Our go-to, especially for domestic flights in the US. For International flights our favorite features are their “hacker fares” and the option to enter a multi-airport itinerary.
This is a new one for us but it’s quickly becoming a favorite! Great interface and extremely user friendly. Consistently finds some of the lowest prices on international flights and is very easy to toggle between dates in order to find the best deal.
One of the more fun options, and being that it’s owned by one of the most powerful search engines, one of the most thorough flight searches as well. You can search potential destinations by activity, date range, and continent. Want to go to Europe? You can search the entire continent for the cheapest ticket.
A great search engine that shows a lot of smaller of budget airlines that don’t show up on other search engines. We have this app and almost always check it before buying.
This is an app (no website) and it’s one that is easy and fun to use when finding deals on travel within the US especially. We met a travelling sales rep who claimed this was him “company secret” to always scoring cheap airfare.
Food + Lodging
The top dog when it comes to hotel, restaurant, and activity reviews. If you’re using a guide book like Lonely Planet or Rough Guides, it’s worth checking the last few reviews of the place to make sure it’s still as good as the book says. Great for finding new or niche restaurants and we love that the app shows distance and directions from your current location.
A great website for checking reviews, location, and deals on hotels. No cancellation fees or credit card required to make reservations is a big bonus. Their inventory of hotels is thorough and the interface is easy to use, even without the app. Need proof of accommodation for a visa or border crossing? Reserve it here.
Our favorite service when we want to find unique accommodations. Rent from local homeowners and escape the travel scene (no tours and services being offered), cook a great meal, and explore the neighborhood. Hosts, being locals, can give unique insights into their cities. If you don’t have an account yet, you can get $30 off your first stay.
The best site for booking hostels, and the only site we use to do it. It has a hug inventory, prices are accurate and it’s interface is great for seeing what amenities are available, location, and room options. We especially like how in the list preview you can see whether or not breakfast is included.
This website allows you to make a profile and message locals who offer their couches or spare rooms for free. It’s a great way to save money while meeting locals (who can tell you and sometimes even show you around their city). If you’re not keen on spending the night for free there are also meet-up groups available.
A new concept and one we are dying to try. Local chefs and home cooks organize dinner party’s and post their menus (each one sets their price). Travelers can sign up, wine and dine with a local, and meet fellow foodies while experiencing a different kind of dining experience.
Trip insurance is one of our first – and most welcome – expenses on all of our travels. We’ve listed more reasons here, but this is the company we use and love. It’s recommended by Lonely Planet and National Geographic so you know it’s good!
We tend to be procrastinators, which probably has something to do with how much we love this website. You can truly find anything and prices are always fair (if not lower than normal). A free trial of Amazon Prime is enough time to get free 2-day shipping on all your last minute packing items.
Another favorite when looking for great – deeply discounted – hiking, camping, and technical gear. Their customer service is top-notch and first time buyers get $10 off their orders.
I always cross-reference Backcountry with this site just in case. Really great discounts and customer service is great as well.
Not only is it my favorite place on earth, it’s my favorite brand as well. We treat our Patagonia pieces as investments and we’re happy to support a crazy forward-thinking and ethical company. I try to stick to discount sites but several times a year Patagonia themselves have huge sales with up to 40% off.