Trying to decide which companies to book your trip with? Over the last fifteen years of travel, I’ve used hundreds of companies. Some have been great, some have been awful. Below is a list of the companies I come back to time and time again. They are the exact ones I use when I am booking my travel. I’m a firm believer in them and that’s why they are listed. They are the best out there and continually offer the best deals. Use them to book your trip!
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, including the HostGator link, and, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you make a purchase. I use all the companies listed here and recommend them because they rock and have made my travels better. If you are ready to book your trip and would like to support this website, using these links is one way to do that. If you have any questions about the companies, e-mail me.
This is my all time favorite flight search engine. They always seem to find the best deals and their calendar view lets you see which days are cheapest to fly. I like them because they search the small booking sites no one else does. Start all your flight searches with them.
This company is a leader in round the world tickets. Their booking engine will allow you to construct itineraries using multiple airlines so you can piece together the best deals. And their staff is excellent and really knows their stuff! Win-win!
This great website searches a lot of different airlines, including many of the budget carriers that larger sites miss. While I always start with Momondo, I’ll also check this site too as a way to price compare.
Google Flights lets you enter your departure airport and see flights all over the world in a map so you can see where the cheapest destination is. It’s a good search engine to get a sense of routes, connections, and fares.
This site connects with homeowners who rent out their homes/apartments to you. You’ll get all the comforts of home and the chance to stay in a non-touristy part of the city at the fraction of the cost of a hotel room.
This website should be your primary accommodation website for guesthouses and hotels in Asia. They have the most robust inventory and offer the best rates. When I travel around Asia, I always book with them.
Booking probably has the widest selection of budget accommodation in the world. In our studies, they constntly found the cheapest rooms. I lso like their easy to use interface and no money down policy. They are especially good for listings in developing countries.
This is the best hostel accommodation site out there with the largest inventory, best search interface, and highest availability. I use them for all my hostel bookings. And, since they bought their competitor Hostelbookers, they are really the only game in town.
This website allows you to stay on people’s couches or spare rooms for free. It’s a great way to save money while meeting locals who can tell you much more about a city than a hostel/hotel. Even if you don’t want to stay with someone, you can always find incredibly fun local meet-ups through the app.
One of my favorite hotel sites because it allows you to bid on hotels and save a lot more money than just by booking directly. When used in conjunction with the bidding site Better Bidding, you can substantially lower the cost of your hotels by as much as 60%.
I buy all my travel insurance from World Nomads. They have great customer service, competitive prices, and in-depth coverage. I’ve been using them since I started traveling in 2003. They are also recommended by Lonely Planet and National Geographic so you know they are good.
Medjet membership is a good option for those people who are going to be far from home and want added evacuation coverage. It’s great for solo travelers and super affordable.
Insure My Trip is a wholesaler that helps you compare prices so you can buy the one that’s best for you. While I love World Nomads, they only insure up to 70 years old so if you are over 70, use Insure My Trip.
Travel Credit Cards
This is my favorite premium rewards card as it includes a ton of amazing perks for avid travelers. It’s the supercharged version of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and is a great choice for serious points collectors.
This is a great choice for people who are looking for general rewards but might want a wider range of transfer partners. There are perks for avid travel and amazing point bonuses for hotel stays as well.
This is my go-to card for all of my business expenses. The bonuses on travel and office expenses really add up. If you’re looking for low fee business card with amazing perks, this is the card for you.
I’ve had the same REI backpack with me for the last 6 years and it’s as good now as it was the day I bought it. REI products will last you a long time. They are hands down my favorite gear store to shop at. You can get anything there. For more on picking the perfect backpack, read this article.
Everyone has their own guidebook preference. Lonely Planet is mine. I like the look of their guides, organization, light weight, and emphasis on budget travel. Lonely Planet also redesigned their books in 2011 and they are now better organized with more photos and better maps.
If you are a traveler and live in the U.S., get T-Mobile. T-Mobile gives their users contract-free plans (starting at $50 per month) with free international data and text messaging in over 100 countries — plus all calls while in those countries are only 20 cents a minute. I’ve been using them for years and love them.
Intrepid is my go to company for small group tours as use expert guides and focus on leaving a small environmental footprint. I love their trips and the company’s ethos. I take at least two tours a year with them. And, as a reader of this site, you can get exclusive offers from them too.
One of my favorite walking tour companies, Walks offers in-depth history, food, and cultural tours in cities around the world (with a speciality in Europe). Their small-group tours are curated and tend to offer exclusive behind the scenes access other companies can’t get.
EatWith allows you to eat home cooked meal with locals. Everyone sets their own price (so prices can vary wildly depending on the cook) but this is a great way to do something different, pick a local’s brain, and make a new friend.
Fat Tire Tours offers bike tours to popular attractions throughout Europe and the US. They’re one of my favorite bike tour companies in the world. (They are pretty popular so try to book in advance.)
If you are going to Europe and taking a lot of trains, get a rail pass. I’ve used a rail pass three times and saved hundreds of dollars each time. The math just works. I use the company Rail Europe and suggest you do too. You can read about my experience using rail passes by clicking this link.
This website is the ultimate guide to train travel anywhere in the world. They have the most comprehensive information on routes, times, prices, and train conditions. If you are planning a long train journey or some epic train trip, consult this site.
This website allows you to see how to get from point A to point B the best and cheapest way possible. Just enter your departure and arrival destinations and it will give you all the bus, train, plane, or boat routes that can get you there as well as how much they cost. One of the best transportation website out there!
This company works voodoo magic and searches the web for the cheapest cruises on the web, sometimes as cheap as $27 a night. This may not be your typical cruising website but a deal is a deal. This website is especially good for repositioning cruises across oceans.
BlaBlaCar is a ridesharing website that lets you share rides with vetted local drivers by pitching in for gas. You simply request a seat, they approve, and off you go! It’s a cheap and much more interesting way to get from point A to point B than by bus or train!
The Japan Rail Pass is a flexible transportation pass used for navigating Japan. Similar to the Eurail pass in Europe, it turns expensive bullet trains into budget-friendly modes of transportation. You honestly can’t visit Japan without one.
RVshare is like Airbnb for RVs. You can browse privately-owned RVs all around the country, find one that suits your needs and budget, and then rent it directly from the owner. It’s super affordable and makes RVing easy and accessible.
If you are looking for a good TEFL class, check out I-to-I. They run online courses, are cheaper than their competition, widely recognized, and will help you find a job. I recommend them over any other company if you are looking to get a TEFL.
If you are looking to volunteer when you travel and want to support good organizations, this website compiles a list of ethical and responsible local volunteer organizations that keeps the money within the community and not in the hands of a big organiation. This is a tremendous resource for anyone wanting to volunteer overseas.
This book is the best resource for those looking to work on a cruise ship. The author spent close to a decade working on ships and his book that will help you find a job, learn about the application process, experience, how to interview, and much more. It’s the only book I know of that puts the secrets of working on a cruise ship in one place.
HelpX is one of the best places to find work and volunteer opportunities when you travel. They have farms, farmstays, homestays, B&Bs, hostels, and sailing boats who invite volunteers to stay with them short-term in exchange for food and accommodation.
This is another wonderful job finding website! Workaway is a lot like HelpX except this website has more paid job opportunities for when you travel, though it also has volunteer opportunities too.
Wordlpackers offers travelers a chance to find volunteer experiences overseas (much like Workaway and HelpX). In addition to hostels, they can help you find experiences with NGOs, homestays, and eco-projects all over the world!
Looking to break into travel? I’ve created an online travel media school to teach you the skills you need to succeed in the digital travel space. These have a step-by-step courses that features monthly webinars, teacher feedback, and tons of expert interviews and guest lecturers!
Hostgator is my favorite hosting company and great for bloggers just starting out. Their prices are cheap and their servers stay on and I enjoy their customer service. I still host a few sites on them! If you’re looking for a reliable hosting company, I recommend them.
I’ve been using Convertkit to send all my emails for years. They have a easy to use interface, let you set up autoresponders, create tags, and have stellar customer service! If you are looking for an easy to use, straight forward email provider, this is the best one to use.