There are two main stages to a vacation: booking it and going on it. In ye olden days, travelers could only go to a travel agent to arrange their hotel, flights, cruise and transportation, but now the Internet allows everyone to book their trips themselves. Here are some travel sites that will hopefully take the guesswork out of booking and save you some money at the same time, along with a helpful app thrown in.

As TripAdvisor is a site that allows travelers to post their opinions on everything from their stay at a hotel in Miami to a tour they took in Egypt, it’s inevitable that you’re going to get the odd deliberately miserable post or one rife with undeserved accolades. However, overall, TripAdvisor is an excellent site for research. If you do your homework here, you’ll be able to book elements of your trip with confidence.

By now, you’ve no doubt seen those ads on TV with a casual guy sporting a five o’clock shadow, talking to you about Trivago. Trivago is actually a great site for hotels. It doesn’t give deals itself; what it does is show you multiple prices for properties, based on what other hotel sites are offering. This means that you don’t have to check Expedia, then, then in order to compare prices. They are all there in one site. Trivago!

FlightBoard app
One of the biggest fears of all travelers is missing a flight. Now, thanks to the FlightBoard app, you can keep track of incoming and outgoing flights from any airport around the world, with real-time updates that cover delays and cancellations.

This is a really useful tool, even if you’re not the one traveling. You’ll know when your houseguests are arriving so you can pick them up on time.