I wrote this Resouces page as much for me as for you! Often I’m just wanting a quick link to jump through and look for best hotels, tickets to shows, airfares, or even just my Amazon link for shopping (ok, that one’s more for friends and family who know that buying through my link means I get a commission!)
Also, while most of these resource links are to websites I like and that am now affiliated to, if you purchase them through, you won’t pay anything more. I’ll just get a small commission. Oh sure, there’s fine print too, like if you don’t book your hotel in the one session, then you get chased around the internet by the booking site, I don’t make commission if you decide to book later.
But here we go. A one-stop shop to make your life easier and to support my blog while you’re at it!
This page has some affiliate links, which means if you book directly I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
For accommodation I start by looking at the big booking engines to begin my search and narrow down where I want to stay. Then once I’ve decided on the hotel I like, I will often go directly to the hotel website to see if it’s cheaper. It also ensures that all your money goes to the property owner and not the big multinational booking engine.
However if your plans could change, using sites like Booking.com or Expedia allow you cancel your room until about two days before your arrival. The room rate will be a little higher, but it’s super handy when you’re still putting your flights or gathering all your mates and waiting for their confirmations.
VRBO.com Vacation Rental By Owner is like AirBnB where you get to check out entire homes, apartments, rooms in privately owned properties.
Tripadvisor I check here for real people reviews of the hotels and attractions if want some more info – and photos – before I book.
I check out various flight websites as they won’t all show every combination of route that is possible – presuming you’re not flying a simple direct flight.
Skyscanner is my first stop to check for flights from New Zealand. It shows you a list of airlines that will take you on your route, their prices and then you click through direct to that airline. This is good if you have air miles, etc with certain airlines.
Expedia is another good OTA (online travel agent) and sometimes has different combinations than Skyscanner, especially for domestic flights in the US, for example.
Southwest Airlines fly under the radar when it comes to searching for flights. They don’t sell on booking sites except their own website, so I always log in there to check out my US domestic flight schedules and costs too.
For car rental I use two companies to compare prices, but they both aggregate all the companies so either one of these sites are good:
Discover Cars. They show all the options of car rental prices across all the companies operating in that destination. I like them because they also include local rental agencies as well as the multi nationals. Again, as above, you could also go direct to the smaller companies if you want ensure you’re supporting local as much as possible.
RentalCars.com. Sometimes I’ll find a car here that I can pick up in one city and drop off in another much cheaper than Discover Cars. Note, a compact car in the US still means 4-doors and for the two of us we find it a great size and most affordable.
Check out the fabulous Uniworld river cruise itineraries.
I enjoyed a wonderful Avalon Waterways Christmas Markets cruise. Next time I’d like to try spring time when the tulips are blooming.
Tours and activities
I use a couple of companies to book activities. I like Get Your Guide, to buy my tickets online.
I also use Viator, as they often have different tours.
If you’re going to Las Vegas, you can look for discounted show and attraction tickets at Vegas.com
Check out the CityPASS if you’re wanting to cover a lot of the top attractions in US cities. You need to plan to see most of the places to get your money’s worth. But if you are, you can save hundreds of dollars.
For fun organised tours, check out the latest deals at G Adventures.
Depending on where you’re located, you can check out a few websites and get some free insurance quotes.
World Nomads are great for younger people wanting to travel for extended periods.
1Cover Travel Insurance. This is the one I use most often. I used to be an affiliate seller, but they stopped that program, however I still use them as the prices are better and the comprehensive coverage is very good.
Covermore is Australian based and good for NZ and Australian travellers. You can get free quotes too.
AA Travel Insurance is one I just used for my husband. We both go annual cover, and I bought his via AA (Automobile Association NZ). It was cheaper than mine through 1 Cover. You don’t need to be an AA member to take out their travel insurance either.
Visit my curated shopping lists on Amazon, whether it’s a beach holiday, gifts for travellers, travel accessories or my picks for the best luggage, or just click through to find your own items if you want to!