Plan your perfect trip

With our travel resources check list

Avoiding the hassle

We've dedicated this page to making planning a holiday as easy as possible. There are so many travel websites out there that it can become a bit mind boggling when you're first start to plan your trip. We've curated this list of go-to websites based on our experiences and the recommendations of our readers.

We've been exploring these websites for years and felt it would be useful to collect them into one handy travel resources page. Think of it as a bit of check list. When we're going on holiday, we tend to check these places first.

Accommodation

Booking.com

With accommodation around the world to suit any budget Booking.com is a great place to start looking for you perfect place to stay.

We love their user friendly website and they never take a booking fee... bonus! Added to that, most rooms give you the option to cancel your booking with no cost.

From apartments, boats and castles to treehouses, villas and yurts, the type of accommodation listed on Booking.com today is more diverse than ever.

TripAdvisor

We all know that TripAdvisor is the place to go to find great reviews and opinions on hotels around the globe. As the world's largest travel community, TripAdvisor's millions of reviews offer a unique insight that might otherwise be hard to find.

What many don't realise is that you can instant book a room through TripAdvisor. It's a great service that finds competitive prices. They have a simple filtering system which is effective but not as advanced as some of its competitors in this field.

Trivago

Another big player in the world of hotel search, Trivago compares over 900,000 hotels from more than 250 booking sites.

The Trivago website is a dream to use providing endless filtering options to ensure you're only looking at hotels that fit the bill. Our favourite feature is the "view on map" button that gives you a really convenient way to see hotels in relation to one another.

Gorgeous Cottages

If you're looking for somewhere special to stay in 'God's Own County' you can't go far wrong with Gorgeous Cottages. Their stunning collection of cottages covers all areas of Yorkshire including the Yorkshire Coast, North York Moors, Yorkshire Dales, Yorkshire Wolds, Harrogate & York.

We love the personal touch at Gorgeous Cottages. Christina Brion (Managing Director) is passionate about Yorkshire and it shows throughout their website. You really get a sense that every property has been personally approved. We've written a lot about Gorgeous Cottages, so if you need any further convincing check out our articles here.

Sykes Cottages

For something a little further afield whilst maintaining an independent feel, Sykes Cottages is the largest independent self-catering rental agency in the UK.

You shouldn't have much trouble finding somewhere 'a bit different' with Sykes and they personally inspect every cottage so you can be confident about the quality. From classic cottages in the country, luxury holiday homes near the coast and everything in between.

National Trust Holidays

You will find some truly unique stays set in spectaular locations on the National Trust website. The National Trust is a conservation charity with many faces. It holds strong associations with wildlife, landscape, coastal and heritage concerns, including houses & gardens, local food and seasonal produce.

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Travel insurance

Essential Travel

Amongst other things Essential Travel provides a great solution for finding cheap yet comprehensive travel insurance for all types of travellers and holidays.

Their website is pretty intuitive and their comprehensive online medical screening ensures you get the perfect level of protection for your individual health requirements.

Travel Supermarket

Let's be honest... no one wants to spend forever sorting their travel insurance. However with something as important as insurance it makes sense to shop around. Travel Supermarket does this for you. Their website is simple to use and will do the leg work for you - searching 400+ holiday insurance policies from over 50 providers. Please note results from Travel Supermarket won't find results from Essential Travel (mentioned above).

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Flights

Kayak

We love Kayak for the little differences. Yes, like others, it searches lots of travel sites to try and find the best prices, but their website and apps also offer tools to help travellers plan and manage their trip, including price alerts, price forecast and free itinerary management. This website tends to be our first port of call.

Google Flights

Google flights is also a fantastic tool to search for your flights. You enter your departure point and date, and Google Flight will show you a map of the world with destinations and prices that fit your budget. It’s got a minimalistic interface and the fastest return of results.

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Tour planning and activities

Viator

Viator are quite unique in what they offer, specialising in researching, finding and booking the best travel experiences worldwide. That's what we love about Viator, they are like the icing on the cake. Once you've sorted the boring stuff, Viator is where things get exciting!

Living Social

This is a bit of a wild card if we're honest - but that's exactly why we like it! There is such a mixed bag on Living Social. It's the equivalent of choosing your destination by dropping a pin on a map.

This is a must visit website for us. We don't always find something but when we do it's often a real gem. These guys don't just do travel experiences either... you name it, if there's a deal to be had, Living Social are there offering customers up to 80% off the best stuff to do, see, visit, eat and buy.

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Reading Material

Waterstones

It wouldn't be a proper holiday without getting stuck into a good book! Waterstones' best sellers section is a great place to start. We're reading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman at the moment. It was deservedly Waterstones Fiction Book of the Month for February 2018. With that said, check out their books of the month section too - there, you're guaranteed to find a good read.

Audible

Ok, not technically reading material, but close! Audiobooks are becoming really popular these days. You could probably class them alongside podcasts which are the-in-thing at the moment.

Audible has a really intuitive app which stores all of your audiobooks ready to be listened to at your convenience. They're great for listening to on the go, in the car or at the gym. As an Amazon company you get access to gazillions of books. What's more as an Audible member your first audiobook is free, you can keep your audiobooks even if you cancel your membership, and you can exchange audiobooks for free, any time, for any reason. We've always got an audiobook on the go.

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Photography

Canon

Photography is one of those topics that can really split the room. We're thinking primarily of the quiet (often not so quiet) one-upmanship between Canon and Nikon users (other brands are available ;-)). We're Canon users and we love them. Changing brand now would feel like losing an arm. There are plenty of resources online for tips and tricks.

Buying a camera can be a bit of a minefield, but Canon lays out the important basics in their buying guides meaning you only spend what you need to - it can be very easy to get carried away when you see all those shiny lenses!

Wex Photo Video

Like we said above "other brands are available", and when we're looking for something outside of Canon's remit we tend to turn to Wex. Wex is the largest independent online photographic specialist retailer in the UK and they throw up some fantasic deals.

We often come here for lenses. As a beginner with a Canon you might not realise that you don't have to buy Canon lenses (we're just using Canon as anexapl). There are plenty of other brands out there and Wex conveniently group all their Canon fit lenses in one handy section. They do the same for just about every other brand too - it really opens up a new world of opportunity.

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