Having previously worked in the travel industry, I get a lot of emails asking which websites I use to book travel, what companies and products I recommend, where to sign-up for airline and hotel loyalty programs and even how to start a blog. So I created this travel resources page to help you plan your travel, save money, start a blog, and more.
All companies listed here are resources I personally have used and recommend.
Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. You help support this blog in an easy, no-cost to you, “Hey, we love ya” way. Thanks for your support!
- Tours & Activities
- Travel Clothing & Travel Gear
- Travel Insurance
You’ll find a variety of accommodations from apartments, homes, to unique living spaces on Airbnb. Because sometimes there aren’t hotels where you’re staying. Or you need more room.
Booking.com is so easy to use. It’s one of the places I use when booking my travel.
Pro-tip: There are no booking fees when you book through Booking.com
You can find low prices on hotels on Hotels.com.
Pro-tip: You get 1 free night for every 10 nights you book.
I like Expedia because they’re a good place to book cheap flights. You’ll get a $50 travel coupon and price difference refund if you find a lower price. Read my review of Expedia review The How to Guide on Expedia Best Price Guarantee.
Pro-tip: Use Expedia’s low prices to get a Best Price Guarantee if you booked on the hotel website.
Got airline miles but can’t find any award seats? ExpertFlyer is what travel hackers and savvy travelers use to find award seats, upgrades to First Class and Business Class, and more. It’s simple and easy to use.
Pro-tip: Pony up for the ExpertFlyer Pro plan. You’ll get notified when award seats are available for flights.
Pro-tip: Amazon Prime and prime services like music and video streaming are available in other countries.
Before shopping online I check TopCashback to see if there’s a rebate offer.
Pro-tip: Use my link to sign-up for TopCashback and get $10.
Tours & Activities
You can book your trip online through Apple Vacations. One-stop shopping makes it convenient and easy.
Pro-tip: Round-trip transportation from your airport to hotel included (except Hawaii and ski bookings). But these can be added.
I use TripAdvisor to help plan my trips and book tours that aren’t available through some tour companies.
Pro-tip: TripAdvisor has a huge database of reviews.
Pro-tip: Because of time zone differences, book 48 hours in advance if you’re outside the US.
In some cities, Uber is more convenient and cheaper than a taxi. Plus you don’t have to fumble for your wallet because your ride is charged to your account.
Pro-tip: Get a $20 Uber credit when you sign-up using my link.
Travel Clothing & Travel Gear
You can find some of the travel clothing and travel gear I have, use, and recommend in one of the gift guides:
- The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for People Who Love to Travel (2016 edition)
- 5 Great Travel Gifts Under $5 (2016 edition)
- 25 Great Travel Gifts Under $25 (2016 edition)
- Gift Ideas for the Graduate Who Loves to Travel (2016 edition)
- 25 Travel Gifts for $25 (2015 edition)
- Top 5 Travel Gifts for $5 (2015 edition)
- 25 Travel Gifts Under $25 (2014 edition)
- 5 Travel Gifts for $5 or Less (2014 edition)
- Top 5 Travel Gifts for $25 (2012 edition)
I’ll update this page later with a complete list of all my travel gear.
Sorry guys, this one’s just for the ladies. Athleta has the absolute best selection of casual clothes for women. While they don’t consider themselves a travel clothing brand, Athleta clothes are perfect for traveling.
Pro-tip: You can mix and match styles and sizes of all Athleta swim tops and bottoms. Ladies, you know how important this is!
Lonely Planet has the best travel guides. And you can buy a hard copy (printed) or digital version.
Pro-tip: If you’re only visiting one city, buy the single chapter PDF.
One of the best places to buy travel gear or anything for the outdoors is Sierra Trading Post. They have one of the best return policies: no questions asked.
Pro-tip: Sign-up for the Sierra Trading Post newsletter to get discount codes and special promotions.
Smugmug offers unlimited storing of your photos. Having an offsite spot to store your photos when traveling or at home is a blessing. Because you never know what can happen.
Pro-tip: Protect those memories and upload your photos every night.
I’ve bought travel insurance exclusively through Travel Guard since 1998. They have the best policies and pay claims promptly.
Pro-tip: Avoid deductible and buy a comprehensive policy.
Whether you want to start a travel blog, fashion blog, mommy blog, lifestyle blog, or some other type of blog. Here are some resources to get you started.
You can start a blog for $2.95 per month through Bluehost. It’s easy to use, they have a toll-free customer service number, and sign-up is a breeze.
Pro-tip: You get a free domain if you sign-up for a 12 month or longer hosting plan.
After your blog gets more traffic and you start making a crap ton of money from affiliate marketing, you can move to a hosting company, like WP Engine, that only hosts WordPress blogs. Your blog will run faster and have less downtime because there are fewer websites/blogs sharing the same servers.
Pro-tip: You get two months of free hosting from WP Engine when you sign-up for a 12-month plan.
Every blog needs a theme. Think of a theme as the outfit your blog wears. StudioPress offers the largest selection of themes and is what I use for this blog and my other blogs. You need the Genesis Framework (the skeleton) to use a StudioPress theme.
Pro-tip: If you’re like me and want to change your theme often, consider signing up for the StudioPress Pro Plus All-Theme package. You get every StudioPress theme and all future themes for one price.
Restored 316 is another company that designs blog themes. Restored 316 themes are feminine and adorable. I’m using a Restored 316 theme on this blog that I got for free because of having the StudioPress Pro Plus All-Theme package.
Pro-tip: Restored 316 is a StudioPress partner. You can get several of the popular Restored 316 themes from StudioPress.
Having an email list on a service like AWeber is a must. My biggest dork move when I first started blogging was not realizing that my subscribe here buttons didn’t go anywhere. Yep, those first three years, people thought they were signing up for a newsletter, but it didn’t go anywhere. I’ve since figured that out and started an actual email newsletter.
Pro-tip: You can try AWeber for free for 30 days.
I love learning. And am a firm believer in you can always learn something. So I enrolled in the Elite Blog Academy. Before starting the Elite Blog Academy I didn’t have a Pinterest account. After the Pinterest lesson in Elite Blog Academy (EBA) I created an account. Now, Pinterest is the biggest source of traffic to my blog.
Pro-tip: Whether you haven’t started a blog, you’re a new blogger, or you’ve been blogging for a long time, enrolling in the Elite Blog Academy is money well spent.
Little did I realize how much money you could make through affiliate marketing. Michelle from Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing makes between $50,000 – $100,000 a month. Yes, a month! Holy smokes! And this is without credit card sign-ups.
Pro-tip: You can finish the entire Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course in half a day.
You can earn money as an affiliate when you join as affiliate network like ShareASale.
Pro-tip: You don’t have to blog to join ShareASale. Share your favorite links via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, even email.
Another affiliate network that I belong to is Affiliate Window.
Pro-tip: Affiliate Window has over 1,600 brands everything from fashion, finance to travel.
If your fingers type faster than your brain, you have a lot of typos or need a little help with sentence structure, consider Grammarly. Grammarly is an online tool that checks your grammar, spelling, etc.
Pro-tip: If you’re planning on publishing a book or an e-book, sign-up for a Grammarly subscription.