Ready to book a trip to anywhere?
We have been traveling the world extensively for 24+ years and have come to rely on a few trusted travel brands and websites for booking our own accommodation, flights, rental cars, tours, and travel insurance.
We always start our travel research with these well known and trusted booking sites listed below. Bookmark this page and then come to it whenever you are ready to book a trip! It’s all the best places for booking in the one handy place.
his post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Read our Disclosure
- Booking.com We love the diversity of accommodation styles and their free cancellation on most rooms and a best-price guarantee. We often book apartment rentals via here too.
- Hotels.com has a variety of accommodation types. They will soon be a part of Expedia’s One Key Travel Rewards program offering more discounts.
- Expedia.com Is great for booking hotels, airfares, tours and packages that include all of the above. They have special member prices through their One Key Travel rewards program. I’ve found good discounts using that before.
- VRBO: We use VRBO for standalone vacation rentals. We like their more robust search capabilities than Airbnb but comparable prices. They are also part of Expedia’s One Key Travel rewards program.
- HostelWorld: How wonderful this hostel booking site would have been in my early backpacker years. We just had to show up in the destination and hope for the best. Now you can search and book the ideal hostel for you around the world. With over 16,500 hostels in 180 countries, there’s always room for a new adventure!
- Trusted Housesitters: Discover free & unique homestays around the world, in exchange for caring for adorable pets. This is also a great service to use if you are traveling and need someone to look after your pets for free. We loved having a sitter mind our cats and home on our 4-week trip to Europe.
- Skyscanner is the flight comparison site we use. It’s simple to use and fast. It searches millions of flights on over a thousand airlines, including budget carriers.
- We always check our mileage points programs to see if we can find flight deals through them.
- Going is a membership site (free and paid) that will help you find flight deals. Most deals are 40-90% off normal prices with great itineraries from the best airlines. Flexibility with time and destination helps!
- It’s all in the name with CheapOair: great deals, price match promise, easy cancellation!
- WayAway is an innovative flight aggregator that features the WayAway Plus membership plan for cashback on travel deals.
- Priority Pass. If you fly regularly, this membership can save a lot of money on airport food as it’s all inside their partner airport lounges for free! Each membership entitles you to bring one guest into the airport lounge. Since both Craig and I have a membership, we can bring our two daughter in on family trips. It’s been a huge money saver for us.
Getting Around: Book Rental Cars, Buses & Train Travel
- Discover Cars is our preferred car rental booking site. Ithas the best booking platform for finding deals that is user friendly and backed by great customer service.
- RentalCars.com is another car rental comparison site we love for comparable prices, no hidden fees, a price match guarantee and 48-hour cancellation policies.
- In Europe you can use Trainline to book your tickets.
- Check Rail Europe for price comparisons and easy booking.
- Omio has more than 1,000 trusted travel partners across trains, buses, flights, ferries, and airport transfers, so that you can focus on the journey. Mostly for European travel
- Busbud helps you find cheap bus and train tickets around the world
- Flixbus is for booking cheap bus tickets in the US
- 12Go Train, Bus, Ferry, Transfer & Flight Tickets Booking in Asia & Worldwide
- BikesBooking.com is an online booking service for motorcycles, scooters, quads, and bicycles all over the world.
Globus, Cosmos & Avalon Waterways Group Trip
For small group tours with flexibility and a focus on supporting local, we highly recommend the Globus Family of Brands which include Cosmos and Avalon Waterways for river cruising. We are long term partners of theirs and have experienced their tours through Jordan, Northern California, Ireland & a Danube River Cruise.
All have been exceptional and we’ve secured a special discount just for our readers below.
GLOBUS DISCOUNT JUST FOR YOU!
We’ve secured an exclusive yTravel discount: Save $100 per person on select 2023 and 2024 Globus and Avalon Waterway Vacations. Use the code: YTRAVEL when booking online at the Globus, Cosmos, and Avalon Waterways websites, by calling Globus and Avalon Waterways directly, or booking with a preferred Travel Advisor. Terms & Conditions.
Tours & Attractions
- The Get Your Guide tour company offers many local tours and attractions in destinations around the world. They have the lowest prices, guaranteed — no booking fees or hidden charges. You can pre-book tickets and skip the line at top attractions and cancel up to 24 hours before.
- Tiqets are another great option for tours and attractions, skip the line tickets and more. I have found timed tickets and tours here for attractions I have not been able to find elsewhere
- Viator also offer amazing tours, attractions and tickets in destinations around the world. You can reserve now and pay later so you can book your spot but keep your options open!
- For small group tours in Europe, we highly recommend Take Walks (includes Devour Tours) and LivTours.
- We cannot recommend Devour Tours (Owned by Walks of Italy) high enough. They are all about supporting and preserving local culture and food traditions. Their food tours are over Europe and North America
- Go City are great attraction passes to save a ton on top attractions, tours and experiences, plus hidden gems all hand-picked by local experts. They’re available for cities all over the world. We used a 3-attraction Go City for Rome and have also used a Go City for London on a previous Europe trip.
- Sightseeing Passes are also another favorite for saving money on attractions. They also have quirky attractions, local tours and discounts on restaurants and shopping. We saved a lot using a NYC Sightseeing Pass, and a New Orleans Sightseeing Pass.
- City Pass is another attraction pass that will save you in major cities. Their card is usually limited to just the main attractions in top US cities.
- Undercover Tourist is the place to buy theme park attraction tickets at discounted prices – their tickets are the Exact Same Tickets you receive from the theme parks! They help you save time and money on your trip to Disneyland California, Walt Disney World Florida, Universal Orlando, Universal Hollywood, and many more attractions. When you buy your tickets online there are no hidden fees with free shipping and tax included! Print your tickets at home and go straight to the front gate to save time!
- TicketNetwork – the sports, concerts, and theater tickets you want. TicketNetwork is an online exchange where sellers list tickets to sports, theater, and concert events around the world
- EatWith: With cooking classes and workshops, EatWith connects guests with friendly, hand-selected hosts for unique, immersive experiences from the comfort of their own home.
- ToursbyLocals: As the name suggests, you can receive unique and personalized private tours with local guides in any destination.
eSims & VPN
- Airalo is the best place to purchase an eSim before traveling to a foreign country. You need an unlocked phone for it to work. Simply purchase and activate on your phone and it will be ready to use upon landing. They have very competitive rates and will be cheaper than purchasing sims upon arrival, our using international roaming fees.
- NordVPN is the best service to use if requiring a secure VPN when traveling – especially useful if traveling to China.
Buy Travel Insurance
We always say “if you can’t afford travel insurance, then you can’t afford to travel”. Once you have booked your flights, it’s important to protect your investment by getting travel insurance?
- Safety Wing: is travel medical insurance for nomads. They cover people from all over the world, while outside their home country.
- Etka: Travel Insurance for worldwide travel. Easy to use with comparable rates and instant polices. Great for those longer term, nomadic, and work abroad travelers. We believe its an essential travel purchase.
- Cover-More Insurance is a great travel insurance option for Australians.
- Visitors Coverage: which provides travel insurance for millions of global travelers in over 175 countries. They are the largest provider of visitor’s insurance for inbound travel to the U.S.
- Allianz Travel Insurance. We have annual travel insurance polices with Allianz. Really worth getting an annual policy if you travel frequently.
- World Nomads travel insurance has been designed by travelers for travelers, with coverage for more than 150 activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation and more.