time-saving resources

Trip-Planning Resources

Travel planning doesn’t need to be time consuming, stressful or complex. This page consolidates some of the best trip-planning resources that are at your fingertips. Use them to search and book flights, hotels, vacation rentals, rental cars, shuttles and ferries. 

What you’ll find below:

  • Online Travel Agents (OTA’s)
  • Hotels
  • Vacation Rentals
  • Spanish Airlines (yep, that’s a category)
  • Ground Transportation
  • Travel Insurance (separate page)

We use all of these tools, and we’ll never promote a platform that we don’t believe in.

OTA's (Online Travel Agents)

These platforms act as search engines to help you compare flight, hotel & rental car options across a wide range of airlines, hotel groups and other travel & tourism brands.

Skyscanner gathers info from nearly all search engines and airlines, helping you find the best itinerary at the right price point.

Then, it connects you directly with the airline to make the booking. If you don’t like booking through a 3rd party, this is the tool for you.

Download the Skyscanner appAndroid users, click here.

Expedia works similarly to Skyscanner, and also lets you bundle flights and hotels.

When you’re ready to book, you make the booking through Expedia. This enables you to earn points through their rewards program, which you can redeem on future travel.

                                                                                                           

Hotels

If we’re not booking a vacation rental, the 2 platforms below are our trusted, go-to options.

Booking.com

Booking.com became our most frequently-used platform when we lived in Europe.

It offers a huge database of listings and great search functionality (filters, maps, etc.)

Hotels.com specializes in providing accommodations during sold-out periods. 

Their properties range from hotels and B&B’s to condos and all-inclusive resorts.

Vacation Rentals

Whether you’re planning an extended holiday with a large group of family & friends, or just a weekend getaway with a loved one, vacation rentals are an awesome alternative to traditional hotels. If you value privacy, personal space, room to relax or access to a full kitchen, consider a vacation rental for your next trip. Many of them are pet-friendly!

HomeAway is the world’s leading vacation rental marketplace, with more than 1 million listings in 190 countries.

VRBO is part of the HomeAway family. You’ll find a nearly identical set of listings here. We use both platforms.

Spanish Airlines

Spain is near and dear to our hearts. D lived in Seville for 5 months. Adam lived in Madrid for 2 years. We’ve flown each of these airlines dozens of times, and we strongly endorse both of them.

  • Spain’s national airline
  • Great for long hauls
  • Flights reach 115 destinations across 42 countries
  • Member of Oneworld Alliance, which includes American Airlines, British Airways, Qantas, Cathay Pacific and others
  • Spain’s budget airline
  • Great for short trips
  • Flights reach 100 destinations across Spain, Europe, North Africa & Middle East
  • Owned by Iberia & British Airways–which are Oneworld members–yet for some reason, Vueling is not part of Oneworld

Ground Transportation

Sooner or later, someone’s gonna have to land the plane. Once you’re on the ground, that’s where these guys come in.

  • World’s biggest car rental booking platform
  • Work with all major car suppliers
  • Range from luxury to budget
  • 53,000 locations worldwide
  • Free cancellation on most bookings
  • Owned by Booking.com
  • Convenient airport parking facilities in 59 U.S. metro areas
  • Shuttle picks you up within 5 minutes of parking your car and drops you off at your terminal
  • Some locations offer car washes, oil changes and pet boarding
  • Airport transfer service 
  • Available in Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria and Eastern Europe
  • Platform based on flexibility & peace of mind
  • If you miss your bus, they ensure you still get a safe ride home.

Disclosure

Many (but not all) of these brands are affiliate partners of ours. This means that if you choose to click through the links or banners and make a purchase, we’ll receive credit for the sale. In some cases, we’ll be paid a commission. In other cases, we’ll receive credit toward that platform the next time we need to use it.

There’s never any added cost to you for booking through these links. We simply receive a piece of the fees that are already being charged. Sometimes, you’ll even save a few bucks searching for deals here as opposed to what you may find with an independent search.

These commissions are a small part of the fuel that keeps the travelhelix fire burning, and we want you to know that we appreciate any business you give to these companies, via our platform. 

Thank you for your support!

Cheers!

-DnA