When I was a kid I would pour over our family subscription to National Geographic magazines, mapping out my future adventures, completely captivated by the photography of parts unknown. Today, there are dozens of ways to gather ideas for your next trip. Following your favorite bloggers, like Nomadic Matt or Dan Flying Solo can serve as excellent sources of inspiration. So can following travel boards on Pinterest. Popular travel magazines like Condé Nast, Budget Travel, Gourmet Traveller and Lonely Planet will just make you want to quit your job and travel the world!
Like most people, when it comes to flights, I want to find the best value. One thing I have learned is that timing is everything. The best time to book your flight is 48-60 days before your departure date if you are traveling internationally. If you fly on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday you can also save money. Fewer people want to jack up their weekend by flying out on a Saturday. Sometimes flying into alternative airports can save you a couple hundred dollars or more. Make your air miles count for something. If you are going to make more than one trip and don’t forget to join a frequent flyer program. Down the road, it could pay off with a free flight!
Below are a few resources to get you started on planning your next trip! Bon Voyage!
Flight Search Engines
Google Flight. Google flight search is a no-frills way to search for flights online.
Skyscanner. Use Skyscanner if your time is flexible and you are looking for the cheapest flights available. You can also use Skyscanner to book hotels and rent a car.
Aer Lingus. They fly to major cities in the U.S. and Canada, various cities in the U.K. and around Europe. They also fly to Puerto Rico, Sydney, Melbourne, Kuala Lumpur, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Oman, Morocco, and the Canary Islands.
British Airways. BA is one of few airlines serving destinations across six continents.
Emirates. They serve 22 African destinations, 51 Asian, 40 from Europe, 14 Middle Eastern, and 17 destinations from the Americas.
Eva Air. They are one of the world’s top 10 best airlines, especially in Asia.
IcelandAir. Enjoy a free layover in Iceland on your next transatlantic flight. They fly from New York City, Boston, Washington D.C., Orlando, Minneapolis, Denver, Seattle, Halifax, and Toronto, to 25 major European cities, and Reykjavik, Iceland.
JetBlue. They fly between major cities in the northeast, southeast, and western United States; the Caribbean; select cities in Mexico, Central America, and South America.
Singapore Airlines. They fly to 62 international destinations in 32 countries on five continents from Singapore. India and Australia are served by the highest number of destinations with 6 each.
Southwest Airlines. Best known for their above-and-beyond customer service. They fly between major cities throughout the United States; Nassau, Bahamas; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Mexico City, Cancun, and Los Cabos, Mexico.
Qantas. They fly between Austrailian cities as well as major European cities, North American cities, Johannesburg, South Africa, Dubai, Tel Aviv, Rio de Janerio, Santiago and major cities in Asia.
Virgin Atlantic. Choose 3 economy classes; fly economy light, classic or delight. The food and drink are always included. They fly to the US, Caribbean, Asia, Africa, Middle East and Mexico.
Planning Your Route
Google maps can help estimate travel times via different methods of transport. You can download maps to look at later, even when you don’t have access to WiFi.
Rome2Rio uses information from nearly 5,000 transport operators in more than 150 countries to provide travel route options, times and prices from all over the world.
Seat 61 is an incredible resource for planning train travel in Europe.
Agoda compares prices on nearly 2 million hotels and vacation rentals, worldwide.
Airbnb is perfect for longer stays. You can find some amazing and unique accommodation options through Airbnb.
Booking.com has the largest listing of hotels, apartments, b&bs and other special accommodations available.
Holiday Lettings is integrated into the main TripAdvisor site.
Home Away helps you find apartments, beach houses, cabins or condos worldwide.
Hotels Combined works well for those who want to stay at a hotel. It compares rates from all the major hotel booking sites.
Trivago is another hotel search engine that compares prices to help you pick the best options for your stay.
TripAdvisor is a valuable resource if you want to read accommodation reviews and tips. Short term rental properties can now be booked through TripAdvisor.
What are your favorite travel resources? Let us know in the comments below.