Welcome to Travel Guides!
Here you’ll find travel planning resources including travel tips, travel guides, and family travel gear recommendations.
We’ve gathered all the best information on family road tripping, visiting national parks, choosing the best gear, booking travel, and even blogging resources.
Travel Planning Resources
Skyscanner– Skyscanner has an amazing feature where your destination can be “Everywhere” and it will show you flights from your home airport (or wherever you are looking to fly from) sorted by price. Click into any location and you can see a calendar of the best prices. Download the app for the easiest access.
Generally, I try to book flights directly through the airline- if there’s a cancelation or problem you have one company to deal with instead of two. If you book through a third-party site, you may end up with credit through that site, on a specific airline, which can be much harder to use.
Google Flights– A great way to check flight prices, and set easy alerts for your destinations. I can easily set alerts for one-way flights, while most email services focus on round-trip deals.
Booking.com– I love that Booking allows you to build up status points (they call them “Genius Levels”) that don’t expire. I find that Booking often has the best prices on hotels in the US, though I always double-check at Hotels.com, and also through the hotel’s direct site when possible.
I also like the Booking app- it’s easy to use, and will alert me if I have a conflicting reservation. When changing my hotel reservation it gives me the option of automatically canceling the older overlapping reservation.
Pruvo– This app will watch your hotel reservations and alert you if a lower price is available. It alerts you to your specific hotel, and how much you’ll save if you decide to rebook and cancel the original reservation. When booking a complicated trip quite a few days out this is a great way to save money! Download their free app to make it even easier.
G Adventures– For a tour of a week or longer, G Adventures is the first place I’d look. I went on their “Wonders of Jordan” tour of Petra and around Jordan and had a terrific time. I met several travelers who have used G Adventures around the world and always had a good experience.
GetYourGuide– For day trips or tours around specific cities I always check GetYourGuide. My favorite part of this service is that they list the actual tour operator. I can search for reviews, and just feel more comfortable knowing who I’ll be dealing with on the ground.
Viator– This tour booking company is owned by TripAdvisor and has a massive catalog of available tours. They do a great job showing the exact itinerary of what you are booking, so you know how long you’ll stop at each location. Their customer service is great, I’ve had to modify trips and they are very easy to work with.
Budgeting and Logisitics
Tripit– This free app puts all of your travel reservations and confirmation numbers in one easy-to-read itinerary on your phone. You either allow it to scan your inbox or forward confirmation emails to the app. You can have multiple travelers assigned to any trip. This has been a really useful app- when planning our Epic Cross Country Road Trip, it lets me double-check that my hotel reservations are all lined up (and not overlapping). You can also add activities or tours. Highly recommend!
National Park Service App– This free app includes all sorts of information about all the National parks including maps, calendars, and amenities. You can mark certain parks as favorites, and download the info for any park to use it offline. From parking to fuel, or where to find the nearest restroom, this is a must-have when exploring the US National Parks!
Safety Wing– You need travel insurance, especially in this new age of cancellations, changes, and border closures. Safety Wing offers the best rates I’ve found for covering our family of four for long-term travel. You don’t need to list every country you are traveling to, so you don’t need to worry if your plans change. You can set your insurance to renew each month until you stop it. They also offer more comprehensive medical insurance for digital nomads.
YNAB– This stands for “You Need A Budget”. If you don’t have budgeting software, you should try this product. We have been using YNAB for years and totally rely on it. The first step to making smart financial decisions is knowing exactly how you currently spend your money.
Rakuten– This Chrome extension and app gives you cashback on your online purchases. Not using it is literally leaving money on the table. Rates vary, but currently 2% cashback on Booking.com, 6% on Viator tours. When booking trips and tours the cash adds up. Use my referral link and we both get extra cashback!
SiteGround– I host my blog through SiteGround and have been pleased with their service. They are a great entry-level host. I especially like that I can easily access database and theme files without using a separate FTP.
ConvertKit– I manage my email subscriptions and opt-in offers through ConvertKit. I find it very intuitive and easy to manage. I love the easy design features for opt-ins.
Tailwind– I use Tailwind to create Pinterest images for my blog and to manage all my Pinterest posting. The interface can be a bit slow, but it spaces out my pins and saves me a ton of time versus pinning to Pinterest directly. I use Tailwind Create to create pins for all of my posts.
Later– I use Later to schedule Instagram posts. l like their easy-to-use visual calendar. I tried Tailwind for Instagram and found switching between profiles awkward, I much prefer the Later interface.