Ms. Travel Chic: My Top 5 Go To Travel Sites

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My Top 5 Go To Travel Sites

Courtesy of The Reefs via TravelandLeisure.com

Planning a trip or for some just THINKING about planning a trip can be overwhelming. There is tons of information available via agencies, travel books and of course the Internet.

I try to avoid all the confusion and just keep it simple.   

Here are my top 5 go to sites:

1. Trip Advisor – this one is my favorite!
I first discovered this site when planning my 26th birthday to Miami Beach. At the time they were the only site that allowed travelers to upload personal photos! 



Most hotel managed photos are photo-shopped or not current. It's nice to get some photos from recent travelers so you know what to REALLY expect. Another feature I enjoy are the rankings of hotels based on reviews, amenities and location. So while viewing hotels you will see something like:  " ____ hotel is #5 out of 50 hotels in Phoenix". Love it!

2. Orbitz - I'm an American Airlines frequent flier so I try to fly them as often as possible. However I still always look for the best price value. Whenever I am thinking about my next destination I always go to Orbitz to check flights. Orbitz pulls up all major airline fares (with the exception of Southwest and Airtrain) and will even price multiple carrier options for best value. My favorite feature is their "flexible dates" which allows you to search for the best rate by schedule. This is perfect if you know you want to do a 3-4 day trip but unsure of the best day to travel for cheap. They've got you covered!


3. Travel and Leisure - the online version of this magazine is bomb.com! (Sorry I'm an 80's baby)
I go here when I am seeking some travel inspiration. The professional and member photographs are simply breathtaking! Every time I'm on this site I discover a new destination to add to my "travel bucket list". You can read up on culture, check out a travel guide and link to great travel deals. I also enjoy their unique "Best of" lists, like: Americas best town squares, Best Foodie getaways and World's coolest futuristic buildings.

4. Groupon - ...because again, I'm always looking for a deal :) The Groupon Getaways are some of the best deals out there! I booked a vacation last year to Cabo (see my post here) and my upcoming Memorial Day Weekend trip to Vegas via cheap deals on Groupon Getaways.
I still use the site as well for discounted deals at local restaurants. Most deals are between 30%-50% off for popular and newly opened establishments. Pre purchasing vouchers makes it easier to stay within your budget:)

5. Yelp! - this is always a good one to find out the best restaurants, nightlife or spas to check out while visiting. I always like to get out and mingle in the local scene and find the best the city has to offer. The reviews (and lately, photos) are helpful in determining my daily plans so i can maximize my time. Most Yelp! Reviewers provide very detailed responses and the site has a large community so you get a pretty accurate and on point review.

What are your favorite sites?