My Favorite Travel Planning Resources
Planning the ultimate trip depends on utilizing the right resources. And, lucky for you, I’ve compiled this list of the best and most trusted travel services and products I use when I’m crafting a trip. Enjoy!
Activities and Tour Planning
This is my first stop when researching awesome things to see and do in a destination. Get Your Guide is the web’s largest resource for booking tours, tickets, and excursions. Their pricing usually beats other booking sites and their customer service and cancelation policy excellent. Whether you want to watch whales in Boston or take a taco tour in San Diego, you’ll find it here!
Like Get Your Guide, Viator is another excellent place to research and book tours, activities, and excursions. They also have free cancelation on most tours and offer a “reserve now & pay later” option to lock down activities you might be interested in without being locked in. Not sure you’re brave enough for the helicopter Night Flight over Las Vegas? No worries, reserve now and if you chicken out, you can cancel up to 24 hours prior for free.
From theme parks to ski resorts to city passes, Undercover Tourist is THE place to get your discount tickets. They provide authentic attraction tickets at discounted prices. They also offer insider planning tips and superior customer service. Their Wait Times app has over a million downloads and they pride themselves on helping families save time and money.
Accomodations and Transportation
Hotels are cool and all but when you are traveling with the whole family (and the dog), room to run is essential. We find awesome, unique vacation rentals for the same price (or less in most cases) per night as a hotel with VRBO. We save even more money when staying in a vacation rental that allows us to cook our own meals and keep up with our laundry.
Rentalcars.com is the world’s largest rental car provider with service in over 60,000 locations and customer support in over 40 languages, it makes booking a rental car seamless. Most bookings have free cancelations plus they have guaranteed price matching, making rentalcars.com my go-to car rental service whether I need a small economy car or a large van for the whole crew.
No one wants to dwell on the things that could potentially go wrong while traveling but, unfortunately, bad things can and do happen. That’s why travelers’ insurance is a must!
Designed for travelers and explorers by travelers and explorers, World Nomads covers everything from trip and gear coverage to emergency medical care and evacuations. One of the oldest and most trusted insurers around, World Nomads covers over 200 activities, offers 24/7 emergency assistance, and can be purchased (and extended) on the go!
My Go-to Travel Gear
Like most people, Amazon is my go-to when it comes to shopping. But did you know you can compile lists of your favorite items to share with your friends? You can even add comments to each item explaining why you love it! Take a look at my What’s in My Trunk – My Family Road Trip Gear to see what I mean. It even has my favorite road trip gear for our dog!
While you’re at it, take a peek at my What’s In My Camera Bag list to see my favorite camera, lens, and tech gear that make up my travel photography kit!
Every great exploration starts with a little guidance and my sagging bookcases have an entire section dedicated just to guidebooks. While I have an array of different travel guides, those published by National Geographic, DK Eyewitness, and Moon make the most appearances. I especially appreciate that they are written by knowledgable locals, brimming with detailed maps, and packed with colored photographs.
I’ve always been a nature geek and since discovering these handy little guides in high school, I’ve kept an ever-growing collection of National Audubon Field Guides. Anytime I’m heading out to explore and photograph somewhere new, I slip one (or more) of these compact, travel-sized books into my pack.
I’m sure by now you have realized I LOVE reading. And as much as I love the feel and smell of a real book, packing a library everywhere I go is out of the question. But thankfully my free Kindle account allows us to read on any of our devices, anywhere. And my waterproof Paperwhite makes reading pool or beachside easy.
Additionally, when I can’t sit and read (like when I’m driving) my Audible membership comes to the rescue. And because my membership provides 1 monthly credit towards any Premier Plus title, exclusive audible Originals, and unlimited listening to audiobooks and podcasts, my Audible library is constantly growing!