Travel can be a tricky business. There’s a lot of pieces that need to fit together and there are endless resources, planning tools, companies to book with, and more. It’s hard to know where to turn when you’re planning your trip.
So here are some travel resources to help you travel easier, better, and longer. These resources help get me on the road, and help me do it more easily.
You can also see my favorite gear here. These are all of my favorite things to bring with me on my trips to make things easier and more fun.
This post contains affiliate links: If you book or purchase something for your travels using these links, I may get a small commission at no cost to you!
When I’m looking for travel inspiration, I check here where I can find cheap flights to nearby destinations.
For unique travel deals, Skiplagged checks for the lowest fares even if that means skipping the last leg of a flight.
Hotels.com has quickly become my go-to for hotel bookings. I especially like the multi-night rewards and discounts.
Booking is the site I use most often to find cheap accommodation, because it has the largest database of hotels and hostels. I use their “sort by lowest price” and “sort by review score and price” options to find the perfect accommodation.
Prices for apartment rentals have become much more competitive in the past years, and it’s worth checking Airbnb to compare prices with traditional hotel and hostel bookings, especially for longer stays.
Also known as the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, signing up with WWOOFing gives you access to a massive database of farmstays around the world. Farms usually look for volunteers with trade/gardening skills to stay for free in exchange for working.
Workaway’s concept is a simple one: free accommodation and meals in exchange for working a pre-determined number of hours per week. Finding a great Workaway is the perfect way to extend your time traveling abroad, and hosts are all around the world. Some even pay their workers!
Hostelworld where I search for hostels and compare price deals and ratings with Booking.com. Sometimes, hostels will be listed on Hostelworld, but not on Booking. For backpackers, the ratings on Hostelworld are probably more accurate because of a more similar reviewer demographic.
I don’t think you can find a better place to look for rental car deals. I do recommend some other options if you’re in Japan, but for general travel to anywhere around the world, Rentalcars is the best.
This website shows you how to get from point A to point B the best and cheapest way possible. Just enter your departure and arrival destinations and it will give you all the bus, train, plane, or boat routes that can get you there, as well as how much they cost. One of the best transportation website out there!
I know there’s a big debate about the best map app out there and I’m definitely leaning toward Apple. I use Google Maps once in a while in Japan when Apple doesn’t recognize a small or obscure store or restaurant but, in my opinion, Apple Maps always has the best routes. Google seems to take us on weird shortcuts or strange turns that get annoying while driving in this crowded country.
Viator is very similar to Klook and Get Your Guide. It focuses on North America but has options all over the world. I’ve used them in many cities in Europe, like this literary walking tour of Edinburgh, and Africa and always had a good experience.
You can find all types of experiences and excursions on Klook. This site also specializes in Asian countries, plus Australia, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, and London.
Get Your Guide
GetYourGuide allows you to book tours, tickets, and experiences from all over the world ahead of your travel dates. The most popular tickets bought through GetYourGuide from my site are to Teamlab Borderless Museum in Tokyo.
G Adventures is another group tour company that I’ve used a couple of times. I climbed Kilimanjaro (see my guide here)and traveled around Eastern Europe with them, and had a great time each time. A great option for families, young travelers, and solo travelers.
Intrepid is a great option for small-group tours, as it uses expert guides and focuses on leaving a small environmental footprint. I used them in Russia and had a great time.
Finding Visa Requirements
iVisa is an online visa service that lets you search visa requirements based on the passport you carry, and the country you’re visiting. If you need a visa, they’ll direct you to the correct forms to fill out through their website. Every step of the way, iVisa will help you apply for and receive, your visa. iVisa’s site is especially helpful in the time of COVID when countries have specific vaccine or health documentation needed for entry. They’ll help you understand each country’s requirements and get you to the correct documents.
Prevent unnecessary and unexpected travel expenses by purchasing travel insurance for your trips. World Nomads has a great basic travel insurance offering for all types of travelers. If you’re heading to a high-altitude location or doing more extreme sports and activities during your travels, they also have an Explorer Plan to keep you covered.
Planning and Inspiration
If you prefer a physical book for planning your travel, consider a Lonely Planet guidebook. They also have countless wanderlust-evoking collections of bucket list travel experiences around the world.
A Wandering Scribbler
Shameless plug here. But I think there is some really good information on this site for planning your bookish trip. You can find info on Japan, Tokyo, bookish travel, books to read, and travel tips.
By using Pinterest you can find helpful destination guides, gorgeous pictures of where you’re traveling, and all the information you’ll need when planning a trip. Type your destination + “guide” in the search bar and plan away. Pin the articles you want to save for later reference.
Unless you’re traveling within your own country, you’ll most definitely need a power adapter and converter to use or protect your electronics.
iPad or Tablet
I always bring an iPad or tablet with me when I travel, mostly for reading or entertainment.
A VPN is a great option for travelers for a few reasons. While you travel you’re using a lot of public WiFi so a VPN can protect you and your information. Also, a VPN can mask your physical location, allowing you to access sites you may not be able to where you happen to be traveling.