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Our RecommendationsWe receive tons of emails asking which websites we recommend for booking hotels, flights, and tours. Meanwhile, other readers are curious about things like which camera we use, how to start a blog, and where we shop for our travel gear.

So in response to your questions, we created this recommendations page. Now all of our favorite companies, products, and services are in one convenient place! Read on for our best recommendations within the realms of travel, blogging, lifestyle, fashion, and photography!

*Please note, this page contains affiliate links to products we love and use frequently. When you make a purchase through any of these links, we will receive a commission, at no extra cost to you. These commissions help to keep Travel Alphas up and running, and we thank you for your support!Travel Recommendations

Booking.com is our absolute favorite place to book accommodations.

From hotels and vacation rentals, to B&Bs and luxury tents, Booking.com has over 1 million properties listed on its website, all at the lowest prices possible.

In addition, the website features over 11 million verified traveler reviews, to help you choose the best possible accommodation for your vacation!

TripAdvisor is the website we use to book most of our excursions, no matter where we are in the world. Some of our favorite excursions ever have been this Cinque Terre Trek and this Best of Tuscany Tour, both of which we booked through TripAdvisor!

And of course, TripAdvisor is also a great resource for reading traveler reviews about destinations, tour companies, hotels, and more.

Airbnb is our favorite place to book vacation rentals — whether it’s a giant beach house in Costa Rica or a flat in Madrid. 

If you’re a first-time Airbnb user, click this link, and you’ll receive $35 off your first stay!


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VRBO is also a great resource for booking vacation rentals around the world!

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If you like low airfares, then Airfarewatchdog is the resource for you.

All you have to do is sign up for low fare alerts, and Airfarewatchdog’s Expert Fare Analysts will email you reports of the best fares, departing from your airports of choice! For that reason, Airfarewatchdog is probably our favorite travel resource of all time.

Hotwire is another booking website we use frequently. Hotwire allows users to choose a hotel’s general area, star rating, amenities, and ultra-low nightly rate.

But what’s the catch? Well, the hotel’s exact name and location aren’t revealed until the booking is complete, allowing you to save a ton on your hotel accommodation!

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When we’re flying to our next destination, we love to bring along a Lonely Planet guidebook.

While we don’t ever follow these guidebooks’ recommendations page by page, we love reading them for a little travel inspiration and excitement — and sometimes, they let us know about things to do, see, and eat that we haven’t heard of before!

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Out of all the things you need as a traveler, durable, lightweight luggage is one of the most important. Without a doubt, Samsonite delivers on that.

We’ve been using Samsonite luggage for years, and that’s because their products last.

The initial investment in great luggage might seem intimidating, but after you roll your Samsonite around the world with you a few times, you’ll see that it’s worth it!Travel Recommendations (1) 2

If you want to start a blog, purchasing a web hosting plan with HostGator should be the first thing you do!

HostGator makes it easy to set up any website, with 1-click installations, and fast, reliable 24/7/365 customer service. Start your successful, profitable blog for as low as $3.95 per month when you sign up through this link! 

Genesis Framework for WordPress

When you build your website, one tool you’ll need is the Genesis Framework. What’s that? Well, on any good website, Genesis is the foundation.

First of all, the Genesis Framework makes customizing your website’s design extremely easy. The Framework is also search engine optimized, which helps your website climb up Google’s search rankings. In addition, Genesis features air-tight security and allows for easy, one-click software upgrades.

With the Genesis Framework, the sky’s the limit when it comes to creating a successful, money-making blog. All you need is the framework, and a beautiful “child theme” to go along with it (more on that below).

StudioPress Premium WordPress Themes

When you’re ready to take your blog’s design to the next level, StudioPress Themes are there for you. StudioPress “child themes” sit on top of the Genesis Framework, handling your website’s layout and design.

StudioPress offers a variety of beautiful themes, for everything from corporate businesses to lifestyle blogs, with features ranging from e-commerce stores to artistic portfolios!

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketin

Affiliate marketing can be one of the most lucrative income streams for bloggers, yet most don’t actually know how to leverage it properly. And that’s where the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course comes in!

In 2016, Michelle (the creator of this course) made $1 MILLION off of her blog. In her course, Michelle teaches bloggers her proven formula to start making more money blogging, through affiliate marketing.

If you’re serious about making a living from blogging, this is an investment you need to make. We saw immediate results after we completed this course, and we can’t recommend it enough!

Travel Blog Success

If you’re interested in making a career out of travel blogging, Travel Blog Success is another course we highly recommend. In this course, you’ll learn everything from how to find your niche and how to build a following, to video blogging and leveraging social media. 

If you’re serious about travel blogging, Travel Blog Success is a must.

Tailwind is a Pinterest scheduling tool with tons of brilliant scheduling and analytics tools that help you to grow your Pinterest account, and more importantly, skyrocket your website traffic. Use our referral link to sign up for your free trial, and when you upgrade to their paid service, you’ll receive one more free month!Travel Recommendations (2)

Food52 is an online community for people like us — people that love food.

On Food52’s website, you can find and share recipes with fellow foodies, engage in cooking forums, and browse their online store full of artisanal products for cooking and serving homemade meals.

Plus, if you ever need to buy a gift for a foodie friend, Food52 is just the place.

Love to travel? Then the World Market is about to become your favorite store — that is, if it isn’t already.

Looking for a cookbook to recreate dishes you had on your last trip abroad? Or maybe you fancy a handwoven rug from India? What about a Moroccan tagine or a Japanese-style teapot? Or possibly a mosaic lantern from Turkey?

At World Market, you’ll find handmade goods, furniture, foods, and beverages from around the world, at fair prices. In World Market‘s words, “we bring the beauty and excitement of global bazaars to you.”

From hiking and camping, to skiing, fishing, and climbing, Sierra Trading Post is the #1 resource when it comes to outdoor gear. Nowhere else can you find premium outdoor and sports equipment, at such low prices. Trust us when we say that Sierra Trading Post has all the deals. Travel Recommendations (3)

Nordstrom is, by far, one of our favorite places to shop. With trendy clothing, footwear, accessories, and home items sourced from top-quality brands around the globe, Nordstrom has everything we could ever want.

Plus, Nordstrom’s customer service and return policies are the best ever. End of story.

Kate Spade is Maddy’s absolute favorite place to buy accessories — purses, backpacks, passport covers, wallets, watches, you name it!

Kate Spade’s premium leather products are vibrant, feminine, and playful, while usually emphasizing their core values of spiritedness, curiosity, and passion for discovering the world.

Kate Spade‘s two-word motto sums up exactly what we’re aiming to do here: “Live colorfully.”

For makeup and skincare products, Maddy’s go-to is always bareMinerals

bareMinerals makeup products come in many beautiful shades, for every occasion. But the best part is knowing that there’s nothing but healthful, natural ingredients in your makeup! bareMinerals products are made of only pure, “nourishing, skin-loving” minerals that make you look and feel beautiful.

One of Kate Spade’s fiercest competitors is also one of Maddy’s favorite brands: Tory Burch. Not a day goes by where Maddy doesn’t wear Tory’s signature fragrance.

Tory Burch’s chic handbags and flawless flats are also favorites!

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Sam Edelman is Maddy’s go-to shoe designer for the everyday, whether that means a day walking the cobblestone streets of Rome, going into the office, or attending a special occasion.

Sam Edelman‘s designs embody “laid-back luxury and timeless American style,” meanwhile each shoe is crafted with care and the highest quality materials.

Before any trip, you can catch us stocking up on trendy streetwear and laid-back beach pieces at Urban Outfitters. We love this place. But really, who doesn’t?

Frank + Oak is one of Mauricio’s favorite spots for contemporary, minimalist looks, for anything from nights out on the town to hanging out in cafés.

Frank + Oak’s looks are clean and timeless, but also include a modern flair!Travel Recommendations (4)

If you’re looking for a new camera to capture your travels, we highly recommend the Canon Rebel T6i DSLR. This camera is perfect for those who want to learn more about photography — and for the price, you can’t beat it!

The Rebel T6i also has built-in wi-fi, enabling you to quickly send your photos anywhere, share them with family, and post them to social media!

If you’re an outdoorsy person, you might want to photograph the landscapes you’re exploring. This is best done with a wide-angle lens. We’ve been using Canon’s EF 28MM F/1.8 USM wide angle lens for a few years now and love it!

And lastly, if you’re doing something awesome — anything from surfing or snowboarding, to skydiving or biking — you might want something to record you, handsfree. And that’s where the GoPro Hero5 comes in!

If you’re an adventurer, this is one item you absolutely need.

*Please note, this page contains affiliate links to products we love and use frequently. When you make a purchase through any of these links, we will receive a commission, at no extra cost to you. These commissions help to keep Travel Alphas up and running, and we thank you for your support!


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