I’m always planning trips. Since we travel full-time that means a LOT of planning. Below you’ll find the companies we use when arranging our bookings.
Some of the links below are affiliate links (the ones in orange). Don’t be afraid of affiliate links. Although we get a small commission whenever you use them to book something, they don’t cost you a cent. The companies we use are also the best companies in the travel industry. As I say up top, they’re all companies that we use ourselves.
If you enjoy this blog please consider using our affiliate links when booking your next hotel, car rental or tour. You might not be planning a trip anytime soon but if you keep us in mind for the next time it would be greatly appreciated. It helps support this blog and allows me the time to write all the free content you see on this website.
Booking.com for hotel stays. We are increasingly also using them for apartment stays.
Airbnb.com for apartments. We’re big Airbnb users and have used them 300+ nights/year over the last few years. If you haven’t signed up to Airbnb, please sign up using the link above – you’ll save $45 CAD (or approx. $35 USD) on your first booking.
Rentalcars.com for car rental. We don’t rent cars very often but some places (like Croatia and South Africa) you can’t do without. Some of our best adventures have actually been road trips where I’ve rented a car (like our South Africa road trip).
GetyourGuide.com for tours. Sometimes you HAVE to pre-book a tour. When we were in Krakow for example we missed out on the Wieliczka Salt Mine because they had no openings that week. We usually like to wing things, but if there is something we really want to see we’ll pre-book.
Stride Travel. For multi-day excursions, most tours specialized for the 50 – 75 age bracket….like the 8 day tour we did in Georgia and Armenia.
Skyscanner is great for searching for the best priced flights. It’ll compare airfares between the major airlines and let you select the one you want. You are then directed to the airline site where you can complete the booking. Even if I book through another source, I’ll always check prices on Skyscanner.
Expedia also compares the airlines for the best priced flights and they’re usually in the same price range as Skyscanner. But what I prefer about Expedia is that you book directly with them. It’s just easier and cleaner in my opinion. For this reason I’ve actually booked more flights with Expedia than I have with Skyscanner. But both are worth checking whenever planning a flight. The other thing about Expedia is that you can save a lot of money when bundling (ie. combining) your flight and hotel stay.
Kayak is one of the most popular flight search engines. The advantage to Kayak is that it is reputed to have the most flexible search engine for flights and will look at all the possibilities – looking for the cheapest rates and not necessarily the most convenient. Clicking on a deal, you’ll be directed to the airline or a 3rd party booking site. This is both the advantage (ie. it’ll find the best rate for you even if dealing with a 3rd party site) and a disadvantage (unlike Expedia, you won’t be booking directly with Expedia).
Seat61.com. We do a lot of train travel and “The Man in Seat Sixty-One” definitely offers the best advice on the internet on train travel. Whenever I have to plan a train trip the first thing I check is this site.
For all travel in Asia
12Go Asia. Whether bus, train, or plane, we use this company to pre-book all our Asian travel. Prices are the best, plus you can pre-buy your reservations on buses and trains (which can otherwise be a hassle).
Instead of Taxis…
Uber. We started using it in South Africa because that’s what all the locals use. And we fell in love with Uber because 1) you know what you’re going to pay before getting in the car, 2) you never have to handle cash. Anyone thinking of travelling should get Uber installed on their phone. Because taxi drivers the world over make it a mission to screw over tourists.
Scams and things to look out for
Travelscams. Country by country, scams to look out for…