Agoda is a free search engine that locates the best hotels, bed and breakfast and other guest lodges by searches hundreds of other sites. It’s a great place to book international accommodations, especially for Asia.
This site connects people who want to lease or rent short-term vacation lodging from property owners. We frequently use this site to book our accommodations that allow us the conveniences of home away from home.
Booking.com is very user-friendly and our go-to-site for booking hotels. It has a great selection of accommodations at low prices and permits reservations without paying upfront as well as easy cancellations.
CRUISES & RAIL
For families that love the convenience of cruises, Cruises.com is a good start for cruise price comparisons. Apart from the regular cruise lines, this site also provides prices for river, luxury, and other specialty cruises.
RailEurope combine the maps, schedules and fares for different train companies across Europe. If you plan on going to more than one country in Europe by rail, this site will show you the best rate/schedule for the countries you wish to visit.
Cruise Direct is a comprehensive site for researching, planning, and reserving cruises. The site displays search results for all cruise lines based on destination, duration, sailing dates, trip style, and lengths.
GUIDES & TOURS
Viator is a source for finding local tours and activities worldwide. Viator works with local merchants to curate activities ranging from traditional tours to more adventurous experiences. This site is our resource for more ideas of things to do in a new destination.
Go City Card is a multi-attraction discount card that save us money when touring major metropolitan cities within the USA. Go City Cards instantly delivers a bar code to our emails and this bar code serves as our entrance ticket into several attractions.
Lonely Planet is the largest travel guide resource with adult and children guide books, phrasebooks, and ebooks that can be read as whole or in sections. We frequently download the e-version on our smart devices to make it easily accessible.
HEALTH & INSURANCE
We never leave the country without a travel insurance. They are relatively inexpensive, take just a few minutes to set up, and give us a peace of mind. We purchase most of our travel insurance from Travelex and it usually takes less than ten minutes to set up a new coverage prior to each trip.
For the adventurous family like ours, World Nomads covers you and your family for a long list of activities so you can explore a little bit more. When we’re on an extended trip or plan to be involved in more adventurous activities, we purchase our insurance from World Nomads.
We never leave town without checking current health facts about where we’re heading to. The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) has an interactive travelers’ health fact sheet with up-to-date country-specific health information about. Remember the site is a government site so it will be extremely cautious and protective.
GoPro is know for making quality action and waterproof cameras. We use our GoPro Hero5 (along with our iPad and phone) for pictures, audios, and videos. GoPro connects to the cloud so you can edit, share, and upload media easily.
IT brand of luggage is our preferred brand of luggage. We often travel far with multi-destination stops, so must pack travel very light. There are more expensive brands but IT is one of the lightest yet sturdiest luggage in the market.
Every member of our family owns one of these and the children scratch off recently visited countries with a coin from that country. It’s also a handy resource for planning multi-city/country trips. Our maps differ slightly since we also take couples-only and solo trips.