Best Travel Websites
Whether you plan a little or a lot, planning for your vacations can be made much easier with some great resources. These are the resources and websites we use to research when we are planning our travel. They are also the sites we use when booking our travel, particularly when it comes to hotels, tours and car rental.
We only recommend those we use and would use again. Sometimes, ownership of companies changes, their business model changes or their service declines. If we ever use one of our favourite travel companies and they let us down, of course, we will give them another go, but when we no longer love them, we will let them go.
General things to consider when planning your travel are:
- Correct documentation: passport, visa, electronic pre-approval
- Getting travel insurance
- Doing research for accommodation, transport, tours
- Booking flights or other transportation
- Booking accommodation
- Checking for travel warnings with relevant authorities
- Researching and planning an itinerary
Accommodation and places to stay
There are so many ways to book accommodation these days but we try to keep it simple, for us and for our readers. We use Trip Advisor all the time. Why? Because it covers all the great hotel booking companies that most people around the world are used to.
Booking.com, Hotelscombined, Agoda, Hotels.com and Wotif are some of the major booking portals and then of course, you can book directly through Trip Advisor too. On Trip Advisor you can also check out all the reviews (the good and the bad) and also check pricing and availability. There’s also a trusty app that can be downloaded to access all of our bookings.
Searching for flights
We often book our flights directly with the airline, but we also use Skyscanner too. Skyscanner gives a great wrap up of all the available flights, routes and pricing for your planned destinations.
Booking car rentals
When we hire cars we use Auto Europe, one of the most comprehensive booking websites for car rental. Here you can see the range of cars on offer for the dates of your choice plus all the added items and inclusions.
Hiring a motorhome
When hiring a motorhome in France or in western Europe, we use and recommend France Motorhome Hire. We have been using them regularly since 2012, and we love everything about them. Hiring with them means no hassle for us and when you are doing a big road trip, that’s exactly what you need. France Motorhome Hire was purchased by Apollo Motorhomes in February 2019 and are continuing to provide the same level of service, with new vehicles and some great new added inclusions.
The great thing for you is that if you mention us (Beer and Croissants) when you are getting your quote, you’ll automatically get €50 discounted from your total hire cost. Now that’s a great saving!
We recommend Viator as they are one of the largest online tour companies with access to tours all over the world. They are easy to use online, and they provide a safe and secure payment system for all online purchases.
We also use Eating Europe for food tours. These guys really know how to run a great food tour and are currently covering London, Paris, Florence, Rome, Amsterdam, Prague and Lisbon.
Getting around a new country
We do a lot of road trips so Google Maps are our best friend. When we are overseas and have access to wifi or data, we will use Google Maps all the time. If we know we might be in an area with limited data access, we download the maps so we can use them offline.
Via Michelin also has a good online mapping service.
If you need to know the best transport to use to get from one location to another, Rome2Rio is the perfect option. It will show you every available transport option as well as the duration of travel and cost.
All three of these tools are also available as apps on your smartphone.
Taking out Travel Insurance
It’s a common statement, but it’s one I honestly believe in. “If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel”. The amount of times I have spoken to people who have said “Oh I don’t need it” defies belief. Touch wood we’ve never needed it for anything major, but we’ve had a few issues that we have been thankful to have it. We spend a lot of time on the road and sometimes things just happen that you can’t control.
Like that time we were returning our motorhome to the depot and someone backed into us in a carpark, causing significant damage to the plastic bumper and underneath the vehicle. Or that time a stone came from another car or truck and cracked the windscreen. Actually, that happened twice! We’ve had clothes stolen from washing machines and smartphones stolen too. And of course, with the amount of travel we do, it’s only natural I suppose that we would have some luggage delayed and go missing.
Others have had significant injuries requiring medical evacuations and repatriations to their home country, or huge medical bills in the US after suffering medical issues. The list goes on.
Protect yourself by getting the best travel insurance you can afford.
We have used Travel Insurance Direct for years. We love their service, their pricing and their comprehensive cover. We now take out an annual policy. The only downside is that it is for Australians only.
For worldwide cover for non-Australians, World Nomads is a major provider.