The Best Online Travel Resources

Updated: Jun 19

Traveling these days is much easier, thanks to easy access to various websites and apps that can help you plan and book your trip. What are the best resources?


First And Foremost, There’s Google:

If you aren’t doing a Google search ahead of your trip, what are you doing? From searching for the best flight, hotel, and rental car deals to the details on the places you are going to, this should be your first stop.

Traveling is so much easier today thanks to online resources like Google
Traveling is so much easier today thanks to online resources like Google

For the rest of the available sites, it all depends on what you are looking for. From specific sites on airfares and hotel deals to those that review restaurants, bars, and area attractions, there are hundreds of sites you can check out ahead of your trip. For me, I have several “go to’s” that have never let me down.


Tripadvisor:

This is still my go-to for researching an area, a hotel, a restaurant, or a local attraction. I love going to the site when traveling to an unknown area to see what it offers and have found some great ideas, especially for restaurants, through this site.

Yelp:

I religiously use Yelp to check on restaurants and fun things to do near where I am staying as well as hours for the business. While not as accurate these days due to various Covid-related issues, including restaurant hours and even closures, I find this is also a good resource to see the latest from the business, especially restaurants and bars.

Sites such as Yelp and Tripadvisor give you firsthand accounts of where to go and what to do while traveling
Sites such as Yelp and Tripadvisor give you firsthand accounts of where to go and what to do while traveling

A note about both of the above: I only check reviews for the last 3-6 months. Staff, food, conditions, etc change so I don’t want to rely on a good or bad review from 2 years ago since there’s likely been some sort of change.


Also, I do contribute reviews to both. They are only as good as the contributions and it’s only fair that I do my part to help a fellow traveler.


Airline And Hotel Direct Sites:

While there are many sites that offer great discounts on hotels, airfare, car rentals, and more if you book through them, I have always found the best deals going directly to the site for the airline and hotel.


You are more likely to get upgrades and special deals this way. Plus, if there’s a problem, you have a better shot of getting your money back or full credit for a future trip.

I'm not a fan of 3rd party websites, but they are a great way to compare prices
I'm not a fan of 3rd party websites, but they are a great way to compare prices

I have traveled so much for work over the years that I have status on Delta and with Marriott. While those are the ones that work best for me, where I live, and what I want to experience on my travels, I highly recommend signing up for one rewards system for an airline and one for a hotel group. Points add up and a free trip is always a great thing.


I’ve gone to London, Milan, Las Vegas, and more through points that have added up on other travels.


I am not a fan of 3rd party booking sites. As the wife of someone in the hotel industry, I have it ingrained in my brain to just avoid at all costs booking through them. If you have any issues, it’s harder to recoup the money you spent through the 3rd party than with the hotel directly.


Also, the likelihood of getting upgrades is really low to next to impossible when booking through these sites.


However, definitely use them to compare prices!


Pro tip: call the hotel directly if you see an advertised rate elsewhere that’s cheaper than they offer. They often will give you the advertised rate on the 3rd party vendor and you still come out ahead.


Short-Term Rental Sites Like Airbnb And VRBO:

I prefer hotels over a home on my travels. But there are some places where having a place that’s homier than a hotel room is a benefit and often the only option.


I’ve been using VRBO for years to book condos on the beach in Destin, Florida for my family. We do find some great deals and it’s nice to be able to compare the prices for similar condos.

I have friends that refuse to stay at a hotel when traveling out of the country. For me, it all depends on where I’m going. Often, I find the hotels have the amenities that are appealing on a vacation and also provide a bit of a safety net for my solo travels. But overall, it’s a preference that really depends on the traveler.


Last But Certainly Not Least, Check Out Pedacitos Blog:

From great tips to fantastic stories of places the contributors have been and suggestions on how to navigate traveling, there is something for everyone on our blog. I’m thrilled to be a part of it and am looking forward to checking out the new posts each day.

Don't forget to check out Pedacitosblog.com for personal travel stories and tips!
Don't forget to check out Pedacitosblog.com for personal travel stories and tips!

What are your “go to’s” for researching your travel plans? Share in the comments below.

 

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!

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