The 50 Best Travel Websites and Travel Resources 2024

You are here Home > Best Travel Tips > The 50 Best Travel Websites and Travel Resources 2024

Here’s my collection of the top 50 travel websites and travel resources for all stages of dreaming, planning, booking and remembering your trip based on decades of professional travel. 

Woman working at laptop with sunglasses

The Best Travel Resources for Booking and Planning Your Trip 2024

As a regular contributor to The Independent’s 50 Best Travel Websites feature, I know my way around travel websites. As a frequent traveller myself, I practically live on the things.

From dreaming about a trip, planning a trip, writing up a trip and reviewing trips for work, these are the travel resources, online booking sites, search engines and route planners I use to help me get the job done. Booking travel without travel agents has never been easier – even if it doesn’t feel like it at times.

So here’s my list of the best travel websites for 2024. It’s the best time to uncover the best places.

If you book or buy through the links on this page, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. However, we only ever recommend things we believe in and use ourselves. We also don’t earn a commission from all of these travel websites. Alas ;-)

Al Bait Hotel interior in Herat of Sharjah

The Best Hotel Booking Sites for Special Occasions

To find the best hotels needs a little bit of legwork. If you’re looking for somewhere beautiful to stay with a real travel experience, then try these sites first. If you’re looking for something more practical, jump on down to the next section.

Here are the top travel websites when it comes to boutique hotels:

Design Hotels

Beautiful, stylish and with up to 40% off for members, the chic and sleek Design Hotels website is a firm favourite of mine. Membership is free, quick and easy on the eye.

Best Loved Hotels

Best Loved Hotels gathers together properties from the UK and Ireland that show a real passion for what they do. From countryside manors to city break boltholes, I’ve stayed in several of their properties and have loved each one.

Mr & Mrs Smith

You may be forgiven for thinking this gorgeous collection was all about romance, but beyond finding great places for anniversaries and honeymoons, Mr & Mrs Smith cover great child friendly places too. Not just a website for inspiration, you can book directly on the site.

Small Luxury Hotels

The name says it all. Small Luxury Hotels  collect together independently minded hotels on their website and promise – and deliver – an authentic travel experience.

Leading Hotels of the World

Another website that wears its heart on its sleeve, Leading Hotels of the World gather together more than 375 luxury properties (including resorts) around the world.


With a great eye for design, MyBoutiqueHotel.com, as the name suggests, sources boutique hotels from around the world available for direct booking. Properties are combined into an easy on the eye collection, with curated lists for main cities plus the ability to create your own shortlists as you narrow down your choice. Membership is free and the themed lists save hours of research. You’ll find budget and luxury boutique hotel choices and can drill down to those suitable for work, for the kids, for romantic getaways and more.

Best travel websites 2021 - bedroom interior

The Best Hotel Booking Sites for the Best Deals and Specifics

These are the best travel websites for 2024 for booking flight and hotel packages together or for searching for accommodation when you have very specific needs. These online travel agencies let you trawl through thousands of places to stay in the blink of an eye. Plus, several offer exceptional hotel deals for your next adventure.


Describing itself as a search engine for accommodation, CozyCozy.com is an exciting newcomer on the hotel booking block. It rounds up offers from hotels, rentals, hostels, treehouses and boats into one easy to use platform. You’ll find the giants, like Booking.com and AirBnB and VRBO, as well as smaller accommodation solutions too. By searching with Cozycozy.com, you can save yourself a lot of time. They won’t cover everything. But they come pretty close.

A few more things to note. They guarantee that the price you see is the price you pay. They have a range of filters that go further than the rest (think searching for a hairdryer or washing machine.) And, my favourite. They have an “unusual” tab that opens up possibilities you may never have known existed. Yurt for one anyone?


I’ve grown old with Lastminute.com, originally because I fell in love with the name. But over the years, I still find them useful for last minute city break or resort based holidays (vacation packages if you’re from the US.) They’re an online travel agency with easy to navigate interface and lots of last-minute deals!


Expedia is SO big and all-encompassing that it’s sometimes easy to get lost within the website. But that’s also its strength for when your travel plans don’t fit into the travel sites I’ve mentioned above.


The great green travel website can really give you an inside look at a hotel. Yes, some of the reviews are fake but even the bad reviews can be helpful. One person’s “bad review” because there was no nightlife is another’s blissful discovery if they want a quiet, relaxing stay.

Plus, you get the benefit of booking through a trusted source with backup. AND the TripAdvisor community is really helpful if you have specific niggly questions about tourist destinations or are looking for great ideas.


Booking.com offers more search filters for hotels than anything else I’ve come across in the travel industry. When the specifics really matter (rather than the sense of atmosphere or design) then I turn to Booking.com It’s a powerful hotel search engine, with guest houses and self-catering options as well.

Top tips for finding the best travel deals

  • Look for off peak options whenever you can.
  • Don’t just stick to the big booking websites. Check out the smaller, unique travel websites as well.
  • Consider flying from regional airports.
  • Have a system! Our handy Travel Toolbox © will help with this.

Finding Great Flight Deals

There is, quite simply, an art to finding a good flight. Not just in terms of cost but also in terms of comfort and connection. It really is a useful life skill to be able to skip the travel agent and find what you want yourself.

With that in mind, check out our guide to the best flight booking hacks for savvy travellers here.  

Then, get acquainted with the following flight search engines, for both domestic and international flights.


Skyscanner is the travel agent boyfriend or girlfriend with special deals you never had. Skyscanner listens, remembers your birthday, cleans your windscreen and empties the bin even when it isn’t its turn.

Well, OK, it doesn’t do any of that but  it DOES make it very, very easy to look for flights. Instead of forcing you to enter the same details in, or tie you to a date, Skyscanner uses filters and choices that simplify the flight-finding process. You can also search by price and switch currencies between dollars, euros, sterling and more. For both domestic and international travel.

If you have any flexibility in your planning, Skyscanner can let you search through the whole month for the best fare, slide filters for time of day, number of connections, just about anything. The only weak spot is searching for flights with infants, where the system is a little glitchy. Other than that, it’s one of the best airfare sites.


Don’t be put off by the watery name. Kayak is a meta search engine that crawls the web for flights and lets you sift through the results with ease. If you’re committed to finding the cheapest flights, then make sure you check everywhere you can.

Google Flights

Fellow travel professionals swear by Google Flights, although it’s never quite become one of my favourites. The strength of using Google’s software is that it responds quickly to real time changes. Perfect if your flight has just been cancelled because of weather or some other external event and you need to find your way home quickly.

You can even use Siri. “Hey google, give me search results for flights to New York!”

Travel experiences await.

Feynan Ecolodge in Dana Nature Reserve Jordan

The Best Travel Websites for Driving Holidays

You’re in road trip heaven here. We love road trips and have everything for them. Check out these great resources for planning a road trip.

Your Road Trip Toolkit

AA Route Planner

This is another travel website that I love for its simplicity. Want to know how to get from A to B? Enter it in the AA Route Planner. It shows you a map and clear journey times in a split second. You can just leave it at that or add in stop off points and adjust for traffic and so on. The only problem is that it only covers driving in Europe.


MapQuest offers fantastic coverage of the United States and is free and easy to use to help plot our road trips.

Google Maps

Google Maps, on the other hand, cover the world. But it’s slightly more fiddly to use. It’s a lifesaver while actually on the road but it’s also useful in planning.

You can save destinations, plot itineraries and tweak public maps for your own trips. And – did you know that you can download maps and directions offline? Indeed, you can. It’s not only an online travel site.

Car Rental Travel Resources

I’ve driven cars all around the world and used all kinds of car rental companies and rental cars. Sometimes needs must but these days, wherever possible, I book through a reputable, international company. Then I look for car rental deals.

Hertz is one of my favourites. It’s so widespread and well-organised. Plus, as an inside tip, if you sign up to their Gold members programme (for free) you can quickly get lots of benefits.

However, for more of a search comparison site, I use Holiday Autos and then open RentalCars.Com in a new tab.

Healthy Tray of Treats at the One Aldwych Luxury Hotel in London Near Covent Garden

Healthy Tray of Treats Room Service at One Aldwych, Covent Garden

The Best Travel Resources for Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Clearly, you should consult your own doctor before you travel. But, the CDC Travel Website is the one my medical friends recommend. So, don’t rely on it entirely. You do need an appointment with a real person. But it’s helpful to get an idea of what vaccinations and medication you are likely to need for certain countries before you decide to book. This applies all the more if your situation has changed due to a recent illness or pregnancy.

The Best Travel Websites for Saving Money

Money Saving Expert

Martin Lewis’ Money Saving Expert website firmly focuses its attention on a UK audience. It provides regularly updated and researched guides on essentials from currency exchange to travel insurance and finding cheap flights.

They also crunch the numbers with credit cards, publishing spreadsheets and tables to help you navigate the world of credit card rewards and the best way to save money.

Travel Insurance

I’d always recommend checking out the guide above before you book. But one of my favourite places to go for travel insurance is Heymondo.

Roaming Costs: Airalo

Unless you have roaming fees included in your usual phone package, remember to switch off mobile data when you travel.

Instead, embrace the brilliance of an eSIM. That means, you switch SIM cards without having to physically pop the plastic cover out of your phone using the back of an earring, hoping you don’t lose it before you head home again.

I’ve tested Airalo all across the world, including North America, Europe and the Middle East. It’s fantastic. So quick. So much money saved.

Train Travel Resources

DB Rail Planner for Train Travel in Europe

I love the DB site. It covers almost all of Europe and has an English version online travel website that is so easy to use.

National Rail Journey Planner

National Rail itself may be long gone but as a travel website, the National Rail Journey Planner is the best I’ve found to negotiate the different rail networks of the UK.

Eurail (Formerly InterRail)

Forget the sweaty backpacker image. The Eurail network includes First Class rail travel through glossy transport hubs. You can buy a range of rail passes or simply use their maps, itineraries and suggestions to help you plan your rail trip through Europe.

Heathrow Express

This remains the fastest way to reach the city centre of London from London’s Heathrow Airport, as well as Paddington Station, the gateway to the west, southwest and Wales. Using the Heathrow Express website in advance, you can book tickets for as little as  £5.50. Plus, children 15 and under travel for free.

The Elizabeth Line in London

A sneaky little bit of inside info. To save money on the Heathrow Express, take the slightly slower “normal” train from Paddington to Heathrow instead. Costs a fraction of the price and is generally more comfortable.

Japan Rail

If you’re looking to travel through Japan, then you can’t miss their high speed shinkansen trains. They’re part of what Japan is famous for. Buy your Japan Rail pass before you go to get the best deals as a tourist.

The Best Travel Websites for Honeymoons and Anniversaries


While you can build your own honeymoon through the travel resources above, niche travel website 101 Honeymoons takes the hard work out of the equation for you. It filters honeymoons by month, interest and family situation, with trusted input from some of the top travel writers in the trade.

My Favourite Cruise Travel Resources

Everyone has different tastes. I prefer smaller cruises with plenty of cultural and adventurous options and excursions. Look for cruise lines which aim to introduce people to the destination and respect local customs rather than just keep people on the ship.

I would highly recommend Avalon Waterways for cruises in Europe and beyond and Uncruise Adventures for small ship cruising in Alaska.

In 2022, I took my first giant cruise with Princess Cruises – and you can read what that was like here.

The Best Tour Companies

It took me years to believe it but sometimes joining a tour, just for half a day, is a great way of connecting with locals and learning new skills.

These days, it’s easier than ever to find just the tour you need as one of the latest trends has become a permanent fixture. In popular destinations, it’s also useful to use these sites to skip the queues and buy your tickets in advance.

You can search for recommendations on travel blogs (ahem) or head straight to the big search sites.

I’ve tested both of these across the world and would highly recommend them:

  • Get Your Guide has great cancellation policies and an easy booking process.
  • Viator has a huge collection of local guides, transfers from the airport, cooking classes and more.
Treehouse glamping in Wales at Redwood Valley

The Best UK Travel Websites

Self Catered Cottages

For ease of use, the app that comes with Sykes Cottages makes it easy to plan a trip away in snippets of down time in a busy life. Quality Cottages sweeps some gorgeous luxury cottages into view in Wales.


Glampingly remains my favourite site for finding quirky yet comfortable glamping spots in Europe. Want to know why? Check out this collection of the best treehouse holidays in the UK.

With a mix of glamping and alternative places to sleep, Canopy and Stars fills in the gaps.

A special, self-catered foodie twist

To add a sense of luxe to your self-catered holiday, order in a gourmet meal from One Fine Dine. This private jet catering company now packages up incredible meals with full instructions on how to finish them off and plate them up. Adds a lovely sense of occasion to a self-catered trip away.

In Conclusion

And one last note. Are you American and wondering why I’m not talking about dream vacation packages? I am, we just call them holidays in the UK. And car rentals are hire cars. And travel guides are, well, travel guides. I guess some things stay the same after all ;-)

Did you enjoy this collection of the best travel websites and travel resources for 2024? Bookmark this list of travel websites on Pinterest for later.

The best travel websites for cheap flights and great deals. Find the best travel toolkits and guides for booking flights, finding cheap deals, hotels, car rental, honeymoons, rail journeys, health advice and more. My tried and tested travel resources.

For more travel tips, check out our travel resources on how to plan your next trip here.

Our Favourite Travel Resources for 2024

Some of the best travel resources can be those you create yourself. Here are some creative travel journal ideas to get you started. Future you will be grateful!