These travel sites are my go-to resources for great airfare and hotel deals, expert advice and helpful tips.
The Flight Deal
The Flight Deal is hands down my favorite travel site. As you may be
able to guess, The Flight Deal is all about flight deals. Really amazing flight deals! The team typically posts fares that meet their 6 cents per mile criterion every day from many major cities in the U.S. They also occasionally find a glitch fare, helping you to travel to destinations at a ridiculously low price.
Similar to The Flight Deal, Secret Flying is all about finding amazing airfare deals. What's great about this site in particular is that they have both USA Deals (which are really USA and Canada deals) and Euro Deals. Many of the popular deal sites tend to focus mostly on flights originating in the U.S., so it's great to have a section for those trying to find affordable airfare out of Europe.
Another great site for finding deals, I like Airfare Watchdog for those fares that don't always get covered. Case in point: I helped my sister get a fare from Cleveland, Ohio to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for $49 round trip on JetBlue. Yes, you heard me: round trip! All thanks to Airfare Watchdog. They also tweet out deals for very specific days, in case you're flexible with your travel dates.
The Points Guy
The Points Guy is great for anyone who wants to know how to a) use their credit cards to gain the most airline points and b) use those points to your advantage, whether it's upgrading from economy to business or getting halfway across the world for next to nothing. Whatever you're looking to do, if it involves airline points, The Points Guy is your person.
I discovered this website through The Flight Deal and have come to rely on it a lot for finding really great fares. You can't actually purchase a ticket directly on this site, but it gives you an idea of what's out there and then it's just a matter of finding the fare. I usually see the price on ITA Matrix and then head over to the popular travel search engines like Kayak, Orbitz and Expedia to purchase.
Also another amazing site for searching airfare. What's great about Skyscanner is that you're not forced to pick a destination. So, let's say you want to travel but you're not sure where. You can search your hometown airport to anywhere (type in ANY) and it will show you all the deals from your airport. Pretty nice setup, if you ask me.
I find myself increasingly using Google Flights for finding airfare deals. What I like about Google Flights is that you can pick your to and from destinations and how many days you would like to travel and then look on the calendar to see the cheapest dates. I believe you can see fares over the course of a year. It's great for people who know where they want to go but are flexible about when they go there.
Dubbed as the world's most popular frequent flyer community, Flyer Talk is a great site for anyone who's unsure how to make the most of their airline miles. They also have a ton of other up-to-date traveler information and the forums can often be a great resource for people just starting out.
I started using booking when I was living in the UK because I often found the best hotel deals on this site. The whole process is extremely simple and intuitive, not to mention there seem to be free cancellation options on Booking.com more often than not.
Hotels.com is a very solid backup option, and sometimes I end up finding the better deal on this site. One thing I like about Hotels.com is that I occasionally find a promo code or a special deal, and the hotel price is reduced, sometimes by a significant amount.
A great alternative to Booking.com and Hotels.com, Agoda has competitive hotel rates, thorough reviews and plenty of accommodations that allow you to cancel for free up until right before your reservation.
There's nothing like TripAdvisor, in my opinion. I consult this site many times while planning my trips, and I have even found some great apartment rentals through this site. While I usually read the reviews with a grain of salt, I have gained extremely valuable information from TripAdvisor, including where to stay, what to do, where to eat, how to get around and what to prepare for, both as a solo female traveler and as someone traveling with others.
The New York Times: 36 Hours
While not exactly a typical guide, I love checking out the 36 Hours features in the New York Times travel section. What's great about it is that, because you only have 36 hours, they go straight for what they see as the most worthwhile experiences. I don't ever go to everywhere they write about, but it has led to me having some of my best restaurant experiences around the world.
I love AFAR. The brand is all about experiential traveling and, similar to TripAdvisor and The New York Times 36 Hours, I've had some great experiences that I don't think I would have known about had it not been for AFAR. A really great feature of the site is that it allows you to set up trip plans and add recommendations from other travelers to those plans, which has come in handy on more than one occasion.
This is a great resource for those of us who love to do food research before going on a trip (I know I'm not the only one!). Just like with other forums, I read everything with a grain of salt (maybe I'm just a skeptical person?) and I always cross-check with TripAdvisor and other sites. Yes, I'm a travel research nerd, and I'm okay with that.
Now you know some of my favorite resources. Feel free to message me with some of yours. Happy traveling!