Here at Gear Institute we test gear all over the world. And adventure goes hand and hand with travel which can be exciting and rewarding, but also a pain in the neck. Booking travel online has become more convenient over the years and there are plenty of deals to be found. Here are some of our favorite travel websites that make it easier to book trips, and pay for them.
Google Flight Search
Expedia Orbitz, Travelocity – they’re all aggregators who, like their commercials, offer little value and overstated savings. I prefer to go with a service like Kayak or the newly improved Google Flight Search, which allow you to search prices directly with the airlines and provide powerful tools for snagging the best prices. While both Google and Kayak provide similar functionality, Google does so at amazing speed. Searches are nearly instantaneous and their integrated map feature will allow you to view fares from your selected city to an array of destinations at once. Their calendar function is especially useful and allows you to adjust the length of your trip, preferred airlines, number of stops, etc to ultimately find the best possible price.
The Points Guy
If you’re going to travel – make sure you’re getting points and miles. ThePointsGuy.com helps newbies and road warriors alike sort through the sea of loyalty programs it seems almost all travel providers are touting. From points earning credit cards to the best way to use your hard earned airline miles – Brian Kelly and his team of travel experts will guide you toward big earnings and high value rewards.
Started by two roommates in San Francisco who needed a few extra bucks to make rent, airbnb has become a leader in the new “sharing economy”. Individuals list their spaces, whether it be a room in their apartment or an entire house, and users can rent that space for a preset price. This is the best way I’ve found to travel on a budget – plus you can list your space on the site while you’re traveling and offset the cost of your trip.
Boasting over 800,000 listings in 190 countries, there are endless possibilities for unique and unconventional accommodations: tree houses, staterooms on yachts, castles, horse ranches, urban farms, traditional yurts, and everywhere in-between. I’m not sure I’ll ever book a hotel room again
Let us know what websites or online tools are most useful for you when booking your adventures by posting a comment below.