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15 Useful Travel Websites for People Who Love Travelling

15 Useful Travel Websites for People Who Love Travelling

If you love to travel often then there are some websites you need to check out so you can make the most of your money, your time, your journey, or just ward off some nasty jet lag. And the best thing about this article is there won’t be any bothersome pop-ups for subscription magazines (because of course you are out traveling not at home). And there won’t be any sites that are advertised everywhere already (because of course you’ve already used or avoided them). So enjoy this little trip around the internet where I hope you not only find travel websites you haven’t come across before, but also sites that you will find awesomely useful!

So onward with the road less traveled!

1.  TripExpert

TripExpert

    Most everyone is aware of TripAdvisor, a site that allows everyone to leave reviews about places, but it is great to be able to cross-reference the average person’s short sometimes snarky review with an expert’s review. That is what TripExpert allows you to do. You type in your destination or accommodations and it will give you what the experts are putting in print from A to Zagat!

    2.  Oyster

    OYSTER

      Sometimes we get faked out by wonderful photos that stretch rooms out of proportion or minimize crowded beaches. Oyster is “The Hotel Tell-All” and has a page dedicated to comparing hotel’s photos to Oyster’s own, so you can decide if a place is a myth or a legend. Oyster’s reviews also go beyond the good, the bad, and the ugly about even the best of places. We appreciate their honesty because honestly no one wants to spend their money on a bad vacation.

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      3.  Yelp!

      YELP

        Still making up your mind whether to stay here or there or to eat this or that in the destination of your choosing?  Then maybe Yelp will help! I put in the same location (NYC), in each site to see what the reviews would say, and Yelp had very specific commenters that left pictures, ratings, and more. You can even scroll through the pictures associated with your search. Reviewers are assessed too, so you can see if this is a one-time reviewer with a bone to pick or if it is someone that has checked in a few times and knows well what they are reviewing. To some extent, you might be able to tell if this person’s evaluation would be comparable to yours. Maybe they are a member of your trip tribe.

        4.  Trip Tribe

        TRIP TRIBE

          As soon as I thought it, I knew someone must have that domain name for a travel site! Trip Tribe lets you put in your personality, suggests vacations and places to stay, and puts you in touch with others like you in age, relationship status, and interests. It isn’t exactly a dating site, but if you crave a journey, you can follow people that crave the same things. It is kind of inspired.

          5.  Rom2Rio

          ROME2RIO

            I came to Rom2Rio via a few different travel blogs that raved about it, so I tried it out, and I’m intrigued and inspired! You can compare with tools (like very easy on the eye visuals and sidebars with drop-down menus) how you want to travel, the cost of travel, and it will even give you very specific information such as the bus line or airline you can use. I went ahead and selected where I was departing from and where I wanted to arrive and was able to click easily through all the way to the airline’s website to purchase exactly what I was inquiring about.

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            6.  Skiplagged

            SKIPLAGGED

              This site is bananas! Did you know a ticket from one city to another can be half as much if you just take a different flight pattern with a different layover destination?! Say you want to go to Miami. You can go directly for $200. Or you can endure an hour layover and pay $160. Or you can pay $86 if you do an hour and a half layover in another city. If you can endure more time in your layover, or can put up with a layover in a different state, you can save half.

              7.  Sleeping In Airports

              SLEEPING IN AIRPORTS

                It can happen unintentionally, but it can also be preferable under some circumstances. So if you need to sleep in an airport, versus getting a costly hotel room, it can come in handy to know what kind of accommodations there are. Sleeping In Airports has reviews, assessments, and recommendations for the weary and wary traveler.

                8.  Responsible Travel

                Responsible Travel

                  I love the saying, “Take only photos. Leave only footprints.” And I love the idea of unique and rare vacations. That is what this company is all about. You will get recommendations that promise more than a few days off. You are shopping small and personal. You can decide what type of vacation you want to go on such as a couples honeymoon or a family getaway. You can decide if you are going cycling or shopping. There will be several places to choose from with pricing, pictures, descriptions, reviews, and suggested itineraries. Additionally, there will be a breakdown of how responsible the accommodations are, sometimes including the materials used in construction. If you are interested in ecotourism, this site is designed for your conscience.

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                  9.  Peek

                  peek

                    I almost couldn’t stop looking at this site. You get to look at other people’s “Perfect Day” and you can plan your own. There are suggestions by high profile residents of cities, like fashion designers, and there are offers and deals for tours. It is fun to see how others have spent a day in George Town or see where a sports car rental will take you in…. Vermont? Well, there is something for everyone!

                    10. The Man in Seat Sixty-One

                    The Man in Seat Sixty-One

                      If you are wild about trains and world travel, this is your website of choice. If you haven’t thought about it, maybe you should start considering it and use this as a way to find some of the best experiences. Train travel in different countries can be a memorable experience. Doing your research will make it a good one!  Get routes, get pictures, and get an expert perspective from The Man in Seat Sixty-One.

                      11.  Black Tomato

                      Black Tomato

                        I say tomato, and you say Black Tomato! And I say what?  Black Tomato is a site that allows you to discover luxury vacation packages that are very dreamy.  Do you want to do a multi-destination honeymoon?  They have an itinerary for you.  Do you want to experience a cuisine inspired vacation?  They have an itinerary for you. Is this something to put on your bucket list?  Login and save it under “bucket list.” They are ready for all sorts of dreamers.

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                        12. Hipmunk

                        Hipmunk

                          Did you ever want to know before a flight if your legs would get cramped or if your layovers would be torture? This site has an “Agony Scale” for flights to let you know just that. And if you are booking a hotel, there is a heat map that will tell you using color bars where the nightlife is compared to your accommodations and sometimes if that nightlife is fun or not fun for you. Because sometimes, we don’t want a bedroom window too close to the rowdiest bar in town. We’d rather take a cab ride.

                          13.  AirHelp

                          AirHelp

                            If you lost your luggage, been delayed, or otherwise abused by the airlines, you might want to check out AirHelp. This website helps you know what your rights are and what compensation you are entitled to. Whatever your travel plans are, doing your research before and after something happens sounds like sound advice to me. It is worth investigating.

                            14.  Skift

                            Skift

                              Staying informed about what is going on in the travel industry could be good for you. If some bad news is brewing, this site would help you learn about it before you booked a non-refundable trip. Also, if an airline or another company you are about to do business with is in distress, you might consider making other plans. Even the latest in technology to make travel better is featured, so maybe you get to download an app to make the best of your travels.

                              15.  Home Exchange

                              HomeExchange

                                What if you live somewhere great and you want to see somewhere else that is great? Then Home Exchange could give you a fun and affordable way to find accommodations. I heard about people renting out their balconies for festivals, like Mardi Gras in New Orleans, but if you have someplace awesome, you can trade spaces for a time. Lucky you!

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                                Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                                How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                                How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                                We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                                We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                                So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                                Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                                What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                                Boundaries are limits

                                —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                                Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                                Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                                Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                                Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                                How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                                Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                                1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                                Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                                You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                                To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                                You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                                • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                                • When do you feel disrespected?
                                • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                                • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                                • When do you want to be alone?
                                • How much space do you need?

                                You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                                2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                                Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                                Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                                3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                                Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                                That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                                Sample language:

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                                • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                                • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                                • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                                • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                                • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                                • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                                • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                                Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                                4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                                Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                                Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                                Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                                We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                                It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                                It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                                Final Thoughts

                                Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                                Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                                Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                                The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                                Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                                Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                                They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                                Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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