Fathomaway Compass

Tools

Travel Tools and Resources

By popular demand, here are all the travel tools and resources on one page. "The single best page I've ever bookmarked," according to one very nice reader.

Know how a good hotel provides thoughtful and useful amenities like a sewing kit, a toothbrush, an umbrella? Think of this page as one part amenities mixed with two parts hack. If you have a favorite travel helpful site you'd like to share, please drop us a line so we can check it out.

Jump to: Airlines | Hotels and Homes | Auto | Money | Luggage | Visas and Passports | Trip Planning and Sharing | Ask Fathom | Guides - Online |Guides - Books and Maps | Apps

AIRLINES

General Airline Search Engines
Do you need to check every search engine? Of course not. We've picked our favorites from dozens of options. When you find yours, stick to it. Generally speaking, prices won't vary that much.
Flightfox - crowd-sourced search; travel experts compete to get the best fares
Hipmunk - streamlined search by price and agony; nice design
InsideTrip - search by price and quality

Kayak - general search flights, hotels, cars; first in class
Mobissimo - general search flights, hotels, cars
Rome2Rio - specializing in complicated itineraries with flights, trains (Europe, India, China), driving, and ferries
Round the World Flights - specializing in around-the-world flights

Vayama - general search flights, hotels, cars

Budget Airline Search Engines
Adioso - specializes in spontaneous and budget travel; searches low-cost airline
Momondo - meta-searches of cheap flights and hotels
Wegolo - specializes in low-cost airlines

WhichBudget - specializes in low-cost airlines; enables search by country and airport

Track Flights
FlightStats - track by flight number, airport, route; best in class
FlightAware - live flight tracking 

Compare Flights
FareCompare - airline ticket comparison
Skyscanner - specializing in cheap flights
Yapta - track flights before you buy
Skytrax - airline and airport reviews

Find a Good Seat
SeatGuru
SeatExpert

Frequent Flyer Miles
MileMaven - deals, tips, and tricks
The Points Guy - info and advice for making the most of miles
Superfly - search airfare based on frequent flyer, hotel, and credit card miles and status
Book Your Award - a service to help maximize, understand, and use your miles
Travel Hacking Cartel - tips and tricks for earning and using miles (fee-based)


HOTELS AND HOMES

Reviews and Information
Hotels.com - hotel reviews worldwide
Oyster - hotel reviews in major U.S. cities
Mr & Mrs Smith - boutique and luxury hotel reviews and booking
Tablet Hotels - boutique and luxury hotel reviews and booking
Alastair Sawday's - charming and special places to stay in Britain, France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain
Hotel Chatter - news, reviews, and deals worldwide
Room77 - search by preference; see room previews
Stash Hotel Rewards - points program for indie and boutique hotels
The Most Perfect View - global collection of hotels with great views  

Home and Villa Rentals and Exchanges
Boutique Homes
Home rentals and small hotels for chic nomads (from the people behind Been Seen, one of Fathom's 24 Favorite Blogs)
Love Home Swap
- members-only home exchange service
LuxuryLink
- auctions and sales on properties worldwide
Hosted Villas - high-end European rentals
HomeAway - worldwide rentals
Rentmix - searches vacation rental sites
AirBnB - nightly rentals in homes
One Fine Stay - house rentals, primarily in New York City and London 
Spaces42 - architecturally interesting rentals
Tripping - home stays and home rentals around the world

Camping
Glamping Hub - luxury outdoor accommodations
Camp in my Garden - AirBnB for private gardens; big in the UK


AUTO

Rentals
AutoEurope
- specializes in car rental in Europe
Kemwel - specializes in car rental in Europe
RelayRides - peer-to-peer carsharing 

Cars with Drivers
GroundLink - order private car service online or by app; worldwide coverage
Uber
- order private cars by text or app; in a handful of major U.S. cities and Paris
Limos.com - order private cars, vintage limos, mini-buses, and even trolleys


MONEY

Should I change money before I get to a foreign country?
No. You’ll get better rates in the country whose currency you want.

Where should I change money?
ATM machines are amazing: They're ubiquitous, always open, and consistently offer the best exchange rates. Most banks charge small fee for using foreign ATMs, but they're still the way to go when you consider the upside: convenience, not carrying around wads of cash or having to deal with travelers checks. Never get money at Travelex airport kiosks unless you're desperate for cash. (And there's no need to feel desperate: Airports have ATMs.)

I hate seeing "foreign transaction fee" on my credit card statement.
Everyone does. If you do a lot of overseas travel, it's worth signing up for a credit card that doesn't charge such fees and using that when you travel. Call your bank and ask, but excellent options include Capital One and American Express. If you fly often with one airline, get more bang from your loyalty and purchases with a card like British Airways Visa Signature.

xe.com - currency conversion (with apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry)


LUGGAGE

To avoid having to check or carry your bags, these services will ship your luggage to your destination before you arrive. It's an expensive option, but could be smart if you only need your golf clubs for three days of a two-week trip. You could ship yourself using FedEx or UPS, but these companies offer better customer service. Don't forget to inform your hotel if you're shipping before you arrive.
LugLess
Luggage Free
The Luggage Club
Luggage Forward
Sports Express - from the same people behind Luggage Forward with specialization in sports equpiment


VISAS & PASSPORTS

U.S. Passports 
U.K. Passports
Canada Passports
VisaHQ - passport expeditors in U.S., U.K., Canada
Passports and Visas.com - passport and visa expeditors in U.S.
Project Visa - visa information by country


TRIP PLANNING & SHARING

TripIt - saves your travel plans into mobile, shareable itinerary
Travelstormer - manage group travel
Mapquest TravelBlogs - free travel blogs and journals (formerly Everlater)
HipGeo - a mobile travel blogging tool for iPhone and Android
Instagr.am and ToyCamera - iPhone apps that make travel pictures look nostalgic the moment you take them
Postcardly - a service that turns photos into postcards
Piccolo - monthly subscription service that prints your best social photos
Gmap Pedometer - figure out running routes in new cities


ASK FATHOM: We Solve Your Travel Dilemmas

General Advice
I'm Sick. What Now? Medical Advice
How Can I Get into Sold Out Restaurants?
How Can Credit Cards Help Me Travel?

Site-Specific Advice
What's Romantic in NYC?
What Doesn't Suck in South Beach?
How Can I Party in Berlin?
Can I Go to the Middle East?

Have a travel question that you can't figure out? We're here to help. Drop us a line at askfathom@fathomaway.com.


GUIDES - ONLINE

Fathom for Kate Spade New York - our favorite guides to NYC, London, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Tahiti
Black Tomato - cool travel agency with an inspiring website (full disclosure: Fathom founder Pavia Rosati is on the BT board)
Pinch - online world culture magazine from Black Tomato (one of Fathom's 24 Favorite Blogs)
Unlike City Guides - city guides with cool, hipster appeal
Jaunted - pop culture travel guides
Wanderfly - plan trips based on local photos
In the MO - get personalized recommendations
Fabsearch - glossy magazine articles arranged by destination
60by80 - travel guides geared to modern gay travelers
DailyCandy - trendy finds in major US cities, geared to women (full disclosure: Fathom's founders used to work here)
Thrillist - trendy finds in major US cities, geared to men


GUIDES - BOOKS & MAPS & TOURS

Books & Maps
Jonglez Publishing - an excellent series of "Secret," "Forbidden," and "Unusual" guides to destinations around the world
Luxe City Guides - trend-focused, useful pocket guides
Rough Guides City Maps - tried and true maps with a waxy coating, so you can fold them a million times (in the rain) and they won't rip or get soggy
Knopf MapGuides - small, compact guides with neighborhood foldout maps 
City Secrets Guides - historians, artists, and their clever ilk reveal favorite places in Italy, London, NYC

Tours
Context Travel - excellent for finding small tours led by smart local guides
Vayable - find tours and experiences led by local experts  


TRAVEL APPS

Useful
FareCompare - airfare alerts (iPhone)
GateGuru - navigate day-of travel with info on airport wait times, restaurants, delays (iPhone)
Unlike City Guides - city guides with cool, hipster appeal (iPad, Android)
Xe.com - currency converter (iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry)
Just Landed - coordinate airport pickups, tracking flight arrivals and traffic on the ground (iPhone)
Point Inside - maps for airports and malls (iPhone, Android)
Hotel Tonight - last-minute deals on unsold hotel rooms

Fun
Instagr.am and ToyCamera - apps that make travel pictures look nostalgic the moment you take them (iPhone)
HipGeo - a mobile travel blogging tool (iPhone, Android)
Peaks - identify mountain ranges on scenic drives or hikes (iPhone)
Passport to US National Parks - maps and info about America's national parks (iPhone)
Postcard on the Run - turns digital pictures into snail mail postcards (iPhone, Android)
Postagram - send postcards from phone (iPhone, Android)
SnapDish - an app that lets you share what you're eating (iPhone, Android)

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