Welcome to my travel resources section, a curated list of the best tools and booking sites to help you travel the world. From finding cheap flights to working abroad to improving your travel photography, these are the tools I recommend.
I have personally used or personally trust every single site on this list, and most play a crucial role in allowing me to travel the world and even run my business.
1. Finding Cheap Flights
Google Flights is the new standard in finding airfare. Their calendar view makes it easy to pick the date with the best price, and they're always up to date with deals and promotions from different airlines.
Skyscanner is always my second stop after Google Flights. If you're flexible with your destination, their “Everywhere” search feature lets you look up the cheapest flight going anywhere in the world.
WHEN TO FLY
I use Momondo to find out when the best time to fly is. I particularly love their matrix that highlights an entire month, meaning you can compare prices and, if you're flexible with dates, find the lowest price possible.
Vayama is one of the best websites for finding international flights outside of the US. I always check Vayama when booking international travel as they often have amazing deals that nobody else can match.
Airfarewatchdog has a team of experts that keep an eye on flight deals all over the internet, including ones that aren't advertised, and they send you an whenever they find a good price on your specified route or from your home city.
Sometimes airline pricing systems cause an error, and if you book the flight during the error, you can end up with insanely low prices on flights. Secret Flying reports these deals—sign up for notifications on their Facebook page to stay in the loop!
Blog Posts About Cheap Flights:
2. Booking Accommodation
Hotels.com has over 300,000 hotels, hostels, B&Bs, and even condos worldwide so literally, anyone can find the perfect place to lay their head down at night. Plus, they have a great rewards program. Book 10 nights, get one free!
Hostelworld is the number one resource for researching and booking hostels all over the world. They have a database of seemingly every hostel in existence with accurate ratings and reviews from real users, with a very easy booking system to boot. Their newly redesigned mobile app has made an old favorite even better.
HOTELS IN ASIA
Agoda is the best booking site for hotels in Asia. They have the most comprehensive inventory of properties, and they always have the best prices. It’s (almost) not worth checking anywhere else if you’re searching for hotels in Asia.
FULL VACATION PACKAGES
Travelocity is your go-to site for finding full vacation packages when you just want to click and go. No need to fret—this online travel agency takes care of every detail, every step of the way.
In exchange for watering plants, taking in the mail, and looking after pets, many homeowners will invite you to stay in their house while they’re gone on vacation. I don’t do a lot of housesitting, but I know people who never pay for accommodation because they take housesitting gigs wherever they go.
STAY WITH LOCALS
If all you need is a couch to sleep on, Couchsurfing helps you to find it. Connect with likeminded travelers all over the world who want to meet new people, share their cultures, and show you the best parts of their city. Couchsurfing is a great way to save on accommodation while meeting locals who can give you the inside scoop on a city.
Blog Posts About Accommodation:
3. Tour Companies
TOURS & TICKETS TO TOP ATTRACTIONS
Get Your Guide has a massive database of tours and attractions in over 7,000 destinations around the world. From wine tasting to helicopter rides to snorkeling, you'll be able to get the lowest price (guaranteed) on Get Your Guide.
PICK YOUR TRAVEL STYLE
G Adventures has group tours for travelers of every type. Travel Europe by train, cruise the Galapagos islands, cycle through China, or take the whole family! G Adventures has it all.
Intrepid Travel offers small-group tours for adventurous travelers in more than 100 countries. You won't feel like you're just getting carted around—every tour is with a local guide, meaning you get a more authentic experience.
Busabout offers “freestyle” tours all over the globe for millennials and young adults. With their network of hop-on-hop-off tours everywhere from Europe to Asia, you can travel on your own schedule without having to worry about the logistics of traveling.
4. Travel Gear
The easiest and most comprehensive travel insurance. I always recommend traveling with insurance—it’s legitimately a bad idea not to. You never know what could happen…I ended up having an $8,000 surgery in Singapore and would have had to pay out of pocket if I didn't have insurance!
CLOUD DATA BACKUP
Your data is one of the most important things you own, and it's imperative to make sure it's backed up safely and securely, especially if you're traveling with a laptop. Backblaze automatically backs up your entire hard drive and syncs it to the cloud for just $5/mo. Set it and forget it. Read my full review here.
INTERNATIONAL CELL PHONE
The T-Mobile Simple Choice plan lets you take your smartphone all over the world, with free data and texts in 140+ countries for just $50/mo. And in countries without free calling, you'll only pay 20 cents per minute! I've traveled with them all over South America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East!
No more trial and error with crappy cafe WiFi, now you can travel with your very own wireless network. With this WiFi hotspot, you stay connected on all your devices in over 100 countries.
Rough Guides has the most complete collection of travel guides for every type of traveler. Since carrying a heavy guidebook isn't recommended, they offer downloadable eBooks that you can put on your smartphone or Kindle and take everywhere you go!
Blog Posts About Travel Gear:
5. Money & Banking Abroad
SEND MONEY OVERSEAS
Hands down, TransferWise is the best way to transfer money overseas and between currencies. They charge a nominal fee (about 1%), lower than anyone else I've found, and linking up bank accounts is fast, secure, and really easy.
Read the full TransferWise review here.
Blog Posts About Money & Banking:
6. Working, Teaching and Volunteering Abroad
Teaching English overseas is one of the easiest ways to travel, but the first step is getting your TEFL. i-to-i offers multiple TEFL courses which you can complete online, and since they have a comprehensive network of job placements all over the world, they’ll help you find a teaching job once you graduate
VOLUNTEER AROUND THE WORLD
HelpX is an online listing of host organic farms, non-organic farms, farmstays, homestays, ranches, lodges, B&Bs, backpackers hostels and even sailing boats who invite volunteer helpers to stay with them short-term in exchange for food and accommodation.
CULTURAL EXCHANGE ON A BUDGET
Find opportunities to volunteer and immerse yourself in a new culture by donating a couple hours of your time each day in return for room & board. The idea is to promote a fair exchange between travelers and locals to promote a cultural understanding between people.
SUPPORT LOCAL PROJECTS
Connect with grassroots projects and support local businesses around the world. Find free and paid eco-conscious volunteering opportunities at conservation projects, local schools and more.
Blog Posts About Working and Teaching:
7. Travel Photography
TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE
This video course, created by one of the best travel photographers I know of, provides the most in-depth look into the process of photography and post-processing that I’ve ever seen. It’s not cheap ($299), but if you’re serious about becoming a better photographer, this is the best thing you could do for yourself.
LIGHTROOM & PHOTOSHOP
For those who know how to use their camera but want to learn more about post-processing their photos using Photoshop & Lightroom, this easy-to-follow course is the best way to learn. Ben Willmore has taught hundreds of thousands of people around the world, including me 🙂
THE EMOTION OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Photography is about more than technique. Although Chris Burkard does cover technique in this course, he does a fantastic job of touching on the more intangible aspects of shooting travel photography. Every photo should evoke an emotion, and this world-renowned photographer shows you just how he does it.
Blog Posts About Travel Photography:
8. Travel Blogging
WEB HOSTING – $3.95/mo
My first and only recommendation for a web host for those just starting out with a travel blog. Bluehost is simple to setup, they have excellent customer service, and they offer the lowest introductory monthly rate I’ve found anywhere. For help setting it up, view my blog post about how to start a travel blog.
TRAVEL BLOGGING COURSE
This is the most comprehensive course on professional travel blogging. With lessons on writing, building traffic, monetization, SEO, social media, marketing, and more, The Business of Blogging guides you through the process of travel blogging from start to finish, and not just how to blog, but how to actually build a sustainable business.
If you’re going to be working with travel companies and making money, you’ll need a way to keep track of your income and expenses. FreshBooks in an accounting and invoicing solution for small businesses that makes it easy to track all your money.