Tips & Tools

Travel magic doesn't happen by accident (well sometimes, but rarely). I've put together this list of travel resources to help make the travel planning portion of your trip easy breezy!

Go to: Alternative Lodging | Air Travel | Auto | Gear & Products | Money

Alternative Lodging

Camelot – become a live in guardian of a vacant property
Castle and Palace Hotels – a directory of castles and palaces to stay at
Couch Surfing - stay with locals who are willing to host travelers
Farm Stay – stay on farms or ranches
Home Exchange – swap homes with another traveler
House Carers – house-sit or find a house-sitter
Unusual Hotels of the World – a directory of quirky and unique places to stay around the world

AIRPLANES

Find The Best Airfare

I find airfare hunting one of the least fun parts of travel planning, but a little time spent in this area can lead to big savings.

Adioso - ability to set alerts for prices below a set $ amount, contextual searching (Austin to NYC under $300)
Airfare Watchdog – set a low fare alert and get updates by email when the price matches your need
Hipmunk - simple to use, graphs out your airfare & airline choices for easy comparison
Google Flight Search - easy to use, multiple airline, great sorting options
Kayak –  flexible date search, ability to search for vacation packages
Expedia - general flight search or flight/hotel/car package search
Orbitz – general flight search or flight/hotel/car package search
Travelocity - cute gnome, good sales, general flight search & vacation package search
Priceline - Bid on airline tickets or use conventional airfare search
Yapta – Track flight prices before you buy and after you buy so that you can get a refund if the airline drops the price

Research Airlines & Airports

SkyTrax – independent traveler reviews of airlines and airports
Airlikes – airline & airport reviews
The Guide to Sleeping in Airports – individual reviews of airports with best and worst lists (just in case)
Layover Guide – what to do if you have a layover (by airport)

Frequent Flyer Miles

Travel Hacking Cartel - helps you earn miles and gives advice on how to use them
FlyerGuide – pretty much an encyclopedia of frequent flyer information
GoMiles – keep track of your frequent flyer miles
Award Wallet – frequent flyer miles tracker
Credit Card Tune-Up – online calculator that helps you pick the best rewards card for your spending profile
Flyer Talk – great forums to discuss frequent flyer miles and offers

Find the Best Seat on the Plane

SeatGuru SeatExpert SkyTrax


AUTO

Rentals

Auto Europe – Discount Car Rentals in Europe
Kemwel – car rental in Europe


Gear & Products

Minimus.biz – travel sized products
The Versalette – one piece of clothing 15 ways to wear it (discontinued but you can sign up to find out if a new company will be making this)
Platy Soft Bottle – easy to pack water bottle
Grid It – organize small items for packing

MONEY

Simple Travel Budget Planning Worksheet
Daily Travel Budget Planning Worksheet.