Part-Time Travel Agent

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I am getting so excited for my dad’s arrival in Bangkok on October 13. Over the last couple weeks, I’ve booked flights, ferries, and hotel rooms, and now I’m planning our daily itinerary. I’m thankful to have abundant prep time to be able to do this. As a traveler, I know that fellow travelers are always trying to find reliable sources for reviews, low prices, and recommendations for places to stay, eat, and visit. Let me tell you what websites I consult.

For flights around Southeast Asia, I recommend searching Air Asia. It’s like SE Asia’s Southwest Airlines. Within Thailand, it’s also good to check Nok Air (“nok” means bird in Thai!). They fly less frequently than Air Asia, but sometimes their prices are lower.

To find places to stay in Southeast Asia, I love TravelfIsh.org. My friends and I found all of our hostels and guesthouses in Vietnam on Travelfish, and we found the descriptions and reviews to be very reliable. Its main audience and contributors are backpackers, so it’s not the place to research 5-star resorts, but for people traveling on the cheap (like me!), it’s a great resource. For places to stay in SE Asia and also all over the world, Hostelworld.com is great. We found our hotel in Kuala Lumpur on their website, and we were very satisfied. This time around, for booking hotels in Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Ko Phi Phi, I used Agoda. It seemed like Agoda had the cheapest prices among other hotel-booking sites.

Researching restaurants where I’ll be visiting is one of my favorite things to do. Of course nothing beats happening upon amazing local places on the fly, but it’s also nice to have one or two restaurants picked out beforehand, just in case nothing catches your eye on the way from the airport to your hotel. Also, being vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free makes spontaneous dining a little tricky for me; so a special diet is another good reason to have something picked out before arriving! To specifically find vegan- and vegetarian-friendly establishments all across the globe, check out HappyCow. You can find everything from 100% vegan restaurants to just restaurants that have menus with vegetarian options. TripAdvisor is fabulous not only for restaurant listings and reviews, but also for general tourism (main attractions, walking tours, off-the-beaten-path suggestions, and more). They’ll even design a trip for you based on what you are looking for — check out their vacation inspiration page. I also use Pinterest (quite obsessively actually) to find restaurants and points of interest. If you follow me on Pinterest, you’ll see that I have four boards dedicated to travel: Travel To-Do List / My Travels / GF & Veg Travel, and of course, kateinbkk.

What websites/resources do you recommend to people planning their trips?

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2 thoughts on “Part-Time Travel Agent

  1. airbnb.com is one of my favorites. We stayed in a little apartment when we first got to Seoul in the middle of one of the “hip” districts (read: lots of bars and shopping) for less money than a two-star hotel. The host was SO helpful and gave us an entire packet of information on what to do and how to get around. I’m also a big fan of hostelworld.com. I’ve used it in Spain, Morocco, Korea, and Japan and had great results every time.

    • Thanks for mentioning airbnb.com! I didn’t put it in my post because I haven’t used them yet, but I’m hoping to have a positive review of them in a few weeks — Sean and I are staying with a few other people in Paris at an apartment we found using airbnb. After your praise of them, I’m confident we’ll have a good experience!

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