Before you go on your next adventure, you might spend hours planning for it. These top travel websites can help you make planning your next trip a breeze.
Airbnb started as a place to find cheap lodging without having to pay the high nightly rates and fees charged by traditional hotels and rental homes agencies. Now, you can book lodging and travel excursions.
Some of the excursion opportunities include making a handmade hat in London and paddle boarding in Dublin. A few of these excursions might have only been offered at resorts with the corresponding resort price tag.
Another recent addition to Airbnb are online travel guides for Airbnb hotspots. Airbnb is teaming up with local hosts to create recommendations to their favorite restaurants, shops, music joints, etc. And don’t forget that you can earn and redeem these points for Airbnb.
You have probably seen a TripAdvisor award posted in the lobby or front door of a hotel or restaurant you have recently visited. While you can book travel on TripAdvisor, it’s best to only use their “Things to Do” feature that quickly lists all the best activities and traveler reviews.
There has been some recent criticism about peer review sites including TripAdvisor and Yelp about the legitimacy of some reviews. As with everything online, reach each review with a grain of salt and look for consistent patterns in recent reviews. More than likely they will be true. This can be a good way to also find out if an attraction or restaurant is offering a seasonal special or undergoing renovations that can affect your travel plans.
Skipplagged needs to be your go-to travel website if you want to find the cheapest connecting flights. Using the legal “hidden city” fare strategy, Skiplagged will search for unconventional routes that can save you money.
For example, if you are trying to fly from Atlanta to Orlando, the direct flight can be more expensive than flying a flight that flies from Atlanta to Dallas-Fort Worth after connecting through Orlando. Let’s say the direct flight costs $250 and the connecting flight costs $130. Even though you take the exact same flight from Atlanta to Orlando, you pay less for the longer itinerary and you hop off the plane in Orlando.
If you plan on traveling this way, remember a few things:
- Never check a bag (it will continue to the final destination)
- Don’t enter your frequent flier information as airlines can freeze your frequent flier account if you don’t plan on boarding the connecting flight(s).
While Skiplagged was taken to court for this airline ticket strategy, Skiplagged won the lawsuit as this is a legal booking strategy.
Priceline can be an adventure within an adventure as you can reserve pre-negotiated Express Deals or bid on Name Your Own Price hotel nights and rental cars where the brand name is a mystery until you pay for the reservation. If you want to save a few bucks and don’t care where you sleep, besides the hotel star rating and neighborhood, Priceline can be an exciting travel website.
You can also book regular plane tickets, hotel rooms, and rental cars on Priceline where you do know the name of the carrier or hotel brand before you complete the booking process. Priceline has competitive pricing is one of the best third party travel websites.
FlyerTalk Forums might have a vintage appearance, but, it’s still a very active travel site. You will be able to find threads about deeply discounted airline tickets, announcements of upcoming routes, and other helpful airline tips that can help you plan your next adventure.
Most of the news comes from travel experts, not travel newbies and wannabes that could possibly fleece you and waste your precious research time. This forum is free to use and if you are waiting to book a bargain flight deal, check back often as new offers are continually being listed.
Google Flights is very similar in appearance and functionality to the Google search engine. It’s fast and simple. You probably won’t find any surprise bargains, but, you will be able to quickly find the lowest fares for your travel days as you can filter flight itineraries by airline, alliance, and airport.
The primary downside is that you cannot check the prices of Southwest Airlines flights. Then again, Southwest doesn’t provide their ticket prices to any third-party travel website.
If you aren’t ready to commit to buying a ticket today, you can track a specific flight itinerary or track the general prices flying to a specific destination. One nifty feature of Google Flights is “Explore Destinations” that allows you to view potential activities at a destination and have a birds-eye view of airfare prices to any destination on the map when you enter your departure city.
Top Travel Websites for Planning Your Next Adventure – Forbes