My Favorite Resources to Travel on a Budget

Favorite Resources for Traveling on a Budget

It’s been just over two years to date since I last wrote this post about five of my favorite travel resources, and I figured it was time to circle back with some updates! J and I both really like to travel and have made it a priority over the past few years. Even though we have Millie now, we’re committed to taking a minimum of one international trip a year + traveling domestically as much as possible as our vacation days and budget allow. More on this soon, but we’re on our way to earning the Southwest Companion Pass and I’m very excited about that!

While I still recommend these resources and Google Flights is the first place I go to search for fares + availability, these are resources I peruse frequently for general travel tips + information. A couple of them are especially helpful if you’re thinking of getting into the award travel game, and all are guaranteed to stir up some wanderlust!

The Points Guy

The ultimate resource for the latest travel news and pretty much any time I have an award travel-related question, I google it + include “The Points Guy” (also known as “TPG”) in my search since I trust their content more than anyone else’s in the space. They cover such a range of content and do so in a digestible way, which is really helpful given how complicated the award travel world can be. If you’re looking to get into travel credit cards or maximize your points value, definitely add them this one to your reading list.

Hotel Tonight

I still have yet to actually book through the Hotel Tonight app, but know many people who have and swear by it for last minute reservations! I always try booking direct whenever possible (vs. through a third-party site–if you call the hotel, they may match the rate from the discount site/app, too) but would definitely use this for a last minute booking. I also open the app when I’m doing hotel research before a trip–it’s a good way to get a topline overview of the properties in a city and a ballpark range of rates.

Condé Nast Traveler

This is one of the few email newsletters I opt into and while much of the content definitely leans more luxurious than attainable, Condé–unsurprisingly–invokes an addicting sense of wanderlust that keeps me coming back. I love the creative story topics, how they have lists for seemingly everything all over the world, and their general travel tips that are relevant regardless of where you’re headed. The website isn’t my favorite from a user-experience perspective, but the email newsletter makes everything easy to digest.

Award Travel 101

If you’re looking to get into award travel/really utilizing airline miles and credit card points, this group is an incredible resource. I will say that it can get overwhelming because many members are incredibly savvy in abbreviations, lingo, and general knowhow, but there are so many people who are just starting out, too. I’ll check in every couple of days and appreciate the candidness, people’s willingness to help newbies, and wealth of information for any facet of award travel. They also highlight some incredible hotel and flight deals! (I should add that Richard, who runs this page, is also a writer for TPG!)

Cobalt Chronicles

I feel lucky to call Ashlee a friend and constantly turn to her (and her new husband, Michael–they just got married this weekend!) for travel advice. J and I have enjoyed getting into the “points game” and advancing our strategy with award travel, but Ashlee and Michael are on another level and are always willing to share their knowledge and experiences. If you’re in the market for an Away bag, she’s got you covered, and I discussed our strategy to death before aiming to get the Southwest Companion Pass for two consecutive years!


If you have any recs you swear by, leave them below! Word of mouth is definitely the best way to hear about new resources like this, and I’m sure many of us are always looking for new travel resources :)

P.S. The BEST way to find flight deals–it’s how we went to Amsterdam last year!

P.S.S. How to book a hotel for cheap.

Leave a Comment


  1. Ashlee wrote:

    Thanks so much for the shout out! And hooray for (almost) free travel AND the companion pass!!!


    Posted 1.24.19 Reply
    • Monica wrote:

      YAY! I can’t wait!!

      Posted 1.24.19 Reply
  2. Marla wrote:

    Thanks for sharing your favorite resources for budget travel. I like the Travelzoo weekly newsletter for hotel deals. Momondo and The Flight Dealh are good resources for airfare.

    Posted 1.30.19 Reply
    • Monica wrote:

      Oh I need to check out Momondo and the Travelzoo newsletter! I follow The Flight Deal on Twitter and they always seem to have ridiculously good deals! Thanks for the tip :)

      Posted 1.31.19 Reply
  3. marla wrote:

    I subscribe to Travelzoo’s weekly newsletter for hotel deals. The Flight Deal and Momondo are helpful for airfare deals.

    Posted 1.30.19 Reply