Travel Resources

Here is a list of my favorite travel resources that I have found over time. All of them are highly recommended and used by many people,

including me. I hope this list is able to help you on your travels and if there is anything else you need, just let me know! (Note: To help pay for the website, some of these links are affiliates of this website)

AirBnB – One of the largest up-and-coming travel sites, AirBnB is becoming a large force in the travel industry and promise to only becoming bigger. The site allows you to rent rooms from people in over 34,000 cities and 190 countries. They also let you rent out a room to make some extra cash. If you want to stay with them, here’s a free coupon to get $25 off!

Couchsurfing – A huge site that connects other travelers. You can find someone that has an available couch or room to crash on while you’re on the road for free. All of the people who are on the site have passed security checks and share the same desire for travel that you do.

Home Exchange – This site lets you put your house on a listing to exchange it for a time being for someone else’s. You can browse homes and contact other travelers if you like their home and the area they live in. the site costs money, but you can take a free trial to test drive it.

Hostels – A site that has a ton of great deals on accommodation with zero booking fees. The website also has guides, a podcast, videos, and a blog. You can find hostels on here for only a few dollars.

Hostelworld – An easy-to-use website that has a compiled list of hostels, hotels, and bed and breakfasts. This is one of the best sites to use for booking cheap rooms and has hostels all over the world. The large community leaves reviews and ranks each hostel based on value, security, location, staff, atmosphere, cleanliness, and facilities.

CheapFlights – CheapFlights just recently launched a new search engine for their platform that’s suppose to be better than any that are out there yet. They compare thousands of airlines and travel agents to make sure you’re not the person who pays the most to be on that plane. You’ll also be able to use their hotel search engine.

Hotwire – They offer up to sixty-percent off of hotels and forty-percent off of flights. You can find cheap hotels, cars, and flights and if you bundle them it’s even cheaper.

Kayak – This website compares hundreds of travel sites at one time and in one location. Don’t make this your only search engine you use though, make sure to run your flights through this entire list to get the best deal.

Momondo – Outside of a slick site design, they have been featured on CNN among other top news programs for their great deals. They offer a Fare Alert that alerts you if the price of your flight has changed to a low price so you can capitalize on the best deal possible.

Orbitz – Find deals on hotels, flights, cars, activities, and cruises. They have a ‘Hot Deals’ section on the main page that rival prices of some hostels. You can also become a member of their rewards program to save a little bit more cash.

Priceline – Known for the ‘Priceline Negotiator’ AKA William Shatner, this website finds deals on airfare, cars, cruises, vacation packages, as well as hotels. They have a ‘Name Your Own Price’ feature that lets you bid for the best price.

Skyscanner – They compare flights, hotels, and car rentals to find the cheapest deals like the others. A cool feature they offer is at the bottom of the page they offer an explore section. This links you to the cheapest flights for each city or country in one compiled list of links.

Credit Cards – They compare credit cards right next to one another without bias. Check this site out if you want to see what travel cards are out there and which ones are best for you. Just go to the search bar and type in “travel cards” or click this.

Expert Flyer – You can get a free or paid subscription to their flyer app, which helps you pick the best seat on the flight. They also run an active and interesting blog.

Flyer Talk – A great community of travelers who are ready to talk miles. They have an active forum that you can have all your questions answered on. They also run an active blog on the latest travel mile news.

The Points Guy – An amazing source to stay up to date on the latest in the travel miles world. Brian Kelly, who runs TPG, has managed to earn millions of miles and wants to teach you how to do the same. If you are a beginner and/or want to know the best cards to get, use this site.

Webflyer – The site isn’t the best looking, but their information is solid. One of their best features (i think) is their program guide on the top left of the page. They give a rating and review to every program that is offered so you can see how it stacks up against other programs.

Crew Seekers – Do trains and buses bore you? Me too! You can travel by water (oops is this titled Ground Travel?) and join a crew. On Crew Seekers you can browse all of their sailing opportunities to explore where you would fit best. Some require professional experience, but others just need a useful hand. You do need to buy a membership for this site, but the price isn’t too steep.

Eurail – Book passes to travel by train around Europe. They have trains in 24 different countries and you can buy passes for up to 3 months at a time. They have different prices for Youth, Adult, and Families.

Eurolines – They have a great interface that is super easy to use. Again, they are limited to Europe and the UK, but they have great deals and keep an updated list of big festivals and events going on that you can travel by train to.

Go Nomad  – This site also deals with freighter travel among other things like rail, equestrian, bicycles, and cruises. They also have a great FAQ section for information on how to travel by freighter. I suggest checking out their site for all of the features they have on their website. It’s definitely worth a look.

Megabus – A website to find and book trips via bus. They are located in Europe, the United States, and Canada. They have a massive network of routes and they are all available in multiple languages.

Urban Rail – They map out all of the train courses in hundreds of countries. They break down each city and give great train information about the different lines.

 

Lonely Planet – The king of guides, they offer great guides that cover cultural tips, activities, maps of the area and so much more. You can order guides on their website or at any bookstore you go to. They have a lot of cool features on their website as well.

TripAdvisor – They offer tons of different free services that could put this in many of the categories on this page. But one of the things they are most well-known for is their guides and reviews. They offer a free app that has offline guides which I talked about in this post. The app is super cool and can be used almost anywhere you go.

VirtualTourist – A great website interface that has guides all around the world. Their guides are completeley free and include activities, nightlife, hotels customs, transportation and more. If you’re not looking to spend any money, this is by far the place to go to plan your trip!

Viator – Outside of a cool name that sounds like either a Spartan or a pharmaceutical, you can search where you are staying to find reviews, deals, and activities to do among other things. They have 24/7 support if you need help and they feature expert advice on places to go. Their main priority is budget travel.

G Adventures – They work closely with local communities so that their environmental footprint is small and to make sure as much money as possible is going into the local community, rather than big corporations. They have great prices and their tours are easy to search through.

Gate 1 Travel – They have pretty competitive prices and are voted as one of the best tour group services by Travel + Leisure. They offer videos of their vacations and have a semi-active forum for anyone who has a question.

Intrepid Travel – They have just as close of a relationship to local communities as G Adventures does, if not more. They also have great prices and are a trusted source among travelers. I have a feeling that they are about to get a lot more popular.

Go Abroad – If you’re looking to study abroad this is a great resource. They have all the information you need on available programs and how to go about applying. If you’re into volunteering instead, they also have programs to go abroad for that as well.

Semester at Sea – A great website to find a trip that will take you across the world. They have a really cool website with many programs and options to choose from. You should be able to find all you need to know about studying abroad by sea from this site.

STA Travel – They have a lot to offer students who are short on cash. They have a search engine to find cheap hotels, hotels, tours, and rail passes. They even offer great discount cards that can save you on activities and supplies while traveling. Their site is filled with helpful information.

Student Universe – They also offer a search engine for cheaper flights, hotels, tours, activities, and rail passes so I suggest running your information through both of them. They also offer great guides on things to do and how to get around town among other things.

World Nomads: 

The preferred choice of many backpackers and advocated for by top tier travel bloggers. They offer emergency medical and evacuation assistance and 24/7 support. They have a range of coverage for adventure sports and activities, dental and liability, baggage, and cancellation costs. You can buy and extend your policy at anytime online.

STA Travel: 

I love this company for their awesome discounts they offer, but they have great travel insurance too. If you’re a student, under 26, or a teacher you can buy one of their cards that have basic  insurance for 25 USD or a card that covers much more for 200 USD.They also offer a typical insurance plan for anyone under 65 that covers injury, sickness, death, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, bankruptcy, stolen passports and visas, baggage, and trip delays among other things.

Travelex:

One of the leading providers of travel insurance in North America, they offer seven different travel insurance plans that fit many different travel styles from basic to luxury. Their basic package covers trip cancellations, flight accident coverage, emergency medical evacuation up to 100,000 USD, and travel assistance services. Their luxury package covers up to 1,000,000 USD in   medical expensive.

Lonely planet:

Their travel insurance crosses over with World Nomads, but they have separate areas to purchase it. They cover medical, delays and cancellations, property, and sporting injuries. They have 24/7 support anywhere in the world. You can also extend and purchase a plan anytime, even while you are traveling.

Travel Safe: 

They offer vacation protection plans, medical only plans, explorer plans in three different levels  (silver, gold, platinum), and group plans. Depending on the plan, they can cover cancellations, missed connections, delays, and sickness among many other things. They also have 24/7 emergency assistance anywhere in the world.

Travel Guard:

They have many different plans and a tool that lets you compare them to see which one is best for you. They will cover medical expenses, trip interruptions, and emergency services among other things. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to go on here and use their compare tool to see what you need and what you can do without in your plan.

Allianz Travel Insurance: 

They offer four plans for single trips, three plans under year-long coverage, and one for rental cars. If you’re taking a single trip, they can cover cancellations, lost/damaged property, and medical. They have two plans that are great if you are traveling with family because they will cover kids for free when they are traveling with a parent or grandparent.

iTravelInsured: 

They have 24/7 emergency travel assistance that covers arrangements, lost documents, medical, cash transfer, and legal referrals. Their plans cover vacation travel, student travel, lodging, and business. The student plan specifically covers natural disaster, refunds, financial   default, theft, and health to name a few.

HelpX – Through this organization you live with a host and work on their farm for 4 to 6 hours a day to earn your keep and the rest of the day is yours to explore. In return for your service you get room and board.

Idealist – Their easy-to-use interface makes searching for volunteer opportunities fun and they have over 13,000 of them! They have everything from hosting children for a weekend to volunteering at walks. This a great organization that not only helps people overseas, but at home as well.

VolunTourism – They have over 10,000 available volunteering programs that you can join to see the world. Though them, you can help people who are in need and are living in terrible conditions. What’s better than traveling and bettering the local community with more than just your money?

WWOOFING – This has been pretty popular lately among budget travelers. It’s the same idea as HelpX, where they match you with a farm to volunteer on and you work for 4 to 6 hours a day for a place to stay and food.

Bed Bug FAQ – If you’re worried about running into bed bugs and don’t know how to deal with them, this is your place. They give you all the information you need to know to stay safe and avoid the annoying little things!

BootsnAll Traveler’s Toolkit – Everything you can imagine you would need information for travel on is here. They help you with food, transportation, advice, accommodation, health guides and so much more. I highly suggest digging into this wealth of information.

CIA World Fact Book – They give you basic information about each country you plan on traveling to. They will let you know the population of the country, the main language that is spoken, as well as the economic state among other things. It’s pretty fun to go on here and search random countries too.

These books don’t have much budget-traveling value, but they’re killer for inspiration. This list will be growing very quickly, as i’m a bit of a book worm, only books I have read and enjoyed will make the cut for this list.

A Book Of Travellers’ Tales by Eric Newby – A large book filled with hundreds of stories of travelers dating back thousands of years and up until the 1980’s. There are a lot of extreme stories in here of what it would take to travel before any of the modern luxuries that we enjoy today existed.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – One of the best travel books ever written, it has been translated into more than 56 languages since its release. It follows the story of a young man named Santiago who is a sheep farmer and wishes to travel and see the world. The trip takes Santiago from Spain to Egypt in search of treasure buried under the pyramids.

The Search For The Pink Headed Duck by Rory Nugent – Legend has it that the Pink Headed Duck still exists, although it was last sighted in 1935. Legendary travel writer Rory Nugent is on its tracks to try and find it. He travels all around India and down the Brahmaputra River trying to appease the river gods as he prays that his small boat doesn’t sink against the powerful beast.

Smile When You’re Lying by Chuck Thompson – A hilarious and very realist account of traveling through Southeast Asia. Chuck spent a good portion of time working for magazines in the States before he decided travel the world. From teaching English overseas to being robbed in Thailand he let it all out for our enjoyment. An especially good read for anyone interested in travel writing.

Vegabonding by Rolf Potts – The book that sparked the term all budget travelers cherish, this is a very popular book among travelers. This is the perfect inspirational book for those who can’t seem to get themselves on the road but want to. It’s all about leaving behind the normal work life for a few weeks at a time to travel the world.

 

All of these apps are great to use and the majority of them are free. Even though all of these are linked to the iTunes store, I understand that a lot of people do not have Apple products. If that’s the case, you should be able to find all of these in the Android app store as well :).

Accommodation:

AirBnB – The Company has over 450,000 listings in more than 34,000 cities to help you find the best place to crash. They claim their properties are unique and legendary. AirBnB is one of the biggest up-and-coming travel companies. (free)

Jetsetter – Voted the best iPhone Travel app in 2011 by Apple’s App Store Rewind, it finds you great discounts on accommodation that can save you up to 60% off on a nights stay. The app also features insider tips on every hotel and lets you book from your phone. (free)

Hotel Tonight – The app lets you book last minute deals on hotels for up to five nights at super low rates. (free)

Priceline – With over 300,000 hotels and thousands of flights in the database, the app offers massive discounts for hotels, flights, and rental cars. (free)

Flying:

SkyScanner – An easy-to-use and fast flight deal finder. The app also lets you search ‘everywhere’ to find the cheapest destinations in the world. (free)

Expedia – Real-time itineraries with notifications that let you know about flight delays, gate changes, and more. The app also finds you great hotel and flight deals. (free)

FlyRights – An easy way to report air travel discrimination right after the incident occurs. The report directly goes to the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security. (free)

Kayak – A smart travel search engines that books hotels, flights, and cars at the best rates they can find. (free)

Momondo – Compare prices on flights and hotels all around the world. They have a ‘Matrix’ view that finds you cheap out-going and return flights as well. (free)

Fly Delta – An award-winning app with Facebook integration that books domestic and international flights. (free)

Food:

Yelp – An awesome app to find restaurants, shopping, relaxation, and entertainment. The app uses your location to find all nearby businesses, gives you directions, and lets users post reviews on their experience at each business. (free)

Where To Eat – Shows local places to eat and allows you to choose by cuisine type. The app also offers a feature to suggest places to eat when you can’t decide for the life of you what you want. (2.99)

Navigation:

Google Maps – Detailed maps for 220 countries and territories, voice guided GPS navigation, live traffic conditions, and street view to check out what the area looks like. (free)

Waze – Uses data by drivers to find out real-time traffic conditions and road information. The app also features a navigation tool to make sure you reach your destination in a fast and safe manner. (free)

All Trails – Filled with hiking and biking apps for adventure lovers, this app is great if you want to go for a hike in a national park or a local trail. The app has 50,000 guides across North America. (free)

Gogobot – This app is big on finding fun things to do that are around you, as well as dining and hotels.

TripAdvisor Offline City Guides – A city guide filled with local businesses, city facts, and GPS. The best part is that you do not need to connect to the internet to use their guides. (free)

Packing:

Packing Pro – Super-enhanced packing assistant that makes sure you never forget an article of clothing again. ($2.99)

Zuji Packman – Allows you to organize all your items in individual lists and categories. (free)

Planning: 

Tripit – Creates a daily detailed itinerary of your trip and lets you forward confirmation emails for hotels, airline, restaurant, and car rentals. (free)

Trip Saver – Created by the well-known budget travel blogger Nomadic Matt, Trip Saver keeps track of your expenses to help you save money when you travel. You can set daily spending limits to make sure you’re staying on target. ($1.99)

Transportation:

Uber – Finds you local rides and pays the driver from your mobile phone. The app has drivers in 36 countries and in over a hundred cities. (free)

CityBikes – The most popular bike sharing app, CityBikes finds you bike rentals all around the world. (free)

Hopstop – Get directions for subway, bus, regional rail, walking, and bicycle routes as well as schedules, travel time, and costs. (free)

Weather:

The Weather Channel – Tells you when bad storms are coming, cold and flu module, ten day forecast, airport delays, as well as detailed weather conditions. (free)

WeatherBug – The world’s largest database for weather and lightning sensors to help you plan your travels accordingly. The app is loaded with features like photo submissions, live weather cams, and seasonal conditions (free).


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