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, ferries and more. 

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



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.


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


Expedia lets you bundle flights and hotels and you make the booking directly through Expedia. This enables you to earn points through their rewards program, which you can redeem on future travel.

Seat Guru

Do you ever have trouble deciding what seat to pick on the plane? Seat Guru is an awesome resource to scope out your next seat to make sure you aren't by a bathroom or don't end up without a window for your upcoming 8 hour flight.

The Points Guy

Nothing says it better than the tagline: maximize your travel. The Points Guy (TPG) is our go-to resource for anything points related. If you want to learn more about using your points & miles and how to get the most out of them, TPG is your new BFF!

Priority Pass

The ultimate membership card for airport lounge access. Priority Pass has saved us literally thousands of dollars on airport dining while waiting for flights. Sign up here to get 10% off a membership, and access over 1200 airport lounges worldwide!

Hotels became our most frequently-used platform when we lived in Europe. It offers a huge database of listings and great search functionality. specializes in providing accommodations during sold-out periods. Their properties range from hotels and B&B's to condos and all-inclusive resorts.


Bundle flights and hotels and make bookings directly through Expedia. You earn points through their rewards program, which you can redeem on future travel.


A backpacker’s #1 resource for accommodation, and our go-to platform for budget travel. Free cancellation when you book more than 7 days in advance!

Secret Escapes

Access luxury hotels and resorts at up to 60% off normal rates. Get $40 toward your first trip when you join the Secret Escapes email list. It’s free to sign up!

Vacation Rentals


Airbnb is the perfect alternative to your traditional hotel. Some of our best stays to date have been at Airbnb's!


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


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

Getting Around

World's biggest car rental booking platform. Works with all major car suppliers. Ranges from luxury to budget. Free cancellation on most bookings.


The best website to search from point A to point B. The site shows you all possible forms of transportation, length of the journey and even price estimates.


Convenient airport parking facilities in 59 U.S. metro areas. The shuttle will pick you up within 5 minutes of parking your car and drop you off at your terminal.


Airport transfer service available in Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria and Eastern Europe. The platform is based on flexibility & peace of mind.

Rail Europe

A one-stop-shop for planning and booking European train travel. Aggregates routes from over 50 European train companies allowing us to find the perfect one!

Tours & Excursions

Tours By Locals

Tours By Locals is a boutique company that screens each and every guide via a rigorous selection process. Work directly with guides to modify details of listed tours or customize private tours from scratch. Recommended for: premium experience! anyone looking for a customizable tour with verified local experts.


GetYourGuide provides over 30k tours and activities across more than 110 countries. Partnerships include EasyJet, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Emirates,, and Lufthansa Holidays. Recommended for: flexibility! Cancel up to 24 hours before the scheduled departure time to receive a full refund.


Viator is the largest and most comprehensive platform out there, with a network of 3,500+ partners and more than 200k tours, activities & excursions available worldwide. Recommended for: TripAdvisor fans! Viator links with TripAdvisor profiles, allowing you to browse and book without leaving the site.

Stay Connected

Express VPN

Protect your data from the road! This is an easy to use, affordable VPN that we've used all over the world. It's also how we keep up with Game of Thrones while we travel ;). Sign up to get 30 days free!

Travel Insurance

World Nomads

World Nomads travel insurance has been designed by travelers for travelers, with coverage for more than 150 activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation and more. World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world. Disclaimer: We receive a fee when you get a quote from World Nomads using this link. We do not represent World Nomads. This is not a recommendation to buy travel insurance.


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 may receive a commission for the sale.

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!



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