When I worked in corporate America, and since I had a big job, I had access to the “executive corporate travel department”.
And the truth is I always preferred to do the planning myself.
Here are brand new, as well as tried and true, sites that will help make your wholesaler travel – even if it’s booking a personal vacation – a more pleasant and affordable experience.
Oyster.com: One of the best website finds. This site has tons of reviews and, the best part, photos of hotels around the country – taken by professional photographers who actually stay in each hotel. They shoot rooms and public areas from every angle.
SeatExpert.com: You simply cannot get on another airplane without using this site to scope out the best seats first! Put in your airline and your flight number and site returns the seat map with reviews.
Travelocity.com: Its new Top Secret Hotels app offers unpublished discounts for same-day booking (the name of the hotel isn’t revealed until after booking). Put ‘top secret’ in the search bar after clicking through this link.
TripIt: TripIt turns chaos into order by making it easy for anyone to organize trip details into one master online itinerary — even if arrangements are booked at multiple travel site — plus much more.
Tablet Boutique Hotels: Staying at the same Marriott or Hilton is great for the points but sometimes you need to get a bit more interesting digs to rest your weary body in. This site delivers some of the coolest accommodations in cities around the country – and the world.
i-escape.com: A hand-picked portfolio of beautiful boutique hotels, B&Bs and houses for rent, in some of the world’s most stunning locations … created by a small team of passionate travellers.
Jetsetter.com: A members-only community, it showcases photos of vacation spots for inspiration, reviews, insider tips and discounts on hotel rooms.
VRBO.com: Users can search more than 150,000 rentals in 100 countries with Vacation Rentals by Owners, booking rental lodging, from cabins to condos to castles.
SKYTRAX: The world’s largest Airline and Airport review site – over 675 airlines and 700 airports. Passenger trip reports, flight reviews, airline seat and lounge Reviews. Check airline standards in the Airline Star Ranking guide.
HotelTonight.com: This app lets users book discounted, same-night reservations in 10 cities, with choices classified by basic, hip and elegant.
priceline.com: Not for hotels (I prefer more certainty) but for car rentals. Bid on a rental that everyone else at National (or Hertz, or Avis) is paying $47.00 a day for and you drive off smuggly knowing that you paid only $26.00 per day. It’s prepaid so you need to be certain about your plans.
American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts: Yes, almost $500 per year is a lot to pay for an American Express Platinum Card. That is until you have been upgraded to the Hangover suite (you saw the movie right?) that is worth $5,000 per night and you paid $500 per night. Add in free breakfast and a $100 spa credit and the card paid for itself!
Uber.com: Send a text or use Uber’s app to call one of more than 100 town cars curbside within minutes. Already in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Calif., and New York City, with plans to expand to several more markets.
Kayak.com: Direct hotel booking from this app lets travelers compare hundreds of travel sites at once and finish their booking in one place.
Hipmunk.com: Here users can streamline their travel plans–even sorting flights by default category “agony” and hotels by “ecstasy.”
HotelChatter: This site is part travel review, part latest news and part snarky blog commentary – and always useful.
Have favorite travel site that make your life easier and save you money?
Add them in the comments below.
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