This is a collection of our best travel and photography resources. All items listed here are products we have personally used and recommend to others.
Search for flights and hotels in an incognito browser window. This ensures the site isn’t saving any information (cookies) about your searches, and you’ll actually see the best deals!
Search as many flight search websites as you can. Remember to search budget carriers as these aren’t usually included on search sites. Check the airline website to see if they offer a better deal.
Spend no more than one hour searching for flight deals. Make the best decision based on the information you have at the time you’re booking. You can’t predict a future ‘sale’ or ‘deal’.
Skyscanner — Skyscanner searches all the airlines, including budget carriers to find the best deal. You can look for flights on a specific date, week, month or even see the prices over the whole year. My favorite feature is the “Everywhere” option. Set the “To” box to “Everywhere” to select the cheapest destination from your point of origin.
Kayak — Kayak is easy to use. You can set price alerts if you’re watching a specific fare. On certain routes, Kayak also will show you the price trend on that route, and will tell you whether you should buy now or wait. It also has an “Explore” option hidden under the “More” tab on its site. Here, you choose your departure city and the month you’d like to travel, and Kayak shows you flight prices for destinations all over the world.
Google Flights – Google Flights lets you enter your departure airport and see flights all over the world in a map so you can see where the cheapest destination in. They also suggest different dates for cheaper flights.
Start with your preferred search site, research two or three other websites, and finally check the hotel’s website or call as hotels will often match rates.
Only spend 30 minutes of your time booking a hotel. The price variation between sites isn’t worth hours of your time trying to save a dollar or two. The larger booking sites have their own loyalty reward programs. If you consistently use one site, the rewards might be worth it to stay with that site, even if it isn’t the cheapest option.
Hotels.com – Great selection of hotels, B&B’s, condos and all-inclusive resorts with low prices, and no fees. I particularly like the Free Cancellation feature on most rooms. We like their promotion ‘Collection 10 nights, Get 1 free’.
TripAdvisor.com – Read reviews, compare prices, and book your perfect trip. Trip Advisor offers a wide variety of travel options with links to booking tools that check hundreds of websites to find great hotel prices. We consult this site many times while planning our trips to get information like where to stay, what to do, where to eat, how to get around, etc.
World Nomads – The World Nomads site is easy to navigate. The travel insurance is affordable and can be easily extended as many times as you’d like. Reporting claims is simple. As with all insurance, be sure you need it and read the fine print to make sure it’s right for you. I buy my travel insurance from World Nomads. They have great customer service, competitive prices, and in depth coverage. They are also recommended by Lonely Planet and National Geographic.
Viator – Viator is the easiest way to plan the activities once you arrive at your destination. You can book tours, plan day trips, buy tickets, and discover other things to do and attractions to see.
Photo Jeepers – The Destination Travel Guides & Photo Tips offered by Photo Jeepers (yes, that’s us!) include detailed information, color photos and photo tips specific to that location.
Photographing the Southwest Book Series – The books provide specialized photographic information for natural landmarks. It is a resource that supplements traditional travel guides. The matrix at the end of the book is very helpful. The table rates scenic value, photographic interest, road difficulty and trail difficulty. We use this book to find sites off the beaten trail where we can enjoy serenity and experience greater photographic creativity.
Dakine Mission Photo Backpack, 25L – This is a TERRIFIC backpack for the photographer who does not need to carry 400+ mm lenses. We have used this backpack for years, and it’s held up after numerous hiking and other adventures. The features include: vertical Board carry straps, removable padded camera block, tripod carry system, employable rain cover (which we’ve used many times!), side organizer pocket, padded waist belt and main compartment access to gear with adjustable sternum strap.
MeFoto Carbon Fiber Globetrotter Travel Tripod – This is a MUST HAVE item for us! The Globetrotter Travel tripods provide an exceptional combination of materials, construction and features. Great for both compact and full frame cameras with larger lenses, plus converts to a monopod in seconds. Only 16.1″ when folded yet 64.2″ extended and can support 26.4 lb. Available in both aluminum and carbon fiber. If you do the type of traveling where every ounce counts, the carbon fiber model is for you. Want lightweight but also economical? Check out the more affordable aluminum model.
Peak Design CapturePRO Clip – We LOVE this pro-quality camera carrying clip. Rigidly carry any camera on any backpack strap, belt or bag. All-aluminum, extra-durable construction. Compatible with multiple tripod types, and can be used as a tripod head itself. Quick-release locking action lets you access your camera with the click of a button. Photo Jeepers customers receive a free gift with a purchase of $65 or more when you click the link!
Peak Design Clutch Hand Strap – We highly recommend this hand strap! The strap is quick-connecting and quick-adjusting. The clutch gives you access to your camera’s controls but quickly cinches down when you need security. Photo Jeepers customers receive a free gift with a purchase of $65 or more when you click the link!
Creative Cloud – Lightroom, Photoshop – Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is a photo processor and image organizer. It allows viewing, organizing and retouching a large number of digital images. We use this program to edit and process all our photos!
Koolatron Electric Cooler/Warmer – This is the BEST cooler! It plugs into a cigarette lighter or use an AC/DC power converter. It sits horizontally or vertically for use as chest or upright fridge, and includes a shelf for optimal storage and easy access to foods and beverages. It’s perfect for the car or use in your hotel room to double as a fridge. We accidentally burned the motor, but still use it with ice packs and the food stays COLD all day!
Pee pockets – This single item has changed my travel life! I can relieve myself by standing up. I no longer need to squat and expose my back side in the outdoors while hiking – or ‘hover and go’ over unsanitary toilets at rest stops and other restroom facilities – or balance myself during a flight. This is a game-changer for all females who travel!
National Geographic Maps – Waterproof • Tear-Resistant • Topographic Map National Geographic’s Trails Illustrated map of Bryce Canyon National Park is designed to meet the needs of outdoor enthusiasts by combining valuable information with unmatched detail of this unique landscape of hoodoos and forest. Created in partnership with local land management agencies, this expertly researched map will help you get the most from your visit with backpacking and day hike trail summaries, accurate road network, trailheads, campgrounds, lodging, and scenic viewpoints. We use and recommend the National Geographic series of maps.
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