essential travel tools: 5 websites we use for every trip

Welcome to Summer School!

Each week we bring you bite sized episodes with travel tools to help you level up your travel experience. This week is all about our top 5 travel websites and how they can help you plan you next trip. 

The websites we’re going to share are our utility belt of travel planning tools. None of these websites require sign ups or email addresses and they are all free to use (in the way we do!). We’ll also post some tutorials on our new YouTube channel- Travel More Podcast so you can get a feel for how we use them! 

#1 Google Flights

Google Flights is our number one tool for finding flights- at all times. Yes, we love Going (Scott’s Cheap flights) but ultimately finding the flights always comes back to google flights. 

Google Flights aggregates flight information from most carriers worldwide. Google Flights pulls prices from more than 300 airlines and online travel agencies, so it’s fair to say they give you a wide range of options for cheap tickets.

There are a couple of airlines that don’t show up on Google Flights- one of the biggest is Southwest Airlines. The others are smaller international airlines (especially in Asia). But it does give you an amazing range of flights and the prices. 

It allows you to see all the flights, routes and airlines and prices in one screen. Plus it has average prices, recent pricing stats and the ability to track it. 

 #2 Rome to Rio

This is a total game changer if you’re planning a multi-city trip. Rome2Rio essentially takes your destinations and then tells you all the transportation options that exist between the two cities and their prices. For example, If you look at London to Paris, you’ll see a dozen different options. Trains, Flights, Rideshares, buses- you get it all, with example prices. Now if you click to buy now, they take you to OTAs so I would recommend just using it as a planning tool, not something to book through.


#3 Tripadvisor

This is how we find all our amazing food. Not only does Tripadvisor have a plethora of reviews and discussion boards that have been helpful on more than one occasion, they also have a way to search for “cheap eats” in a city. This is out #1 tip for finding those hidden gems. We use this 100% of the time we travel. 100%. I don’t know that we can say about any other app. It’s our go-to for sure.



You probably already know about but we actually don’t use it as it’s really intended. This is another planning tool that we don’t actually book on. We use this to get a feel for hotel prices in an area when we’re planning budgets or booking a really great Going flight- or to find a specific hotel that we then go to directly to actually book. There are times we’ve booked through if the hotel’s website was glitchy or wasn’t upfront with its cancellation policies and we’ve only ever been disappointed once- and that was with a taxi reservation. I think that was probably on the taxi company and booking did refund the trip.

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#5 Viator

Last but not least on our “we use this to plan but not to book” tour- viator. This is essentially a search engine of tours in a location. Now, they don’t have the best track record with booking the tours through them, and to be fair, we’ve only booked a tour we had to cancel in Doha, Qatar and the cancellation was super smooth, but generally- we like booking direct. However, this can be a great way to see what people like to do in an area if you don’t know too much about it or if you want to get a feel for the top things without reading 1000 blogs. I’ve found great things to do- like a stonehenge, windsor castle and oxford tour in England, that I then went to the company’s webpage- was able to vet them independently through google reviews, and book direct- which you know we love to do. It’s a great way to get the lay of the land quickly.

Our Bonus is an app called Splitwise that helps keep track of everyone’s expenses in a group trip so you know who owes who at the end of a trip- super convenient if you have a friend’s trip! 

We hope you’ve enjoyed our run-down of our top travel websites! We find more and more resources every day. You can be part of the fun over on our Facebook community and share your best travel tips! Do you think we missed any must use websites? Leave us a comment below and tell us! 

Meet the Bargers

Bruce and Shelly are a 30-something couple always on the lookout for cheap eats, wildlife sightings and a good brewery. They started traveling together ten years ago and haven't looked back. They travel internationally at least three times a year and have been to 42 states, all while holding those pesky 9-5 jobs. They hope you can take these travel tips and live the life you've only dreamed about!

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