Planning a trip?
Here are the companies and websites we recommend for finding cheap airfare, reserving accommodations, renting cars (and camper vans!), booking tours, buying travel gear, and getting travel insurance.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the companies below.
Our favorite airfare search engine! It always finds the best price compared to other sites. Use their flight price map to search for the cheapest destinations across the globe in one glance and setup price alerts.
The best thing about Kayak is that it includes tons of budget airlines in the search results. It also gives advice on when to purchase by telling you when prices are expected to go lower.
We use this site for booking our hotels. It has almost 30 million listings including hostels, hotels, vacation rentals, and 5-star resorts and the majority of them offer free cancellation. You can also reserve without paying anything in advance and they have a rewards program.
VRBO focuses more on renting quality homes and offers more weekly and higher-end rentals than Airbnb. One of our favorite vacation rentals ever was booked through this site: a beautiful bamboo cottage in Hawaii.
Hands down the best site for budget-friendly hostels, hotels, and bed and breakfasts. They offer free cancellations up to 7 days before arrival. FYI, staying in a hostel doesn’t always mean you’ll be sleeping in a dorm. Many hostels offer private rooms with the same social experience.
Tours and Activities
Get Your Guide is a website and app with activities and day tours all over the world. A cool thing they offer is “Skip The Line” entry tickets for attractions that you’d otherwise have buy in person, allowing you to spend more time exploring and less time waiting in line. They also have 24/7 customer service and most bookings offer free cancellations up to 24 hours before.
Viator is owned by Trip Advisor and offer more tours and activities than any other site. They have free cancellation and payment options to satisfy any plan or budget and 24/7 customer support.
We are firm believers that one of the best ways to experience a new culture is to cook using local ingredients and eat what the locals eat. Cookly provides traditional and unique cooking classes and market tours in over 150 destinations. They also have more vegetarian and vegan cooking classes than other sites.
The leaders in small group adventure travel for over 20 years, G Adventures offers small group tours made up of like-minded travelers. We like that they give travelers a taste of the local culture, food, and life, and they offer tours for people of all ages and family-friendly tours.
Renting a car is one of our top tips for getting off the beaten path when traveling. This site compares all of the top car rental companies to find you the best deal.
Rent a local RV or camper for a quick weekend getaway or a longer adventure (like our Colorado to California road trip). It’s a great option for those looking for a budget-friendly vacation.
Our #1 site for booking buses and trains around the world. All of the timetables are online and you can book using your favorite travel credit card to get some more rewards points!
Patagonia not only sells outdoor clothing and gear, it’s also an activist company. It pushes for political action on climate change and strives to reduce its environmental impact. They have sustainable gear like bags made from 100% recycled plastic bottles and vegan down alternative puffy jackets.
Walking around inside an REI unleashes a world of potential outdoor activities. From climbing shoes to carry-on bags, they’ve got everything you need for your next adventure. They also have an amazing return policy and knowledgable staff to help you choose the right gear.
This outdoor retailer sells snowboarding, rock climbing, hiking, and camping gear, and calls itself “The Most Fun Outdoor Retailer in the World.” They have a pretty good rewards program and even better sales. We bought both of our travel backpacks from them at a discounted price. Yes, cheaper than Amazon.
If you’re not using a VPN when traveling, you’re completely exposed to someone stealing your personal information, including back accounts and credit card numbers. We’ve used NordVPN since we first started traveling, but we never appreciated it as much as when we went to Shanghai. We couldn’t access anything Google-related in China, so we used our VPN to get around with Google Maps and check our Gmail. A true lifesaver!
From stolen bags to last-minute trip cancellations to medical emergencies, World Nomads has got you covered. It’s travel insurance for independent travelers from more than 130+ countries offering 24/7 worldwide assistance. The best part is that they cover some of our favorite adventure activities (over 200 in all), like scuba diving and snowboarding, and even some that most insurers don’t, like riding in hot air balloons and skydiving. Don’t leave home without it!