess rates than other big car rental companies. This is always our first search place for car rental.
Want to get another cost comparison or AutoEurope don’t cover the country your in, Expedia usually will and are pretty competitive with pricing. Again, great search functionality and exceptional savings to be had when bundling flights and/or hotels.
The Man in Seat 61 has probably the most comprehensive information on train and overland travel around the world. (He also dabbles in ferries, timetables and ticket purchases). We are yet to find a country that Seat 61 doesn’t have up to date comprehensive information on overland travel. You don’t need any other site for this.
TOURS, TICKETS & TRANSFERS
These are the two biggest online platforms for booking local tour guides and activities all over the world. Anything from less than an hour to multiple day tours covering everything from transport, tickets, skip the line access tickets to guided tours.
While they both offer a similar service, the products may vary slightly and we often find Get Your Guide is cheaper for the same or similar product.
Perfect for searching tours of three days or more. Search over 20,000 tours around the world by travel type or destination.