I have a bit of OCD when it comes to finding the best travel resources. I spend hours and hours scouring online to get the absolute best deal. All those hours do pay off though! I always manage to find the cheapest and best option for my travels.
The list below are my top travel resources that I personally use when Im planning a new adventure or even a short getaway. This list is forever expanding because Im always finding more great resources to use.
Lonely Planet is my number one go to for most of my travel needs. Not only do they have those awesome travel guide books, the website has everything you need to know about travelling and I mean everything! From the best budget travel articles, family travel, solo travel, food, drinks, flights, accommodation and loads more! My favourite thing about Lonely Planet would have to be the Thorn Tree. Thorn Tree is Lonely Planets own personal forum where you can discover the answer to just about anything from travellers all over the world. If you have a question that isn’t already answered, don’t be afraid to ask! I have asked my fair share of questions in the Thorn Tree and it always helps. You usually get an answer pretty quickly from travellers eager to share their personal tips or helpful hints.
Rough Guides is for the “I don’t want to spend a lot of time researching, just get me there already!” type of traveller. They have an endless amount of easy to read articles on each country like Top 10 Must Sees, Best Markets to Visit, Facts You Should Know Before Visiting, Seven Things Not Miss in…….etc etc. These little articles are a great source for tips for those of you that don’t want to read lengthy articles on where you are going. You will end up reading something on here that you otherwise may not have known about.
My favourite thing about Virtual Tourist is that you feel like you are apart of a travel community. The best features are the very interactive forums and an extensive destinations page with everything you need to know about that country or place including population, weather reports, recent warnings, reviews on night life and off the beaten path tips.
The best thing about Trip Advisor hands down would have to be the reviews. It is ranked number one in the world for reviews on hotels, restaurants, spas, tours and so much more. Trip Advisor is a must if you want to read reviews on anything before you book ahead. The reviews also feature traveller photos from the reviewers themselves. These photos are an excellent look from a different point of view because sometimes as you may have had experience with, the professional photos that have been uploaded from the businesses themselves may be just a little misleading. I have found this happens rarely but it can happen!
I know your not suppose to pick favourites but booking.com is my favourite choice for booking accommodation. It has everything you need and I always find what Im looking for at a cheap price. Most places require a credit card number at the time of booking but you hardly ever have to put down a deposit straight away and cancellation is free up until a certain date. If you don’t have a credit card or don’t want to give your details out there is an option to let booking.com know that you don’t have a credit card and they will search other hotels nearby that don’t require a credit card to make the booking.
Hostel World is so easy to use! It has great set up where you can easily see reviews of the hostel, map, directions, rates and facilities. It is the best for picking through and choosing the right hostel for you. They have great reviews from travellers that have stayed in the hostels and it is perfect for the budget savvy traveller. Choosing a room is simple and you can choose what kind of dormitory or room you want. Hostel World also has a wide range of Bed & Breakfasts, guesthouses and small boutique hotels. Perfect for finding a little hidden gem in an exotic city.
Who would love to travel the world for free!? Staying with the locals that will be your hosts is an amazing experience and a chance to live like a local yourself. You can read the hosts reviews and check out their profiles. You do need to sign up and make a couchsurfing profile that way your hosts can review you as a surfer.
With hosts all over the world, Airbnb is the place to go for finding something really special and unique. You have the choice from a shared room, private room or an entire apartment. It has a map right there while you are looking showing you exactly where your accommodation is. It is a different feeling booking through Airbnb you can end up in some really awesome neighbourhoods and totally pull off living like a local.
You can find some seriously sweet deals on Agoda! If you sign up and become a member for free they offer you inside discounts sweetening the deal even more.
If you need it for your travels Amazon has it! Those extra bits and pieces you need for your journey can usually be found on Amazon. Books, gear, clothes, travel accessories, backpacks – you name it, it’s on Amazon. Getting it delivered to my door is the best perk. Shipping ranges in pricing depending on where your product is coming from. It’s my go to for just about everything.
Clearly Filtered Water Bottle
Not spending money when you don’t have to, drinking clean water and saving the planet one plastic water bottle at a time! Hell yeah! If your trip is taking you to a country where you cannot drink the tap water, the best way to get around that is to take your own filtered water bottle. Clearly Filtered stainless steal water bottle kills off 99% of bacteria and other nasties found in some countries tap water, so you don’t have to worry about getting sick. And you’ll be doing your bit for the environment by not buying plastic water bottles. If you do go the Clearly Filtered way, be sure to put in the code livedreamwander at checkout and get 10% off. Woohoo, savings!!
World Nomads has the cheapest prices for the amount of coverage you get. If you’re going to be having crazy crazy adventures or not so much, you can upgrade, downgrade or tweak your coverage to get covered for exactly what you need to get covered for. They have options if you want to include your expensive gear (camera, computer, phone, etc) which is a great add on and gives you peace of mind. For more info on World Nomads, check it out here.
Flight Network is my to go for booking the cheapest flights. It never fails to give the best price. You can also do just about anything on Flight Network from choosing your hotel, picking the best all inclusive deal, to finding the right travel insurance. Its a perfect site if you want to do everything in one place without searching a load of other sites. 24/7 this site is running and they will do everything to get you the best price for what you are looking for.
Momondos best feature would have to be the way it searches pretty much every airline out there flying the route you have picked. Airlines that I haven’t even heard of always seem to pop up on Momondo which can be awesome if it gives you the cheapest deal!
Skyscanner is another one that is super easy to use. Put in your desired flights and dates and it will search for the cheapest flight. Before you click search there is also a few boxes you can tick to open up new windows on other sites such as Expedia and Flighthub. It never hurts to do a little research for a better deal!
Who doesn’t love Skype!? I love Skype to Skype free video calls for those “Hi mum, yes I’m safe,” calls back home. The best thing about Skype though is that you can call a landline or mobile. It isn’t free but there are credit subscription deals you can get if you are a frequent caller to these type of lines. I personally don’t have a subscription, I just top up my credit roughly twice a year at around $16 each time.
Ulmon – CityMaps2Go
Love, love, love this app! Yep, it deserves 3 loves! Ulmon is a super simple map app, where you can save the map of the country you are headed to, pinpoint the area, and mark where you are staying, cafes, bars, restaurants, local attractions and historical sites. It gives you step by step directions to and from landmarks, making getting lost near impossible. The best thing about Ulmon is, all these features you can use offline!
Note: Some of the above links are affiliate links, which at no extra cost to you, will earn me a small commission and reduce the costs of running this site. Please know that commission or no commission, I genuinely, believe in and highly recommend every product on this page. If you have any questions about these products, please let me know.