These are some of my favorite travel resources that help me plan, book, and document all of my trips. If you've got the travel bug but you're at a loss with where to start planning, read through these travel resources and be sure to check out this post on ways to simplify travel planning when you're feeling overwhelmed!
FOR FLIGHTS - SKYSCANNER
Skyscanner has been my number one tried and trusted flight search engine for years! And the main reason is because of its versatility. If you are flexible, you can search flights across an entire month, you can check flights into nearby airports, and my favorite feature - you can check flights from a destination airport to anywhere in the world!
FOR BUSES - FLIXBUS
Right now Flixbus only operates within Europe and the United States, but if you are traveling on either of those continents, Flixbus is a cheap and comfortable way to get around! I used Flixbus multiple times throughout my study abroad semester and the outlets, free WiFi, and easy-to-use app made each trip so smooth and enjoyable!
FOR TRAINS AND EVERYTHING ELSE - ROME2RIO
I love Rome2Rio because it shows you the best ways to get from Point A to Point B anywhere in the world. And when I say best way, that includes planes, trains, buses, cars, and even ferries! Because this search engine encompasses nearly all modes of transportation, it is a great way to start your travel planning because understanding the options available to you can give you a starting point.
FOR HOTELS - BOOKING.COM
I only book hotels through booking.com. Their directory of hotels is extensive and all the important information you need to know about a hotel (like the amenities and nearby attractions) is front and center. Their payment and cancellation policies are super flexible too.
FOR CAMPING - HIPCAMP
Hipcamp is the modern way to book campsites! You can browse their wide selection of unique campsites across the United States that include accommodations like treehouses, yurts, airstreams, tiny houses and more. But there are plenty of tent camping sites on the most incredible pieces of land, too.
FOR HOSTELS - HOSTELWORLD
Hostels are an amazing accommodation option, and they are not just for college students! Hostels are affordable and fun, not to mention a great way to meet other travelers! Hostelworld is a huge database of hostels all over the world and has tons of helpful blog posts to help you pick a destination and hostel that's best for you.
BLOGGING AND JOURNALING
FOR BLOGGING - WIX
I used to blog on Wordpress because that's what other successful bloggers told me to do. That's the only reason. It was easy enough to set up and figure out, but I didn't like how difficult it was to customize my site. I had used Wix before for other projects and loved how easy it was to use and how many customization and design options I had. So after months of feeling uninspired to blog on my unimpressive Wordpress site, I created a Wix website for my blog and it was the best decision I could have made!
FOR TRACKING FLIGTS - APP IN THE AIR
App In The Air is such a cool app that tracks details about all the flights you've taken! Enter your boarding pass details (or let the app import them directly from your email - how cool is that) and App In The Air will present all the flights you've taken on a map. And it'll give you statistics about your flight history too! For example, as of writing this, I've flown a total of 56,194 miles and 133 hours!
FOR DIGITAL TRAVEL JOURNALING - POLARSTEPS
Maybe you're not a full-on travel blogger but you still like to journal and record memories from your trips. There are a billion travel journaling apps out there and I've tried far too many of them. My favorite though, by far, is Polarsteps. I love that it tracks your location automatically and shows all of your steps on an actual map because it makes it so easy to go back and assign your photos and thoughts from each part of your travels. And then for your friends and family following along (or for when you look back years later) Polarsteps makes it so easy to read through your journal in a consecutive and seamless way!
CREDIT CARD - CHASE SAPPHIRE
I would never recommend signing up to a credit card just for the travel rewards. But if you're in the market for a new (or your first!) credit card and want to earn travel rewards in the process, I can't recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred card enough. Here are the details - every dollar spent on your card equates to points that can be redeemed for cash back, gift cards, and of course, travel!
Depending on your spending habits, points might add up quickly or it might take a little while to rack up anything significant. But there is a special offer running right now that might be worth taking advantage of! If you sign up for the card using the link below and spend $4,000 in the first three months, you'll get 60,000 extra points (which equates to $750 to be redeemed toward travel)!
So, if you are looking for a credit card and you plan on spending a couple thousand dollars in the next few months, it might be a good time to look into the Chase Sapphire Preferred card to redeem those bonus points and apply them toward travel. But if you know you won't be spending $4,000 in the next three months it might not be worth you while.