I use Tripadvisor before every trip - to compare flight and hotel prices across different platforms, to read reviews, to decide on things to do wherever we are traveling and to ask questions on the forums. It's a valuable resource I can't do without. They also have special deals on different destinations.
I always check these websites for the cheapest flights on my chosen dates: Google Flights, Tripadvisor, Skyscanner and Travelstart (for flights from South Africa). Momondo is also popular. They usually show you whether flying a few days earlier or later will get you a better rate. See more tips here.
After deciding on a hotel and comparing prices on Tripadvisor, I usually end up booking with Booking.com . They have one of the biggest hotel and apartment selections in the world, and most of their accommodation can be cancelled free until just before your trip, if the need arises. This perfect for those who prefer flexibility - like me. Book here.
I also use Airbnb to book accommodation. We usually travel as a family, and in some cities, it's hard to find hotel rooms for 2 adults and 2 teenagers. Airbnb has a wide selection of apartments, which offer more space and flexibility. You can also book, castles, igloos, tree-houses and all sorts of other accommodation as well as experiences too.
GetYourGuide is the world's largest online platform for booking travel tours, attractions and activities in more than 7,300 destinations around the world. You can rest assured that you are getting the maximum number of choices at the best possible price. The reviews will help you make the best decision. The best part is that there is free cancellation up to 24 hours before an activity starts, in case your plans change or you can't make it anymore. Book your activities with Get Your Guide.
Although we usually use public transport in foreign countries, some places do not have a reliable or safe public transport system. And sometimes, you may be travelling with luggage, which may make public transport inconvenient. In these cases, when available, we always choose to use Uber instead of taxis, to get around. It helps to know exactly how much your trip will cost you upfront, without getting overcharged by unscrupulous taxi drivers. Sign up here.
Train travel in Europe is easy. Go to The Man in Seat 61 to find the best way to book train travel anywhere in Europe.
If you need internet connectivity without local SIM hassles, use Airalo, an eSIM platform offering international internet packages. This way, you can have access to the internet as soon as you land. Get $3 off your first purchase when you sign up here and use code SARA5435.
Travel insurance is essential as anything can go wrong when travelling. If your credit card company does not offer free travel insurance or if you require additional cover, then consider World Nomads. They offer travel insurance for independent travellers from more than 130+ countries and are trusted by big names like Lonely Planet. You can buy, extend & claim insurance online and get 24 hour worldwide assistance. Sign up here.
Amazon.com is the largest online retailer in the world. They have the widest variety of travel gear and accessories. They also deliver worldwide, although customs duties may apply in some countries. Check out their Travel Gear.
Dropbox is a free cloud service that lets you store your files, photos, and videos and share them easily. I use it to store my articles as I'm writing them as well as other documents I can't afford to lose. I also store copies of passports, visas, airline and hotel reservations, unabridged birth certificates and other important documents when travelling - in case our documents get lost or stolen. I then share this folder with my husband so that he has access to it in his Dropbox folder too.
Find the best and biggest variety of travel books and guides.
Click here for a detailed guide on planning your trip.
Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, we earn a small commission if you make a purchase. We recommend the companies and products listed here because we use them ourselves and/or believe in their product.