Vlad planning a trip in SolvangThe internet is filled with travel planning information. There are lots of travel planning sites and lots of travel blogs. How can someone know what information to use? The answer comes down to being able to simplify all this information and use a few trusted resources. Here is my list of tried and tested travel resources.
Note: This page includes some affiliate links.

SMART Travel Planning

SMART Travel Itinerary. Develop your own travel itinerary having your own travel agent along with you. We work together via email as we apply my SMART travel planning system to your own trip itinerary.

SMART Travel Planning Course. Developed over 15+ years of international travel, my SMART travel planning course will show you how to plan your trips confidently, step by step. With over 1 hour of simple videos you will be able to go from your dream to an actual itinerary while saving lots of money and frustration.

SMART Travel Planning Book. My 15+ years of international travel planning experience condensed in less than 40 pages. Short and sweet, with clear checklists to follow each step in the process. Learn how to plan your trips with confidence.

Finances

Capital One Venture. This is my favorite credit card for traveling to Europe. Very flexible travel rewards and lots of travel benefits. Hands down, the best travel credit card today.

Capital One 360 Checking Account. If I would open another checking account, this one is the best for foreign travel as it doesn’t charge any foreign ATM fees.

Moneygram. For sending/receiving money to/from any foreign country. Lowest fees and the best coverage.

Use Debit and Credit Cards in Europe

Hotels

Booking.com. I have used Booking.com throughout England, Italy, Germany and Austria. Every time I have found that the reviews were true and I could actually get in touch with the hotel staff and get my questions answered. I highly recommend this website.

Rental Cars

DiscoverCars.com. In Europe I have rented from all major car rental services: Hertz, EuropCar and Enterprise. You can save quite a bit of money by using DiscoverCars.com to compare prices and services.  They include a number of smaller companies that offer great savings.

Costco Car Rental. Part of Costco’s Travel websites, its car rental services have given me great prices for renting a car in the United States. If you are a Costco member check out their car rental deals.

Plane Tickets

Air France/KLM. I have always been impressed by the service and prices from Air France KLM, even before becoming the same company. Their connections to Europe are great and their prices are the best. Highly recommended.

Sky Scanner. Great mobile app and website for setting up price alerts for certain routes. Another great site for bargain hunting…if you’re flexible again.

Using Low-Cost Airlines in Europe

Electronics

Two simple electric plug adapters for Europe or a reliable universal plug adapter.

USB car charger with two ports. This is a simple car charger that is a must have when traveling.

AirAlo eSim Europe Mobile Data for your phone. The simplest way to make sure your phone works in Europe during your trip. Provides mobile data coverage all over Europe. Simple to install via an eSIM and mobile app. Check if your phone is on the AirAlo compatible devices list.

Moto G54 International Phone. Any unlocked smart phone will do as long as it is dual band so it works both in the US and Europe. The Moto G54 is cheap, has long battery life and works well in Europe with an AirAlo eSim.

KeepCalling.com. Cheapest international calling card and mobile app. Please use referral code: F4640 when signing up for an account.

Make Your Electronics Work in Europe

Planning Ideas

Get Your Guide. Newer tour aggregation company with lots of local tours and museum discounts. I check it every time I plan my trips abroad or in California. Their selection is expanding all the time.

Viator.com. Excellent collection of tours, museum tickets and city passes throughout the world. If you’re looking for a walking tour or boat ticket then Viator is the place to search. Viator is also a great place to figure out local itineraries even though you will not buy anything.

TripAdvisor. Very helpful site for most tourist attractions across the world. I find Trip Advisor invaluable especially in the beginning phases of planning a trip.