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75+ Travel Tools, Websites, and Resources that I Personally Use

We travel full time, book a lot of travel, and write/research about budget travel. Therefore I literally came up with 75+ websites that I actually and regularly use. This isn’t just about miles and points, but about resources for budget travel and travel in general.

Sure there are other tools that other people will find helpful, but I easily came up with over 75 that I found helpful. Booking websites to phone apps. Here’s what we use/check on a regular basis. Bookmark this page and you’ll never have took bookmark again. 😀

Booking cheap travel

  • BlaBlaCar.com
    Carpooling website in Europe.
  • Carpooling.co.uk or carpooling.com
    Carpooling website in Europe.
  • skyscanner.net
    For searching european discount airliners (especially in Europe) – SkyScanner also has an “Everywhere” feature, and a general country feature. I could type in “United Kingdom” for the departing airport, and “everywhere” in the destination airport, then I can select flexible dates and search for the cheapest flights around.
  • megabus.com
    US and western Europe buses for as low as $1.
  • Kayak.com/explore
    Gives suggestions for cheapest flights (google.com/flights kind of does the same thing).
  • Hipmunk.com/hotels
    Searches hotels and gives maps of hotels and landmarks so you can pick the best hotel.
  • matrix.itasoftware.com
    For paid miles earning flights, this is the best possible resource for searching flights. Searching specific airlines, connections, multiple airports and ranges of dates and open-jaws. See How to Use ITA Matrix.
  • AirAsia
    For discount flights in Asia.
  • Google maps public transit
  • Autoslash
    Discounted car rentals.
  • couchsurfing.org
    Lend a couch, borrow a couch, or meet ups. Haven’t “surfed” in over a year, but when we had a couch we hosted a lot of people.
  • CheckMyTrip.com
    I use it in two ways. The most common one is checking flights I booked on OTA’s… by which I mean mistake fares. And sometimes I use it to find the “fare basis code” which you need to know for earning miles a lot of the times. Read about Booking Class Codes here.

Referrals where you earn too

General planning and savings

  • Flightmemory.com
    To keep track of flights.
  • Charles Schwab
    Free checking, free atm withdraws anywhere.
  • Visahq.com (for quick reference of visa requirements) or travel.state.gov (when more info is needed).
  • cashbackmonitor.com or evreward.com
  • Searches multiple cashback sites (some give signup bonuses):
  • Seatguru.com
    Shows the pros and cons when picking your airplane seat and also is good for checking which flight will have outlets.
  • calendar.google.com
    I am very methodical about putting a hotel in to the calendar as soon as I book and taking it out when I cancel.
  • Tripit
    I don’t actually use tripit because I cancel way too much and it gets confused, but it automates a lot of my calendar and alert systems.
  • Rome2Rio.com (I don’t often think to use this)
    Shows bus and train routes around the world. Also raildude.com and seat61.com are supposed to be good resources for this too.
  • CreditKarma
    Free proxy credit scores.
  • CreditSesame
    Free proxy credit scores.

Miles and points stuff

Resource posts

Miles/points offers worth checking:

Apps

  • mapswithme
    Even though we have an old iPhone with no phone plan, we can use GPS and maps anywhere. Just download the map for your country real quick.
  • WordLens
    We just downloaded this. It translates words, signs, etc via your phone camera.
  • Uber: My sign up link (+ google voice)
  • Google Hangouts/Voice
    Free calls and texts on wifi.
  • MagicJack
    Free outgoing calls and texts on wifi.
  • Skype
    Free calls on wifi.
  • TextMe
    Free texts on wifi.

Searching for award flights:

  • Search for Star Alliance awards: United.com, Aeroplan, ANA
  • Search for OneWorld awards: British Airways, Qantas, ExpertFlyer
  • Search for SkyTeam awards: ExpertFlyerFlying Blue?, Delta?

Physical things to travel with

  • International outlet adapter (we use this all-in-one)
  • Monster To Go power strip (choose between 4 outlets, and 3 outlets and 1 usb)
    This is a beautiful thing. We have one power converter that goes from most outlets to an american outlet. Then with a short chord it goes to 4 outlets.
  • My Passport Ultra 2TB
    You need a harddrive that’s not only small, but self powered. So this is the best bang for the buck in all kinds of ways… it’s 2 terabytes.
  • GoPro Hero 3+ Black (the best video camera for travelers).
  • FreedomPop Mobile Hotpot
    Once you buy, it’s $0 a month if you stay under 500mb of data. Bus rides, cars, airports… there are so many times this comes in handy. It needs Sprint wimax (4g).
  • FreedomPop Phone
    Same thing, 500 text/month, 200 minutes of talk/month, and 500mb data/month and it’s completely free. It needs Sprint wimax (4g).
    Truth be told, mine just got lost/stolen. So now do we get another one, go without or add to tmobile?
  • T-Mobile Unlimited Data and Text in 120+ Countries
    Tmobile gives unlimited data and text internationally, and you can use google voice to do unlimited calls internationally. It’s $50 a month but the family plans are very reasonable. So if you can find a family to tack onto, another plan is only $10 more. Also, if you use the refer a friend (go back and use my name in the refer a friend link (Drew Macomber)), you get the unlimited plan.

Conclusion

My goal was to add 100 resources, however, this is all I could think of going through my history. Any other suggestions? What should I be using? Obviously I know about expertflyer, KVS and other premium tools. I have no interest. But what are some others? Particularly free tools you think I’ll enjoy.

Related Posts:

23 Comments

  1. Great list – thanks for all of the resources. Have you actually had any luck using Autoslash? I first found out about them in the comments on Carrie’s blog, and give them a shot with three separate car reservations I had earlier this month. Not only did I not receive any lower-price emails from them about my reservations (I wound up manually finding the deals and rebooking myself), but they actually sent me an email about a lower rate for SOMEONE ELSE’S reservation. Regretfully that lower rate was a week late and 1,500 miles from where I actually needed a car ;-p.

    On a side note, if you used Autoslash for a car reservation in DC earlier this month and was wondering why you didn’t get any lower rate notifications – I’m sorry.

    Reply
    • Hah. Well, autoslash is a bit of a hackjob for reason. They are kind of scraping for promotion codes (from what I gathered). But I’ve had good lucky, but the nature of promocodes direct on a website is that sometimes they are lower and sometimes they aren’t. So I don’t always use them for sure. And if it’s really last minute I don’t bother.

      Reply
    • All my experiences with autoslash have been outstanding.

      Reply
    • I’ve used Autoslash three times. The first two times I didn’t get any emails about lower prices, but the third time (a minivan rental in Tampa), the price dropped three times and I ended up saving about $200, so it was well worth it. A good experience, for sure.

      Reply
  2. What about evreward.com to figure out which CashBack site has the best CB for the store you are planning to shop at?

    Reply
    • Forgot about that. Do you know if it’s much different than cashbackmonitor? I obviously don’t use it often (although have before) but I added it to the list.

      Reply
  3. cant believe you didnt list awardmapper.com, Drew (:

    Reply
  4. I much prefer Flight Diary to Flight Memory.

    Reply
  5. http://www.flightconnections.com/

    I actually have a better one but I am afraid some will start scraping that site…
    Send me an email and I will share.

    Reply
    • I had no idea this existed. So much better than the tool at awardnexus.

      If you end up sharing the other site, I would love to know it!

      Reply
    • ucipass, thanks for sharing the flightconnections link, really appreciate it.
      Would really appreciate and grateful if you don’t mind to share the other site to my e-mail below, and I promise I won’t scraping it :)
      hwoarang_us at yahoo dot com

      Reply
    • Also thank you for the flight connections website. If you wouldn’t mind sharing the other website, I’d love to check it out as well. Always curious to see what’s out there. My email is barns0112 at hot mail dot com. Thank you

      Reply
  6. Thank you for these, this post is a keeper. This is why you are the Steven Hawking of Miles and Points.

    Reply
  7. I see that we have similar interests :)

    Reply
  8. Super basic but don’t forget award wallet. I also know a lot of people who use mint to keep track of all their credit card accounts. I use excel myself but can appreciate the value proposition.

    Reply
  9. Thanks Drew, really appreciate your efforts to provide value in this travel maze we find ourselves in these daze. Does your two TB drive accept downloads from iPhones (pics) or does it require a laptop to access?
    Keep it up!
    L

    Reply
  10. I tried the offersbot.io for one of my twitter accounts. I like it! It automatically signed me up for several offers I hadn’t signed up for and tried to enroll me in some offers I already was enrolled in. I think it will work fine. Normally I’m selective with which offers I sign up for (convenience factor), but this has the potential to keep me extra flexible.

    Reply
  11. The link to Flyertalk forums doesn’t seem to be working.

    Reply
  12. Hey Drew

    Thanks for the mention on your list! I enjoy reading your blog as well, it is a great resource!

    Reply
  13. Very comprehensive and creative. Thanks for the time this took.

    Reply
  14. Drew – We’re siging up for Tmobile and will use your refer a friend link. Tmobile is saying we need your cell number and then you have to acknowledge us in some way. Do you know about this?

    Reply
  15. I found this airport transit/transportation guide just like http://salkinternational.com/ but free, however, I didn’t bookmark it and couldn’t remember the link. FML

    Reply

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We have spent the majority of our marriage traveling full time, living out of hotels.   All the while, we list our expenses publicly, budgeting $25,000 a year for our nomadic life while still staying in mostly 4 or 5 star hotels across ~20 countries a year.
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