Best Online Travel Agencies

Booking.com is our top choice for making your trip arrangements

Ligaya Malones is an editor, blogger, and freelance writer specializing in food and travel. Ligaya's work has appeared in publications including Lonely Planet and BRIDES.

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Planning a trip can be easier through an online travel agency than if you handle each aspect of the planning separately. You can book hotels, air travel, rental cars, and more through a single site, and booking everything together sometimes results in discounts. By inputting a destination, a range of dates, and other preferences, you will see a list of options for each aspect of travel.

The best online travel agencies offer options from the largest number of airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, and more. Look for sites that offer discounts for combining reservations for different aspects of your trip. For example, the best sites will have lower rates if you book both plane tickets and a hotel through their services. The best sites also provide reviews from customers who actually have booked through the service. These are our top picks.

  • Best Overall: Booking.com
  • Best Budget: Skyscanner
  • Best Price Predictor: Hopper
  • Most Innovative: Kiwi.com
  • Best for Eco-Conscious: Kind Traveler
  • Best for Social Impact: I Like Local
  • Best for Design-Forward Homestays: Plum Guide
  • Our Top Picks
  • Booking.com

Kind Traveler

I Like Local

  • See More (4)

Final Verdict

Frequently asked questions, methodology, best overall : booking.com.

 Booking.com

This industry leader offers one of the most comprehensive trip planning platforms on the Internet.

Lots of options to choose from

Interface is easy to use

Numerous filters to customize your search

Tricky to tell whether changes/cancellations can be made with Booking.com or the vendor directly

Booking.com was founded in 1996 and has grown into an industry leader that stands out for being one of the most comprehensive trip planning platforms out there. From one website, you can compare and book accommodations, flights (including one-way and multi-city flights), sightseeing activities, and even airport taxis. The website lists more than 28 million accommodation options, from hotels, hostels, and B&Bs to vacation homes and luxury resorts—you can browse more choices per destination on Booking.com than other online travel agencies. The website also performs well on cost and typically returns lower-than-average prices for flights and hotels. 

Booking.com's interface is also easy to use. On the home page, search for a hotel by entering your chosen destination and dates. Then, use the extensive list of filters—such as price range and distance from the city center—to narrow the results down and find the best fit. You can also search for a specific hotel, or seek inspiration by clicking through options grouped by destination or property type or by topic such as the country’s best Michelin-starred hotel restaurants or the top cities for vegan travelers. The flights, car rental, and other tabs are just as intuitive. 

Best Budget : Skyscanner

 Skyscanner

You can compare prices across airlines, hotels, and car rentals.

Simple interface

Option to toggle searches between specific dates or by monthly calendars

Search Everywhere button is great for spontaneous planners

Extra clicks are required to make a final purchase

Must read fine print for changes/cancellations—may need to deal directly with the vendor

Ads on the sidebar can be distracting

Find deals on airfare, hotels, and car rentals with an aggregator site like Skyscanner , which uses a metasearch engine to compare prices from all online travel agencies and the airline, hotel, or car rental company in question. Run searches with fixed dates, opt to compare airfare prices month to month, or click “Cheapest Month.” Searches also include options for nearby airports or non-stop flights only. With hotel searches, you can choose to select only from properties with free cancellation, a cleanliness rating of 4.5/5 or higher, or 3- or 4-starred hotels only. Car rental searches include an option to select “return car to different location.”

Once you’ve found the best rate, click on the link to be redirected to the third-party site to make your booking. Feeling spontaneous? The Search Everywhere button on the homepage offers a list of the cheapest flight deals for destinations both locally and across the world—just plug in your departure airport first.

Best Price Predictor : Hopper

The company claims a 95 percent accuracy rate at predicting when flights and hotel rates will be cheapest.

Color-coded system makes it easy to determine cheapest days to buy

App is easy to use

Option to track flights and receive alerts when the best time to buy arises

Some have mentioned the app functions better as a research tool than a booking tool

Unclear whether Hopper will price match if you find a cheaper flight elsewhere

Hopper is a travel app available on iOS and Android that aims to help travelers save on airfare by usng historical data and their own algorithm to predict when flights will be cheapest. Just type in where and when you’d like to fly and Hopper will present you with a color-coded pricing calendar indicating how much tickets are likely to cost. (Green is the least expensive, then yellow, orange, and red for most expensive.) Hopper will also recommend you either buy now or wait, or you can choose to watch a trip and receive notifications on the best time to buy. In addition, the app has expanded to offer hotel and car rental price predictions, too.

Some newer features since the app’s inception in 2009 include an option to freeze a price for a limited time—for an extra fee—as well as exclusive app-only discounts. Hopper is free to download, and you can choose to book directly through the app, though some users mentioned they use Hopper as more of a research tool before booking directly with the airline or hotel. The company claims a 95 percent accuracy rate at predicting flight rates up to a year ahead.

Most Innovative : Kiwi.com

This metasearch engine scours the web to piece together the ideal itinerary using planes, trains, buses, and more.

Creative itineraries get you where you need to go, especially if you’ve got a multi-stop trip

Kiwi Guarantee offers rebooking or cancellation protections

Nomad option appeals to travelers with a lot of flexibility

Creative itineraries mean you may not fly out of the same airport you flew into

Kiwi Guarantee has an additional fee

Charges all-in-one fee for booking flights, trains, buses (though you can always purchase a la carte)

Travelers planning multi-city destinations and seeking a bargain, as well as those looking to take planes, trains, and automobiles to get there, might consider Kiwi . Kiwi is a metasearch engine that scours and pieces together itineraries from various airlines (even if they don’t have a codeshare agreement), considers multiple airports (even if your arrival airport is different from departure), and offers booking options, whether you’re looking at very specific dates or more general ones (up to 60 nights).

Some will find the ability to make multiple bookings for a particular trip more convenient than going at it manually several different times, though note that you must opt into the Kiwi Guarantee program to access rebooking and refund protections should your reservation change or be canceled. Kiwi’s Nomad option allows you to plug in a bunch of destinations you’d like to visit and the length of your intended stay, and the website will churn out the most affordable itineraries for review.

Best for Eco-Conscious : Kind Traveler

A give-and-get business model means booking accommodations with exclusive perks, a donation to environmental organizations, and more.

All participating hotels include a local give-back component

Exclusive savings and perks

Participating hotels are located in some of the most beautiful places in the world

Inventory is much smaller compared to other booking platforms

Some of the amenities mentioned are based on availability only

In 2022, Kind Traveler (an online trave agency focused on hotel bookings) announced an increase in environmentally and socially conscious hotels, charity donations, voluntourism opportunities, and additional perks like waived resort fees or a welcome amenity.

Unlock exclusive hotel rates and perks from participating Kind Traveler hotels with a minimum $10/night minimum donation to a local charity. For example, stay at the Six Senses Laamu in the Maldives and receive up to $33 off the nightly rate and perks such as a food and beverage credit and an Earth Lab or Alchemy Bar workshop when you make a donation to Manta Trust. The organization funds coastal research to protect the island nation’s large yet fragile population of reef mantas.

Select from more than 140 participating hotels from the Hawaiian Islands to Bozeman, Montana, and the Maldives. Charities include wildlife, human rights, arts, education, and environmental preservation organizations.

Best for Social Impact : I Like Local

Choose from a host of travel experiences with the peace of mind that 100 percent of the cost goes directly to local partners.

Social impact mission woven into organization’s business model

Immersive experiences led by local guides

Range of experiences offered

May not be best fit for those seeking upscale, luxury experiences and stays

Can’t sort experiences by a list of countries (though an interactive map is available)

No experiences outside of Africa and Asia

For an online travel agency with a booking platform designed to route dollars spent directly to the communities travelers intend to visit, consider I Like Local . Visit the website to browse a host of travel experiences in countries including Indonesia, Kenya, and Cambodia. Experiences include homestays and farmstays as well as wellness and culturally oriented experiences—from cooking and cycling tours to weaving classes.

To search for an experience, select from drop-down items like travel dates and experience categories, or view a global map and click on a country to view experiences that way.

The platform got its start in 2014 and has grown to 4,000 local hosts across nearly 20 countries. As a social impact organization, 100 percent of each booking fee goes to local hosts. To date, 16,000 travelers have booked with I Like Local.

Best for Design-Forward Homestays : Plum Guide

Browse and book seriously vetted, design-forward vacation homes.

Highly curated inventory of vacation rentals across the world

Design-forward

Thorough vetting process

Does not publish guest reviews

Other platforms have homes available across more destinations

When it comes to booking a vacation home, serviced apartment, or condo, travelers are spoiled for choice. Plum Guide is an online travel agency that specializes in accommodations—though not just any home makes its directory. The company claims that each potential home listed on its site must jump through 150 hoops to be included, from internet speed and mattress and pillow quality to the showers’ water pressure and the home’s proximity to dining, shopping, and attractions.

Search by a featured collection on the website such as “ pet-friendly homes ” or “one-of-a-kind homes in Palm Springs.” Scroll to the bottom of its homepage to view its top destinations, as well as a list of all destinations where Plum Guide homes are available, including Barbados, Mexico, Portugal, Switzerland, the U.S., and Turkey. Note: From the top right-hand corner of the site, use the dropdown menu to select currency of choice.

As long as you know what you value most out of your travel experience—such as affordability, social impact, or luxe accommodations—there’s an online travel agency to help plan your next trip. Be sure to read the fine print, as some agencies are third-party websites and not direct vendors. If you're not sure where to start, Booking.com is your best bet for a smooth user experience and hard-to-beat offers on flights, hotels, and other travel arrangements.

What Is the Biggest Travel Agency?

Our choice for best overall, Booking.com, is known as an industry leader with listings for all major hotels, airlines, car rental companies, and more. It boasts more choices for accommodations per destination than any other site, and we found its interface to be user-friendly.

Are Online Travel Agencies Worth It?

This depends on your needs and priorities. The best online travel agencies certainly can save time by booking everything all at once. However, if you're someone who is good at haggling and enjoys the details of planning a trip, you might be able to find better deals by reaching out to hotels or other destinations and speaking to someone personally.

Is It Cheaper to Book Online Than With a Travel Agent?

Not always. A travel agent you know and trust should have the experience and connections to find deals that can match or surpass what you'll find online. Additionally, if something goes wrong, travel agents provide you with an actual person you can use as an advocate to correct the problem . But if you don't have access to a good travel agent, online sites still provide plenty of ways to streamline planning and save money .

We considered dozens of online travel agencies and narrowed down the options based on user experience, volume and quality of inventory, unique offerings and specials, and customer reviews. We also assessed travel companies’ environmentally and socially conscious policies.

Catherine Falls Commercial / Getty Images

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Best travel apps in 2021

Beat the traffic, avoid flight delays and find a place to stay on your next trip

best travel apps

The best travel apps are the ones that take all the stress out of a trip, freeing you up to enjoy the journey. And fortunately, you've got a lot of choices when it comes to finding apps that can help you plan your next getaway. 

You'll find everything from trip planners and itinerary generators to online marketplaces for flights and hotels in both the Play Store and Apple's store for apps. Combine one of the best travel apps with some great travel tech , and your chances for a smooth trip will increase dramatically.

  • These are the best Android apps overall
  • Get better trip photos with the best Android camera apps

Not sure where to look first? We've found a list of the best travel apps for when you're ready to hit the road again after sticking close to home for more than a year.

1. MyTSA (Free: Android; iOS)

Before you hit the road, make sure you've got MyTSA on your smartphone. The official app of the Transportation Security Administration isn't going to win any beauty contests, but it will let you check wait times at security checkpoints at major airpots. And that can help you plan on how much travel time you need to allow.

The app includes historical wait-time data while also giving you the option of checking crowd-sourced reports of how long security lines are at that moment. The ability to search what you can bring on a plane, get live assistance and find out info on the TSA PreCheck program make this a good app for travelers to keep handy on their smartphone.

Download MyTSA: Android , iOS

2. Expedia (Android, iOS: Free)

If you're a frequent traveller, you need a good all-in-one travel app, and Expedia is a tried-and-true option. You can book every aspect of your trip through Expedia, including hotels, flights and rental cars. The app also lets you bundle deals on travel and lodging, look for cruises, and research things to do when you arrive at your destination. 

If you're looking to stretch your travel budget even farther, Expedia promises exclusive deals for mobile users, with members of Expedia's rewards program enjoying additional perks. 

Download Expedia: Android , iOS

3. Flighty (iOS: Free)

There are flight trackers, and then there's Flighty, an iOS app for people who really want to know the location and arrival time of their plane. The free version of the app gives you basic flight-tracking tools, but pay up for a subscription ($8.99 a month or $49.99 per year), and you get access to more sophisticated features such as push notifications, syncing with TripIt or with calendars, and an assistant to help with your flight connections. 

Flighty also claims to be able to predict flight delays by monitoring inbound planes for 25 hours and monitoring FAA-mandated delays. You can check out the portions of the paid app for free during a 14-day trial.

Download Flighty: iOS

4. Hopper (Android, iOS: Free)

Another app bringing big data and predictive algorithms to the world of air travel is Hopper It uses a massive database of airline prices and historical trends to predict when prices to a destination are likely to be lowest, when they're likely to change, and the best time to buy a ticket for a particular date and destination. 

You can watch flights on specific dates or destinations, and the app will advise you whether it's worth it to buy now or to wait, tell you the dates when it's likely cheapest to fly, estimate changes in price, and notify you of price drops or rises. You can also save your payment details within the app for quick booking.

Download Hopper: Android , iOS

5. iExit (Android, iOS: Free)

If your travel plans involve a lot of driving, iExit works as a handy freeway exit guide, listing nearby highway exits, as well as the kind of businesses and amenities there are nearby. Need to gas up or find some good food or a place to stay for the night? iExit’s search tools come to the rescue, showing you nearby gas stations (with price data powered by GasBuddy), motels, and even deals and discounts from nearby businesses.

Download iExit: Android , iOS

6. Waze (Android; iOS)

Nothing gets a vacation off on the wrong foot like getting stuck in traffic. Waze can't eliminate the traffic, but it can help you get around any jams, especially if you're in an unfamiliar city. 

The navigation app feeds your smartphone real-time traffic information, based on reports from other Waze users. That data includes accidents, speed traps and other hazards that might keep you from getting to your destination in a timely fashion. 

Other features sure to impress travelers include automatic rerouting, cheap gas alerts and the ability to send your ETA to anyone waiting at your final stop.

Download Waze: Android , iOS

7. Skiplagged (Android, iOS: Free)

If you're traveling light and looking to save a few bucks, check out Skiplagged. It's a neat app that can keep your travel costs down by taking advantage of "hidden city flights", where flyers get off at a layover, instead of at the final destination. 

Enter your origin and destination, and Skiplagged will show you the cost of a direct flight, as well as any cheaper "hidden city" flights that have your intended destination as a layover. The caveat? Stick to carry-on luggage, as any checked-in bags will go all the way to the flight's final destination. 

Skiplagged also allows you to book hotels, including last-minute deals and special offers.

Download Skiplagged: Android , iOS

8. Flio (Android, iOS: Free)

Flio aims to be the all-in-one companion app for harried travelers making their way through airports worldwide. An official partner of 300 airports, Flio also has info on thousands more. That lets the app feature terminal maps, a boarding pass scanner, a flight tracker and directions to shuttle buses and booking options for everything from parking to lounge access. 

The app's sheer variety of services and features make it a great addition to the app toolkit of frequent fliers and vacationers alike.

Download Flio: Android , iOS

9. AtYourGate (Android, iOS: Free)

AtYourGate is another helpful airport companion that focuses more about retail opportunities while you're killing time waiting at the airport. If you need food, supplies (like say a phone charger to replace the one you forgot to pack), or last-minute gifts, you can browse the AtYourGate app for nearby shops and restaurants instead of having to wander around the airport. 

AtYourGate users can order food or other items, pay through the app, and even arrange for the item to be delivered to them right at their gate, lounge, or other location. AtYourGate currently operates in a select number of major airports, including JFK, La Guardia, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Portland, San Diego, and Newark.

Download AtYourGate: Android , iOS

10. Mobile Passport (Android, iOS: Free)

Mobile Passport is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection-approved app that helps speed you through lengthy immigration lines. It allows anyone with U.S. or Canadian passports to submit their passport control and customs declarations through the app, replacing paper forms and providing faster processing in a number of major US airports where the Mobile Passport service is supported. 

The app will save you a good amount of time in line, but it’s no reason to leave your physical passport at home. Mobile Passport is a companion app, not a replacement.

Download Mobile Passport: Android , iOS

11. TripIt (Android, iOS: Free)

TripIt promises to cut back on the travel hassle by consolidating your travel plans into a simple, convenient itinerary. Viewable online and synced to your cell phone, you can also share itineraries with your contacts. 

You just link your email account to TripIt, and the service will automatically dig through your inbox for reservation confirmations and other forms. Using that data, TripIt builds an organized itinerary of your flight boarding times, hotel check-ins and more. While TripIt is a free download, a $48.99 annual subscription gets you features like real-time flight alerts and updates on how long airport lines are.

Download TripIt: Android , iOS

12. App In The Air (Android, iOS: Free)

App In The Air is designed to help you through the entire process of your airplane flight, serving as a booking assistant that reminds you of your gate, ETA, check-in requirements, baggage tips, and more. 

The app condenses all of this important information so that it's easy to refer to at a glance, while also providing handy extras. You can view a summary of your airline's baggage rules (or even have an augmented reality overlay that you can use to measure your baggage to see if it will fit for carry-on or overhead guidelines). 

Travelers can integrate the app with TripIt, track loyalty rewards, view airplane amenities and even forward their details to their Apple Watch or Android Wear device. A premium subscription ($29.99 per year) includes real-time flight status updates, automated check-ins, and more.

Download App In The Air: Android , iOS

13. GasBuddy (Android, iOS: Free)

If road trips are more your thing, consider GasBuddy, a mobile app that helps users track down the cheapest gas in their region. Users can tap into their GPS location through their phone, or search by address or zip code to find the nearby gas prices.

As many of the prices are based on user reports, GasBuddy rewards users with points for reporting and updating a station's prices, with points making you eligible for regular raffles of prizes like free gas.

Download GasBuddy: Android , iOS

14. Roadtrippers (Android, iOS: Free)

Another handy travel companion when you hit the road is the aptly named Roadtrippers, a trip planning and itinerary app that lets you plot your next road trip, and helps you discover destinations, attractions, and useful stops along the way. 

With Roadtrippers, you can share your route and schedule with friends and family. The app helps users find everything from diners and dives to hotels, restaurants, national parks, roadside attractions and other scenic points of interest. 

If doing that research on a small phone screen stresses you out, you can plan trips in the Roadtrippers web portal if you prefer, saving locations and stops into a trip plan which you can sync across multiple devices for easy reference.

Download Roadtrippers: Android , iOS

15. PackPoint (Android, iOS: Free)

PackPoint is a travel packing wizard that provides a checklist of travel essentials that you'll need to pack, depending on the nature of your trip. 

Simply create a trip profile with your destination, length of stay and purpose of travel. PackPoint then creates a customized packing and luggage checklist that takes into account whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, the type and amount of clothing to pack based on the weather forecast and other factors. 

The app also comes with a variety of premium features, such as TripIt integration for automatic packing list creation.

Download PackPoint: Android , iOS

16. TripAdvisor (Android, iOS: Free)

TripAdvisor is your crowd-sourced guide to hotels, restaurants and attractions worldwide. The app allows you to browse through plenty of reviews, images and videos featuring various establishments worldwide to get a better idea of what awaits you at your destination. 

You can also access contact details; search for nearby establishments; explore restaurants by food type, price range or rating; check out air fares; and even add to the knowledge base by posting your own reviews, images and entries for the places you visit. There are even some handy "Near Me Now" features to alert you of nearby points of interest once you're on the scene.

Download TripAdvisor: Android , iOS

17. Airbnb (Android, iOS: Free)

Airbnb is a marketplace app that allows users to search for and find unique accommodations across the world, from mom-and-pop B&Bs for a night, to a small apartment for a week, or even a castle for a month. There's no shortage of quirky and unique establishments. Airbnb covers a range of prices in more than 34,000 cities across almost 200 countries, which means the adventurous or flexible traveler has some interesting choices for accommodations on their next trip.

Download Airbnb: Android , iOS

18. Vrbo (Android, iOS: Free)

Vrbo's mobile app is another option for finding places to stay on your next trip. At Vrbo, the emphasis is on vacation rentals, and with 2 million unique places to stay in 190-plus countries, you've got plenty of options. 

Use the Vrbo app to search for vacation homes, plan your trip and book your lodging. The app also gives you access to key booking details — what is the Wi-Fi password at your rental property, anyway? — and lets you share your itinerary with friends and family.

Download Vrbo: Android , iOS

19. Hotel Tonight (Android, iOS: Free)

If you unexpectedly need to look for last minute hotel rooms, check out  HotelTonight. It offers last-minute discounts on vacancies and same-night accommodations from top-rated hotels. Users can search by category and quality such as Basic, Hip or Luxe; view information on nearby hotels; and quickly book accommodations from within the app.

Download HotelTonight: Android , iOS

20. GlobeTips (iOS: Free)

How much should you tip? GlobeTips is a handy app that can tell you how much gratuity is customary wherever you are in the world. In addition to global tipping guides, GlobeTips includes a calculator for automatically calculating the tip, splitting the bill, and handling sales tax.

Download GlobeTips: iOS

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Best Travel Sites

Author picture

Read our guide to research and choose the best travel site for you. Travel sites offer discounts, price guarantees and guides that help travelers book with confidence. You may find that you can get a great deal by visiting multiple sites, or you might find one that has all the options you need.

  • Our recommendations are based on what reviewers say.
  • 4,386,958 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
  • We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
  • We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
  • Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.

What features should you look for in a travel site?

Travel discounts.

Travel sites often offer discounts to attract more customers. Investigate these common options to make travel services affordable.

  • Bundled discounts: Take advantage of bundled discounts if you need flight, car rental and hotel reservation services.
  • Mobile app discounts: Using a travel site's mobile app may give you access to exclusive discounts on hotels, air travel, car rentals and other services.
  • Membership discounts: Use membership discounts to save money on travel services and reservations.
  • Loyalty rewards: Look for loyalty programs that will reward you when you book travel services through that website.

Booking services

Many travel sites partner with airlines, hotels, rental car agencies and other companies so customers can book all the services they need in one place.

  • Flights: Search flights from hundreds of domestic and international airlines.
  • Accommodations: Find accommodations at hotels and resorts or even private short-term rentals.
  • Rental cars: Compare rental car options to get the car you want at a reasonable price.
  • Vacation packages: Vacation packages bundle several services together to make booking a trip convenient and affordable.

Travel guides

Guides published by travel sites can help you choose destinations and activities that will make your trip more enjoyable. Some travel guides may match your needs more than others.

  • City guides: With city guides, you can get an overview of destination cities. They usually focus on urban areas like New York City, London and Paris, but some include smaller places, too.
  • Hotel reviews: Use hotel reviews to learn about what other people encountered during their travels. Some reviews are written by experts, but others are written by travelers who want to share their experiences.
  • Restaurant reviews: Restaurant reviews will help you choose eateries that offer good services as well as excellent foods.
  • Activities and events: Reading about activities and events can help you decide when you want to visit a city and what you will do once you reach your destination.

Price guarantees

It can be hard to commit to one website when you know how many deals are out there and how often they change. That's why many travel sites offer price guarantees.

  • Price matches: Price match guarantees ensure that you will get the lowest possible price even if another company has a cheaper offer. For instance, a site may lower its price if members find cheaper options from other companies.
  • Refunds: If you have already paid for your travel services, then many sites will issue refunds to match another company's price.
  • Rebates: Some travel websites will give you rebates that you can use on future services.
  • Payments: When you find a lower offer, some travel sites will pay you a small fee in addition to matching the competitor's price.

Convenience

Convenience is one of the most important features that a travel site can offer. The specific features that you get, however, will vary among companies.

  • Travel planning: Planning a trip is often easier when travel sites give you tools to review multiple offers and coordinate travel times.
  • Hotel comparisons: Tools to help you compare your options will make it easier for you to choose accommodations that are right for you.
  • Payments: Some sites provide travel information and offers, but you have to visit another company's website to pay for services. Others will let you make payments directly through their site.
  • Meta searches: By offering meta searches, a website can show you offers from a wider range of companies. That makes it more convenient for you to compare offers to get the best possible price.
  • Convenience fees: Some travel sites earn money by charging convenience fees when visitors book or pay for services online. Others collect money from service providers like airlines, hotels and rental agencies.

Mobile apps

Many travel sites have developed mobile apps that give travelers secure access to their online accounts. Look for companies that offer these and download the apps before going on your trip.

  • Planning: Mobile apps make it easy for travelers to make new plans even while they are on their trips.
  • Itineraries: Using a mobile app to review your travel itinerary will help ensure that you experience everything you wanted during your trip.
  • Payments: Mobile apps are often the most secure way to pay for services while traveling.
  • Guides: When you have spare time, use mobile travel guides to find interesting destinations near you.

What are the different types of travel sites?

Discount travel sites.

Discount travel sites gather deals from other companies to help travelers find lower prices on flights, car rentals, hotel rooms and other travel necessities. In many cases, customers cannot make reservations through the travel site.

Booking travel sites

Booking travel sites do more than just help people find travel services online. They also let them book services directly through the websites.

Vacation package sites

Vacation package sites let customers bundle travel services so they can qualify for bigger discounts.

Travel sites FAQ

Travel sites pull information from a variety of companies to create a comprehensive look at prices and options for travel. You can book flights, hotel rooms, rental cars and activities on travel sites and save money.

  • Book your trip dates for the offseason or the middle of the week.
  • Be flexible with your hotel's location. Often, a downtown hotel is more expensive than a location farther from the city center.
  • When using a travel site, consider bundling your airfare, hotel and car rental to get discounts.
  • Join hotel rewards programs.
  • Book using special rates (e.g., AAA, AARP, senior, government)

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Author reviews for travel sites

BookIt.com

BookIt.com is an online travel agency based in Panama City Beach, Florida. The company focuses on helping travelers find deals in the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean.

CheapOair

CheapOair was founded in New York City in 2005 to help travelers book flights, hotel rooms and rental cars. About 20 million people visit the website each month.

  • Exclusive deals : CheapOair can offer exclusive deals because it has agreements with over 450 airlines around the world.
  • Customer services : CheapOair has strong customer services and an extensive FAQ section to help users find the services they need.
  • Vacation packages : CheapOair bundles flights, hotels and car rentals to help travelers save money.
  • Price guarantee : The company offers a best price guarantee that will match lower prices offered by other travel sites.
  • Customer care : CheapOair's 24/7 customer service won the 2014 International Service Excellence Award.
  • IATAN and ASTA certified : Industry certifications tell consumers that CheapOair has met industry standards for quality and customer service.

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is one of the world's largest travel websites. It primarily relies on user-generated content to help travelers choose destinations and activities that interest them.

Booking.com

Booking.com is an Amsterdam-based company founded in 1996. Unlike most travel companies, it focuses exclusively on helping travelers reserve rooms.

Orbitz

Orbitz is an online travel website owned by Expedia Inc. It was founded in 2001 and acquired by Expedia in 2015.

Hotwire

Hotwire is a San Francisco-based company that helps travelers find discounted rates on a wide range of services, including flights, car rentals and hotel rooms.

Travelocity

Travelocity is a Dallas-based travel company owned by Sabre Corporation, a travel technology company that has been in business since 1960.

Hotels.com

Hotels.com is a website dedicated to helping travelers find lodging at hotels, motels and resorts. It lists deals from over 325,000 hotels around the world.

Priceline

Priceline is a Connecticut-based company that helps travelers find discounted rates offered by a wide range of travel businesses, including hotels and airlines.

OneTravel

OneTravel is a Pennsylvania-based travel website that was started in the mid-1990s.

  • Newsletter : OneTravel uses a daily newsletter to keep its members updated on the latest deals.
  • Hotels : Travelers can find discounts at over 84,000 hotels.
  • International travel : OneTravel books hotels in and flights to countries all over the world.
  • Business class flights : Travelers can specify that they want business class flights so they can focus on options that match their needs.
  • Rewards : OneTravel members earn points that they can use to lower the prices of flights, hotel rooms and rental cars.

CheapTickets

CheapTickets is an online travel company owned by Orbitz Worldwide Inc. Its focus is helping leisure travelers find rental cars, cruises, accommodations and airline tickets.

Expedia

Founded in 1996, Expedia is one of the oldest online travel companies. It was created by a team at Microsoft.

KAYAK

KAYAK is a search engine that connects travelers to services offered by travel agencies all over the world. It was founded in 2004 and acquired by the Priceline Group in 2013.

Jetsetter

Jetsetter is a members-only travel community that offers exclusive deals and insider guides to destinations all over the world. It was purchased by TripAdvisor in 2013.

trivago

trivago is a metasearch engine that helps people browse deals from over 900,000 hotels around the world.

Travelzoo

Travelzoo has connections to more than 2,000 travel and entertainment companies to give tourists access to fun activities as well as travel services.

Airbnb

Airbnb is a marketplace for people to list or find accommodations around the world. People list their homes or apartment online, and people rent them for a listed rate and time. The company was founded in 2008 in San Francisco, California, and now Airbnb has users and listings in over 65,000 cities in more than 190 countries.

Information in this guide is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only; it is not legal, health, investment or tax advice. ConsumerAffairs.com makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information provided and assumes no liability for any damages or loss arising from its use.

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The 10 best online travel agencies in 2024

The top 10 online travel agencies.

  • Booking.com
  • Lastminute.com

Best online travel agencies for leisure travel

1. booking.com.

Booking.com_homepage

Main offerings and features:

  • Intuitive booking tool and website
  • Flight + Hotel booking for easily planning trips with no cross-referencing travel websites
  • Simple car rental options and taxi hire
  • Available in over 40 different languages and offers over half a million properties across 207 countries
  • You can book experiences in your destination city to entertain you on your travels
  • Genius rewards program

Agoda_homepage

  • Simple interface and booking tool
  • Deals when making more than one booking
  • 38 different languages and offers a 24-hour, multilingual customer support service
  • Free cancellation within 24 hours of booking
  • Millions of reviews to help make your decision

3. Lastminute.com

Lastminute homepage

  • Filter hotels according to budgets, star ratings, guest ratings, board types, and more
  • ATOL protection on flight + hotel bundles
  • Flash sales for last-minute deals
  • Payment plans to spread out the cost of travel
  • Extra entertainment booking for your trips, like theatrical productions and day trips
  • Gift cards for gifting travel

Expedia homepage

  • Expedia rewards for hotels, cars, and more
  • Experienced support
  • Compare cruise lines
  • Big savings when booking flights, hotels, and car
  • Operates in nearly 70 countries and in over 35 different languages
  • Luxury travel options

Hotwire homepage

  • Book hotels, flights, cars, and bundles
  • 24/7 support
  • Lower prices on the app
  • Great last-minute deals for spontaneous travel

6. Bookmundi

Bookmundi homepage

Best online travel agencies for flights

1. skyscanner.

Skyscanner homepage

  • Super flexible booking filters
  • Cheaper flights and hotels than other OTAs
  • Price alerts for travel routes of interest
  • Easy-to-use booking tool and UI
  • Hundreds of location and currency options
  • One-way, return, and multi-city travel options

2. Kiwi.com

Kiwi.com homepage

  • Simple flight booking tool
  • Partnerships with Booking.com and Rentalcars.com
  • Discover deals anywhere with the option to open up your search
  • Easy-to-use app

Best online travel agencies for business travel

1. travelperk.

  • Largest inventory of travel services
  • Flexible booking with FlexiPerk
  • Safety alerts with TravelCare
  • Integrated travel policy & approval flows
  • Centralized invoicing
  • Easy & real-time expense reports
  • Carbon offsetting with GreenPerk
  • 24/7 fast customer support in 15s , on average
  • VAT reclaim
  • Integration with 3rd party tools , such as expense management or HR software like Expensify and BambooHR

Save time and money on your business travel with TravelPerk

2. sap concur.

Sap Concur homepage

  • Works with some of the biggest brands
  • Easy tracking and reporting of expenses for expense reports
  • Many connected apps, such as Uber and Airbnb for cars and hotels
  • One solution for a variety of business travel spending

Click below to compare both platforms’ features and benefits

CWT homepage

  • Ample integrations
  • Award-winning mobile app
  • Employee-centric travel management

Click below for a more detailed comparison between both platforms:

How do online travel agencies work, what are the advantages of booking through an online travel agency.

  • Access to comparison tools
  • Peer reviews to help you with your decisions
  • Flexible cancellation policies
  • All your travel in one place
  • Local flights and deals

Rewards programs

Comparison tools, peer reviews, flexible cancellation.

" "

Flexiperk: Cancel anytime, anywhere. Get a minimum of 80% of your money back.

One account for all of your travel needs, a local approach to global travel, wrapping up.

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Make business travel simpler. Forever.

  • See our platform in action . Trusted by thousands of companies worldwide, TravelPerk makes business travel simpler to manage with more flexibility, full control of spending with easy reporting, and options to offset your carbon footprint.
  • Find hundreds of resources on all things business travel, from tips on traveling more sustainably, to advice on setting up a business travel policy, and managing your expenses. Our latest e-books and blog posts have you covered.
  • Never miss another update. Stay in touch with us on social for the latest product releases, upcoming events, and articles fresh off the press.

Speak to a travel expert

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Where to go in 2024: The 16 best places to travel

topdestinations2024-featuredimage-BCD

This past year has been a time of regeneration, renewal and reckoning for travelers and the travel industry alike.

Travel has certainly resurged since pandemic-related restrictions were lifted ... but it is different from before.

Travelers faced new frustrations, whether it was higher prices, longer wait times or more crowds. Destinations eager to welcome back waves of visitors were confronted with obstacles like unprepared infrastructure, the impact of inflation on local populations and unforeseen environmental calamities. Hotels and airlines continued to struggle with staffing shortages, operational challenges and supply chain issues.

And yet, despite those hurdles, the desire to travel has never shone brighter. Intrepid adventurers journeyed to new (to them) corners of the globe in search of unique experiences. Folks who had perhaps put off a trip or two found reasons to take them. And all of us discovered the joy of reconnecting with loved ones near and far.

As we look ahead to next year, we are excited to share our list of the best places to go in 2024, drawing from our own editorial team's expertise and also that of our outstanding group of contributors from around the world.

We thought long and hard about things like new airline routes , fabulous hotel openings and events set to take the world stage by storm. But at The Points Guy, we also think why we travel is as important as where we travel.

Maybe you want to use your hard-earned points for an over-the-top flight in Singapore Airlines' Suites or just to get the family together at Grandma's house for an overdue visit. Perhaps you want a carefree all-inclusive beach vacation , or to get firsthand insights into a destination at the forefront of sustainability .

From the thrill of Olympic competition in France to the otherworldly landscapes of Bolivia, the wildlife-rich Bissagos Islands of Guinea-Bissau and the exciting design developments taking place in both San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico — whatever your travel goals or preferences, we've got an incredible roster of places just waiting to be explored next year.

Get ready for a few surprises, a dash of inspiration and a healthy helping of wanderlust as we share our most exciting places to travel to in 2024.

— Eric Rosen

best air travel & tourism

Best for experiencing once-in-a-lifetime events on the world stage

Whether it's high fashion or haute cuisine, France is known for creating creme-de-la-creme experiences. But the sheer number of special events and exciting new developments expected to take place there in 2024 will have even the French exclaiming, "Sacré bleu!"

The marquee happening, of course, will be the 2024 Summer Olympics from July 26-Aug. 11. The opening ceremony will take place along the Seine in the heart of Paris , but showstopping venues will include the magnificent grounds of Versailles for the equestrian events, various stadiums throughout the country, and even French Polynesia for the surfing competition. The stage is set for a truly spectacular set of games.

The Olympics have even displaced the Tour de France from its normal final stage along the Champs-Elysees in Paris. The alternate is, thankfully, a sun-splashed finish line along the Cote d'Azur in Nice . That's within easy driving distance of the relatively new Carlton Cannes , a luxurious reimagining of one of France's most iconic hotels courtesy of IHG. Hilton is also planning a vast French expansion with various branded properties in cities including Cannes, Dijon, Bordeaux and Marseille.

On a more somber note, June 6 will mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, and the region is planning over 100 special events to commemorate this historic event, including a June 1 sound-and-light show using 2,500 drones over the five landing beaches. From March 22-Sept. 22, the region will also host the Normandy Impressionist Festival, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the first Impressionist exhibition. Events will include a major show of James Abbott McNeill Whistler at Rouen's Fine Arts Museum, while the Musee d'Orsay in Paris will host the "Paris 1874: The Impressionist Moment" showcase of 130 masterpieces of painting, sculpture, photographs and more.

In the east, Strasbourg will be UNESCO's 2024 World Book Capital, with events organized around various themes like poetry, refuge, debate and more. The Alsatian capital is also home to one of Europe's most charming Christmas markets in the month leading up to the holiday , which is well worth a visit.

Wine lovers should head to Bordeaux for its famous Fete le Vin from June 27-30 to enjoy the region's famous vintages and gourmet delicacies, along with live music and other performances. They can even put their Accor points to use with a stay at a new Philippe Starck-designed, 97-room Mondrian constructed around a historic 19th-century building right in the city center, complete with an expansive open-air terrace. Now that's something worth toasting to.

TPG tip: Hotel reservations around the Olympics can be notoriously hard to confirm and Paris is cracking down on short-term rentals, so if you plan to attend the Games, prepare to pay high prices for an official package ... or take your chances trying to book something at the last minute.

San Diego, California & Tijuana, Mexico

best air travel & tourism

Best for art and design lovers who appreciate cross-cultural collaborations

In a first, two neighboring cities in two different countries have been designated the World Design Capital for 2024: San Diego, California, and Tijuana, Mexico. The World Design Organization accolade recognizes cities that effectively utilize design to enhance their residents' economic, social, cultural and environmental quality of life. San Diego and Tijuana will celebrate the designation through unique experiences, from events and festivals to exhibitions and summits.

Community events scheduled throughout 2024 include Tijuana's World Design Street Festival (April 28), where travelers can attend concerts, public design workshops, exhibitions and design studio open houses. The Mingei International Museum in San Diego and the Centro Cultural Tijuana will simultaneously host an exhibition called "Frontera," focused on jewelry design. In September, both cities will host an interactive World Design Experience.

Aside from its WDO duties, San Diego has a lot going on. One of the West Coast's largest adaptive reuse projects, the 10-acre, sustainably designed Horton Campus , set for completion at the end of 2023, has transformed a former downtown shopping mall into a chic development with white-and-glass structures, parks, shops and lab space, each with either a green roof or solar panels.

San Diego's white-hot culinary scene continues to heat up, with Valle winning Oceanside's first Michelin star earlier this year. Restaurant openings to look forward to in 2024 include all-day cafe Wildflour from award-winning chef Phillip Esteban, the farm-and-vine-to-table Cellar Hand , and chef Brian Malarkey's highly anticipated French-inspired steakhouse, Le Coq, in the tony coastal enclave of La Jolla.

San Diego's hotel roster is also growing. The new owners of the historic Lafayette Hotel in North Park, which had fallen into disrepair, unveiled a stylish $31 million renovation this summer, and the bucolic Inn at Rancho Santa Fe will celebrate its 100th anniversary following the completion of multimillion-dollar renovations in 2024. The iconic Hotel del Coronado is in the throes of a wholesale revamp. The Beach Village at The Del will unveil a full makeover at the end of 2023, while its Victorian section will be renovated in 2025. A new 39-room boutique hotel in Coronado called The Bower is also slated to debut in fall 2024.

Tijuana got its own new hotel in 2023: Hotel Brecha , a boutique hotel with art-filled walls and nine sleek rooms. Recent bar and restaurant openings across the city's diverse culinary scene include the speakeasy-style Border Saloon and seafood spots Don Vergas Mariscos Tijuana and Don Timon .

TPG tip: Tijuana, which has been sorely lacking in green space, will have a new eco-park by the end of 2024, Parque Esperanto . The 320-acre plot will involve the reforestation of 15,000 trees and feature amenities like an open-air gym, sports fields, zip lines, children's play areas and a bicycle path.

— Devorah Lev-Tov

Assam, India

best air travel & tourism

Best for lovers of tea and tigers keen to explore one of India's hidden corners

Home to a fascinating blend of Indigenous tribes, awe-inspiring landscapes, traditional mountain villages and UNESCO-inscribed national parks, the eastern Indian region of Assam has cultural and natural wonders just waiting for travelers to explore — without the crowds you might find in better-known South Asian destinations.

The region's main artery, the mighty 1,800-mile-long Brahmaputra River, runs from the Himalayan highlands of Tibet to Assam's wildlife-rich floodplains, bordered by lush, terraced tea plantations, ornate temples and riverside villages.

Even with just a week or 10 days for your journey, you can learn about tea cultivation in Jorhat (Assam produces over 50% of India's famed tea), marvel at imposing Ahom temples in bustling Sivasagar — the sacred former capital of Assam's Ahom kings — and learn about the socially inclusive religion of neo-Vaishnavism on Majuli, one of the world's largest river islands and a haven for birdlife.

Straddling the border with Bhutan, UNESCO-listed Manas National Park is a biodiversity hot spot known for its sightings of buffaloes and rhinoceroses that graze in forests that surround the Manas River. The highlight of any visit, though, is a Jeep safari to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kaziranga, which provides sanctuary to endangered one-horned rhinoceroses, Asian elephants, Bengal tigers, panthers, bears, gaurs (Indian bison) and myriad other species.

Next year, several new cruise itineraries will make the region more accessible to travelers keen to get off the beaten path without sacrificing creature comforts. Banyan Tours will operate four-, seven- and 10-night Assam cruises from Kolkata aboard the luxurious ABN Charaidew II and the more intimate 12-cabin ABN Sukhapa . Both ships feature spacious, beautifully appointed cabins, large sun decks, small spas, a library, gourmet cuisine and onboard naturalists. Guests can spend time in between excursions scouring the waters for species such as the endangered Ganges river dolphin and the smooth-coated otter.

TPG tip : For travelers looking for rare tiger and mammal encounters across several Indian regions, in January, andBeyond will offer a 16-day limited-edition Project Tiger Expedition that will celebrate the 50th anniversary of India's renowned tiger conservation initiative. The itinerary begins in Delhi before visiting three of India's most iconic national parks: Kanha, Kaziranga and Ranthambhore.

— Caroline Lascom

best air travel & tourism

Best for an affordable Mediterranean beach getaway

Turquoise Mediterranean waters lapping beautiful beaches? Check. Picturesque hilltop villages? Check. Forest-covered mountains and mouthwatering food and wine? Check and check. Albania has all the attributes of more popular Southeastern Europe destinations like the Greek islands but without the crowds and the high price tag.

Begin your adventure in Tirana, the capital city, where Brutalist architecture blends with charming, tree-filled neighborhoods. Take a cable car ride up Mount Dajti for panoramic views of the city and stay at the sophisticated Tirana Marriott , though IHG loyalists might want to hold out for the opening of the InterContinental in 2025.

Just an hour southwest from Tirana International Airport (TIA), check in to the newly opened Melia Durres Albania, a luxurious beachfront retreat in a dreamy beach town offering stunning Adriatic Sea views and an opportunity to unwind.

Heading south along the coast, enjoy picturesque beaches while exploring charming towns like Dhermi and Jale, and savor the local cuisine, renowned for its fresh seafood and Mediterranean spices.

Then, immerse yourself in the country's vibrant summer music scene . The weeklong Kala Festival in early June features house, disco, soul and funk music across five intimate stages along the pristine shores of the Ionian Sea.

Back in the hinterlands, you can delight in mouthwatering delicacies at the AgriTourism Huqi farm located a short drive from the capital, like slow-cooked lamb (mish ne pus), and sample a variety of flavorful cow and goat cheeses. Don't forget to try local wines like the tangy white ceruja and full-bodied red kallmet at the family-run Nurellari Winery, less than a half-hour from the 13th-century fort city of Berat.

For an even deeper glimpse of the country's rich heritage and archaeological sites, wander its many ancient settlements, like Butrint, which played host to the Greek, Roman and Byzantine civilizations. Even with all that history, Albania feels exciting and new once again, and you won't have it to yourself for much longer.

TPG tip : Fly into a major European gateway like Frankfurt or Paris and then connect to Tirana via air. From there, book a one-way car rental to the port city of Sarande so that when your time in Albania is over, you can catch a 30-minute ferry to Corfu, Greece, where you have even more history and beaches to explore, and many low-cost flight options to major European airports.

— Matt Moffitt

best air travel & tourism

Best for epic wildlife and sustainable travel

One of the most biodiverse places on Earth, framed by rugged Pacific and Caribbean coastlines and home to magical cloud forests, picture-perfect volcanoes and extraordinary marine reserves, Costa Rica has long captivated wild-at-heart travelers.

An eco-tourism pioneer in the 1990s, and dubbed the "Switzerland of South America" due to its mountainous green landscapes and political stability in a sometimes volatile region, Costa Rica continues to raise the bar with its commitment to environmental protections; over 25% of its land is national parks and reserves.

For travelers looking to combine sustainable outdoor adventures with sumptuous accommodations, 2024 is when it all comes together. A flurry of exciting new hotels are set to debut, including Nekajui, just the sixth of Marriott's ultraexclusive Ritz-Carlton Reserves . Designed with a light environmental footprint on a pristine swath of the Papagayo Peninsula, the 107-key resort takes inspiration from a traditional stone Costa Rican hacienda surrounded by treehouse-style buildings tucked discreetly into steep hillsides.

Nearby, the luxurious Waldorf Astoria Residences Guanacaste will be the brand's first Costa Rican outpost, embodying the "pura vida" lifestyle with a holistic wellness center and cenote-inspired spa. Elsewhere, the Four Seasons Resort Peninsula Papagayo comes back online following a multimillion-dollar renovation with a new beach club and expanded wellness offerings.

For travelers looking for a low-key retreat with easy airport access, as well as proximity to San Jose's cultural attractions, the new Hyatt Centric in Escazu — another brand first for Costa Rica — will offer World of Hyatt loyalists an ideal bookend to a Costa Rica road trip.

The wildlife-rich Osa Peninsula is more accessible (and especially alluring to points enthusiasts) these days thanks to the recent opening of Botanika, part of Hilton's Curio Collection. The eco-chic property places travelers within striking distance of Corcovado National Park, one of the best places on the planet to view sloths, toucans, giant anteaters, howler monkeys and ocelots.

Visit the region from August through December to witness one of the world's greatest natural attractions: humpback whales migrating to Golfo Dulce, one of just four tropical fjords on the planet. The habitat, critical for the survival of the whale species, was awarded Whale Heritage Site status in 2023, one of only eight such sites worldwide.

TPG tip : U.S. airlines are adding new flights to Costa Rica, including Delta Air Lines, which will boost its service from Atlanta with three additional flights per week to both San Jose and Liberia (for Papagayo) from Jan. 13. Flights on the Liberia route are currently available this winter starting at 26,000 Delta SkyMiles or $421 round-trip.

South Korea

best air travel & tourism

Best for glimpsing the future while exploring the past

The "Korean Wave" — a tide of global popularity the country's cultural economy has created thanks to K-pop music, K-dramas on television and movies — has swept the world in recent years. In fact, youth tour company Contiki has announced the first K-Wave trip to South Korea to showcase local pop culture.

However, South Korea's entertainment culture is just one of a long list of reasons this Asian sensation should be on your 2024 travel list.

Four distinct seasons provide stunning backdrops year-round, so there's no wrong time to visit. Spring brings the magic of Jinhae's cotton candy-pink cherry blossoms while crimson and cadmium foliage frames the historic temples of Naejangsa and Taeansa during fall.

The past and the future intersect in the capital, Seoul, where heritage sites like the 14th-century Jongmyo Shrine coexist with futuristic architecture, including the Zaha Hadid-designed Dongdaemun Design Plaza and the striking Seoul City Hall, with its seven-story vertical garden and prismatic glass facade.

Set to open in late 2024, the Seoul Robot and Artificial Intelligence Museum will showcase science and technology through interactive exhibits featuring AI and virtual reality. Robots aided in the museum's construction and will participate in its day-to-day operations, including welcoming guests and leading tours.

New spaces and exhibitions await visitors at the Busan Museum of Art, which showcases modern Korean artwork. Renovations begin in 2024 and will add high-tech features like evolving 3D projections.

A luxury clifftop island retreat overlooking the East China Sea, the stunning JW Marriott Jeju Resort & Spa, designed by Bill Bensley, debuted in 2023. And though it will be a while, in 2025, the luxury chain Capella Hotels and Resorts is set to open its first Korean property, Capella Yang Yang, near Songjeong Beach in Yangyang, Gangwon Province, where travelers can explore the region's famous pine forests and enjoy its ultrafresh seafood.

TPG tip: Travelers eager to explore South Korea's assorted allures can take advantage of increased airlift from the U.S. United Airlines has upped its frequencies between Incheon International Airport (ICN) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to 12 flights weekly. By the end of 2023, Air Premia will add flights between Seoul and Honolulu, too.

— Kristy Tolley

Eclipse path, United States

best air travel & tourism

Best for travelers who want to see a rare total solar eclipse in their own backyard

On April 8, some 31.5 million Americans will be able to witness a total solar eclipse from their doorstep when the moon passes between the sun and the earth, completely blocking the sun's face. The heavenly event will cut its way across North America, passing through Texas, the Midwest and some Eastern states. It's a sight you won't want to miss — the next total solar eclipse won't be visible from the contiguous United States for another 20 years.

Parts of San Antonio will experience about two minutes of midday darkness, making it the largest U.S. city along the path of totality. The 15-mile-long San Antonio River Walk is just south of the path, so visitors there will only see a 99% partial eclipse. Nevertheless, many hotels and restaurants are hosting viewing events, including a Solar Brunch at The Moon's Daughters , where guests and locals can see the eclipse unfold from the indoor-outdoor perch on the 20th floor.

An hour northwest of San Antonio, the town of Kerrville, Texas, one of NASA's Primary Eclipse Partners, will have over four minutes of darkness. The Texas Hill Country community's Schreiner University will host a weekendlong festival with celestial yoga, trail walks and observatory tours.

With renowned institutions known for cutting-edge research in space science and technology — and expecting four minutes of totality — Dallas will be one of the best eclipse destinations. At the Perot Museum of Nature and Science , 20 astronomers will answer questions. The city's many hotels, meanwhile, plan to offer stylish viewing, like Virgin Hotels Dallas, which will host a lively rooftop pool party.

This will be Indianapolis' first total solar eclipse in more than 800 years, and the town is going all-out with a citywide party to celebrate its 3 1/2 minutes of totality, including events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (NASA will broadcast live from the venue) and the Indianapolis Zoo.

In Cleveland, another NASA partner city, a natural phenomenon known as a lake effect (where cool air blows away clouds from the shoreline of Lake Erie) will allow visitors to view the eclipse for nearly four minutes. Downtown, The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland is offering a solar eclipse package with club-level accommodations for two and celestial-themed cocktails. The Great Lakes Science Center and NASA's Glenn Research Center are hosting Total Eclipse Fest from April 6-8, with science activities for kids and a classical music concert.

Buffalo will experience just under four minutes of totality, with the best vantage points found inside Niagara Falls State Park, while the Sheraton Niagara Falls is offering a two-night package , including eclipse viewing glasses and breakfast.

In Vermont, Stowe Mountain Resort will whisk skiers and snowboarders via gondola to the top of Mount Mansfield, Vermont's highest peak, for high-altitude views during the nearly three minutes of totality the town is set to experience.

TPG tip: Holland America has put together a 22-day Solar Eclipse cruise , where guests will depart from San Diego and experience the eclipse off the coast of Mexico.

— Casey Hatfield-Chiotti

Bissagos Islands, Guinea-Bissau

best air travel & tourism

Best for intrepid naturalists seeking an under-the-radar destination

Sandwiched between Guinea and Senegal, Guinea-Bissau is one of West Africa's lesser-visited destinations, but that's what has helped keep the 88-island Bissagos archipelago 31 miles off its coast so untouched.

This astonishingly wildlife-rich island chain — often dubbed the Galapagos of Africa — is an idyll of empty white-sand beaches, thick mangroves, teeming lagoons and dense palm and cashew forests. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996, the Bijagos (as they're also known) are home to thriving populations of saltwater hippopotamuses, manatees, dolphins, green sea turtles, flamingos, rays, sharks and around 175 fish and 500-plus bird species.

And you won't be vying for sightings with other safari vehicles or Zodiac boats. These paradisiacal islets are home to just 33,000 or so residents who hew to their traditional matriarchal society, and there are no formal resorts or ecolodges.

The archipelago has also been quite difficult to reach. However, a handful of luxury and small-ship cruises have begun to call at the islands. Ponant Cruises has just opened sales for its first dedicated nine-day "Adventure in the Bissagos Islands" itinerary (April 7-15, 2025) on Le Lyrial, which starts and ends in Dakar, Senegal. During the journey, guests can expect to spy towering baobabs and flocks of migratory birds, playful vervet monkeys and vividly colored lizards, and take part in ancient ceremonies alongside the Bijago people.

On board MS Spitsbergen, Hurtigruten now offers a 14-day "West Africa Archipelago" cruise (paired with Cape Verde), which includes four days of deploying small rigid inflatable boats and sea kayaks to navigate the islands and channels for awe-inspiring wildlife sightings. The line also arranges encounters with the islanders, who have acted as custodians of this wonderfully biodiverse and pristine part of Africa, and who dedicate some 100 days per year to sacred rites and ceremonies such as fanado and difuntu .

Swan Hellenic's Ghana-to-Senegal "Crucibles of West Africa" trip, on the new 152-guest SH Vega, has two days scheduled in this off-the-grid sanctuary, where shore excursions include explorations of Orango National Park's mangrove thickets and savannah as well as trekking through traditional villages on Canhabaque.

As with many of the world's island paradises, the clock is likely ticking down on the Bissagos remaining immaculate and undeveloped, so if you hope to see them as they are, 2024 is the year to go.

TPG tip: Non-cruisers can visit the islands by first flying into the capital, Bissau, from Lisbon with TAP Air Portugal. Alternatively, Delta Air Lines has daily direct flights from New York to Dakar, from which there are daily connections on Air Senegal to Bissau. From Bissau, hire a speedboat for the hourlong journey to Bubaque, where the affordable Saldomar guesthouse and Hotel Kasa Afrikana make great home bases for daytrips to islands like Rubane, Orango and Canhabaque.

— Kathryn Romeyn

Quebec, Canada

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Best for pristine landscapes and rich Indigenous cultures

Quebec has long attracted travelers with its cosmopolitan towns , distinctly French flair and untouched wilderness. Thanks to a bold commitment to supporting Indigenous tourism, in 2024, the Canadian province will also provide new and meaningful ways to experience its natural beauty, its people and its culture.

Travelers can take in the aurora borealis while learning about Inuit traditions in Quebec's Arctic region of Nunavik, scan for beluga and blue whales with an Innu guide in Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park, or forage for mushrooms and berries in the Laurentian mountain range. Across Quebec, there are now abundant opportunities to delve deeper into the ancestral traditions of the area's First Nations, Innuit and Metis people.

The recent addition of Anticosti Island to Canada's cache of UNESCO-protected heritage sites will draw wilderness seekers to its otherworldly canyons, primordial forests and cascading waterfalls. The island's 1,440 known fossil species offer the most "complete and best preserved paleontological record of the first mass extinction of animal life, 447-437 million years ago," according to UNESCO, providing a unique window into our planet's past.

For urbanites, Quebec City's lamplit, cobblestone streets have never been a hard sell for a weekend getaway, but now there are even more reasons to linger. Join one of Cicerone 's locally led walking tours, shop for regional artworks along Rue du Tresor, see Inuit art at the Musee National des Beaux-Arts du Quebec (a new exhibit starts in February) and then dine on inventive boreal cuisine at Indigenous-owned restaurant Sagamite, whose owners have added two boutique hotels to their portfolio and will open a new microbrewery in 2024.

Head just outside the city's 400-year-old walls to Canada's only recognized Huron-Wendat community. Here, the superb First Nations-owned Hotel-Musee Premieres Nations was recently revamped with luxe suites and rooms appointed with Indigenous artworks and textiles with First Nations motifs. The hotel's restaurant, La Traite, helmed by much-lauded chef Marc de Passorio, provides a magical initiation into ancestral flavors with standout dishes like local tomatoes with sage and Quebec buffalo mozzarella and hearty bison medallions with beet puree and thyme juice.

TPG tip : Bookend your trip with a stay in Montreal , where the hotel scene is buzzing. There's the new art deco-inspired Honeyrose Hotel, Montreal, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, where Marriott points will come in handy, and the iconic Vogue Hotel Montreal Downtown, an elegant retreat on Montreal's Golden Square Mile which has been revamped and is now part of Hilton's Curio Collection.

Queensland, Australia

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Best for travelers Down Under looking for the right mix of urban and wildlife adventures

Best known for one of Earth's natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef , there's a lot more to this northeastern Australian state (though a visit to the reef is still top of the list while you still can — climate change and other factors are having increasingly adverse effects on much of the aquatic ecosystem).

In the capital, Brisbane , once-gritty environs like Howard Smith Wharves have been revitalized with trendy bars and restaurants. However, one of the biggest redevelopments is still on the horizon. The $2.6 billion Queen's Wharf precinct is nearing completion on 30 acres of prime riverfront land with not one but three hotels planned, plus over 50 dining and drinking venues, a huge footprint for retail and tons of outdoor spaces like a 100-meter-high sky deck with 360-degree views. In October, the city will also host the first annual Melt Open festival celebrating queer art and culture.

Down south in the blingy surfer haven of Gold Coast, travelers will be able to check in to a sleek new twin-towered Mondrian hotel and residences, while north along the Sunshine Coast, the tourism industry is taking the lead in regenerating bush once used for cattle grazing with native subtropical rainforest, which visitors can enjoy by staying at the avant-garde new Kurui Cabin at the base of the Cooroy Mountains.

In an effort to cultivate Indigenous-owned and -operated tourism businesses, the state has already invested 7 million Australian dollars in the Growing Indigenous Tourism in Queensland Fund. What's more, UNESCO World Heritage-listed Fraser Island — the world's largest sand island and a habitat for diverse wildlife where you can also swim with migrating humpback whales — has officially reverted to its traditional Butchulla name, K'gari.

Speaking of islands, luxury travelers can have an entire one to themselves along the Great Barrier Reef thanks to the November opening of Pelorus Private Island in the Great Palm archipelago off the Townsville coast. The nearly 1,000-acre paradise has just a single four-suite residence designed in a traditional, breezy Queenslander style, where guests can customize their entire experience from days out yachting between islands or exploring the island's teeming fringe reefs to enjoying leisurely meals prepared by a private chef.

TPG tip: It's getting even easier to travel from the U.S. directly to Queensland since United increased its frequencies between San Francisco and Brisbane from three times per week to daily in October and will launch three weekly nonstops between Los Angeles and Brisbane in December.

Train travel

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Best for high-velocity thrills or romantics looking to slow things down

Trains revolutionized travel in the 19th century, but 2024 might just be a rail renaissance thanks to new, thrilling high-speed routes, plush overnight sleepers and lavish itineraries on par with the world's best hotels.

Global developments in high-speed rail are coming to a pitch, with various highly anticipated routes finally entering operation. In Florida, the long-awaited Brightline has opened up an efficient new corridor between two major U.S. cities that are favorites with tourists. The service, which tops out at 125 miles per hour, connects Orlando International Airport (MCO) and Miami in just three hours (with 15 daily departures) and also courses between Miami and West Palm Beach via Aventura and Fort Lauderdale.

In Europe from late 2024, the ultraquiet Frecciarossa train will zip from Paris to Barcelona in just seven hours, shaving two hours from current travel times. In time for the Summer Olympics , Spanish rail company Renfe also plans to extend its daily Madrid-Marseille service through to Paris.

If you're craving tropical surroundings, Belmond's Eastern & Oriental Express returns to Southeast Asia in February after a pandemic hiatus. The restyled trains feature eight sleeper cars, two restaurant cars, a piano bar and an open-air observation car. The three-night "Essence of Malaysia" itinerary will operate from November to February from Singapore to Penang, with stops in Kuala Lumpur and the island of Langkawi (via private boat). Operating from March to May and August to October, the "Wild Malaysia" experience steams from Singapore along the eastern side of the Malay Peninsula, with stops to spot wildlife at Taman Negara National Park and Penang before returning to Singapore.

Later in 2024, Orient Express will debut its opulent La Dolce Vita trains with lavish art deco cabins, haute cuisine and world-class bartending. The eight itineraries span one to two nights and include a Sicilian service starting and ending in Palermo via Agrigento and Taormina with a whiz-by of Mount Etna. Other standout itineraries include from Rome to Sicily (via a ferry) and a romantic circular route from Rome to Venice with a stop at Siena.

Finally, Europe continues its relative boom in new sleeper train services . Leading the way is Nightjet, which already connects major cities like Paris, Amsterdam and Zurich. In 2024, the Austrian train operator will expand its Belgian routes from Brussels to Dresden and Prague. Additionally, Deutsche Bahn and SNCF will introduce a high-speed seven-hour service between Paris and Berlin, including stops in Strasbourg on the night route.

TPG tip: Use a Eurail pass (from $208) to explore multiple European countries using rail operators like Deutsche Bahn, SNCF and Trenitalia. Note that high-speed or sleeper options like Nightjet and Eurostar have extra reservation fees (typically $10-$20), but it's still much cheaper than buying individual tickets.

— Jordan Waller

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Best for beach and nature lovers who want to avoid crowds

Many travelers make the trek to South Africa for its spectacular wildlife and vibrant cities, but few hop across the border to Mozambique. Though the country has experienced ongoing conflicts in the far north, the central and southern parts remain relatively insulated from internal struggles.

Getting there is easier than you might think, too — Airlink offers direct flights to Vilankulos along the coast from Johannesburg , and more recently, the airline launched a nonstop flight between Cape Town and the capital, Maputo. While some travelers tend to skip the city, if you do make use of that route, consider a layover for a night or two. Maputo is a hub of activity with oceanside restaurants serving ultrafresh seafood with icy 2M beers and bakeries proffering crispy, creamy pasteis de nata, a holdover from Portuguese rule. The city's music scene is also buzzing, with bars and clubs playing everything from reggaeton to marrabenta (a hybrid of Mozambican dance with Portuguese folk music).

The main reason people come to the country is for the untouched Indian Ocean beaches along its 1,700-mile coast, which are lapped by aquamarine waters that rival the Caribbean. Over the past few years, a cluster of hotels have opened along the coast, including Kisawa, a design-focused property with 11 villas on a 740-acre sanctuary on Benguerra Island in the ecodiverse Bazaruto Archipelago.

Around two hours from Vilankulos on the mainland and set on a peninsula along a sheltered saltwater lagoon, Sussurro is an intimate pared-back lodge whose sandy-hued rooms are filled with artisan-made baskets and wooden furniture. Next year, Banyan Tree is expected to open Banyan Tree Ilha Caldeira, which promises to be an uberluxury spot, on a private island north of Beira.

For safarigoers, Gorongosa, a national park that has been undergoing a two-decade-long rehabilitation, has become a beacon of regeneration and economic activity in an area where tourism was entirely decimated by civil war. This year, Muzimu Lodge, a tent camp, opened on the banks of the Mussicadzi River. Wildlife is not as abundant as in nearby Kruger National Park (though you can expect to see huge packs of wild dogs and teeming herds of antelope), but the biodiversity is some of the richest in the world, with nearly 500 species of birds. Indelible landscapes like chalky limestone gorges dotted with vegetation and inky caves, woodland savannah and giant "Jurassic Park"-like forests with sausage trees and native Borassus palms will leave you awestruck.

TPG tip : Ensure you allow ample time for your visa application. The process has moved online, which makes it infinitely swifter than previously, but the application time can still take up to a month and costs $160 or more depending on the type you apply for.

— Mary Holland

Note from TPG editors : Due to an ongoing terrorist insurgency in the far north of Mozambique, the U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 2 warning advising travelers to exercise increased caution when traveling in the Cabo Delgado province. The country also recently experienced some unrest following local elections, so be sure to investigate the current situation before booking a trip.

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Best for food lovers and thrillseekers looking for something out of this world

Arriving in Bolivia can feel like you've landed on the moon. Have you seen the magnificent Salar de Uyuni? It's a vast salt pan with 3,900 square miles of desertlike cracked earth punctuated by cactus-covered rock piles. Though this parched corner of the earth draws visitors from around the globe, high-end accommodations have been lacking, but that's been changing quickly. In 2022, the Chilean hospitality brand Explora unveiled an intimate six-room mountain lodge set in a slick, glass-fronted building with snug, wood-lined rooms overlooking the flats.

Guests can partake in excursions, but the property also forms part of a greater six-night odyssey: a nomadic expedition where guests journey from Chile's Atacama Desert to Salar de Uyuni, stopping off at Explora's other "Mountain Lodges" along the way. Loads of thrilling activities are on offer, such as biking explorations across the Salar, through quinoa fields and beyond, as well as hikes across the largest islands and up into a village to see ancient Andean burial sites.

Whether you decide to begin your journey in the Atacama or Uyuni, don't miss Bolivia's capital La Paz, which sits in a bowl at a (literally) dizzyingly high elevation of 11,975 feet. The city's restaurant scene is arguably one of the most exciting in South America. Make a reservation at Gustu and enjoy a multicourse extravaganza of local delights including alligator and creamy aged corn. Hailed as one of Latin America's best restaurants, it was founded by Noma's Claus Meyer and is now helmed by chef Marsia Taha Mohamed. Also snag a table at Ancestral, where chef Mauricio Lopez (former head chef of Gustu) roasts vegetables and osso buco over an open flame, served alongside Bolivian wines.

The same team that opened the design-driven Atix Hotel (long a favorite among international visitors) unveiled the new Met Hotel last year in a soaring charcoal building with traditional Bolivian arts and crafts highlighted throughout its interior spaces. If you're traveling after July 2024, be sure to check out Altu Qala, a hotel set in a restored neoclassical building with wood-paneled walls and handmade cabinets in upcycled wood. The owner is also behind The Writer's Coffee, a cafe serving artisanal brews in the city, perfect for combating altitude fatigue.

Finally, for the best views of La Paz, take a trip on Mi Teleferico, the cable car transit system that's been expanding its network with various routes and now has 30 stations and 10 lines. Climb into the plastic bubbles, filled with locals whizzing across the city, and head up to El Alto, which sits at a staggering 13,325 feet.

TPG tip: If you really want to soak up the food and wine scene in La Paz, add in an extra few days to acclimatize. It's the highest capital in the world (11,975 feet) and altitude sickness is a high probability, so whizzing in and out is not recommended.

Bali, Indonesia

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Best for sustainability searchers who also crave cultural connection

Bali is an island of contradictions. It's home to a majority Hindu population but part of predominantly Muslim Indonesia. Visitors in the millions come both to sunbathe and party on its beaches while also seeking spiritual awakenings through wellness retreats. After decades of overtourism, Bali is also pioneering responsible, lower-impact ways for visitors to enjoy its natural wonders and renowned hospitality.

In 2024, the government will levy a $10-per-person fee on international tourists that will directly fund cultural and environmental protection, such as waste management. It's an incremental but important step toward becoming a more sustainable destination.

Luxury resorts are also leaning into the trend. Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay recently debuted Telu, a bar constructed entirely of upcycled materials that serves cocktails made with sustainable ingredients. In early 2024, Ayana Estate will open Museum Saka, a breathtaking 50,000-square-foot gallery showcasing the work of Balinese artists, historians and scholars, all of which is meant to bestow guests with a deeper understanding of the community's vibrant heritage.

At Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape , about an hour from Ubud, chef Eka Sunarya began experimenting with hypercreative and ultralocally sourced menus. He has since decamped to nearby Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve , where he continues to highlight seasonal Balinese cuisine with a no-waste philosophy.

Seminyak's Desa Potato Head — with its beach club and pair of striking, sustainably designed hotels that all together send just 3% of their waste to landfill — continues to be a regenerative tourism pioneer. In 2024, the resort is opening an ambitious Collective Waste Centre that will radically reduce landfill waste from eight nearby resorts, beach clubs and restaurants through high-efficiency sorting, processing and reuse practices.

A slew of exciting all-new hotels beckons design lovers and wellness seekers to Bali, too. Part of Hilton's LXR Resorts & Hotels, Umana Bali is expected to open in November 2023, a brand first in Southeast Asia. Guests will enjoy not only epic vistas from its 72 clifftop pool villas but also next-level cultural programming emphasizing legacy crafts and spa treatments utilizing ancient healing techniques.

Expected to debut in spring 2024, IHG's Regent Canggu will feature 150 suites and villas in one of Bali's hottest beach locales. Architecture by WATG and interior design by HBA will blend contemporary Indonesian fashion and cultural influences with traditional design motifs. Slated for late 2024, Kimpton Naranta Bali will bring boutique vibes to the Nusa Dua resort scene in the reimagined former Amanusa resort, designed by Kerry Hill.

TPG tip: Some of Bali's best points hotels offer deep cultural dives into Balinese village life. At Alila Manggis (from 3,500 World of Hyatt points per night), guests can take part in water purification rituals, visit the Indigenous Bali Aga tribe and trek to the "Gateway to Heaven" temple. At The Laguna, part of Marriott's Luxury Collection (from 33,000 Bonvoy points per night), exclusive experiences include lunch with the seventh generation of Kerambitan's royal family.

Cairo, Egypt

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Best for ancient treasures in a modern metropolis

Few destinations offer the same look at the mysteries of the past quite like Cairo. While this desert city has long been a magnet for those intrigued by the wonders of ancient Egypt and its former rulers, new attractions and highly anticipated hotel openings will draw even more travelers to this bucket list destination in 2024.

With that in mind, Cairo's most exciting addition will be the long-awaited reopening of the Grand Egyptian Museum, which, after years of delays , is on track to welcome visitors by early 2024. A colossal project that began more than 20 years ago, this massive repository — the largest archaeological museum ever built — will house over 100,000 Egyptian artifacts, including 5,000 relics found in famous pharaoh Tutankhamun's tomb.

Recently discovered artifacts from the Saqqara — an expansive necropolis located within Egypt's UNESCO World Heritage-listed ancient capital of Memphis — are also expected to be added to the museum's collection in due course. The treasures include multiple tombs, ancient workshops and burial shafts full of priceless antiquities, such as a mummy believed to be the most complete one ever found in Egypt.

To accommodate the influx of tourists expected in 2024, Cairo's hotel scene is rapidly expanding, too. Among the new properties currently in the pipeline are points-friendly accommodations like a Hyatt Centric, a Hilton and a Waldorf Astoria, plus the luxurious rebranding of the historic Shepheard Hotel into the Mandarin Oriental Shepheard, Cairo.

Unsurprisingly, Cairo's prime position on the Nile and proximity to other historic destinations also make it an excellent place to embark on a river cruise , especially in 2024. Several top river cruise lines offer itineraries that start or end in the city, making it possible to tack on visits to other ancient sites like Luxor and Aswan, Egypt. New standout ships to consider include Viking Aton (the fourth of six ships Viking expects to be sailing the Nile by late 2025) and AmaLilia (AmaWaterways' second ship devoted to Nile River cruises).

TPG tip: It should become easier than ever to reach this historic metropolis thanks to more nonstop routes from the U.S. to Cairo in the works. In addition to adding new nonstop flights from Newark to Cairo this past summer, Egyptair has filed a request with the Department of Transportation to launch service between Los Angeles and Cairo in the coming months. If approved, service on the Star Alliance carrier would give visitors yet another convenient way to reach the ancient city.

— Christine Gallipeau

Note from TPG editors : We want to acknowledge that all eyes will be on the widening conflict in the region as we end 2023 and look ahead to next year. Before planning your own trip to Egypt, stay up to date on State Department advisories , current events and the unfolding situation in neighboring Israel and beyond .

The Bahamas

best air travel & tourism

Best for rediscovering paradise right on our doorstep

Dazzling white- and pink-sand beaches; calm, clear seas shaded in myriad hues of blue; and easy access from various U.S. hubs have long made the Bahamas a top tourist destination. Expect 2024 to be an extra-buzzy year for this Caribbean nation, though, thanks to new hotels, exciting cruises and more flights from major airlines.

Goldwynn Resort & Residences on Nassau's famous Cable Beach was 2023's big hotel debut, offering 81 studios and one-, two- and three-bedroom suites just a short drive from the airport so visitors could be on the beach within an hour of landing. Set to open mid 2025, the ultraluxurious Montage Cay will occupy a 48-acre private island in the Abacos. The $352 million project will feature 50 oceanfront suites with private plunge pools and outdoor showers. The property will also comprise villa residences and a 47-slip marina for private yachts.

The Bahamas are drawing even more interest from major cruise lines, too. Norwegian Cruise Line christened its exciting Norwegian Viva megaship with a short cruise to its Bahamian private island, Great Stirrup Cay, in November 2023. The line's second Prima Class vessel, Viva, boasts the "fastest slides at sea," a three-level go-kart racetrack and millions of dollars of art on board. Royal Caribbean's new Oasis Class ship, Utopia of the Seas , is also set to start sailing short new cruises focusing on the Bahamas in 2024.

Cruise lines are adding new private-island experiences, too. Slated to open in summer 2024, Disney's Lighthouse Point in Eleuthera will offer amenities ranging from an adults-only beach to a family water play area and food hall-style dining. The destination is being designed with the environment in mind, too — about 90% of its electricity will be provided via solar panels.

TPG tip : Getting from the U.S. to the Bahamas will be easier than ever in 2024, especially from the West Coast. Alaska Airlines is adding seasonal nonstop flights from both Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) four times weekly and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) three times weekly to Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS). The services will run from Dec. 15, 2023, to April 9, 2024. JetBlue is launching its own new flight between Nassau and Los Angeles beginning in November 2023 that will fly once per week on Saturdays. Delta debuted a new nonstop from Miami International Airport (MIA) to Nassau this fall as well.

— Becca Blond

What's Hot

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  • Flight Dallas - Washington, D.C. (DFW - DCA) $105+
  • Flight Minneapolis - Washington, D.C. (MSP - DCA) $105+
  • Flight Seattle - Washington, D.C. (SEA - DCA) $145+
  • Flight Miami - Washington, D.C. (MIA - DCA) $155+
  • Flight Chicago - Washington, D.C. (ORD - DCA) $160+
  • Flight New York - Washington, D.C. (JFK - DCA) $162+
  • Flight Detroit - Washington, D.C. (DTW - DCA) $166+
  • Flight Chicago - Washington, D.C. (ORD - IAD) $176+
  • Flight Atlanta - Washington, D.C. (ATL - DCA) $178+
  • Flight Seattle - Baltimore (SEA - BWI) $185+
  • Flight San Francisco - Washington, D.C. (SFO - DCA) $191+
  • Flight San Francisco - Baltimore (SFO - BWI) $201+
  • Flight Dallas - Washington, D.C. (DFW - IAD) $224+
  • Flight Los Angeles - Washington, D.C. (LAX - DCA) $224+
  • Flight Los Angeles - Washington, D.C. (LAX - IAD) $237+
  • Flight Seattle - Washington, D.C. (SEA - IAD) $257+
  • Flight San Francisco - Washington, D.C. (SFO - IAD) $323+

Atlanta Flights

  • Flight Philadelphia - Atlanta (PHL - ATL) $40+
  • Flight Cleveland - Atlanta (CLE - ATL) $41+
  • Flight Fort Lauderdale - Atlanta (FLL - ATL) $42+
  • Flight Miami - Atlanta (MIA - ATL) $45+
  • Flight Chicago - Atlanta (ORD - ATL) $46+
  • Flight Baltimore - Atlanta (BWI - ATL) $54+
  • Flight New York - Atlanta (LGA - ATL) $58+

United States Flights

  • Flight San Francisco - Las Vegas (SFO - LAS) $48+
  • Flight New York - Miami (LGA - MIA) $53+
  • Flight New York - West Palm Beach (LGA - PBI) $53+
  • Flight Newark - Miami (EWR - MIA) $57+
  • Flight New York - Orlando (LGA - MCO) $64+

Hawaii Flights

  • Flight Los Angeles - Hawaii (LAX - USHI) $152+
  • Flight San Francisco - Hawaii (SFO - USHI) $188+
  • Flight San Jose - Hawaii (SJC - USHI) $227+
  • Flight Ontario - Hawaii (ONT - USHI) $239+
  • Flight Oakland - Hawaii (OAK - USHI) $249+
  • Flight San Diego - Hawaii (SAN - USHI) $253+
  • Flight Portland - Hawaii (PDX - USHI) $276+

Tampa Flights

  • Flight Baltimore - Tampa (BWI - TPA) $45+
  • Flight Richmond - Tampa (RIC - TPA) $51+
  • Flight Philadelphia - Tampa (PHL - TPA) $54+
  • Flight Cleveland - Tampa (CLE - TPA) $57+
  • Flight Raleigh - Tampa (RDU - TPA) $64+
  • Flight Cincinnati - Tampa (CVG - TPA) $68+
  • Flight Detroit - Tampa (DTW - TPA) $68+

Houston Flights

  • Flight Orlando - Houston (MCO - IAH) $48+
  • Flight Fort Lauderdale - Houston (FLL - IAH) $52+
  • Flight Miami - Houston (MIA - IAH) $56+
  • Flight Atlanta - Houston (ATL - IAH) $61+
  • Flight Baltimore - Houston (BWI - IAH) $69+
  • Flight Philadelphia - Houston (PHL - IAH) $71+
  • Flight Chicago - Houston (ORD - IAH) $82+

Las Vegas Flights

  • Flight Los Angeles - Las Vegas (LAX - LAS) $35+
  • Flight Santa Ana - Las Vegas (SNA - LAS) $38+
  • Flight Oakland - Las Vegas (OAK - LAS) $40+
  • Flight Burbank - Las Vegas (BUR - LAS) $41+
  • Flight Seattle - Las Vegas (SEA - LAS) $58+
  • Flight Houston - Las Vegas (HOU - LAS) $65+
  • Flight Houston - Las Vegas (IAH - LAS) $65+
  • Flight Dallas - Las Vegas (DFW - LAS) $73+
  • Flight Denver - Las Vegas (DEN - LAS) $82+
  • Flight Chicago - Las Vegas (ORD - LAS) $86+
  • Flight Minneapolis - Las Vegas (MSP - LAS) $97+
  • Flight Newark - Las Vegas (EWR - LAS) $108+
  • Flight Fort Lauderdale - Las Vegas (FLL - LAS) $112+

Miami Flights

  • Flight Philadelphia - Miami (PHL - MIA) $40+
  • Flight Baltimore - Miami (BWI - MIA) $42+
  • Flight Atlanta - Miami (ATL - MIA) $46+
  • Flight Cleveland - Miami (CLE - MIA) $52+
  • Flight Raleigh - Miami (RDU - MIA) $52+
  • Flight Houston - Miami (HOU - MIA) $53+
  • Flight Detroit - Miami (DTW - MIA) $58+
  • Flight Chicago - Miami (MDW - MIA) $68+
  • Flight Boston - Miami (BOS - MIA) $70+
  • Flight Dallas - Miami (DFW - MIA) $76+
  • Flight Chicago - Miami (ORD - MIA) $78+
  • Flight New York - Miami (JFK - MIA) $91+
  • Flight Minneapolis - Miami (MSP - MIA) $114+
  • Flight Denver - Miami (DEN - MIA) $124+
  • Flight Los Angeles - Miami (LAX - MIA) $137+
  • Flight Washington, D.C. - Miami (DCA - MIA) $155+
  • Flight Washington, D.C. - Miami (IAD - MIA) $155+
  • Flight Hartford - Miami (BDL - MIA) $157+
  • Flight Ontario - Miami (ONT - MIA) $165+
  • Flight Burbank - Miami (BUR - MIA) $170+

San Francisco Flights

  • Flight Ontario - San Francisco (ONT - SFO) $56+
  • Flight San Diego - San Francisco (SAN - SFO) $58+
  • Flight Los Angeles - San Francisco (LAX - SFO) $71+
  • Flight Santa Ana - San Francisco (SNA - SFO) $88+
  • Flight Dallas - San Francisco (DFW - SFO) $98+
  • Flight Portland - San Francisco (PDX - SFO) $101+
  • Flight Denver - San Francisco (DEN - SFO) $112+
  • Flight Chicago - San Francisco (MDW - SFO) $118+
  • Flight Burbank - San Francisco (BUR - SFO) $127+
  • Flight Seattle - San Francisco (SEA - SFO) $129+
  • Flight Chicago - San Francisco (ORD - SFO) $151+
  • Flight Austin - San Francisco (AUS - SFO) $158+
  • Flight Houston - San Francisco (HOU - SFO) $164+
  • Flight Minneapolis - San Francisco (MSP - SFO) $164+

Seattle Flights

  • Flight San Diego - Seattle (SAN - SEA) $82+
  • Flight Los Angeles - Seattle (LAX - SEA) $89+
  • Flight Santa Ana - Seattle (SNA - SEA) $93+
  • Flight Burbank - Seattle (BUR - SEA) $94+
  • Flight Denver - Seattle (DEN - SEA) $98+
  • Flight Phoenix - Seattle (PHX - SEA) $98+
  • Flight Oakland - Seattle (OAK - SEA) $106+

Paris Flights

  • Flight Miami - Paris (MIA - CDG) $252+
  • Flight New Windsor - Paris (SWF - CDG) $302+
  • Flight Baltimore - Paris (BWI - CDG) $306+
  • Flight Boston - Paris (BOS - CDG) $306+
  • Flight Washington, D.C. - Paris (IAD - CDG) $306+
  • Flight Newark - Paris (EWR - CDG) $337+
  • Flight Atlanta - Paris (ATL - CDG) $352+

Europe Flights

  • Flight Newark - Barcelona (EWR - BCN) $354+

Florida Flights

  • Flight Philadelphia - Florida (PHL - USFL) $36+
  • Flight Boston - Florida (BOS - USFL) $40+
  • Flight Baltimore - Florida (BWI - USFL) $42+
  • Flight New York - Florida (LGA - USFL) $53+
  • Flight Newark - Florida (EWR - USFL) $57+
  • Flight Chicago - Florida (ORD - USFL) $68+
  • Flight New York - Florida (JFK - USFL) $91+

Dallas Flights

  • Flight Orlando - Dallas (MCO - DFW) $65+
  • Flight Atlanta - Dallas (ATL - DFW) $76+
  • Flight Chicago - Dallas (ORD - DFW) $82+
  • Flight Los Angeles - Dallas (LAX - DFW) $82+
  • Flight Denver - Dallas (DEN - DFW) $85+
  • Flight Minneapolis - Dallas (MSP - DFW) $85+
  • Flight Philadelphia - Dallas (PHL - DFW) $85+

San Diego Flights

  • Flight San Jose - San Diego (SJC - SAN) $59+
  • Flight Oakland - San Diego (OAK - SAN) $63+
  • Flight Phoenix - San Diego (PHX - SAN) $63+
  • Flight Portland - San Diego (PDX - SAN) $70+
  • Flight Salt Lake City - San Diego (SLC - SAN) $70+
  • Flight San Francisco - San Diego (SFO - SAN) $87+
  • Flight Seattle - San Diego (SEA - SAN) $88+

Frequently asked questions

What do i need to know before booking a flight.

There are various factors to consider when booking a flight including cost, fare classes, baggage policies, the complications of flying long haul, and complying with airport regulations. To make your booking journey smoother KAYAK has developed a comprehensive flight guide including insights on finding affordable flights, packing efficiently, and utilizing the best travel tools.

Which month of the year are flight prices lowest?

It’s well established that flights in the low season are generally cheaper than ticket prices during the high season. That means that knowing which month to find the lowest priced plane tickets will depend heavily on seasonality and your destination. While avoiding peak travel times can help you keep costs down, our data shows that the month with the lowest priced plane tickets for domestic flights based on all searches made on KAYAK in the last 12 months was January, while the most expensive was March. If you’re booking an international flight, then January is the cheapest month to fly and June the most expensive.

Can flying international flights with a layover save money on airfare?

For many long-haul international flights, flying non-stop is not possible and you will have to fly with a layover. Some routes will offer both and you could consider flying with a layover for a number of reasons. Firstly, breaking up what would otherwise be a long-haul flight, taking a rest and then completing the journey might make the flight more manageable. Secondly, prices can also be lower than non-stop flights, so while it might take longer for you to reach your destination, you could save money. We’ve looked at prices over the last 12 months for the 100 most popular international destinations for KAYAK users and on average, prices for non-stop flights were cheaper than flights with a layover.

How do I find the best flight deals on KAYAK?

A simple flight search at https://www.kayak.com/flights scans for prices on hundreds of travel sites in seconds. We gather flight deals from across the web and put them in one place. Then on the search results page you can use various filters to compare options for the same flight and easily choose the best flight deal from all of the deals coming straight from the travel sites to your screen, with no extra fee from KAYAK.

Does KAYAK query more flight providers than competitors?

Yes, KAYAK has access to more data and information than online travel agencies and consistently outperforms the competition in accuracy, globally.

What is KAYAK's "flexible dates" feature and why should I care?

Sometimes travel dates aren't set in stone. If your preferred travel dates have some wiggle room, flexible dates will show you flights up to 3 days before/after your preferred dates. That way, you can see if leaving a day or two earlier will find you a better deal. You can also select the flexible "weekend" or "month" search options to widen your search range and find the cheapest price that works for you.

What is the cheapest day of the week to book a flight?

The best day to book your flight depends on a number of factors, but there are general trends that you can follow to increase your chances of cheaper plane tickets. Based on an analysis of KAYAK data for all flights departing from inside United States over the last 12 months, the cheapest day to fly for domestic flights is Tuesday. For international flights, Thursday had the cheapest tickets on average.

When is the best time to buy plane tickets - Last minute or in advance?

Last minute flight deals are definitely up for grabs but when exactly to purchase your plane tickets will depend on where you’re traveling to and from. Based on all data for flight searches made on KAYAK over the last 12 months, prices for domestic flights remained below the average price up to 1 weeks before departure. For international flights, deals could still be had up to 1 weeks prior to the departure date, with prices remaining below average. If you’re flexible, KAYAK brings you both advance and last minute one-way and round-trip flight deals.

How does KAYAK find such low flight prices?

KAYAK processes over 2 billion flight queries annually and displays results from hundreds of airlines and third party sites, allowing it to find a variety of flight prices and options. It also displays results from 2M+ properties along with rental cars, vacation packages, activities and millions of verified reviews so users can see as many available travel options as possible.

How can Hacker Fares save me money?

Hacker Fares allow you to combine one-way tickets on different airlines when it can save you money over a traditional round-trip ticket.

How does KAYAK's flight Price Forecast tool help me choose the right time to buy?

KAYAK's flight Price Forecast tool uses historical data to determine whether the price for a given destination and date is likely to change within 7 days, so travelers know whether to wait or book now.

Protect Your Trip »

Top travel rewards programs prioritize flexibility, ease of earning.

U.S. News announces 2021-22 Best Airline Rewards Programs and Best Hotel Rewards Programs.

The 2021-22 Best Travel Rewards Programs

Best travel rewards

Getty Images

The top airline and hotel rewards programs make it easy for travelers to earn points or miles and have been accommodating amid the coronavirus pandemic.

As many hotel and airline rewards enthusiasts know, the more you travel and the more you spend on travel, the more you can actually save on travel. This might come as a surprise to more novice trip planners or basic rewards members – and might seem too good to be true – but in reality, there are numerous ways to elevate your travel experience once you sign up for a travel rewards program. While you can earn and use points and miles when booking rooms and flights, today's travel rewards programs offer many more unique earning and redemption opportunities. Although traveling hasn't been a top priority for many people during the past year, now is a great time to research the best loyalty programs for your needs and start earning so you can accrue plenty of points and miles for your next big trip. Read on to find out all you need to know about the Best Travel Rewards Programs and see which programs are the most beneficial for everyday travelers.

When it comes to earning, hotel and airline loyalty programs continue to offer diverse ways for members to accumulate points or miles. For instance, Wyndham Rewards gives members the chance to earn points by booking tours and excursions while traveling, and Choice Privileges awards participants with points when they pay for rental cars and tee times at various golf courses. World of Hyatt offers members opportunities to collect points for services like spa treatments and fitness classes. As for IHG Rewards , members can accrue points when they plan events or weddings at participating properties. Meanwhile, Marriott Bonvoy 's partnership with Uber makes it possible for travelers to earn points for using the popular ride-hailing app. Delta SkyMiles also gives members a chance to rack up miles for ride-hailing services (plus other purchases like vacation rental stays and concert tickets) thanks to partnerships with Lyft, Airbnb and Ticketmaster. When members of the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan are not accruing 1 mile for every mile flown (or a minimum of 500 miles) with the airline and its oneworld partners, they can earn miles for dog-walking services, flower deliveries and groceries, among other everyday purchases. Meanwhile, American Airlines AAdvantage provides frequent flyers opportunities to collect miles for cruises and rental car bookings, JetBlue TrueBlue lets participants earn points simply by flying with pets and Southwest Rapid Rewards awards members points for Marathon fuel purchases and Home Chef meal kit orders. Yet another top way to earn points or miles with a hotel or airline loyalty program is to sign up for a rewards credit card and use it for everyday spends.

One of the most popular and well-known ways to redeem points or miles is on a free hotel stay or flight. The programs that rank highly not only offer free nights or free flights at lower redemption rates, but they also provide additional ways for members to use their hard-earned accruals. Wyndham Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy members can put their points toward booking vacation rentals – travelers with Wyndham Rewards accounts can use points for stays at Vacasa and Cottages.com properties, while Marriott Bonvoy participants can book through Homes & Villas by Marriott International. World of Hyatt members can use points for off-site excursions and epic expeditions to places like the Galápagos Islands and Antarctica via Lindblad Expeditions. IHG Rewards participants can redeem points for dining or retail purchases, while travelers enrolled in Choice Privileges can donate their points to charitable organizations like COVID-19 relief funds. Many hotel rewards programs also make it possible for travelers to put extra points toward room upgrades and other goodies. When it comes to redeeming airline miles, several programs allow frequent flyers to use miles on cabin upgrades, hotel stays, retail gift cards and luxury airport experiences like lounge access and personalized airport assistance from a team member.

Keep in mind, travel rewards programs are not one-size-fits-all since different travelers prioritize different things. When choosing which hotel loyalty program (or programs) to enroll in, consider the types of properties (budget hotels vs. mid-range properties vs. luxury resorts) a particular brand offers. Also, pay attention to the number of properties a brand offers in the specific geographic areas you wish to explore. Typically, programs that provide a variety of hotel options at different price points appeal to everyday travelers since there are more choices to select from – whether you plan to pay in cash or redeem points for a stay. As for frequent flyer programs, sign up for those that help you get access to all the perks you are looking for, such as seat upgrades if you plan to fly far distances, priority boarding if you want to minimize airport wait times and checked bag allotments if you tend to pack a bit more than necessary. It's also helpful to seek out rewards programs with airlines that service numerous routes and have plenty of flight times (for maximum flexibility). You may also want to consider which airlines operate out of hub airports closest to your home.

Canceled events, delayed flights and seemingly endless customer service wait times have thrown a wrench into many travel plans during the past year. Luckily, a number of loyalty programs have instituted changes to account for disrupted or canceled travel plans due to the coronavirus pandemic, granting members more flexibility, more time to book travel and more ways to achieve or maintain elite status. For instance, Wyndham Rewards allows travelers of all membership levels to roll over extra qualifying nights for elite status into the next calendar year. Programs like Marriott Bonvoy and World of Hyatt allow travelers to store points for up to two years before they expire. As for frequent flyer programs, members of Delta SkyMiles, JetBlue TrueBlue and Southwest Rapid Rewards can postpone trips without worry since their miles or points never expire. What's more, as a result of the pandemic, several hotel and airline rewards programs – such as Choice Privileges, World of Hyatt, Wyndham Rewards, the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, Delta SkyMiles, Southwest Rapid Rewards and several others – reduced their elite status qualification thresholds or gave existing members a points or miles boost to make it easier to reach or keep elite membership.

To calculate these rankings, U.S. News analyzed travel rewards programs using a methodology that takes into account membership benefits, network coverage and a strong emphasis on the ease of earning and redeeming free flights or nights, among other data points. Read on to see the 2021-22 Best Hotel Rewards Programs and B est Airline Rewards Programs . (Note: When planning a trip, it's important to be aware of changing travel guidelines due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Check with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of State and local tourism boards before traveling.)

Best Hotel Rewards Programs

Best travel rewards

  • Wyndham Rewards
  • World of Hyatt
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • Choice Privileges
  • IHG Rewards

See the full list »

Best Airline Rewards Programs

Best travel rewards

  • Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
  • Delta SkyMiles
  • American Airlines AAdvantage
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards

You may also be interested in:

  • Where Can Americans Travel Right Now?
  • Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards
  • The 50 Best Hotels in the USA 2021
  • Best Hotels by Brand
  • Best Hotels in the Caribbean
  • Best Hotels in Mexico
  • U.S. News Best Vacations: Travelers Seek Nature, Adventure in 2021-22

Tags: Travel , Airlines , Hotels and Resorts , Vacations

World's Best Places To Visit

  • # 1 South Island, New Zealand
  • # 4 Bora Bora

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

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The Vacationer • Travel Guides • Travel Tips

49 Best Travel Tips to Save Time, Money, & Stress in 2024

Best Travel Tips

Traveling locally, across the country, or to another continent is an exciting way to form memories and experience other cultures. But an awry trip can usher in unnecessary stress, expenses, and potential regrets.

These travel tips can help you have a successful trip from the initial planning stages, as you pack your bags, and once you reach your destination. 

Table of Contents

Best Travel Tips While Preparing for a Trip

This collection of tips covers just about everything you should consider when traveling and before you go. You are most likely practicing some of them, making them a good reminder, and others can help prevent uncommon travel surprises.

1. Book At Least Six Weeks in Advance

Instead of carving time out of your schedule to book your trip at a specific date or time (such as Tuesdays at 3 a.m. using a private browsing session to find discounted fares), a more effective strategy is researching travel options at least four to six weeks in advance.

You can still find cheap flights and ideal flight times at least six weeks before departure. Getting on the hunt two or three months before major holidays is also good.  

Last-minute travel savings are possible but you may be unable to get a desired departure time, layover window, or destination. Waiting until the final days can be worth it if you have a flexible schedule and are open-minded about where you travel to.

Learn More: Best Days and Times to Book Flights

2. Travel in the Off-Season or Shoulder Season

Avoiding the peak travel season is one of the easiest ways to pay less for flights and lodging. You also will enjoy smaller crowds and the weather can still be decent for your intended activities.

For example, visiting Spain is delightful in March and April but travel prices are elevated during Semana Santa (Holy Week) when most cities have processions that virtually shut down the city.

Another example is visiting a beach town during the shoulder season. The shoulder season is the time between the peak and the offseason. So you could take a trip to Cape May, NJ from the middle of May to the end of June instead of during the July/August peak. The weather is still good enough during the shoulder season to enjoy most peak-season activities.

3. Compare Multiple Booking Sites

Comparing prices from several travel booking sites can help you find the best rate within minutes. Airlines, hotels, and rental cars offer several slots to third-party booking sites and you can pay less than booking directly from the carrier.

It’s worth your time to check prices directly from the carrier website but also from one or more third-party booking sites (online travel agencies or OTAs) like Hotels.com , Kayak , or Google Flights .

The Vacationer Tip

Along with looking for the best flight schedule and prices, you can use our guide to help find the best seats on the plane and book them for cheap or for free.

4. Book Directly from the Travel Provider

While you can find discounted prices through online travel agencies and third-party booking sites, booking directly from the airline, hotel, or rental car agency provides more protection if you must cancel or reschedule. This is especially important for flights and the 24-hour cancellation rule .

With third-party reservations, you may be locked into a particular itinerary that could be non-refundable or non-changeable. You will need to call the booking site to determine what your alternatives are. If you’re eligible for a refund, it can take longer to receive your funds.

5. Stay at a Hostel to Save Money

Hostels are a common and safe way to secure affordable lodging in Europe and Asia. If you’re traveling solo or in a group and okay with not having as much privacy, a hostel helps keep your travel costs down. 

Despite many misconceptions, most establishments are well-run with clean bathrooms and bedding. You may also be able to get a basic breakfast at some. With that said, be sure to research your options and consider paying a little more to get more luxurious accommodations.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Staying in a Hostel

6. Consider Vacation Rentals for Extended Stays

Vacation rental websites like Airbnb and VRBO have become immensely more popular since the pandemic as people yearned for privacy. While hotels are usually better for shorter stays as you avoid expensive cleaning fees and service fees, a vacation home or villa can be more cost-effective for extended stays.

At a minimum, a rental or an extended-stay hotel is more likely to offer a full kitchen suite that allows you to cook full meals instead of relying on packaged snacks or what fits inside the hotel mini-fridge. 

Vacation rentals can also be cheaper per square foot if traveling as a family. Instead of squeezing into a hotel suite or booking multiple rooms, you have spacious accommodations. If you have small children, the extra space can keep you from losing your mind on rainy days.

The Vacationer’s Tip: While many people focus on spending less for flights, hotels and vacation rentals can have variable pricing. Here is how to find and book cheap hotels to enjoy clean and spacious lodging on a budget.

7. Buy Travel Insurance for Expensive or International Trips

Travel insurance is inexpensive on most itineraries and can save you thousands of dollars if your non-refundable travel is canceled or delayed for qualifying reasons. 

Obtaining coverage is a good option for expensive trips. Picking up a policy can also be worth it when traveling outside the United States as you can have medical coverage and emergency evacuation benefits that your ordinary health insurance may not provide outside the country.

You should also consider booking your trips using credit cards with travel insurance coverage . These benefits are sufficient for low-cost excursions and can activate before your standalone travel insurance policy can. They can also provide complimentary rental car coverage .

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers the best credit card travel insurance benefits. Namely, you can be eligible for trip interruption and cancellation coverage of up to $10,000 per person ($20,000 per trip), primary auto rental collision damage waiver, up to $500 per ticket in trip delay reimbursement, and up to $100,000 in emergency evacuation  Learn How to Apply Here

8. Consider Annual Travel Insurance Plans

If you travel regularly, an annual travel insurance policy covers multiple trips at a lower premium than buying a new policy for each trip. This is an excellent option for frequent leisure travelers and business travelers.

9. Review Airline and Hotel Cancellation Policies

Your travel plans may change unexpectedly for personal or work reasons. Before you book, take the time to review the cancellation and modification policies just to make sure they are reasonable.

You want to make sure you have a strong possibility of getting a refund or a travel credit to redeem later. Being locked into a non-refundable itinerary may not be worth the savings unless you’re booking right before you go or your travel insurance may issue a refund.

In addition to researching the cancellation policy, be sure to review an airline’s seating and carry-on policy to avoid add-on fees and restrictions. 

10. Choose Early Flights

Early morning flights are the best time to fly for several reasons. First, these departures are less likely to be delayed as it’s a new travel day with rested crews and minimal weather-related interruptions. 

Additionally, these flights can be cheaper as you need to arrive at the airport a little earlier. Routes popular with business travel can be an exception to this rule, but you can anticipate paying less than for a mid-day sortie.

Learn More: How to Avoid Flight Delays and Cancellations

11. Arrive at the Airport Early

Best Travel Tips - Arrive at the Airport Early

Photo: Pixabay

Getting to the airport at least an hour before departure for domestic flights at small airports or when you’re not checking luggage. Plan on arriving at least two hours for domestic flights at busy airports, if you’re checking a bag, or traveling with small children.

What about international flights? Plan on arriving at least three hours before departure to allow additional time for a potentially longer check-in time.

Learn More: How Early Should I Get to the Airport?

12. Qualify for Expedited Airport Security 

If you fly several times a year, obtaining expedited airport security credentials can help you avoid long airport security lines. 

The first step is applying for a federally-administered Trusted Traveler Program, such as:

  • TSA PreCheck : Enjoy expedited security at domestic airports only.  
  • Global Entry : Get expedited processing at customs lines on international flights plus TSA PreCheck benefits. 
  • NEXUS : Ideal for travel between the U.S. and Canada. It also includes Global Entry and TSA PreCheck benefits. 

Several rewards credit cards are offering free Global Entry and TSA PreCheck application fee credits to save a few dollars.

In addition to Trusted Traveler programs, you can also shave a few minutes off security wait times with CLEAR at select major airports and stadiums. Where available, this pre-security program can help you reach the expedited TSA security lines sooner. 

Getting a Redress Number can help those who frequently have boarding pass issues, are subject to additional security screenings (including having SSSS on their boarding pass ), and those who experience delayed or denied boardings.

Learn More: How to Get Through TSA Airport Security Faster

13. Relax at an Airport Lounge

If you have a long layover or arrive at the airport several hours later, visiting an airport lounge (like a Centurion Lounge ) can help you grab a complimentary meal and drink, and recharge your devices. You can also have a comfortable place to sit and the luxury lounges offer spa treatment, sleeping rooms, and shower suites to clean up.

Single-day passes are pricey but there are several credit cards with lounge access . Most lounges allow entry for the primary cardholder and up to two guests complimentary up to three hours before your next flight’s departure.

Airport lounge access is just one way to reduce air travel stress . Check out our article for additional suggestions. 

14. Check Your Passport Expiration Date

Some countries and airlines won’t let you travel if your passport expires within six months. If you’re planning a trip, see if your passport is expiring soon to prevent delaying your trip.

Consider renewing your passport early if you’re approaching the six-month expiration window as the passport processing times can take up to 13 weeks to receive your new document. You can pay extra for expedited processing but the process can still take several weeks.

After submitting your renewal request, you can check your passport application status online .

Finally, use our How to Take Your Own Passport Photo guide to simplify things when applying or renewing.

15. Don’t Go Into Debt for Vacation

As much as you’re earning to get away on a dream trip, it’s probably not worth going into debt for. Whether your bank is offering a vacation loan or you intend on carrying a credit card balance (even with a 0% APR), borrowing money to travel can backfire.

Instead, look for the best options within your spending power. Consider setting aside money each month and delaying your trip if necessary.

In addition to saving up for travel in a dedicated savings account, you can use travel rewards credit cards to redeem points to defray purchases. Some cards offer annual statement credits that reimburse eligible travel bookings. 

Additionally, airline credit cards and hotel credit cards also offer complimentary benefits to spend less.  

Making a travel budget can help you plan for travel expenses so you’re not nervous about running out of cash while you travel or having regrets once you return home.

16. Exercise and Stretch

Once you depart for your trip, be sure to stretch and perform basic exercises as time and space permit. It can be as basic as stationary stretches while sitting in your seat to walking the airport terminal. If driving, stay outside for a few extra minutes at the gas station or rest area.

Stretching and being active once you arrive is also beneficial and can help you sleep better.

Best Travel Tips for Packing

17. only bring a carry-on.

When possible, only bring a carry-on to avoid lost or missing checked luggage. You can also avoid checked baggage fees and excessive weight charges if you overpack. Using the best carry-on can help you find the perfect soft or hard-sided luggage to fit your travel gear.

If you need to check a bag, it most likely won’t get lost but could get delayed. Here’s our helpful guide on what to do during baggage delays .

18. Pack as Light as Possible

Packing is stressful; Many people overpack to ease their anxiety, which sometimes means bringing extra suitcases or paying to check a bag. Write down everything you think you need on your packing list. After it’s complete, cut it down to the bare minimum.

Pack underwear and socks for the number of showers you expect to take; Add an emergency pair for every five or so days of your trip. Shirts and pants can usually be worn multiple days in a row. If your accommodation has a washing machine, you can pack even less.

19. Carry-On Overnight Travel Essentials

You never know when a flight delay will turn into spending the night in the terminal or at a nearby hotel. While the airline may provide meal vouchers, you should pack these travel essentials to freshen up:

  • A change of clothes, especially extra underwear and socks
  • Powerbank (they cost about $20 and have several phone/tablet recharges)
  • Travel charger

Even if you’re not stuck somewhere overnight, these small and compact items can also help you rest while on the road:

  • Earplugs (great for plane rides and noisy hotels)
  • Noise-canceling earbuds or headphones
  • Travel blanket
  • Travel pillow (see the best travel neck pillows )

Adding these carry-on essentials to your packing list can prepare you for nearly any change of plans and to weather a long layover or flight. 

20. Don’t Forget a Power Adapter

A power adapter is essential in most foreign destinations to charge your devices. Traveling to Canada or Mexico is an exception as the standard voltage is 120v and these countries have the same outlet design as the United States. Check to see the adapter requirements for the country you are visiting before leaving.

The Vacationer’s Phil Dengler recently visited South Africa and needed a Type M adapter. He purchased this Ceptics International Power Plug Adapter Travel Set , which includes 13 adapters for just about every foreign country.

21. Use Packing Cubes

There are a couple of ways to organize your travel luggage to squeeze everything in. Your bag may include built-in storage compartments or you might roll up clothing and put them in packing cubes or vacuum storage bags. If you’re on a budget, rubber bands or plastic bags can also do the job. I recommend the following packing cubes: Veken 6 Set of Various Colored Packing Cubes .

Packing for a vacation can feel like a fine art at times, even as a seasoned traveler. Our travel packing list can cover everything you need to bring so you don’t forget and have to buy something along the way.

22. Bring an Empty Water Bottle

For over 20 years, it’s become ingrained for air travelers to pack liquids in containers containing no more than three ounces. This security rule means you can’t bring a filled water bottle through airport security, but you can bring an empty one.

Most airports have filtered water dispensers in the post-security terminal that you can fill up your bottle with and avoid paying big bucks for bottled water. You also won’t struggle to stay hydrated during your journey.

If you’re driving, consider bringing a travel water filter or a portable filter that you can use in your hotel room to pay pennies for filtered water.

23. Dress Comfortably for the Flight

You should dress comfortably for the plane ride. Dressing in layers with a light jacket or a travel blanket can help you stay warm if the cabin is cool. Bringing travel slippers or slip-on shoes on long-haul flights is another overlooked comfort hack. Wear sweatpants instead of jeans.

24. Bring Duplicate Travel Documents

Take a few minutes to photocopy your critical travel documents such as your government-issued IDs and passport. Be sure to keep these papers separate from your originals in case one set gets lost.

Once you arrive at your destination, you may decide to go out in public with your duplicates and keep your originals plus at least one payment card in the room safe. That way, a pickpocket doesn’t run off with the more valuable set and you still have a way to make purchases. 

Taking it a step further, write down your credit card numbers and the emergency contact number if you need to call and cancel if your plastic goes missing. If you don’t have a phone number, you can also look for a pay phone that should have a toll-free number to contact Visa or Mastercard to cancel your card.

25. Keep Valuables at Home and Bring a Lock

Unless it’s necessary to bring them along for a business function or a personal event, leave your valuables at home. The hassle of keeping them secure and the risk of losing them may not be worth the replacement cost. 

This includes your fine jewelry, watches, and high-end electronics that are nice to use but optional for this trip. Additionally, these items can make you a target for thieves.

The Vacationer’s Phil Dengler also recommends bringing a luggage lock or a standard combination lock.

Best Travel Tips Luggage Lock & Tracker

26. Install a Luggage Tracking Device

Bluetooth tracking devices like the Apple AirTag are a small and easy way to see where your carry-on and checked luggage are at all times. A single piece is about the size of a coin and costs $30 or less.

27. Bring Comfy Walking Shoes

Most of the world walks more steps than we do daily. Therefore, it’s essential to pack at least one pair of comfortable shoes or sandals to stroll the streets of your destination. Comfortable footwear is also a must-have if you’re staying stateside.

28. Keep a Travel Journal

Consider packing a notebook or diary into your carry-on. Handwriting your favorite travel memories in a journal is an easy way to remember the intricacies that you may struggle to remember years later when you reflect. 

For example, you can write down what you did each day along with exciting facts. Having everybody share their favorite activity for the day is another way to use this journal.

Best Travel Tips for Once You Arrive

29. learn the local customs.

Words and expressions can have different meanings where you’re traveling to. It’s also a good idea to know some of the common phrases and customs the locals practice so you can have a basic conversation.

You can research these details online or in a guidebook.

Best Travel Tips Local Customs

30. Dress As a Local

Blending in with the crowd can help prevent unwanted attention from panhandlers and pickpockets. For example, don’t wear revealing clothing when the culture favors pants or long dresses. Researching fashion advice for your destination is your best option.

31. Be Wary of Local Scams

Brushing up on the latest tourist scams can help you avoid bad situations. A recent travel guidebook is a reliable way to find the most common tactics for your destination. Two to look out for are unofficial taxis and fake wifi hotspots. 

32. Consider Wearing a Money Belt

Long-time travelers have a love-hate relationship with money belts as they point you out as a tourist if you’re constantly reaching for it in public. Additionally, wearing the belt all day can be a nuisance as it’s an extra layer of fabric you’re not used to.

At the same time, it’s harder to steal a money belt than to grab something from your pockets or purse. They are also inexpensive to buy on Amazon and don’t take up a lot of suitcase space if you decide not to use it.

33. Download Travel Apps

Smartphones make international travel substantially easier as you can download various apps before leaving home so you can hit the ground running.

Some types of apps you may consider downloading for these purposes:

  • Offline Maps: Many consider Maps.me to be the best offline maps app and more user-friendly than Apple Maps or Google Maps. You may still try getting paper maps from a local tourism office or bookstore once you arrive though.
  • Translation: A translator app for traveling can be pre-loaded with basic phrases with offline access. It may also be able to interpret voice recordings and photographs.
  • Jet Lag: Flying to the other side of the world takes a toll on your body and sleep cycle. Timeshifter can help you conquer jet lag quicker while traveling and upon returning home.   

Downloading apps for your airline, hotel, and travel booking sites will help you access your digital reservation information and receive itinerary updates. Some travelers also enjoy downloading tourism apps like Tripadvisor or Yelp to quickly access ratings for attractions.

34. Get an International Sim Card or Phone Plan

Your stateside phone carrier may offer an international plan that you can upgrade to while you’re out of the country. Contract carriers and prepaid providers offer this overseas coverage.

Alternatively, an international sim card can be a budget-friendly and reliable option if you visit multiple countries. Just make sure your device is unlocked and GSM-compatible.  

35. Avoid Eating in Touristy Areas  

You’re likely to pay more and potentially get lower-quality food when eating in touristy areas. This isn’t always the case. For example, dining within sight of Rome’s Pantheon is an exception as there are well-rated restaurants for a memorable ambiance.

However, going a few streets over or to an adjacent community can be the ticket to finding authentic food. Asking your hotel or trustworthy locals can help you find a good spot in addition to researching places to eat online.

36. Lunch Can Be Cheaper than Supper

If you’re only planning on eating out one meal per day, your mid-day meal can be more affordable than in the evening. 

Depending on the restaurant, there can be separate menus for the bar and dining room. Staying in the bar can be more affordable and your meal options can be similar.

37. Use American Chains for Public Restrooms and Wifi

Finding a public bathroom can be challenging in foreign destinations. American restaurants like McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Taco Bell are more likely to offer public access to restrooms and wifi, although you may need to make a small purchase.

38. Look for Free Walking Tours

Free walking tours are common in popular tourist destinations both stateside and internationally. These tours can last a couple of hours and hit the cultural and historical points of interest. They can provide an idea of what you want to spend more time exploring later.  

While these tours don’t have an entry fee, nothing in life is genuinely 100% free ,and leaving a tip is expected in most situations. You may decide to tip more if the guide is knowledgeable and engaging.

39. A Paid Tour Can Be Better Than a Free Tour

Best Travel Tips for Tours

You should also compare the free tours to private, guided tours. A paid tour can provide more hands-on support and access to more landmarks. 

In addition to researching the traditional tour providers, the experiences section in Airbnb can also provide curated opportunities to see the sights, enjoy culinary delights, or do physical activities like paddleboarding or folk dancing. 

Further Reading: Best Websites for Booking Cheap Tickets, Tours, & Activities

40. Look for Discounted Sightseeing Passes

Museums and entertainment attractions offer discounted and priority admission with sightseeing pass companies. So, instead of buying tickets directly from the tourist attractions you wish to visit, purchasing a city attraction card in advance can save money and means you won’t need to wait for hours (potentially) to buy a ticket at the door.

For domestic trips, CityPASS® offers discounted packages in approximately 15 major U.S. cities. Entertainment.com can also help you save on experiences in the United States and Canada.

If you’re flying to the “Eternal City” of Rome, Italy, the Roma Tourist Card is worth the upfront cost as you can enjoy these benefits:   

  • Skip-the-line access at the Roman Colosseum
  • Guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Access to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel
  • Audio guides for the Pantheon and Rome
  • Free return transfer to or from Rome’s international airports (Ciampino and Fiumicino)
  • 10% discount on other attractions, museums, and tours

Depending on the program, you may need to book your pass weeks in advance.

41. Get an Interrail Pass for a Eurotrip

If you’re backpacking Europe or touring several countries, an Interrail Pass from Eurail can make it easier to finalize your transportation plan using an interactive map. This platform lets you visit up to 33 countries by rail with a single pass. 

42. Have a Flexible Travel Schedule

Mapping out an initial plan for each day can help you seize the day and optimize your time of playing tourist. Meanwhile, remaining flexible is pivotal as several variables can alter your itinerary such as:

  • A change in the weather
  • Accomplishing more than you originally scheduled 
  • Making friends with other travelers and having dinner with them
  • Realizing a planned activity isn’t as appealing once you arrive 

Another related suggestion is to get out and explore the city and the immediate area on your arrival date (time permitting) so you have a better idea of what to do the next day.

43. Wear Sunscreen Early and Often For Beach & Outdoor Trips

There is nothing worse than getting a bad sunburn at the beginning of a trip. Find a good facial sunscreen and buy a travel-sized container. Apply it to your face and neck a few times per day. For beach trips, either cover up with a hat and clothing or apply strong sunscreen to your body multiple times per day. While it may be annoying, it is much better than dealing with painful and peeling sunburn.

Sunscreen is usually marked up at typical tourist spots. If you check a bag, consider buying what you need before leaving and packing it.

44. Use an ATM Instead of a Currency Exchange Booth

Instead of heading directly to the currency exchange booth at the airport or train terminal, look for an ATM instead. Several should be in the public terminals or you can look for a local bank branch to find a secure location.

Why? ATMs provide better currency exchange ratios than the money exchange booth. Even if you pay foreign transaction fees and non-network ATM fees, you will most likely come out ahead financially speaking.

45. Use a Credit Card With No Foreign Transaction Fees

Many travel-focused credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred , the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card , and The Platinum Card from American Express do not have foreign transaction fees. Use cards like those when traveling internationally to avoid potentially expensive fees.

46. Bring at Least One Backup Credit Card

Getting stuck on vacation with no access to money (besides cash) is not something you want to experience; Your main credit card could get lost or stolen. Carry at least one backup credit card (ideally with no foreign transaction fees if overseas) on all trips.

Phil Dengler’s Favorite Travel Tips

Here are a few of Phil’s favorite travel tips.

47. Be Very Flexible – Pick Your Travel Dates Based on the Cheapest Days to Fly

Flights are usually the most costly part of a vacation. I recommend using Google Flights calendar view to find the cheapest days to fly to and from your destination. After identifying those days, book your airfare. You must be flexible, but it can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars planning a vacation this way.

Further Reading: How to Find Cheap Flights and How to Use Google Flights

48. Book the Aisle and Window Seats When Traveling in Pairs

I always book the aisle and window seats when flying with my girlfriend or a friend. No one wants to sit in the middle seat, so people rarely select it. Doing this usually gives us the entire row to ourselves.

It does not work on full flights, however. The good news is people are usually willing to trade their middle seat. Simply offer them your aisle or window seat and you still get to sit next to your significant other or friend.

Further Reading: Can You (and Should You) Change Airplane Seats With Someone Else on a Flight?

49. Follow Proper Airline Etiquette

Knowing how to properly act on a plane can better your flying experience. See our following guides for more information.

  • Airplane Seat Reclining Etiquette
  • Overhead Bin Space Etiquette – Who Does it Belong To and How to Avoid Fights

The Vacationer’s Final Thoughts

Taking the time to plan for a vacation, whether it’s the annual beach trip or you’re trying some new place, lets you practice these travel tips and not stress before or during your expedition. 

The best part is that you don’t need to be a travel pro to successfully implement these suggestions. If you’re a beginner, try adopting several more each time you leave home.

Josh Patoka The Vacationer Bio

By Josh Patoka

Josh Patoka writes about maximizing travel rewards for The Vacationer. As well, he contributes to several personal finance sites specializing in making money, paying off debt, and investing.

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Where to travel in 2024, without crowds

12 destinations across italy, japan, mexico and more to add to your travel wish list.

We made it through January, which means it’s time to put away resolutions you won’t keep and nurture the habit that will stick: more travel.

Health and wellness experts have determined that taking multiple vacations a year is beneficial to your overall well-being. To actually decompress, though, you’ll want to go somewhere with room to breathe. Crowds have clogged up Paris , Rome and Tokyo , especially in the high seasons.

To plan a trip away from the pack, we asked industry experts for their favorite under-the-radar destinations. We also considered our collective travels, putting a premium on opportunities to spot wildlife, sample local cooking, relax by the water and commune with nature.

best air travel & tourism

(Shutterstock)

best air travel & tourism

Bracciano, Italy

Italy remains one of the most desirable destinations for Americans, meaning popular spots (Rome, the Amalfi Coast, Lake Como) will stay crowded and expensive. Enter Lake Bracciano, a picturesque place that has fallen off Americans’ radars since Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes got married there in 2006. “You have this really, really rich medieval and Renaissance history, but nobody goes there,” said Rome-based cookbook author and tour guide Katie Parla . You can get to Bracciano easily from Rome in about an hour and change.

Don’t miss: Viterbo, another overlooked gem, is about 30 miles north of Bracciano — or take a direct train from Rome in two hours or less. “It is just a vast, beautiful, haunted, magical, medieval city,” Parla said.

A sunny day on Lake Bracciano near Rome.

Fukui , Japan

If the past few months are any indication, tourism in Japan could surpass pre-pandemic levels in 2024. To escape the urban sprawl and see one of the most spiritual parts of the country, go to Fukui. Naomi Mano, president and chief executive of the Tokyo-based travel company Luxurique , says the city is a destination for temples , onsens (hot spring baths), art and food (specifically Echizen crab ). With a new bullet train line set to open in March , travelers can get to Fukui from Tokyo in about three hours.

Don’t miss: Mano sends visitors to Eiheiji Temple , one of the most important sites for Zen Buddhists. “It’s the temple where all of the Zen monks go to train to become higher monks,” she said.

Eiheiji Temple is an important site for Zen Buddhists monks in training.

Asheville, N.C.

Asheville has achieved the tricky balance of staying down to earth while catering to refined tastes. Restaurants in the western North Carolina city are regulars on the James Beard Awards circuit. Two of its breweries medaled in last year’s World Beer Cup . Independent hotels in repurposed buildings, such as Zelda Dearest , the Radical and the Flat Iron , are opening at a steady clip. Yet, whenever you wish to return to Asheville’s roots, take a walk in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Don’t miss: The mile-long Asheville Black Cultural Heritage Trail , which encompasses three neighborhoods, introduces visitors to pillars of the community, such as Alderman Newton Shepard, a formerly enslaved man who in 1882 became the city’s first Black person to win an election .

Diners and tourists outside the French Broad Chocolate Lounge near Pack Square in Asheville.

Dhërmi, Albania

Over the past few years, Albania has been quietly heating up as Europe’s next big beach spot. Clear water, rugged coast and affordable accommodations all call out to tourists. And unlike some of its Balkan neighbors, “it is untouched,” said Ema, the anonymous Albanian travel journalist who runs the award-winning magazine and Instagram account Ema’s Light . Rent a car and head to the Albanian Riviera, where you’ll find a constellation of small towns with perfect beaches, such as Dhërmi.

Don’t miss: The capital city of Tirana is a must-visit worth at least two to three days of your trip for its restaurants and history, Ema says.

The Dhërmi Beach at Dhërmi, Albania.

Popayán, Colombia

This UNESCO City of Gastronomy is full of restaurants, outdoor markets and street vendors. Two points of pride in the traditional cuisine are empanadas stuffed with pipián — a puree of potatoes, peanuts and spices — and desamargado valluno , a dessert made from candied fruit peels. The capital of the Cauca state is also known as “La Ciudad Blanca” because of its bone-white buildings.

Don’t miss : Daniel Buitrón Jaramillo of Colombia Ecotravel recommends Mora Castilla , a small cafe in the historic center, for classic empanaditas and champús, a drink made of pineapple, maize and tart lulo fruit.

View of the Cathedral Basilica Our Lady of the Assumption in Popayán, Colombia, in the morning.

best air travel & tourism

(Martin Zwick/Getty Images)

best air travel & tourism

(Robert Harding/Shutterstock)

Orkney Islands, Scotland

The Orkney Islands are more uninhabited than occupied, at least by humans. Of these 70 isles off the northern coast of Scotland, less than two dozen are developed. Gray seals outnumber people by several hundred, and flocks of puffins, guillemots and seaweed-grazing sheep dot the rocky coastlines. Papa Westray , one of the smaller Orkneys, boasts some 60 archaeological sites, and North Ronaldsay lights up at night as a Dark Sky Island .

Don’t miss: The Heart of Neolithic Orkney , part of Scotland’s UNESCO Trail, is a collection of ancient sites that includes a domestic settlement with stone furnishings and the Stones of Stenness, a henge of upright monuments standing nearly 20 feet tall.

Standing Stones of Stenness, part of the UNESCO World Heritage site Heart of Neolithic Orkney.

Isla Holbox, Mexico

Holbox heals what ails so much of Mexico’s resort-heavy Yucatán Peninsula. The 26-mile-long island north of Cancún does not have traffic, because of a car ban, or high rises, because of building height restrictions. The main form of transportation is bike or golf cart on dirt roads. To cross from the mainland, visitors must take a 25-minute ferry from Chiquilá (or a private jet). Holbox, which means “Black Box” in the Mayan language, is part of the Yum Balam reserve. One of its biggest return guests is the whale shark.

Don’t miss : On moonless nights, head to Punta Cocos Beach to swim or paddle with bioluminescent plankton that illuminate the water like hundreds of fairy lights.

No cars are allowed on Isla Holbox in Mexico.

The S chist Villages , Portugal

Tucked into mountainsides, through scenic valleys and snaking rivers, the Schist Villages (or Aldeias do Xisto, in Portuguese) is a network of 27 quaint towns. The villages — which date back to the 12th century and are named after the stone with which they were built — are particularly popular with hikers , bikers and nature lovers. You’ll find accommodations for all budgets, with luxury properties, such as the Casas do Côro in Marialva, and the Cerdeira Home for Creativity , a collection of nine restored Schist houses for rent.

Don’t miss: Lisbon-based journalist and food researcher Miguel Andrade says Talasnal is a highlight in the lush Lousã mountain region. Try one of his favorite Portuguese dishes, chanfana, a goat stew traditionally cooked with red wine in a clay pot over an open fire.

The view over the Piodão schist medieval mountain village in Portugal.

Tairawhiti Gisborne, New Zealand

Destination: Gisborne, the largest town in the North Island’s Tairawhiti Gisborne region, is advertised as the first spot in the world to greet the sunrise. No wonder so many surfers rise early to catch some of the best waves in the country. The East Coast area is steeped in Maori culture. The Tairawhiti Museum holds a vast collection of Indigenous art, including stonework, textiles and painted panels. The 2.5-mile Tupapa Heritage Trail is paved with history, landmarks and legends that Maori storytellers summon to life on the Tupapa app.

Don’t miss: Start the day atop Maunga Hikurangi, the sacred mountain of the Ngati Porou people where nine wood carvings of Maui and his whanau (family) bear witness to the rising sun.

Wood carvings of Maui and his family stand on the sacred mountain Maunga Hikurangi in Gisborne, New Zealand.

best air travel & tourism

(Jennifer M. Ramos/Getty Images)

best air travel & tourism

(Christine Wehrmeier/Getty Images)

best air travel & tourism

(Afriandi/Getty Images)

Fredericksburg, Tex.

Swimming holes. Wide-open spaces. Funky towns and burgeoning wineries. The Texas Hill Country screams road trip. Consider Fredericksburg for its German-Texas heritage (with beer gardens and Bavarian fare galore), says Austin-based travel journalist Pam LeBlanc. The town is known for its peaches and its National Museum of the Pacific War , plus a slew of mom-and-pop boutiques and restaurants. The chic Albert Hotel is opening this year, or you can camp in Pedernales Falls State Park, where LeBlanc loves taking a dip in the cypress-lined river.

Don’t miss: Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is 17 miles north of Fredericksburg, “where you can hike to the top of a huge dome of pink granite or go rock climbing,” LeBlanc said in an email.

The pink dome of Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is a draw for hikers and climbers.

Toledo District, Belize

For a Caribbean escape far from crowds, head to the southernmost district of Belize. “There is a lot to do,” Belizean birding guide Roni Martinez said, such as exploring waterfalls, caves and large rainforest reserves, and learning about the mix of people who have made Toledo home, including Maya and East Indian communities.

Don’t miss: As most of Toledo has rocky shores, Martinez recommends taking a boat tour to nearby islands — such as the Port Honduras Marine Reserve — for “picture-perfect” white-sand beaches.

A waterfall in Rio Blanco National Park in the Toledo District of Belize.

Sumba, Indonesia

Bali may be the most well-known of Indonesia’s thousands of islands, but it’s not the only one worth visiting. With new hotels and a population of wild horses that gallop across golden beaches, Sumba comes highly recommended by Catherine Heald, chief executive of the Asia-focused luxury tour operator Remote Lands . Beyond Sumba’s lush hillsides and surfable turquoise water, the island boasts beautiful thatched-roof architecture.

Don’t miss: Consider a side quest to Komodo National Park , home to some 5,700 of its titular dragons as well as world-class scuba diving. You can fly or sail to the UNESCO World Heritage site.

An aerial view of Wainyapu village in Sumba, Indonesia.

About this story

Editing by Gabe Hiatt . Design and development by Katty Huertas . Design editing by Christine Ashack . Photo editing by Lauren Bulbin . Copy editing by Jamie Zega .

Where to go

Our favorite destinations: In 2023, we explored an Alaskan bear paradise, Brooklyn’s famous pizzerias and a hidden gem in Italy, among other highlights . Traveler extraordinaire Rick Steves gave us this hot tip: don’t skip Europe’s second cities .

Travel like a local: Residents share their favorite places in our top city guides: New Orleans , Rome , Tokyo and Mexico City .

National parks: This comprehensive guide has details on all 63 U.S. national parks. For a deep dive into five of the most well-known, you can listen to the Field Trip podcast . Then explore tips from locals for visiting Yosemite , Glacier and Everglades .

Tales from the road: Dolly Parton has opened a new resort at her theme park complex in Tennessee, while “Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines have a new hotel in Waco . Road-trippers may be just as excited to see the cartoon beaver at Buc-ee’s , and bargain-hunters should consider a stop at the Unclaimed Baggage store in Scottsboro, Ala.

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Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore hope to lure tourists from China with visa-free travel

Singapore, thailand and malaysia are hoping their visa waivers will lure thousands of chinese who are preparing to go abroad during the spring festival holiday.

Chinese engineer and aviation enthusiast Wei Meng is exactly the kind of visitor the tourism authorities in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand are looking for.

Travellers check departure flights information on a display at the Beijing Capital International Airport. Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore hope to lure tourists from China with visa-free travel. (File Photo by REUTERS/Florence Lo)

After Singapore scrapped visas for Chinese citizens, Wei, 44, said he ditched plans to go to Australia and booked a six-day holiday there instead. He said he also looked into visiting Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur, the two other visa-free Southeast Asian countries, but decided on the city-state because of the Singapore Airshow, which opens to the public on Feb 24.

As thousands of Chinese prepare to go abroad during the first Spring Festival holiday since Beijing lifted pandemic travel restrictions last year, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia are hoping their unprecedented visa waivers will lure a large proportion of these visitors - and their much-needed spending.

Chinese travellers often complain about the length of time and the hassle it takes for them to obtain travel visas, and their passport is 62nd on the Henley Passport Index, which ranks the passports of 199 countries according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa.

While waiving visas can make a destination more attractive, China's slowing economic growth, job uncertainties and decline in income this year are likely to temper any outbound travel, analysts say.

"There is a feeling that the economic hardships and lack of disposable income are hitting much harder than in other parts of the world and that any travel is therefore staying within China where costs are lower," said John Grant, chief analyst at travel data firm OAG, adding that the three Southeast Asian countries "may be looking for the trickles."

BIG SPENDERS

Before the pandemic, Chinese tourists were a vital source of revenue, accounting for more than a quarter of all holiday makers to Thailand in 2019. Chinese visitors were also the top spenders in Singapore, splashing out over S$4 billion ($3 billion) that same year.

Even though fewer Chinese are travelling than before the pandemic, Chinese account for the bulk of visitors to Thailand, which launched its visa waiver in September, and tourism authorities there say they expect 177,000 Chinese tourists for the Lunar New Year holiday, more than three-times 2023 levels.

"The direction has been good since the visa free programme," said Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, deputy governor at the Tourism Authority of Thailand. "It's starting to get back to pre-pandemic levels."

Malaysia's visa-free deal for Chinese started in December, and it is hoping to attract 5-7 million Chinese visitors this year, which would be almost double pre-pandemic levels.

For the Lunar New Year, hotels including those under The Ascott Limited group, are launching promotions such as discounts and special activities and snacks for the festival.

Because of its status as an Asian air traffic hub, Singapore is ahead of its Southeast Asian rivals in flying in Chinese visitors, with the number of direct flights connecting mainland China rising nearly 5% this month from the same month in 2019.

Both Malaysia and Thailand still have far fewer direct flights: 33% and 17% less than 2019 levels respectively, data from aviation analytics firm Cirium shows.

($1 = 35.5200 baht) ($1 = 1.3428 Singapore dollars)

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Finnair is updating its data, asking passengers to weigh in before flights

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Finnair is the latest airline to say it will be weighing some of its passengers with their carry-on bags, but it’s not to squeeze out extra revenue or shame anybody for their weight. It’s a much more technocratic reason.

“Airlines are required to update the average weight of passengers every five years, to ensure the data used for flight planning and aircraft balance calculations is accurate,” Finnair said in a statement to USA TODAY. “We want to reassure customers that participation is optional and all data collected is anonymous and will not be linked to customers’ personal profiles."

Finnair conducted a similar survey in 2017, and it’s hardly the only airline to do so. Korean Air announced weigh-ins for passengers in August, and Air New Zealand did the same in May. 

The weight of an aircraft is an important statistic for safety. A few hundred or thousand pounds can make the difference between a failed or successful takeoff, so pilots need to have a good estimate of how much their plane weighs when fully loaded.

Small airplanes often require every passenger to get on the scale for every flight, but larger commercial jets can successfully determine weight using the law of averages. Rather than weighing every passenger at check-in, commercial airlines typically just establish a weight average for passengers, that is multiplied by the number of people on every flight. However, average weights are not constant over time, so airlines have to make sure the numbers they use are as accurate as possible, which is why surveys like this are conducted periodically around the world. 

Zach Wichter is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in New York. You can reach him at [email protected]

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The 12 Best Travel Clothing Brands of 2024

Our list has clothing brands for all types of travel.

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In This Article

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  • Our top picks
  • Tips for Buying
  • Why Trust T+L

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more .

Travel + Leisure / Kevin Liang

As a full-time traveler who has lived out of a carry-on for 10 months straight, I’ve learned a thing or two about curating an essential travel wardrobe. Knowing which brands to invest in is key, as I count on my clothes to get me through all sorts of situations — from hoeing vineyards in Umbria to chasing waterfalls in Reykjavik — and I need to be able to rely on their sturdiness. Style and sustainability are also a priority: With a limited number of pieces to choose from each day, I want to feel and look good in all of them, and I need them to last. 

Most importantly, the pieces need to mix and match easily, ensuring maximal outfit options while taking up minimal space. Since I’m always on the go, I don’t want any items that I need to fuss over. I prioritize materials that are wrinkle and sweat-resistant (I’ve sworn off 100 percent cotton, which takes ages to dry and wicks heat away from your body when wet), and opt for breezier materials that I don’t feel precious about shoving into a packing cube for days at a time.

Our best overall travel clothing brand, Everlane, earns the top spot on our list thanks to its commitment to sustainability, versatile designs, and size inclusivity. But whether you’re looking for pieces designed for athleisure or adventure, we’ve rounded up more of our favorite brands for every type of trip and traveler.

Best Overall

Everlane makes relaxed, timeless pieces that are easy to mix and match and are available in a wide range of sizes.

Their basics are well-priced for the level of quality, but there are better budget options available.

With a focus on breezy, sustainably-made pieces that are affordable and versatile, Everlane stands out among our top travel clothing brands. Its stylish staples — think lightweight cashmere pullovers and cuffed chinos — are designed to stand the test of time, plus they’re made from materials that can withstand a little wrinkling in your suitcase. Everlane also makes it easy to shop for base- and outer-layers all in one place, and who doesn’t love a one-stop shop? The brand prides itself on an ethos of “Radical Transparency,” informing customers about the ethical factories they partner with and the affordable pricing of pieces, allowing you to craft a true capsule wardrobe you can feel good about (and that looks great on you). For women, we love the Easy Pant and The Boxy Oxford , and our top picks for men are the No-Sweat Sweater and Performance Traveler Chino .

Best Sustainable

Patagonia’s Worn Wear program keeps clothing out of landfills by recycling used gear into new pieces.

With such a wide range of materials offered, be sure to pick pieces with the right amount of heat retention or that are appropriately lightweight based on where you’re going.

Beyond being a go-to for travel basics and durable adventurewear, Patagonia has long been a leader in the sustainability movement, and the brand has a number of programs that support its unwavering dedication to the environment. First off is its Worn Wear program, which encourages customers to trade in their used gear for Patagonia credit, allowing your pieces to be recycled rather than tossed into a landfill. The brand also donates 1 percent of all sales to environmental preservation, and operates Patagonia Action Works, which supports and partners with grassroots organizations that are working to combat climate change. For men, we love the brand’s Nano Puff Jacket and Capilene Cool Daily Hoody , and for women our top picks are the Mainstay Tee and Garden Island Jumpsuit . We love that Patagonia also makes pieces for kids and babies, so your little ones will be equally well-equipped for all of your family adventures.

Best Athleisure

Outdoor voices.

Available in a wide range of sizes and colors, Outdoor Voices makes chic and comfy clothes that are meant to move with you.

Some pieces run small, so read the reviews and consider sizing up accordingly.

What began as a trendy brand with a catchy motto (#DoingThings) has proved itself to be one of the most comfortable and cool athleisure brands on the block. With cute matching sets for running, biking, hiking, or just about any other activity you’re into, Outdoor Voices is a go-to for performance pieces that still look pretty. The weather-resistant RecTrek collection is a welcome addition to the brand’s range of sports bras, nylon pullovers, workout leggings, and more. The cult-favorite Exercise Dress is one of our all-time favorite travel picks for women, while the RecTrek Men’s Pocket Pants are our go-to for guys.

Best Budget

Pretty Garden

The jumpsuits are super cute and cozy. 

Only makes women’s clothes, and is a fast-fashion brand. 

While many of the brands on this list offer fairly affordable basics, Pretty Garden is a dedicated fast-fashion brand that is able to provide a wide range of styles and colors when it comes to budget-friendly travel essentials. We particularly love the tracksuits and jumpsuits, like the Summer Casual Deep V Neck Short Sleeve , which are soft and slouchy enough to feel like pajamas but still look pulled together.

Best Outdoor Adventure

Designed with eco-friendly fabrics, these pieces are durable enough for whatever adventure you’ve got planned.

The size range is only XS to XL.

Originally a yoga clothing line, all of prAna’s pieces are designed with movement and travel in mind. Whatever adventure you’ve got lined up — be it hiking the Rockies, bouldering in Utah, or camping out in a national park — this clothing is a great fit since it’s mostly water-resistant, stretchy, and easy to pack. When it comes to packaging, prAna has also committed to a zero-plastic policy, opting to roll pieces up instead and tie them with recyclable raffia to reduce waste. Many of the pieces also boast built-in SPF and sweat-wicking material, plus sleek and secure pockets to keep your essentials within reach at all times. For women, we love the Halle E-waist Jogger II and the easily packable Whistler Anorak , and for men we’re fans of the Lost Sol Short Sleeve Shirt .

Best for Base Layers

Targeted base layers range from all-season to cold-weather and plus size.

Despite the name, not all products are actually made from merino wool.

SmartWool is one of the top purveyors of 100 percent responsibly sourced merino wool, which is one of the best materials for travel thanks to its odor-resistance and moisture-wicking properties. It’s lightweight enough to take up minimal suitcase space but hefty enough to offer heat retention while you’re on the move. A good base layer is crucial for any traveler, but the specifics of what you’re looking for will depend largely on climate. Luckily, SmartWool offers pieces designed for all seasons as well as for high-intensity activities in colder climates, like skiing or ice climbing. The brand's Intraknit layers include a new technology that uses mesh ventilation in gender-specific zones to wick away moisture and retain heat. If you’re frequently in colder weather, we love the Women’s Intraknit Thermal Merino Base Layer Pattern Crew , while for men we love the Men’s Classic Thermal Merino Base Layer Crew.

Best Everyday

The pieces are ultra lightweight and designed for hassle-free packing.

Designs avoid trendy silhouettes and stick to looser classics, so if you prefer a more streamlined and flattering fit you may not find it here.

If you’re looking to round out your travel wardrobe with a few more minimalist essentials, look no further than Uniqlo. The Japanese brand has everything you need, from breezy, wrinkle-resistant dresses to padded coats that pack down into next-to-nothing, making them easy to tote around as an extra layer. For women, we love the breezy Linen-Blend Gathered Camisole Dress , and for men we love the Premium Linen Long-Sleeve Shirt , which is available in 12 pastel colors.

Best Outerwear

Whether you’re looking to fight off the wind, rain, cold, or sun, Athleta’s targeted outerwear is designed to help.

The outerwear is stylish and solid if you’re looking for lightweight options, but might not offer enough insulation for extended outdoor activities in cold weather.

Beloved for its stretchy and soft athleisure line and ultra-cozy leggings, Athleta is full of pieces that can take you from the tennis court to lunch at the clubhouse without looking out of place. Its range of underlayers and outerwear makes it easy to pull together an outfit that feels temperature- and activity-appropriate without sacrificing style. The brand is also size inclusive and offers a “Preloved” section on its website, where you can shop recycled pieces. The Advantage Jacket is our fun and flouncy favorite piece for women, while the Glacier Softshell Jacket is a worthwhile splurge if you’ll be getting active outside in cooler climates.

Best Swimwear

The patterns and styles are playful yet sophisticated and designed to last.

Many of the suits are patterned or two-toned, which might feel too busy for minimalists.

Sexy and sophisticated, Boden’s one-piece swimsuits and bikini sets are the perfect accessory for any beach day — and they’re made from recycled materials! The playful patterns — think bright florals, sweet scalloping, seaside scenes, and more — make for eye-catching layers under sheer tops as well, and any piece that has a double function is a great travel investment. We love that you can mix and match the bikinis as well, creating your own one-of-a-kind set when it comes to both pattern and size, because is there anything worse than a bikini set that fits you perfectly on top and sags on the bottom? Those who don’t mind a little color will be head over heels for the Cover U - Bar Swimsuit, while minimalists will be drawn to the sleek Arezzo V-neck Panel Swimsuit . There’s only a small handful of options for men, but the Fixed Waist Swim Short comes in a psychedelic Multi Utopia Swirl pattern that’s quite the trip.

Best for Business Travel

Ministry of supply.

“Systems” make it easy to pick your basics with discount bundles.

Some of their pieces may be slightly too casual depending on your work setting.

“Workleisure” is the term Ministry of Supply uses to describe its business casual clothing, which is comfortable and pulled-together enough to head straight from the plane to the boardroom. The proprietary Kinetic fabric is designed to stretch without sagging over time, and smooths out wrinkles by absorbing your own body heat. For those looking to revamp their business travel look, check out the brand’s Systems, offered as a bundle of best-sellers (i.e. in activewear or workleisure) at a discounted price. The Kinetic Pull-on Pant is a game changer for anyone dashing from red eyes to day-long panels.

Best Plus-size

Columbia sportswear.

There’s a robust selection of men’s plus-size pieces too, which can be harder to come by.

Columbia skews more outdoorsy than day-to-day, so these pieces are ideally suited for active travelers rather than those looking for chic sightseeing outfits.

Known for its rugged sportswear, Columbia offers one of the most comfortable and performance-based lines of plus-size travel clothes for men and women. Boasting everything from toasty base layers to lightweight outer layers, the brand offers up to size 3X. The Women’s PFG Freezer™ III Dress is flowy and offers great sun protection, making it a perfect companion to take you from sightseeing to a night on the town. For men, the Ascender Softshell Jacket is a sleek and weather-resistant layer that’s great to have on trips where the weather can be iffy.

Best Luxury

Eileen fisher.

Eco-friendly and flowing fabrics make for easy-breezy travel companions that are designed to stand the test of time.

Some of their pieces are dry-clean only.

Relaxed and flowy, Eileen Fisher pieces are always on trend yet timeless. The clean lines and minimalist patterns are a traveler’s best friend, making sure all the pieces are versatile and easy to dress up or down. We love that they’re crafted from eco-friendly materials, too. If you’re in the market for a wow-worthy dress that will hide the fact that you’ve had it shoved into a compression pouch for four days, look no further than the Crushed Silk Tiered Dress , which comes in five chic shades and a wide size range.

Tips for Buying Travel Clothing

Layering is key.

When looking to expand your travel wardrobe, you’ll want to select brands that offer a full range of products, from basics and underlayers to outerwear, so you’ll be prepared no matter the weather or conditions. Unless you plan to be in a colder climate the majority of the time, the best use of your suitcase space is to opt for lightweight layers, which offer more versatility than bulkier pieces you might not need or which might be too warm.

The more versatile the better

Every item you hit the road with should pull some sort of double duty: workout leggings layer under dresses in colder climates, while one-piece swimsuits double as tops in sunnier spots. Looking for pieces that can be worn in multiple ways or can be dressed up or down will go a long way in maximizing your outfit options. To that end, it’s a good idea to purchase versatile pieces from a handful of brands in order to create a personalized and well-rounded travel wardrobe for your specific needs.

Opt for wrinkle-resistant fabrics

Whether you're packing for a weekend getaway or long summer trip, you'll want to make sure to bring clothing that won't require a lot of maintenance as you unpack. There's nothing quite as frustrating as pulling your favorite shirt out of your suitcase only to realize it's a crinkled mess. Even if you bring a travel iron or steamer on every vacation, you should pack clothing made of wrinkle-resistant fabric to save you time and energy.

It’s always a good idea to research local customs before heading to a new destination so you’re aware of any sartorial specifics. For instance, in some countries, it’s recommended or required to dress more modestly; women may need to cover their shoulders, while men and women both may need to cover their knees. Beyond respecting the local culture, it’s generally a good idea to avoid clothing that is 100 percent cotton, since it takes a long time to dry and can start to smell. Bulky layers are also unadvisable, as they’ll weigh you down and take up precious space in your suitcase.

Patagonia offers clothing designed with rugged, rip-resistant, and waterproof material that is meant to take you trekking, climbing, and more, all while keeping you warm and dry. Its ​​H₂No® Performance Standard has been tested for longevity and extreme durability, and is backed by the Ironclad Guarantee.

For plane rides, loose, stretchy clothing is ideal, but first and foremost, you should always dress however you feel most comfortable. Layers are key to easily combat fluctuating temperatures throughout the journey and still be prepared to hit the ground in whatever new climate you’re touching down in. Comfortable slippers or sneakers are essential as well — your feet may swell in flight, so you never want to pick tight shoes that will constrict you. Accessories like a neck pillow and an eye mask are also a good idea if you’re hoping to sleep in-flight.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

For this story, T+L contributor Sophie Dodd researched which qualities make a clothing brand a go-to for travelers, from the ruggedness of their pieces to the size inclusivity available. She used her expertise as a travel writer and full-time traveler to pull together a curated list of the best options for every need and budget.

Love a great deal? Sign up for our T+L Recommends newsletter and we’ll send you our favorite travel products each week.

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