The 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.

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SMART Travel Planning

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Finances

Chase Sapphire Preferred travel credit card. 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.

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

AutoEurope.com. In Europe I have rented from all major car rental services: Hertz, EuropeCar and Enterprise. You can save quite a bit of money by using AutoEurope.com to compare prices and services.

RentalCars.com. Especially for renting in the USA, Rental Cars can save up to 30% by comparing USA’s best car rental companies.

Costco Car Rental. Part of Costco’s Travel websites, it’s car rental services have given me the 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 AirFrance 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.

Electronics

Garmin GPS Unit. Works without internet connection or wifi signal and it is very reliable.
Garmin Europe maps on SD card. Save $20 over Garmin prices. JUSt pop it into your Garmin unit.

Motorola E5 unlocked smart phone. Any unlocked smart phone will do as long as it is dual band so it works both in the US and Europe. Motorola E5 is super cheap and works great in Europe. Just buy a local SIM card with a local number once in Europe and you’re good to go.

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

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.

This keeps my Garmin charged along with my phone, while driving.

Planning ideas

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.

The Secret Traveller Blog. The travel writer from 1Cover has gone incognito to share some of the best kept secret spots around the world and other useful travel tips (collaboration with 1Cover).

Loveholidays offers a fantastic range of cheap and package holidays to short and long haul destinations, from all-inclusive getaways to the Canaries to exotic beach breaks in Cuba.