This post contains affiliate links.
Throughout the various pages and posts on this website I recommend various websites, airlines, accommodation, and travel products in order to help you save money or to get more out of your travel experience. I have provided a list of all those websites and products I recommend throughout the site for you in one easy list.
New websites and products are coming on the market all the time, so I will continue to update this list. Be assured though that I won’t recommend anything I have not used myself or wouldn’t use again. On that note I will remove websites or products if I believe they are no longer useful.
Links are included below so you can go straight to the websites I recommend and book or purchase items. If you do purchase from any of the links below I will earn a very small commission, at no additional cost to you. These commissions allow me to provide all the information on this website completely free of charge to you.
General Travel Information
When I am thinking about a trip, deciding on a destination or early stages of planning I check out Lonely Planet and / or TripAdviser. These days I am probably more into TripAdviser as I love being able to go online and actually ask questions and have them answered. I still love reading a Lonely Planet guide though and for those who read online you can buy electronic guides now.
Lonely Planet – Plan and book your perfect trip with expert advice, travel tips, destination information and inspiration from Lonely Planet.
TripAdvisor – One of the leading websites in the travel industry, Trip Advisor gives access to all the best flight and hotel deals around. They collect the latest information from major travel airlines and vacation stays and compare them to help consumers find the best prices. In addition you can get current information from individuals in their forums including their recommendations and reviews. TripAdvisor is my number one go to place when I am researching a trip – I highly recommend checking this site out.
I always start my research for airfares on Skyscanner . Skyscanner compares airfares and will direct you to the relevant sites. I often use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights and then book direct from the airlines where they are the cheapest. Its up to you really.
Expedia – Expedia program offers you access to the #1 online travel agency, great deals on air, hotel, vacation packages, cruise, car rentals, and more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide, 500+ travel partnerships with direct airline and hotel suppliers, up to $500 savings by booking flight + hotel together and no booking fees on single-carrier flights. A few years ago before Booking.com really took off – this was my number 1 booking site. Its still great for deals though and if you combine airfares and accommodation there are savings to be made.
Skyscanner – Use Skyscanner.com to find the best deals on affordable airfare. Skyscanner is an online marketplace for cheap travel that allows consumers to compare promotional and sale fares to find the lowest possible price on tickets. The website allows you to book direct flights with no additional fees. This is the best place to find the best routes, cheapest airfares etc – if you haven’t used Skyscanner for your airfares than you are probably paying too much!
There are heaps of great websites for booking accommodation. Probably my favourite site is booking.com, but I will look around and go wherever I can get the accommodation the cheapest. Start with a hotel comparing site and then compare the deals they suggest.
You also need to know what is the most popular booking site in the country you are visiting. Whatever is popular at home may not be popular in the country you are visiting. So if you stick with the website you are familiar with you may not be getting the best range of accommodation or the best deal. So do your research and work out what site is most popular for the country you are visiting.
Other than hotels, there are plenty of sites where you can book a room in someone’s house or rent out their entire apartment usually for a much cheaper rate than a hotel. I love sites like Airbnb, VBRO and Book a Bach. Sometimes these places are way cheaper than hotels, but sometimes they are not. It really depends upon your destination as to where the best place is to book your accommodation. Below are all the various places I use for booking accommodation.
Agoda – is one of the fastest-growing online hotel platforms worldwide, listing hundreds of thousands of hotels and providing services in 38 different languages. I have used Agoda on a few occasions – just depends if they are the cheapest.
Airbnb – Airbnb is a peer-to-peer online marketplace and homestay network enabling people to list or rent short-term lodging in residential properties, with the cost of such accommodation set by the property owner. If your new to Airbnb – click on the link and you will get $45 AUD to use on your next Airbnb booking. I have used Airbnb a few times and have loved it.
Booking.com – is an excellent website for booking travel accommodation online. The website curates the best prices from all major travel companies and allows users to book the most affordable option. Booking.com works hundreds of thousands of hotels and hospitality agencies to always find the best deals on where to stay. Booking.com requires no additional booking fees through the website and offers reviews for customers to help them make informed decisions. Booking.com is my all time favourite accommodation site. I find it is often the cheapest, it offers great reviews and usually you don’t have to pay a deposit so you can cancel if you change your mind or find a better deal without penalty.
Expedia – Expedia program offers you access to the #1 online travel agency, great deals on air, hotel, vacation packages, cruise, car rentals, and more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide,500+ travel partnerships with direct airline and hotel suppliers, up to $500 savings by booking flight + hotel together and no booking fees on single-carrier flights.
Hostel World – Hostelworld.com is the leading provider of online reservations to the budget, independent and youth travel market. It offers confirmed online reservations for over 30,000 hostels and budget accommodation in 180 countries worldwide and is the only hostel booking site to offer a service guarantee. The site also offers budget travellers over 3.5 million guest reviews, award-winning travel videos & podcasts, free customised city guides, a travel social network and more. This is a great site for hostels. I have used this site mainly when looking for super cheap accommodation in Europe and South America. Don’t think its all about sharing a room with 10 other backpackers – it can be – but you can get some great simple private rooms in hostels too.
Hotels.com – Find cheap hotels and discounts when you book on hotels.com. Compare hotel deals, offers and read unbiased reviews on hotels. Again I use this site if it offers the cheapest accommodation for the hotel I am set on.
Hotels Combined – Compare all the top travel sites in just one search to find the best hotel deals at HotelsCombined.com – awarded world’s best hotel price comparison site. This is a great comparing site – so once you know what hotel you want to stay at – check this site out to find out where you can get the cheapest deal.
TripAdvisor – One of the leading websites in the travel industry, Trip Advisor gives access to all the best flight and hotel deals around. They collect the latest information from major travel airlines and vacation stays and compare them to help consumers find the best prices. Check this site out to get great honest views from others, but also this is a great comparing site – so once you know what hotel you want to stay at – check this site out to find out where you can get the cheapest deal.
VBRO – VRBO is part of the HomeAway family, the world’s most comprehensive, trusted source for vacation rentals. They help families and friends find the perfect accommodations to enjoy their dream vacations together. The beautiful homes on our sites feature more space, privacy, and amenities than hotels, often for less than half the cost per person. This is similar to Airbnb – we used VBRO in Hawaii to book really great cheap apartments.
Travel Shoes & Clothes
I’m not really into brand names when it comes to clothes – but there are a few travel items which I recommend investing in good quality such as rain jackets, walking shoes, hiking boots etc.
Kathmandu – I love getting good quality clothes, shoes and gadgets from Kathmandu. I have heaps of sales throughout the year so check out for these. If you are in Australia click here.
3 in 1 Jacket – I have the Regatta Outdoor jacket which I just love. The jacket is waterproof and comes with a removable hood as well as a removable inner lining. You can wear the inner layer as a jumper on its own as you can with the outer jacket. This isn’t my exact jacket pictured but its very similar. [easyazon_image align=”right” height=”160″ identifier=”B012WQQD8W” locale=”US” nw=”y” src=”https://thriftyfamilytravels.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/41SvKMcChdL.SL160.jpg” tag=”thrifamitra04-20″ width=”138″]
Merrell – My all time favourite all purpose shoes are Merrell shoes. I just hung up a pair which lasted me 10 years. I have the Terran Strap II (pictured) and I love these shoes. [easyazon_image align=”right” height=”80″ identifier=”B00YDISJR6″ locale=”US” nw=”y” src=”https://thriftyfamilytravels.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/41lnyWOSnL.SL160.jpg” tag=”thrifamitra04-20″ width=”160″]
I recommend ordering your foreign currency online via Australia Post or Travelex. Read my post about how best to take money overseas for more information.
Neck Pillow – This is a must for long haul flights – I couldn’t do without it. Purchase one similar to the one in this picture. Don’t go for the inflatable ones, they don’t work well – you’ll be forever blowing it up. [easyazon_image align=”right” height=”142″ identifier=”B004UB056E” locale=”US” nw=”y” src=”https://thriftyfamilytravels.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/414VMn2BmGIL.SL160.jpg” tag=”thrifamitra04-20″ width=”160″]
International Adaptor – If you travel regularly – buy yourself an all in one travel adaptor rather than buying one for each country you visit. I have one similar to one I pictured below.
[easyazon_image align=”right” height=”160″ identifier=”B01JFRLV7O” locale=”US” nw=”y” src=”https://thriftyfamilytravels.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/41WmXhhf2B2BL.SL160.jpg” tag=”thrifamitra04-20″ width=”160″]
Kids Safety Travel Guide – This guide from Compare Travel Insurance offers plenty of useful tips on how to have a safe and hassle-free holiday with kids in tow. From advice from seasoned experts on keeping children calm and content while in-transit to tips on how to handle travel sickness this guide can be very useful to the family on holiday.
So there you have it my recommendations for the best travel booking websites, products and gear. What are your favourites? Feel free to let me know by dropping me a comment – I hate to be missing out on a bargain!