Resources

Flights & Accommodation

Google Flights
Whether I’m searching for low-cost or premium class flights this is my, and many other people’s, go-to tool. Not only does Google Flights allow searching flights to and from multiple airports at a time, but it also shows how the prices for a specific flight vary between different sales channels.
Expedia
Generally, I try to book my flights directly with airlines whenever possible to avoid having to go through a third party in case of any complications. Still, sometimes online travel agents offer better fares. Expedia is my preferred agency in those situations, even when other OTAs offer lower fares.
SeatGuru
With its extensive database of aircraft seat maps, SeatGuru is the most helpful resource out there for choosing the best seat on a plane. Not only does it show the actual seat map, but it also points out which seats are the best, which window seats actually lack a window, and so on.
AwardWallet
Do you have half a dozen or more miles and points accounts and do you like to check their balances often? If so, it can be quite a task to go through each of the accounts. Luckily, that is not needed with AwardWallet which let’s you check the balances of (almost) all your accounts with a single click.
My Flight Log
Getting a log book filled by crew seems to be more popular in Japan than anywhere else. Still, it is a great way to collect flight information and to start interacting with the crew no matter where you are. For that reason, I created My Flight Log, a ready-made log book for airline passengers.
Hotels.com
Out of the tens of hotel booking websites out there, Hotels.com is my favorite. Being able to find same or better rates than elsewhere in most cases is a must. What sets it apart for me as someone without a preferred hotel chain is its very simple “stay 10 nights get 1 night free” loyalty program.

Airport Lounges

Priority Pass
My main way of accessing airport lounges is Priority Pass. The membership gives me access to over 1,000 lounges all over the world no matter what airline or class of service I’m flying. Before buying access directly, check for credit cards in your country that might offer it as a free perk.
Lounge Buddy
If you do not travel too often, or if you want to visit an airport lounge only once in a while, LoungeBuddy is a good alternative to Priority Pass. Rather than being membership-based, it allows you to purchase one-time access to hundreds of lounges at dozens of airports all over the world.
Delta AMEX Gold Japan
One of the credit cards I use – Delta Skymiles American Express Gold – comes with a complimentary Gold Medallion (SkyTeam Elite Plus) status. With the status, I can visit SkyTeam lounges whenever flying with the alliance. Alas, only the Japanese card offers the status directly.

Photography

Adobe Lightroom
I have been using Adobe Lightroom for a number of years now as my main photo editing and organization tool – both for aviation and non-aviation photos. It makes editing RAWs as quick and simple as editing JPEGs. You can read more about my workflow and Lightroom’s role in it here.
Expedia
Whenever I plan going to a new airport or photographing a certain location, SunCalc is one of the first tools I fire up. It allows me to pick a location on a map, as well as the day I will be going there and see how exactly the sun will move during the day so that I can figure out what the best photo points will be.
Digital Photography School
Being one of the largest photography blogs out there, Digital Photography School has countless articles with great tips and tricks. They also offer a variety of photography e-books and courses including Transcending Travel, an e-book packed with travel photography advice that I recently purchased.
Canon G7X
Whenever I am too lazy to take out my DSLR or in places where a DSLR would stand out too much, Canon G7X is my go-to camera. It fits in my pocket and offers image quality that is more than sufficient for most of the purposes I use my photos for including this blog and publishing in magazines.
Canon 80D
My main camera for plane spotting, and for the times when using a DSLR is not too much of a hassle, is Canon 80D. Mostly, I use it in combination with three lenses – 10-18mm, 24-105mm and 70-200mm. To see a complete list of the camera equipment I use, see this article.
Amazon Basics DSLR Backpack
While I often carry my camera in my regular back pack, whenever I need to carry all (or most of) my equipment, I use the AmazonBasics DSLR and Laptop Backpack. As the name suggests, it can fit both my camera equipment and laptop, and it’s hard to find a better product at the same price.

Plane Spotting & Travel

FlightRadar24
If I am plane spotting and I have access to the Internet, chances are that I have FlightRadar24 app running on my phone. Similarly, even when not at an airport, I have several alerts set up that alert me whenever a special livery aircraft is heading to my airport. Without a doubt, the app is one of spotters’ best friends.
Aeroweather
Compared to the previous one, this is a very simple app. However, it is extremely useful as well. AeroWeather gives you access to METAR weather information for airports around the world. And, if you cannot read the METARs, it even “translates” them for you into an easy to understand form.
Digital Photography School
While there are many websites offering destination advice, I always check WikiTravel first. Even though it does not offer the most comprehensive guide to each destination, its consistent guide structure makes it easy to get a good idea about what the destination is like quickly. Having that rough idea makes it easier to do further research.