Resources

Here’s a list of all of my favorite travel sites and products. I thought it would be helpful to provide this information in one place that is easily accessible from any page of the site. I recommend bookmarking this page for your future reference and convenience. Enjoy!

 

FLIGHTS

  • Kayak: I pretty much always book my flights with Kayak, they are the most popular flight booking site. They search hundreds of online sources for the cheapest fares available. Their Explore tool allows you to scan a world map for all the destinations you can reach within a specified price range.
  • Priceline Flights: “Name your own price” or find a cheap flight from Priceline.
  • Airfarewatchdog: Check the website daily to see the cheapest flights from your start city or you can sign up for emails that will notify you about current airfare deals from your city.
  • Bing Travel: Their “Price Predictor” gives you a reccomendation on whether you should buy your tickets now or wait for the price to drop.
  • Yapta: They will track a flight’s price for you after you buy your ticket. If the costs drop below what you paid, most airlines and online travel agencies will refund the difference, usually in the form of travel credits or vouchers
  • Skyscanner – The travel aggregator to end all travel aggregators.  Searches 1,000 airlines to help you find the best flights.
  • Mozio: Mozio is an airport transportation search engine. If you have no idea how you are going to quickly and economically find your way to the airport, Mozio will show you all the shared-ride shuttles, airport service buses, limo and taxi services and even helicopters and fly planes to get you from A to B.

 

HOTELS

  • Choice Hotels: These “no thrill” hotels are located all across the country and can be trusted by their well known names. I always like to go with a brand I can trust for great service as well as clean and decent accommodations and any of the Choice hotels are just that. These include: Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality Inn, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban, Econo Lodge, and Roadway Inn.
  • Priceline Hotels: You get the opportunity to pick your own price when using Priceline’s popular hotel booking services.
  • Hotels.com: Featuring over 145,000 properties worldwide, Hotels.com is one of the best places not there to book hotel accomodations.
  • Marriott: With 18 different brands and Marriott International’s 3,700 properties around the world, you are sure to find one of their hotels near you.
  • LateRooms: This site allows you to find last-minute bargains.
  • TripAdvisor: It’s always a good idea to check TripAdvisor, the world’s largest hotel-review site, to discover over 50 million reviews, most of which are from your typical traveler. TripAdvisor doesn’t actually sell rooms from their site, instead they link to partner sites.
  • BedandBreakfast: This site shares details and deals on small inns and B&Bs. They also allow you to search for specific ammenities.
  • HomeAway: Groups or large families may want to consider getting a spacious vacation home that offers plenty of amenities.
  • Hostelz: While there are very few hostels in most large American cities, this site shares over 40,000 hostels located throughout the world, including reviews from professional and regular travelers.
  • AirBnb – Hotels too expensive where you’re going? Get bigger apartments, in better locations, for less money.
  • Couchsurfing – Still don’t feel like paying? Then head to Couchsurfing and find a place to crash. I know people that have traveled all over the world without paying a dime on lodging.

 

 

VACATION PACKAGES

  • Priceline: Name your own price and get a super sized package and you’re likely to save an arm and a leg.
  • Expedia: With the “best price guarantee” and excellent customer service, you’re sure to be satissfied.
  • Travelocity: Get a great package.
  • CheapTickets: Owned by Orbitz, they offer airline tickets, hotel and vacation rentals, rental cars, customized vacation packages, and cruises.
  • Kayak: They offer excellent vacation packages.
  • DealBase: With around 70,000 hotel and flight deals worldwide, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for. Their “Deal Analyzer” dissects packages based on promotional offers.
  • CruiseCompete: They are committed to providing you with excellent service and the lowest price on your next voyage. Just give them your e-mail address and they will send you their best offers.

 

TRAVEL GEAR

  •  Scottevest/Sev: Since 2003, founder Scott Jordan has founded an excellent line of clothing that features specialized pockets that were designed to hold electronic devices ranging from sell phones and iPods to iPads and the 11″ MacBook Air. They have a “Daily Sale” every day so you can always find something on sale. I first learned about them on ABC’s SharkTank and I have been a huge fan ever since.
  • Magellan’sFrom luggage to travel clothing, insect and sun protection to worldwide electrical adaptors, Magellan’s is one of my favorite places to get travel supplies.
  • 27″ iMac - For someone that spends quite a bit of their day on their computer, I wanted the best of the best. In 2012 I finally broke down and spent $2,000 on the largest screen size that Apple makes, which is quite cool but also comes in handy when I want various pages up at the same time. Apple computers are so much easier to use and also come with cool features like iMovie, which I use for all of my
  • video editing.
  • Beats By Dre - I got these as a graduation present and have used them nonstop ever since! The standard Apple headphones are also a favorite when I am on the go and will need to be able to put them in my pocket but when I’m at home the Beats are my 1st choice. I go on a nice long road trip and turn on Spotify, Pandora, or the new iTunes radio and I am set!
  • Canon EOS 6D - With my lens, tripod, and everything I spent over $3,000 on my camera set up but I haven’t looked back since due to it’s incredible ability to make much more professional videos than my old Sony A33 ($750). Other images are taken with the iPhone 5s when my large DSLR is not around or when I simply want to be able to easily upload my  image to a social networking site like Instagram or witter. My Canon EOS 6D does allow me to upload my pictures to the internet but I really find it as a pain but I know many like it. Also, as Chris Christensen recommends, Eye-Fi allows you to get WiFi access on your camera without having to buy a new camera. You can instatantly send your photos to a different device.
  • Perception 420 - My new microphone is among the best, allowing me to conduct high quality podcast interviews from my home office or on the go. I decided to spend a little more and get the two-sided mic where I can conduct interviews in person.


BUDGET TRAVELING

  • CityPASS: As you probably know, I love CityPASS. With 10 large USA cities to choose from, they allow you to buy a package of your favorite attractions for up to 50% off what the price would have been if you would have bought each ticket separately. You can buy a CityPASS either online or at each attraction but I prefer to buy it online so I can save time when I get there. They have sold over 8 million passes and they always seem to have excellent reviews on their website, it truly is an
    excellent product.
  • Go Card USA & Smart Destinations: Save up to 55% off regular admission rates with these fabulous attraction passes. They give you the option to choose unlimited access to many attractions or build your own pass for the specific attraction that you want to see. They even allow you to skip the long lines at some of your favorite attractions.
  • Couch Surfing: This website allows you to stay on people’s couches or in spare rooms for free!! It’s a great way to save money and meet people. Similar sites include: www.usservas.org and www.globalfreeloaders.com.
  • Hotwire: After collecting rates from seven rental car companies, Hotwire comes to
  • you with the best deal.
  • Megabus: I never even considered traveling on a bus until recently when I heard a friend say that their entire family traveled all the way from Atlanta to New York City for just $125 total. While taking a bus does take a little longer than flying, it is much more economical. Anyone who has never really looked into bus travel will be blown away when they see how much they can save. Give it a try, your wallet will thank you!

 

 

 

 

THEME PARK NEWS & REVIEWS

 

  • Theme Park Insider: This is a consumers guide to your favorite theme parks, featuring reviews, pictures, and news from the worlds top theme parks. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my interview with Robert Niles, the founder of Theme Park Insider. Robert is the author of “Stories from a Theme Park Insider,” a priceless collection of stories that take you behind the scenes of the Magic Kingdom (it is now available in paperback, as well as a eBook).
  • Inside The Magic: What began as a simply weekly podcast has grown into one of the greatest theme park sites in existence. Not to mention that their Youtube videos have been viewed over 25 million times. Don’t miss my interview with Ricky Brigante, the founder of Inside The Magic.
  • Screamscape: Lance Hart has created the “UltimateGuide To Themeparks,” which is updated about everyday to feature the latest theme park news and rumors. I used to visit this site every single day back when I was first learning about theme parks and it is still one of my favorite sites to get in the know on the latest buzz.
  • The Theme Park Guy: My friend Stefan Zwanzger has created the best looking theme park site out there, hands down. He has visited over 140 theme parks across the world and he has posted incredible detailed reviews and high quality photography from a wide variety of theme parks. He recently launched a “Construction Board” that allows one to converse on the latest happenings at their favorite theme park.
  • Theme Park Review: The “#1 un-official theme park and roller coaster website” includes photos, videos and information from your favorite theme parks. Founded in 1996, this site remains highly informative, just beware of the the foul language!

 

GENERAL TRAVEL INFORMATION

 

  • Be sure to get all of the best travel apps on your smart phone and tablet, check out my blog post: The 16 Best Travel Apps.
  • TripAdvisor: The world’s most visited travel website provides
  • Johnny Jet: A great booking and information resource for travelers. They have a link to just about anything you need. If you are looking for good deals, don’t forget to sign up for his newsletter.
  • Frommers: Get travel reviews from true professionals.
  • Lonely Planet: Get excellent travel reviews.
  • Where I’ve Been: Create a map of where you have been with this tool and put it on all the social networking sites you belong to and impress your friends.
  • Tripfilms: Travel community site that let’s you post and share your videos with other travelers.
  • Viator: A good source for travel information.
  • USA Tourist: Learn about the best America has to offer.
  • InsureMyTrip.com: Depending on your preferences, needs, or health, it may be a good idea to get travel insurance. It never hurts to be prepared for the unexpected. This site allows one to compare plans and prices from multiple insurance providers with one simple search.
  • SeatGuru.com: Part of TripAdvisor, this site allows you to see which seats cost extra, and which seats offer the most legroom, allow you to recline back most, etc.
  • AvoidDelays.com: The National Air TrafficControllers Association has created this ite to advise you on the best time of day to fly from a specific airport and which to avoid. Consider signing up for their free email and phone alerts.
  • Tripit Pro – This allows me to have all of my travel information in one nice, easy to access place. The flight updates are also a great feature.

 

 

BEST TRAVEL BLOGS

  • Nomadic Matt: While I’ve never stayed in a hostel in my life and can’t stand the thought of backpacking, I am a huge fan of Nomadic Matt’s site. He has a great blog, a few awesome books and and free travel guides for 10 US cities.
  • Carry On: Travel and Leisure’s “Carry On” blog is updated consistently and features  quality travel content from across the world.
  • Amateur Traveler Podcast: Chris Christensen, a TripAdvisor employee, has been creating this informative podcast since 2005 and it remains one of the best travel podcasts in existence.
  • Vegas Today And Tomorrow: While I see this site hasn’t been updated in a while, it still has tons of quality content on it. It’s a great way to discover all that Las Vegas has to offer.
  • Arthur Frommer Online: Arthur Frommer’s blog is cool just because it is written by the travel personality himself, but he is usually just trying to sell another travel deal.

 

WEB ESSENTIALS

 

  • Basic Hosting - One of the few things here that is a non-negotiable, must have thing if you want to be a location rebel. I use GoDaddy.
  • Buffer – This site allows me to send out timed tweets at the time that I select. It works great when I’ll be traveling for a few days (sometimes without internet service) and need to continue to keep my audience entertained.
  • A Great Designer – Having an incredible design was very important to me, that’s why I hired Freelance UI/UX DEsigner and Front End Developer Serge Baluyot from Makatha Design Studio. He also developed TheThemeParkGuy.com.
  • My old site was created with Thesis and I still highly recommend it as the most robust theme/framework for WordPress. Woo Themes is another great option, featuring many high quality, easy to manage WordPress themes.
  • Aweber – I use Aweber to manage my email list. I think having an email list is one of the most important aspects of having a website.
  • Skype Call Recorder - This simple app for Skype that allows you to asily record your conversations, which is especially great for recording interviews. I used it to record my interviews with Amateur Traveler and Lonely Planet.
  • Evernote – When planning future content and ideas for my site and also just for planning my next vacation, I love to jot down some notes in Evernote.
  • Google Docs – It’s a lot easier that Microsoft Docs and Apple pages, in my opinion.
  • Market Samurai – This is my favorite SEO research tool and it’s much higher quality than Google’s free Adwords Keyword Tool.

 



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Taylor Goldblatt

After years of research, travel, and dreams, I have created this website for people like you who want to experience the things that only America can offer. My passion is to explore and share America's greatest destinations and attractions. Follow me on Twitter @USCityTraveler for additional travel tips and ideas.

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