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Top 5 Travel Websites

This week has been so fun, full of friends and relaxing and gorgeous weather! Things are brightening up here in Boise and I could no be happier! I know we just got back from Cali not too long ago but already my mind is spinning with all the dreamy destinations calling me to come visit them! As I look at different choices, I realized I tend to use the same websites as I plan my trips, so I thought I would share my personal top five websites I love using to plan a vacation. Jetsetter
Jumping right in, Jetsetter is definitely my number one site for traveling. The concept of Jetsetter is that they give insider knowledge on locations everywhere to give you the best of the world’s hotels and itineraries. There are two things that make this site my favorite and they go hand in hand. First, they are discerning, so they only recommend the best hotels, most of which have been “jetsetter verified” which means they have had someone from their team actually go there to make sure that the hotel is up to their standards. They also tell you if there are little things that you may notice as not so great. I love that you know what to expect and that they choose to represent only the best! The second reason this is my favorite travel website of the moment is that they do flash sales on these brilliant hotels and trips! This lets you stay in completely gorgeous places for about 40% off their normal rates! The only catch is that the sale only lasts for about a week. You don't have to stay there on any certain dates, you just have to do the actual booking during the sale. I love it, I can get lost viewing one beautiful place then another, and their photos completely draw you in and don’t let you go! In fact, I had to keep reminding myself to stay focused as I tried to write this post with their travel temptations looking right at me! On top of all of that they have a magazine that is 100% inspiration. There are hundreds of articles about dream destinations, itineraries and photography. National Geographic Traveler Next up is National Geographic Traveler, which is my go to for inspiration and to look at big trips. This site is loaded with travel information to the top, but what can you expect, its National Geographic! There is literally so much information you can't even begin to feel like you've made a dent, even after scrolling and reading so many great articles. I love that this is a huge network of the top travelers in the world sharing their expertise with you! One of the most important things to me in using travel sites is that they keep me inspired. I want them to take me there in my mind. To let me dream of relaxing on the beach in Tahiti or hiking Machu Picchu or seeing castles in Scotland. Nat Geo nails that goal! Their pictures are fantastic, so good actually that a lot of the expeditions they host are actually based around photography. You can learn about new places, you can follow their team of travel bloggers all around the globe, you can even book a trip with them which I'm sure would be to die for, but they can tend to be a bit expensive (But does it count as expensive when your host is a renowned expert on the locations you visit!) VRBO Vacation Rentals by Owner is extra special to me because this is how Blake and I did our honeymoon. The concept of this site is that you can rent a house, apartment, villa, condo, anything but a hotel room, directly from the owners anywhere in the world. It gives you the opportunity to explore a vacation that doesn't involve a hotel. (Don't get me wrong, I LOVE hotels, but this is a super fun way to mix it up). It is also the perfect way to book for a group. This summer we are hoping to book through VRBO again with a group of friends so that we can all stay together! On our honeymoon, having a house was so perfect because we had all the space we wanted with open doors leading to a private pool for just the two of us. It does not get much better than that! Frommer's Frommer's is my favorite for itineraries and finding what to do. You can actually book hotels and airfare, get news and tips, they even have forums for discussion but I typically just stick to using it for checking a place out to see what makes it great. If you look up your destination, you have a whole sidebar of options you can read and feel like you've learned all there is to know about a place. The two options I use the most are 'Favorite Experiences' and 'Suggested Itineraries'. The favorite activities is just that, a list of tips on what to do, where to eat and stay, the best of everything. The suggested itineraries usually has a few options, typically a one week, two week, for families and for adventure. I sometimes even take a few pieces from two and combine for our own perfect itinerary. This always seems to be the best resource for reliable, easy to navigate information. I use it for every single trip to at least make sure I'm not missing any great activity I didn't think of on my own. Google Flights So, I have never actually booked through google flights before but that is because I have not had the opportunity since learning about it. I have had the chance to use it for looking into a few upcoming trips we have in mind and it is the one flight search that I actually look forward to using. I love that they include pictures of a lot of the destinations, I think that adds to the excitement of planning a trip! It reminds me how excited I am to book a flight and get there! I also think it's great that when you first pull up the site, it takes into account your current location and gives a list of places near you and the deals on them. They also have a great map option, when you pull it up, it will tag where you are, and then it will tag other major cities and put a little price next to it so you can see the entire country with prices all at once. Once you are in the booking process, you can also see a calendar with prices on the different days so you can see when the best deals are. I know there are other sites that do that but google makes it so easy and user friendly! Traveling is one of my favorite things to do in the world. Half of the fun for me is planning the trip, from the inspiration on where I want to go, to the details of where to stay and what to do! I know this was a bit of a longer post so thanks for sticking with me! Happy vacation planning!!! Let me know where you are going this summer, I would love to hear! xox Angela