10 Travel Sites That’ll Help You Plan an Unforgettable Vacation
Remember back in January when you promised yourself to travel more this year? Well, it’s officially summer, and there’s no better time to head to the beach or take a family road trip. And while you may not have the ideal vacation length (eight days!) lined up, any amount of time you have to explore a new place is worth a bit of front-end research, so you can rest assured that you’ve found the best-priced flight to your destination and the trendiest local coffee shop when you arrive. We’re sharing 10 of our favorite travel sites to help get you there.
1. Hipmunk: Sure, Hipmunk has search features for cheap flights and hotels, but the real reason we love it so much is for the in-depth, hotel-focused city guides. If you’re looking to go to Chicago, for instance, Hipmunk breaks down your options by type (luxury, hostel, Airbnb), neighborhood (Hyde Park, Lincoln Park) and ease of transportation (parking, bus, el train) so you can make informed decisions based on your personal preferences.
2. Eat This Poem: If your “to visit” list is as long as your “to read” list, might we suggest stopping by Eat This Poem’s Literary City Guide to get the scoop on America’s cities that are packed full of awesome eats and bustling bookstores? Each city page has its own tour guide who will give you the scoop on where to shop for cookbooks and where to eat the best tacos. #heaven
3. Cereal: Come for the devastatingly gorgeous photography; stay for the thoughtfully curated travel suggestions. So far, Cereal only has nine online city guides, but you can buy the paper version of many more cities on their website. Each recommendation feels personal, like your well-traveled best friend is giving you her years’ worth of insider knowledge in one minimalist swoop.
4. Kayak: It may not be glamorous, but Kayak is the OG of cheap flight fares and an absolute must when you’re factoring flying into your vacation. It pulls prices from all the major discounted flight websites, drastically cutting your search time and ensuring that you’re getting the best deal out there.
5. HomeAway: Just like its major competitor, HomeAway offers travelers private homes to stay in that the owners have listed on the site. We particularly like HomeAway because, in addition to all the awesome property listings, they also offer well-edited city guides for the world’s major metropolises, making it a one-stop shop for your next urban adventure.
6. Spotted by Locals: With local “spotters” in over 66 countries giving the scoop on their favorite activities, restaurants, coffee shops, spas, theaters and shops, Spotted by Locals is the guidebook answer for the guidebook-adverse. You can search spots by activity to find locals-approved things to do, or you can search by spotter if you find yourself digging a particular local’s taste.
7. Jetsetter: If you’re looking to add a major dose of luxury to your travel plans, hit up Jetsetter before you head out. This flash sale site has incredible deals on uber-cool hotels and resorts in some of the world’s most exotic, hip and of-the-moment locales. Descriptors like “posh,” “brilliant” and “royal” allow you to narrow down the myriad options based on your personal vibe and the “what we love” and “what to know” sections of each hotel listing give you a glimpse into the real life pros and cons of each place.
8. Secret Escapes: Secret Escapes is like Groupon, but for seriously swank vacation deals — we’re talking $70 rooms at boutique hotels in Miami kinda deals. You can book city hotel rooms, spa retreats and all-inclusive beach vacations at up to 70 percent off, which means if you’re flexible with your dates and vacation spot, you can score a significantly sweeter spot than you were probably expecting.
9. 12hrs: For those travelers looking to take a quick trip, let 12hrs plan your 12-hour itinerary. Their guides have a distinct design bent, so if you’re into art, fashion and mid-century modern furniture, be sure to check them out. Even if you’re planning on staying at your destination for longer than a day, 12hrs gives you an awesomely aesthetic jumping off point.
10. Yapta: Once you’ve decided where you want to go and how you want to get there, be sure to start tracking your trip on Yapta. If the price drops for either your preferred hotel or flight, the website will notify you. If you’ve already bought a ticket but have registered the trip on Yapta, you’ll get a refund for the difference when the price drops!
Do you have a favorite travel website? Tweet us @BritandCo and dish for us!
(Photo via Getty)
Your relationship with your finances is one of the most important relationships you'll ever have, and you can't avoid it. That said, for many of us, the pandemic only added to our financial stress. If you find yourself feeling frazzled, just remember that financial insecurity isn't a net-worth issue — it's a mindset issue. And, we happen to have plenty of advice on how to turn your money mindset around so you can take charge of your funds once and for all.
To start, feeling secure begins with a strong foundation, and there's no better time than now to get started stacking the bricks. It's easy to get swept up in the January "new year, new me" mentality, but really? Any time is the right time to get yourself in order. You don't need to wait for a new year, a new moon, the right moment, or a sign from above. You don't even have to start on the first day of the month — you just need to start.
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To help with that, we've put together a list of the just-right-for-you ways that NerdWallet can help you monitor your financial outlook. Haven't heard of them yet? NerdWallet is a personal finance company that helps consumers make smarter financial decisions. Their website and app let you compare different financial products, find articles and tools to make financial decisions with confidence, and keep tabs on your finances (hey there, credit score, I see you!) all in one place. Plus, NerdWallet has over 75,000 glowing reviews in the App Store (and a 4.8 star rating) if you want to read up on any more testimonials.
Tim Chen, NerdWallet's CEO and co-founder, started this financial journey in 2009 after his sister needed help finding a credit card. Even with an economics degree and a Wall Street background, it took awhile for Tim to find the right recommendation (so don't feel too bad when it takes you a while, too). Their mission is to bring clarity to all of life's financial decisions.
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Do you have the best credit card for your lifestyle? Some cards give cash back on every purchase, ones with travel perks, and ones that charge way less interest than you're paying now. NerdWallet takes the guesswork out of choosing the right credit card with simple side-by-side comparisons of different credit cards so that you feel confident choosing the right one. Whatever you want to do, NerdWallet can help you find the best credit card to get it done.
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Mortgage rates are pretty low and it looks like they're going to stay that way for awhile, so buying a home might be the move sooner than you think. But there's so much more to a mortgage than just the interest rate! To help you choose a mortgage lender, NerdWallet has in-depth reviews on multiple lenders in a mixture of categories so you get the home loan with the mortgage rate, term, and fees that's right for you.
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