25 Best Travel Planning Resources for a Hassle-Free Trip

Planning a trip? Use my favorite and the best travel planning resources.

Travel planning can be tedious and time-consuming. As the often-designated trip planner and itinerary creator, I’d spend hours scouring the internet to find the best deals for our flights, look for the perfect accommodation, discover the best and most affordable tours and activities that suit our preferences, and ascertain the most cost-effective transportation for our trip itineraries. It took a lot of time from me until I found the best travel planning resources that made my trip planning a whole lot efficient and effective.

And I’d love to share them with you!

By the end of this page, you should have an answer to the question, “What are the best travel planning resources for a hassle-free trip?

⏳ Short on time?

Here are my recommended and what I think are the best travel planning resources for your next trip!

✈️ Airasia (budget flights in Asia)
πŸ”Ž Trip.com
(flight aggregator)
πŸ›‹οΈ Priority Pass
(lounge access)
πŸ’Έ AirHelp
(flight delay compensation)
🧳 Radical Storage
(luggage storage)
πŸ›οΈ Agoda, Booking.com, Hostelworld (hotels + accommodation)
🏞️ GetYourGuide, Klook, Viator (tours & experiences)
πŸš‚ 12go
(trains, buses, sea ferries)
πŸš— Discover Cars
(car rental)
πŸ›œ Airalo
πŸ—‚οΈ iVisa
(visas + travel documents)
βœ”οΈ Heymondo
(travel insurance; get 5% off if you use my link)
🩺 SafetyWing
(travel medical insurance)

*These are all travel resources I personally use for planning and booking my trips. If you use them, some of them will earn me a commission at no extra cost to you. This helps reduce the ever-increasing costs of keeping my site up. Thanks!

Best Travel Planning Resources
(I’ve used over the years!)

Below, you’ll find a list of my favorite and the best travel planning resources (with essential tips!) I’ve used over the years. I hope this will help you plan your next epic trip!

✈️ Flights

Whenever I travel in Southeast Asia, especially in the Philippines, I am no longer surprised by flight delays and cancellations. Given this, I’d rather pay for the cheapest option and be less frustrated than when I book a more expensive flight.

1. Airasia

I book flights directly with Airasia for most of my travels within the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

While delays are frequent and, admittedly, their legroom can be more spacious, I still book with them because, together with Cebu Pacific (another low-cost airline in the Philippines), they tend to offer the cheapest flights.

πŸ’‘ PRO TIP: Subscribe to their mailing list and follow them on socials. Then, wait for their announcement when they’d have a seat sale!

This is how I booked a Manila-Bangkok round-trip ticket for just about 80 USD (vs. 180 USD, which is the cheapest, as of this writing). It’s not a lot, but when you’re traveling on a budget, every cent you can save counts!

But if I don’t have the flexibility to choose the dates, which usually happens when I’m traveling with family and friends who have limited time for vacation, I use the following platforms to look for the most cost-effective flights:

2. WayAway

WayAway is a fairly new flight aggregator. Created by travelers for travelers, it helps you find the best rates on airline tickets – displaying final prices, without hidden fees!

πŸ’‘ PRO TIP: Want cashback for your flights, accommodations, car rentals, tours, etc? Check out the WayAway Plus Membership Plan. Use my promo code thebohotravels and get 10% off WayAway Plus Membership!

3. Trip.com

Trip.com is one of the platforms I use to research for the most cost-effective flight to book.

While they have similar functionalities to other flight aggregators mentioned in this list, I love how friendly their interface isβ€”it makes it easier and more convenient for me to plan my travel itinerary and budget!

4. Kiwi.com

Kiwi.com is another platform I use to research affordable flights and alternative routes.

Unlike other platforms, they don’t limit their search to just flights but include other transportation options, like trains and buses. This gives you a more comprehensive overview of the best choice to get to and from your next destination, especially if you’re on a budget!

5. Aviasales

What I like about Aviasales is that, aside from helping you find the best option for your chosen dates (whether it’s the cheapest, cheapest direct, or most convenient), they can also suggest other flight dates when the costs are lowerβ€”perfect for those with flexibility on their travel dates!

6. CheapOair

CheapOair is similar to the above list of platforms for finding the most cost-effective flights (it also offers hotels, tours and activities, and car rentals). But what sets CheapOair apart is that you can pay your ticket using Affirm.

Of course, I recommend booking flights only if you already have the money to pay for them. But when times are tough, and you really have to fly somewhere, perhaps because of an emergency, you may want to check out CheapOair.

πŸ’‘ PRO TIP: Double-check the price directly with the airlines. If there’s no significant difference, consider booking directly with the airline to be on the safer side.

I used to work with an online travel agency, and while my previous company had fantastic customer service, I learned that OTAs still don’t have control over suppliers’ offerings.

So, while the flight aggregators I mentioned can definitely help follow up when things don’t go as planned, I’d err on the side of caution and just book directly with the airline.

πŸ›‹οΈ Lounge Access

There was a time when I didn’t think I’d ever have access to an airport lounge. I felt that it was just for the privileged.

But I had that opportunity when I managed to snag a Manila-Taipei business class ticket from EVA Air that was cheaper than an economy class ticket! I think it was just a technical glitch, but hey, they honored it! So, I get that I was fortunate.

Access to their business lounge was one of the perks of flying business class with EVA Air. And while I’m pretty low-maintenance, I did enjoy the comfort that having lounge access afforded me.

So, I thought of sharing how you may be able to experience this, too, even without spending a lot on a business class ticket!

7. Priority Pass

Priority Pass makes that privilege accessible to you. It offers you access to 1300+ airport lounges (subject to space availability, of course) worldwide, including major airports in Southeast Asia.

They have membership plans for different travelers: Standard for the occasional traveler, Standard Plus for the regular traveler, and Prestige for the frequent traveler.

πŸ’Έ Flight Delay Compensation

As I mentioned earlier in this article, flight cancellations, delays, and interruptions are common in Southeast Asia, which is also why you should factor that in whenever you plan your trip to this part of the world.

However, only some know that they can file a compensation claim whenever that happens. Or, if people do know, they just, most of the time, let it go because they don’t want to go through the hassle of filing a claim.

8. AirHelp

If your flight was canceled or delayed, or if you missed a connection, AirHelp can handle processing the claim on your behalf for a 35% fee (50% if legal procedures are needed).

Yes, their fees may seem high. But if you’re not eligible or don’t receive any compensation, you don’t have to pay AirHelp!

🧳 Luggage Storage

If you need a babysitter for your luggage, especially if you have an early arrival or late departure, you may benefit from a luggage storage service.

9. Radical Storage

Radical Storage allows travelers with early arrivals or late departures to enjoy their vacation fully by offering luggage storage located in main city areas and points of interest.

They have luggage storage worldwide. In Southeast Asia, they offer it in the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

So, you don’t have to lug your baggage around while shopping or enjoying an activity!

πŸ›Œ Hotels & Accommodations

Finding the best accommodation that suits your requirements and budget can be a pain. Before I learned of these tools, I’d spend days scouring the internet for the best options before I finally book!

So, here are the websites I use to find and book accommodations for my next destinations.

Bedroom at Bellevue Panglao, Bohol, that we booked from one of the best travel planning resources for accommodations: Booking.com

10. Agoda

Agoda is very popular in Asia. In addition to hotels, B&Bs, and hostels, their list of accommodations also includes vacation rentals (including apartments, villas, and homes).

When I was just starting to travel, this was the only platform I used to search for and book my accommodations. I love that they offer accommodations at discounted ratesβ€”perfect for those who want the best bang for their buck, like me.

πŸ’‘ PRO TIP: If you’re planning a trip to Asia, I recommend using Agoda. Based on experience, there are LOTS of budget, mid-range, and luxury options that are available in Agoda (especially for accommodations in Asia) but cannot be found in other platforms.

11. Booking.com

Booking.com is one of my go-to travel resources for finding and booking accommodations.

I like that I can filter the listings according to ratings from previous guests (making it easier to sort through possibly hundreds of options), read verified guest reviews (to see other important information that the listing may not have mentioned), and perhaps the most important for me – unlike other platforms, they offer zero booking fees!

12. Hostelworld

If you love meeting other passionate travelers, then Hostelworld may be the best booking platform for you. They offer budget accommodations, like hostels and budget hotelsβ€”perfect travelers who love unique experiences.

As a side note, I stayed at Ostello Bello Bagan in Myanmar and I loved it! There, I met fellow travelers who I still are friends with up to this date!

πŸ’‘ PRO TIP: Check Booking.com, Agoda, and Hostelworld first before booking. I’d even go as far as checking directly with my chosen accommodation to see where I can get the best rates!

🏞️ Tours & Activities

I love DIY-ing my trips! Most of the time, too, the activities I’m interested in are too off-the-beaten-path that I have to find local contacts just so I can the community I’d like to visit (e.g., when I met the oldest Kalinga traditional tattoo artist, Apo Whang-od, and when I went on an adventure to meet the Eskaya tribe in Bohol).

When I do book tours in destinations that are a bit more mainstream, I prefer to do them with smaller local suppliers because I know that, for many of them, running these small tours is their only means of earning a living.

But, when I visit foreign places I know very little about, I use these travel resources and platforms to find tours and activities for my next destination:

13. GetYourGuide

GetYourGuide is the platform I use when looking for immersive experiences – which makes it one of the best travel planning resources. If you’re looking for tours run and done by local experts, you may find them on GetYourGuide.

14. Klook

Klook is a booking platform for tours and excursions (very popular in Asia) and one of my main resources for travel planning.

I use Klook to research what I can do in my destination, compare prices for similar tours, and read reviews and ratings from fellow travelers who’ve booked the activities I’m interested in – helping me make an informed choice for planning my trip! If you want hassle-free experiences, especially in Asia, I recommend booking with Klook.

15. Viator

Viator is another platform I use when planning for my trips. They offer a wide selection of tours and activities to help you create a memorable trip. Whether you’re looking for walking tours, wine tasting, cooking classes, day trips, or multi-day excursions, you can find them at Viator. If you want to discover different activities, get an overview of the experience, and get insights from your fellow travelers to help you make an informed decision, I recommend checking out Viator – which I find to be one of the best travel planning resources.

16. Eatwith

Eatwith offers unique and authentic culinary experiences that work for all budgets. If you want to experience having home-cooked meals with locals and are interested in food tours and cooking classes, check out Eatwith.

πŸ’‘ PRO TIP: Once you’ve chosen the activities you’d like to do in your next destination, I recommend also asking your accommodation host if they offer or know anyone offering similar tours (or they may have other suggestions, too!). You never know. They might be able to recommend trusted tour guides or organizers who can offer you similar tours for a cheaper price!

πŸš– Airport Transfers

Getting to your accommodation from the airport can sometimes be a pain – especially when visiting a foreign location.

While, in the past, I’d be okay to walk or take buses and trains, while having my heavy luggages with me, my back problem now prohibits me from doing this.

This is why I also now check for airport transfers when planning trips.

17. Grab

I tend to use Grab wherever it’s available. I hate haggling and being scammed by taxis or tuk-tuks (very rampant in Southeast Asia), so I always check if they are available in my next destination.

I love that I can find out upfront what I have to pay (no need to haggle). Plus, I can share my trip’s tracking link with my family and friends, which makes me feel more at ease, especially if I’m in a foreign destination.

Its downside is that there’s no certainty that you’d be able to find a ride right away (it depends on the traffic situation + availability of drivers at the time of booking). But if you’re okay with that (I usually check if my arrival time is not during peak hours), then you should definitely consider using Grab for airport transfer.

πŸ’‘ PRO TIP: If you’re not willing to risk not getting a ride right away, then I suggest booking your transfers beforehand.

I always check with my accommodation if they offer this service (some even offer it for free).

Otherwise, I check the following platforms to see if they have available airport transfers in my destination.

*I always read the fine print and the reviews first before booking. If I’m convinced (or am willing to risk it), then I go ahead and book with them. Otherwise, I usually just always use Grab when it’s available.

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    πŸ—ΊοΈ Getting around

    When I was still in my adventurous phase, I didn’t plan much for getting from one city/province to another. I’d usually just ask for information from the locals I met and take it from there. It was fun and exciting (there was even a time that I got to ride on top of an overloaded jeepney!), I admit, and I’m happy that I was able to experience that.

    More recently, though, I have tended to plan my trips with as many details as possible. It just makes me less anxious that way.

    So, here, I’m going to share with you the best travel resources I use for planning how to commute from one place to another:

    18. Google Maps

    Google Maps has been a lifesaver. As someone who doesn’t like commuting very much (I’d rather take Grab whenever it’s available), I get to know how to get from one place to another because of Google Maps.

    Whether I’m in my home city or visiting a foreign location, I turn to Google Maps to help me navigate my way around my current location.

    19. Rome2Rio

    Rome2Rio helps you plan how to get from point A to point B. That way, you’ll know whether to book a plane ticket, take the train or bus, board a ferry, or rent a car.

    πŸš‚ Trains, Buses, Sea Ferries

    Once you know how to get from one point to another, you can plan and even pre-book your tickets for a hassle-free trip!

    20. 12go

    If you already know that you’re taking the bus, train, or ferry from one point to another, you can most likely find the available public transportation in 12go.

    I like that you can sort them by shortest time, earliest or latest, as well as cheapest.

    You can book with them directly if you like, and you can read the reviews of travelers who’ve previously used that service.

    πŸ’‘ PRO TIP: Check the operators’ websites (their names are usually mentioned in 12go listings) and see if you can book directly with them.

    Whenever possible, I’d choose to book directly with the operators, as they are often cheaper. Plus, it’s less riskier when you book directly from the providers.

    πŸš— Car Rentals

    If you’re traveling with a group and feeling a li’l bit adventurous, renting a car may come out cheaper than commuting. Here are the platforms where you can find cars that you can rent out for the duration of your trip:

    21. Discover Cars

    Discover Cars is a car rental comparison website with a 4.6 rating on TrustPilot. It compares the rates of all local and international companies to give you the best price.

    πŸ’‘ PRO TIP: Double check if the car rental company you’re planning to book with has high user ratings through Google Search (for example, if you’re traveling in Bangkok, that may be Europcar, Sixt, Keddy Car Rental, Asap Car Rental, or Drive Car Rental). Discover Cars ratings are a bit off but they do offer the cheapest rates!

    22. EconomyBookings

    Many of the car rental companies found in Economybookings.com is in close proximity to the airports. This means that it’s easier for travelers to rent a car right after arrival, and they don’t need to pay extra for transfers!

    πŸ’‘ PRO TIP: Always check the fine print and read the reviews of people who’ve previously used the rental car company that you’re interested in booking with. If you plan to rent the car from when you arrive at your next destination, ensure that you also factor in flight delays and cancellations.

    πŸ›œ Staying connected

    Making sure that you have a way to communicate with your loved ones as well as with your contacts in your next destination is crucial.

    23. Airalo

    Airalo is an eSIM store that helps you stay connected with your loved ones, wherever you are in the world, without having to pay excessive roaming charges.

    If you’re looking for an alternative to buying local sim cards, you may want to consider getting an eSIM from Airalo.

    Before Traveling

    You’ve already planned your trip, so now it’s time to ensure that you actually can travel and enjoy it hassle-free! Here are my favorite travel resources for checking visa requirements and travel insurance.

    πŸ“ Visas and Other Travel Documents

    Nothing sucks more than having already planned your trip, paid for all your flights, accommodations, tours, etc., and finding out that you can’t travel because you don’t have the required travel documents (happened to us when we were supposed to fly to Bangkok).

    24. iVisa

    This is why I check iVisa to learn the requirements before I travel from one country to another. They can also help you process your visa and other travel documents.

    🩺 Travel Medical Insurance

    One of my greatest fears when traveling is getting sick when I’m not in my home city. This is why I never travel without a travel insurance.

    25. SafetyWing

    SafetyWing is, in my opinion, the best travel medical insurance for budget travelers. It offers the Nomad Insurance, which provides coverage for unexpected medical problems and accidents, as well as travel delay, lost checked luggage, emergency response and natural disasters, and personal liability. It’s available in 180 countries and can be purchased even when you’re already traveling. Plus, they are now offering a $0 deductible policy!

    The Wrap up: Best Travel Planning Resources

    That’s it! Thank you for reading this far. I hope that my favorite travel planning resources will help you plan your next trip! They’ve made my life easier and I hope they would do the same for you!

    If you have questions or need help, please feel free to contact me. I’d be happy to help!