The 6 Best Free Online Travel Resources

With so many websites dedicated to travel, online comparisons might seem overwhelming if you aren’t sure where to begin.

Traveling can be one of the most life-changing, enlightening experiences you can have—but only if things go well. Otherwise, a dream vacation can quickly turn into a nightmare. Whether you plan to spend a couple weeks traveling or to embark on a year-long adventure, doing your due diligence by researching options from flight costs to transportation, accommodations and attractions is imperative.

Begin by checking out these free online travel resources and you’ll increase your odds of having an exciting and fulfilling adventure, no matter what your destination may be.

1. Travelocity

Travelocity is a great site to start out with when planning your getaway. Founded in 1996, it was one of the first one-stop-shops for booking flights, rental cars and other accommodations.

They guarantee the lowest price—and it’s easy to verify by researching rates on other sites. In addition to the best price, they offer guaranteed service, and if you run into any problems during your trip, they’ll even be there to help you. I can attest not only their availability but to the dedication of their staff to make sure each traveler is satisfied—a rare find today.

While I almost always use it for flights and rental cars, if I’m looking for accommodations that are more off the beaten path, perhaps located in a small, remote town or a family-owned bed and breakfast, I tend to look elsewhere. You won’t find unique lodgings listed on this site.

2. TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is the most popular site for hotel reviews, but it’s also a great site to interact with other travelers who may have more experience in the destination you’re thinking of heading to. They’ve also got a wide variety of reviews on just about every type of accommodation you can think of, from resorts and B&Bs to vacation rentals and other lodging options.

Keep in mind that not all customers are alike, so you’ll need to consider all of the reviews carefully. Don’t let one or two bad remarks put you off. If a hotel consistently has bad reviews, there’s a good reason, but some travelers have unrealistic expectations that can taint the review.

For example, an American traveler may expect the same level of accommodation they’d receive at home when traveling in another part of the world. That just isn’t realistic. On the other end of the spectrum, you’ll need to watch out for fake reviews written by someone with ties to the hotel—the site flags suspicious posts, but these can still be in the mix.

3. has literally changed lives—opening up traveling to those who may not have been able to afford it while also providing a rewarding cultural exchange. It can be used to connect with others who have traveled to your desired destination, gain insider tips and even find a place to sleep for free for a night or two.

There are thousands of friendly people across the globe willingly and enthusiastically offering their couch (or better) to travelers.

Hosts enjoy meeting new people, and some will even take their guests on a tour of their hometown. In exchange, it’s suggested that travelers bring food or a bottle of wine to contribute for dinner, while the host gets to find out about your culture and life back at home.


Bed and breakfasts, run by friendly locals who enjoy imparting information about their community and culture to travelers, are often the next best thing to couch surfing. In contrast to the impersonal nature of a typical hotel, a B&B offers visitors the chance to get to know the host, and staying at one is often a great way to warm your belly before heading out on a day’s adventure. is a site that will provide extensive details on even the tiniest lodgings. You’ll be able to search for specific amenities such as a hot tub or even things like bicycles, horseback riding and kayaks.

5. Travel Blogs

There is a nearly endless number of travel blogs to be found, and you can find one with a personalized focus on just about any area of the planet you can imagine. While there is a ton of useful information to be had on the big travel sites and forums, a blog can offer special insight, and most authors can be easily contacted by email, within the comment sections, on Facebook or on Twitter.

Blogs can also be a source of inspiration for your next journey. follows a family of three who sold their home in the U.S. and began an around-the-world adventure in 2006. They’ve visited dozens of countries and five continents, all with a young daughter who has grown up on the road, learning a number of languages on the way.

If you enjoy hiking, check out Baldhiker, walking the world’s most beautiful places. Meanwhile, Meghan McEwen of the Design Tripper culls the world for the homiest, coziest accommodations.

Inside the Travel Lab is a blog written by a doctor-turned-travel-writer/photographer who uses her scientific background to locate and reveal unique travel experiences, such as finding ghosts in Tuscany and drifting over the tops of volcanoes in Spain.

Doing a little online searching can easily be the start of an adventure you might have never discovered otherwise.


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