Travel Tips II – Online Resources

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“DON’T CALL IT A DREAM, CALL IT A PLAN”

ZELANA MONTMINY

Back in Travel Tips I I listed some things to consider as you plan your upcoming trip as well as when you are away. Today will be a list of some online sites that may be of assistance for organizing and potentially booking your trip. You may be familiar with many of them. The “big name” ones are generally Online Travel Agencies (OTA). With Travel Search Engines, they usually take you to a third-party OTA. Still other sites may offer a niche travel market. Keep in mind that this is not a complete list by any means, though it can be a starting point. The ones marked with an asterisk (*) are resources that I generally utilize and may have added supplemental information. Please note that that I have not listed any information about cruises, resort packages, or discount/coupon sites.

A word about “traditional” travel agents. You know, talking to an actual person who can book on your behalf be it over the phone or a brick and mortar location. Should you use them? Yes you absolutely can. And with the current travel situation you may even prefer to use them regardless of having a complex or straightforward itinerary. With a travel agent you are paying for their expertise and knowledge. Many of them have been to numerous locations and they work with various travel companies which provides them with a wealth of information. Don’t discount them.

TRANSPORTATION

  • AIR (some of these overlap and offer accommodation as well)
    • SKYSCANNER*
      • I typically visit Skyscanner to get an idea of pricing and routing (often finding more options and better prices than if I only searched Canada’s main airlines) and then I book direct with the airline
    • KAYAK
    • MOMONDO
    • GOOGLE FLIGHTS
    • FLIGHT HUB
    • AIRLINE WEBSITES* – I always book directly with an airline as I do not want a middleman in case something goes awry
  • BUS/CAR/RAIL
    • BUS services are almost universal with many being very comfortable and providing good schedulesCAR RENTAL
      • Always check what the requirements are for booking (age restrictions, is an international driver’s license required, insurance requirements, etc)Ride Share, Car Share, & Leasing are other options. This Rick Steves’ article breaks it down (at least for Europe)
    • RAIL is another popular option in many countries

ACCOMMODATIONS

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  • HOTELS/INNS/GUESTHOUSES/B&Bs – can be booked directly with the property or via an online booking site or travel agency
    • Agoda
    • Trivago
    • Book via a hotel chain* webpage/app or central reservation number
  • VACATION RENTALS
    • AirBnB* and VRBO are the most well known though there are others
  • HOSTELS – an inexpensive alternative to other accommodations
    • Generally hostels have improved over the years and can cater to many people, not just youth
    • Tend to offer dormitory-style rooms with bunk beds and private rooms
    • Can be booked directly with establishment or via online booking sites
    • Hostel World*
  • HOUSE AND PET SITTING – care for a home and/or pets for less
    • A great way to save money on accommodations and a good way for homeowners have their homes cared for
    • House sitters join a site for a fee and set up a profile. Referrals are recommended and some may suggest having a criminal records check set up
    • Trusted House Sitters*
    • Nomador
    • Mind My House
  • HOSPITALITY EXCHANGES – short-term homestays or meeting up for cultural exchanges and often free, it is based on the idea of learning and cultural exchanges, people request staying in a home be in sleeping in a separate room, couch, or floor. Although accommodations are free there may be a membership fee to join a site.
  • CULTURAL WORK AND VOLUNTEER EXCHANGES – opportunities to work in exchange for room and board while learning about a culture or region. The type of (non-paid) work may vary. Or you may want to volunteer your time and skills
    • Workaway – work exchange
    • World Packers – volunteer community
    • WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) – work exchange

DAY TOURS/SITESEEING/TOUR PACKAGES

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As much as I love to wander a destination on my own using public transit or my own foot power, at times it is not always practical. In those cases I book tours, either half day or full day. Other times I have booked a guided group tour as my trip. In fact, I think if you are travelling with a group of people a guided tour may be a reasonable way to visit a destination especially when it can be hard to organize everything people may want to see. Below are but a few options for tours.


Quite a list yet, as mentioned before, it is not close to being extensive. Many of these sites I have used in various areas of the world. Another consideration is that countries and regions may have their own sites that can be used. I hope that you can use this list to help research and plan your future travels and/or lead to you to other sites that you can utilize for travel planning. Happy travels.

Disclaimer: The purpose of this blog is for entertainment purposes only and does not provide legal, medical or any other professional advice. Reading this blog is of your own choice and any information that you choose to use from this blog is at your own risk. All information here is of my own views, thoughts, and opinion. I have not received any compensation from nor am I responsible for the actions of any company or website listed. I assume no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this site.

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