I’ve compiled a list of resources for you that have been useful during my travels. I hope they help make your adventures easier as well!
** This post contains affiliate links.
Favorite Travel Tools:
Going.com, formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights, sends crazy flight deals right to your inbox. They link you directly to purchase from the airline, they are not a ticketing agency. I went to Europe for $495 R/T from one of his alerts and Hawaii for $412 R/T. The catch with these flights is that you have to be able to act fast as they will disappear quickly. They are developing an app that will make finding cheap flights even easier!
I use the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant AMEX card for most of my purchases and receive hotel points. They waive the annual fee for U.S. military members, and it has many perks including a monthly restaurant credit, hotel breakfast, and airport lounge access. We used our sign-up bonus points to stay at a NYC Marriott for free. The AMEX Platinum, whose annual is waived for military as well, is worth looking into for non-hotel travel perks like Uber credit, in-flight purchase credits, hotel credits, and airport lounge perks. We have both cards as their benefits do not overlap very much other than airport lounge access. With these cards, I never pay for coffee or food at the airport, never pay for checked bags, get up to 3 free hotel nights per year, never pay for breakfast while traveling, and get free hotel credits to be used at hotel spas and restaurants. Use the links posted here to get a higher sign-up bonus!
*DISCLAIMER: YOU MUST CALL AMEX CUSTOMER SERVICE OR FILL OUT AN ONLINE FORM TO INITIATE THE MILITARY ANNUAL FEE WAIVER AFTER YOU ARE APPROVED FOR AN AMEX CREDIT CARD. I WOULD NOT APPLY/USE THE AMEX PLATINUM CREDIT CARD OR MARRIOTT BONVOY BRILLIANT UNLESS YOU QUALIFY FOR THE MILITARY FEE WAIVER OR TRAVEL EXTREMELY OFTEN. THE PERKS WILL NOT COMPENSATE FOR THE ANNUAL FEE IF YOU ONLY TRAVEL A FEW TIMES A YEAR.
The Marriott App is awesome when searching for hotels exactly where you want to go. You can add your travel details and even include the discounts you qualify for like AAA, Senior, or Military and Marriott will show you the best options by distance from your destination. I use it all the time when dreaming about a future adventure!
I also always have the Hilton app downloaded on my phone as well. Although I have the Marriot card, cash is king, so if I’m out of points and credits, I compare hotel prices on both apps based on the discounts available during my dates of travel.
The Enterprise app is also a lifesaver when checking for last-minute trips. So far, I haven’t found a rental car company that I like better than Enterprise, and although I check prices for every rental company at my destination, I almost always come right back to Enterprise. They’ve given us an upgrade or 4-wheel drive when available every time we’ve asked.
Read THIS POST to learn of the best things to pack and best gear to use for hopping around Europe in the springtime.
The Best Travel Gear for Backpacking & Hopping Around Europe
With the cost of a flight to Europe as well as the ease of hopping from country to country by rail or budget European airlines, it makes sense to pack light and spend 2 weeks to a month traveling around the continent. Here are some lifesaver items for either backpacking Europe or simply hopping around…