Partners & ads
Let us make one thing clear: I am first and foremost a journalist. My primary goal is, and always shall be, to provide the best travel information and advice possible.
However, journalists have bills to pay, too.
How this site makes money
Yes, this site makes money. There are excellent websites out there that are run by hobbyists and don't make any money, but I do this for a living, and I have been a full-time travel writer for 17 years. I am a professional—and that means at this site you will get professional-grade advice, reviews, and trip-planning information.
Although ReidsGuides.com is a travel information site, not a travel agency, I understand that most people combing the Web for this kind of detailed travel information to help them plan a trip are at some point probably going to want to actually, you know, take the trip.
They want to book airfares, search for tours, maybe buy a couple of good guidebooks. And, of course, everybody has to pack at some point, so luggage and travel gear like quick-dry pants and electrical plug converters are a given.
That's why I have carefully selected several partner sites where you can get the bulk of your travel shopping done at once.
Again, I put journalistic integrity first. I recommend these services only because they are genuinely superior—they represent the best consolidators, discounters, and specialists in the business—not because I get paid to do so.
Yes, I do get a small commission if you end up buying your tour or backpack after clicking over to a partner from my site (that, along with the Google ads, is how this site earns its keep).
- This doesn't cost you one penny extra, since any commission comes out of their profits, not the amount they charge you, and...
- I have only partnered with sites that best serve the travelers needs in the first place—companies that, in fact, I actually use myself.
How I pick my partners
You'll notice I have two major partners for gear, REI and Magellans—but that's mainly because about 90% of what I pack for my own trips comes from those two suppliers. (Moving to within a mile of an REI store was a glorious day for me—and a terrible one for my bank account.)
Ditto for Booking.com and Venere.com, two hotel booking sites that not only actually beat the rack rates at most hotels, but also represent far more of the kind of smaller, inexpensive, mom-and-pop hotels that I prefer than any of the other major booking engines.
And, yes, I put my money where my mouth is. I have used Booking.com to find and reserve lodging, for both personal and professional travel, in destinations from Florida to Washington, DC, to Sardegna, Italy.
I nearly always end up booking my rental cars in Italy through AutoEurope.com—not because they are a partner, but because I am a tightwad, and they almost invariably offer the lowest rates.
I almost always find the best airfares but by searching with the aggregator Momondo.com, and for years had recommended them above all others (including my own partners) before finally, in April 2011, I approached them about an affiliate deal that allowed me to incorporate their search engine into the latest redesign of this site. (Adding Momondo's airfare-booking widget to my own site's sidebar has the added bonus of saving me the trouble of opening a new window every time I do a fare search—which, for research purposes, I do dozens of times a day.)
Same goes for the bigger-ticket items, like full tours. Years before I ever became partners with either company, I sailed the Arctic on a G Adventures boat, and when my parents (experienced world travelers who ordinarily would never dream of taking an escorted tour) found themselves suddenly in possession of two tickets to Japan and no time to plan (I know; wish that kind of thing happened to me), I sent them to Intrepid Travel. They came back raving about the experience and started shopping for another tour to take. It's been eight years, and they still keep in touch with their Intrepid Travel guide via email.
I work for you, not my partners
I am a bit of an old-school journalist, and still feel like my first and most important duty is to my readers. I work for you, the traveler.
To make things crystal clear, whenever this site features a compendium review of multiple companies, outfitters, or tour operators, I will put a little "Partner" button—like the one to the right—denoting those with which this site is partnered and from which I will earn an affiliate commission should you choose to click over and buy something from them.
You will, however, notice that I also recommend many, many other sites with whom I do not have a partnership—often ones that are direct competitors to my partners. Sometimes, I even recommend rival sites above my own partners.
Other web publishers have called me foolish for doing this, but to me, offering solid, trustworthy travel advice some first; monetizing it comes last.
Thank you for your support.