The Best Online Travel Resources
Updated: Jun 19, 2022
Okay, so you're ready to book your next trip. You have your destination (that's the easy part), but now it's time to think about lodging, transportation, flights... and now your head is spinning. Luckily, Pedacitos Blog has you covered, as we are going to break down the best online travel resources to make your next stay go as smoothly as possible!
Best Online Travel Planning Resources
Before you book anything, you have to sit down and plan your trip. If you're anything like me, you want to get the most out of your next travel experience. If you're not a local to the city, country, or even continent that you're going to, this can be pretty tricky. So, let's start by discussing where you should begin your planning at.
Skratch is the ultimate app for planning out exactly what you want to do for your next trip for my visual learners. Skratch creates a digital map where you can pin locations, add photos, and basically create a world map for all of your travels.
I like Skratch because it has a "bucket-list" setting where you can plan out future trips that you might not be looking to book right now. It ignites your wanderlust and gets your creative juices flowing- because the sky is the limit when it comes to traveling!
If you feel overwhelmed by planning, TripIt is a great place to get organized and really outline what you're looking for. I've had yet to try this app as it's fairly new, but I cannot wait to see what TripIt can do for me- as it has a service that prepares an entire travel document for you.
All you have to do is send TripIt your flight, hotel, restaurant, and car rental confirmations once you've booked them, then TripIt will create an entire itinerary based on these bookings. If there's something that TripIt suggests that you don't like- no sweat! You can edit your itinerary based on your changing needs. It's essentially your pocket travel organizer.
Maybe this is a no-brainer, but Spreadsheets are amazing for planning out your travel needs. First of all, it's free! Plus, you can put your budget, stays, experiences, and any information that you might need to keep track of and send it to anyone you're traveling with.
I recently made a Spreadsheet for a weekend trip to New York City. I know that might sound a little excessive for 2 nights and 3 days, but when you're trying to maximize your time, it pays to take a few hours to sit down and think about everything you want to experience.
Best Online Travel Guides
Now that you can visually imagine what your trip is going to be like, you can put those ideas into actual booking services. Online Travel Guides can be your one-stop-shop in finding a hotel, flight, and experiences all in one app or website. From blogs to websites, there are tons of travel experts on the web that are ready to give you the push you need to secure a booking.
No, we're not just saying this because we are a travel blog- bloggers are an excellent resource when it comes to getting an authentic experience about a place. Travel blogs specialize in hiring writers that have unique experiences that can be shared with the public.
If you're looking to live like a local, a travel blogger can probably give you the most genuine tips on how to plan your next stay. Keep an eye out for the Pedacitos Forum, launching July 1st, to discuss your travel needs with a community of experienced individuals!
Trip Advisor is a great place to start when you're in the early planning stages because they compare deals and have simplified search engines that can refine your results to exactly what you're looking for.
If you're a bit more budget-conscious, Trip Advisor is definitely going to give you the most bang for your buck, which I always favored as a broke college student. Trip Advisor is also a website that specializes in booking hotels, transportation, experiences, and restaurants all in one.
This app is fairly new, but it is packing a huge punch in the travel community. For those of you who love to plan every detail (I'm definitely one of those people), this app is for you. With Wanderlog, you can create a completely offline trip itinerary- no WiFi needed.
You can look at your itinerary at any time on any device. Wanderlog can help you research your destination, map out your entire trip by the hour, and calculates the miles you've taken. Plus, it has a community aspect where you can share travel tips with friends!
Best Online Flight Resources
Now you're planned and prepped, but you have to think about how you're going to get there. If you want to road-trip or take a train to your destination- by all means, do so. But, I know that most of us travel-lovers have to take a plane to get to our vacation spot. With flights being expensive and difficult to navigate- especially with search engines hiding certain cheap flights- it's time to break down how to find the best flight for you.
Skyscanner is a personal favorite of mine, as it is truly the easiest app to navigate when it comes to flights. With this app, I can select my destination and surrounding area, and Skyscanner will give me the most affordable flights from various airports in my region.
It also allows you to select flexible flights, so if you're someone who hates having dates being set in stone, Skyscanner has you covered. You can turn on their notification too, and you'll be notified if prices for a flight you've been eyeing have dropped.
If you're tech-savvy, Hopper is going to be a life-saver for finding discount flights. Hopper is completely data-based- so it's going to save your information and preferences for future trips.
They also have a refund service that can instantly rebook your flight if it gets canceled or delayed. Hopper is the best for avoiding feeds and making your travel experience affordable and comfortable.
For those who like to coordinate their flights with their lodging, ClearTrip is the place for you. I try to avoid landing at a destination and then having to wait a few hours for hotel check-in.
What a nightmare it can be when you're carrying all your bags throughout the city or airport- just waiting to go to your hotel. ClearTrip coordinates your flight with your lodging, so you are guaranteed to get a flight that won't keep you waiting for check-in, and the same goes for check-out! No more naps in the airport,.. sign me up!
Best Online Lodging Resources
The flight is booked and you're already thinking about everything you need to pack. But wait, where are you going to stay? If you're flying, road-tripping, or using any other form of typical transportation, you'll likely need a place to sleep at night. Let's chat about some places to look for lodging that won't break the bank and will give you a memorable experience.
This might be another no-brainer, but Airbnb is truly my go-to for lodging during a trip, as it is for many of us travelers. I've always preferred staying at someone's home versus a hotel, it creates a more personal experience in my eyes.
With Airbnb, you can choose flexible dates to find an apartment, private room, or home that is budget-friendly and potentially has the perfect timeframe for your trip. Plus, if you invite friends, you can get a discount on your first stay and rack up points for future ones!
For road trippers, Travelocity is awesome for finding a last-minute stay. If you've ever been on a road trip and failed to book a hotel because you thought you were going to make it but didn't, you understand the headache of trying to find a hotel with empty rooms last minute.
With Travelocity, they have a "Deals Tonight" filter that I've actually used when I had a nightmarish Airbnb stay. This filter allows you to find hotels nearby that will be affordable and will have the types of accommodations that you need.
Following in suit with Travelocity, Hotel Tonight is an app that drops new deals at 12 pm local time every day. Hotel Tonight is almost the eBay of travel, as you have to wait for the deals to arrive and place a reservation before someone else takes the deal.
If you're someone who likes to plan, this app might not be your favorite. But if you love to find a good bargain or are taking a cross-country road trip that needs multiple overnight stops, this app might be the perfect deal finder for you.
If you're looking to plan your next trip, we hope these online travel resources help to refine your search. With many of us being limited to travel in the last year, we celebrate the idea of finding new destinations to visit as the world re-opens. Happy booking and safe travels!
Want to know more? Are you interested in becoming a contributor for Pedacitos? We'd love to hear your stories! Send me a message, and I will get back to you!