10 Travel Planning Websites We Can't Live Without

In the past 5+ years, we've done quite a bit of traveling. Between business trips, tiki bar explorations, trips to Disney World, and visits to New Orleans and Las Vegas, among other places, we've been to 9 different states together. Since Kelsi's family lives on the east coast, we're also bound to fly across the country at least two times a year.

While we love getting away, every trip we go on comes with its fair share of prep and planning. As we figure out our travel logistics, there are some key websites we always use for two main reasons: 

1. To save money (because traveling can get expensive fast!) 
2. To make sure we maximize our time spent seeing the best sites, staying at great hotels, sampling unique local menu items, and drinking the some quality cocktails 

In order to help our readers do the same, we've decided to share our favorite websites that we use to make the most of our travels. These 10 resources are essential to budget-friendly vacations that are well planned out.

PS. If you want to save this list for reference, download our free printable guide! 

BEST FOR: finding unique (and, often, more affordable) accommodations in cities we'll be visiting. 
www.airbnb.com

2. AirportParkingReservations.com

BEST FOR: finding affordable long-term parking at our local airport. 
www.airportparkingreservations.com 

3. CarRentals.com

BEST FOR: finding rental cars at a deeply discounted rate.
www.carrentals.com

4. Expedia.com

BEST FOR: discounted vacation packages that combine airfare, rental cars, and/or accommodations. 
www.expedia.com

5. Hotwire.com

BEST FOR: rental cars & hotel rooms at a special rate because you book before knowing the exact company or resort that will be selected.
www.hotwire.com

6. Kayak.com

BEST FOR: finding some of the lowest prices on airfare and hotel rooms while also featuring some of the best search filters).
www.kayak.com

 7. Oyster.com

BEST FOR: seeing many detailed photographs and ratings of potential hotel properties to help choose where to stay. 
www.oyster.com

8. Pinterest.com

BEST FOR: collecting inspiration, tips, travel guides, and restaurant recommendations when planning your trip. 
www.pinterest.com

9. TripAdvisor.com

BEST FOR: getting honest rankings and reviews on hotels that are also accompanied by guest photos. 
www.tripadvisor.com

10. Yelp.com

BEST FOR: searching for top-rated hotels, restaurants, and bars while reading reviews and viewing photos of your options. 
www.yelp.com

Additional Tips

Beyond these sites, we often go directly to the websites of the hotels or airlines we know we want to book (especially since they often offer their own deals). 

At times, it's been advantageous for us to get travel-related credit cards. For instance, since we fly Virgin America most often, it made sense for us to get their credit card for special travel discounts, to accrue more airline miles, and for benefits like a free checked bag and early boarding. 

We also use Google searches to answer any questions we have about our travel destinations. 

Want To Download This List To Save It For Later? Click Here! 

Are there any other great travel websites we should know about? Let us know in the comments section below! 

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links.