There are so many travel websites out there it’s seriously hard to know which ones are the best. It’s also one of the top questions I get asked from family and friends; what websites do you use when booking a trip?
The thing is, not everyone is going to use the same websites. If they did there would be no need for the millions of other ones that are out there. Not only that, my list is always changing. With new websites popping up all the time, I’m always trying to discover the next best thing to help booking vacations easier.
When it comes to using travel websites though there are a few key things that I always look for: usability, aesthetics, and price. It’s one thing for a website to look nice and easy to use but if it’s going to have the highest prices around then I’m going to move one.
So what travel websites do we use for booking our vacations? Check out the list below!
If I’m looking at booking a hotel I solely use this website. There are so many things I love about Booking.com it’s hard to define only one. The website is super easy to use. You can lay out the hotels by list, filter them any which way or look at them in relation to a map.
There are so many choices on Booking.com that it can almost seem a bit overwhelming but once you narrow it down it gets easier to digest. There are tons of different filters that you can use as well. Filter through things like highest rated, fitness facilities, breakfast included, or my personal favourite, free cancellation.
I take huge advantage of Booking.com‘s free cancellation policy. I know there are a number of other hotel sites that exist out on the world wide web with that ability but the way that it’s laid out in the backend and the ease of it all has me coming back time and time again.
What I love most about Airbnb? The uniqueness of it all. There are so many cool places that you can book and stay at on Airbnb it can sometimes be hard to narrow down when booking a trip. I also love that you have the ability to cook your own meals which always helps to save on costs.
Here’s the tricky thing about Airbnb, I have found that if you’re looking for specific accommodations or for a larger group, believe it or not, it can be cheaper to just book hotels. It can be really hard to find accommodations that have separate rooms for each couple or person at a reasonable rate. This is especially true when traveling to Europe.
The other thing is the customer service. While most Airbnb hosts are unbelievable, we have had our share of horrible run-ins. We took the time to make a list of things to look for and keep in mind when booking your next Airbnb so you don’t have to make the same mistakes we did.
When I can help it, I always try to book tours at the destinations we’re visiting. You can get some pretty amazing tours for a decent price and I always find them worth it. One year we did a food tour of Montreal and it was honestly one of the coolest tours I’ve been on. Another year we did a brewery tour through New York City.
Each time, you get personal experience with a local guide who can tell you the ins and outs of their city. There are certain things that you just won’t find on a blog or in a guidebook. That’s where having a tour guide really comes in handy.
With a website like Viator, you can browse all of the different tours and actually read reviews from people who have done them in the past. I would suggest looking for tours that have been taken by at least 10 different people and with reviews about 4*. That’s my general rule with anything, to be honest, it needs to be above a 4*. Anything below is just too risky.
Viator can feel really daunting when starting your search but if you narrow the tours down through filters, you’ll find it much more digestible.
Google Flights is my newest passion. I swear I’m tracking like 16 different flight paths for a million different dates at any given time. Okay, that may have been a slight exaggeration but you get my drift.
With Google Flights you can actually look for specific regions, countries or continents. Like, what?! I have found it super helpful, especially when we travel to Europe. Being able to pinpoint where the cheapest city is for us to fly into for specific dates really helps us determine and map out our trips.
The best part about Google Flights is that it pulls data from so many different websites. I mean, it’s Google, so you know they have the ability and access to source websites from all corners of the internet. It truly is the best way to search numerous websites at one time to find the best price.
Okay, Amazon isn’t exactly a travel website but I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t mention it. As it’s taken the retail space by storm, it’s definitely the easiest place to source any kind of travel product you’re looking for.
I love collecting souvenirs from our travels but one of the things I love to collect the most are guidebooks. I have a stack of different guidebooks from past destinations and I love having them on my desk, being able to look at them whenever I’m in the mood for some inspiration.
The other thing I love most about Amazon is that you can actually buy used items. It really helps when you’re looking to book a vacation but don’t want to splurge on everything. Having the ability to buy something a little cheaper definitely goes a long way in the end.
So, there you have it, our top travel websites that we absolutely can’t live without. What are yours?
*This post contains affiliate links. You will not get charged extra when booking through these sites but we may make a little bit of commission!