Since I’ve been traveling around the world nonstop since 2012, I’ve gained quite a bit of knowledge. In this post, I am going to share with you some of the most helpful online resources that I use, which will make travel experience better.
This is my ultimate list of the top travel websites, transportation sites, accommodation sites, technology recommendations, travel insurance, travel gear and more!
The resources provided to you this blog post will enable you to travel better, cheaper and smarter. Please note that everything listed are products and services that I have personally used and that I am recommending to others.
Finding Cheap Flights:
Kayak is my #1 go-to website for booking any flight. It is very simple to use. Just type in your flight date and destination and Kayak will sort through hundreds of online sources in a matter of seconds to find the cheapest deal for you. You can also select your preferred flight time, search for vacation activities (like skiing or golf) and check the weather at your destination.
I use Monondo a lot when booking flights around Europe, because they are based out of Copenhagen. They have a special niche with many Europeans airlines, and often you can find the cheapest deals online. Users have the option to search for direct or indirect flights to more than one destination.
Yapta is a new flight search engine that I’ve been playing around with, and I’ve found some stellar deals. It’s unique because you are able to check airline prices AFTER your purchase your flight… So, if the price drops after you have purchased the ticket, then you can claim a refund for the difference of the price change. Read more about how you can claim money on their website.
I’m sort of new to Couch Surfing, and I already love it. I highly recommend it for solo travelers. It’s one of the best travel communities out there, because you can finding locals who will let you sleep on their couch (or bed) for free! It’s a win-win for both the traveler and the host (you get a free room to sleep in, and they get to meet a fun traveler like yourself). I have couch surfed about 7 times, and I’ve never had a bad experience. The website is also packed with useful information from a local’s perspective, and there are frequent meet-ups in random cities around the world.
If you’re traveling with 2 or more people, then Air Bnb is the way to go. I’ve stayed in Air Bnb places in over 20 countries, and I’m yet to have a bad experience. The way it works is you basically find someone who is willing to ‘rent’ out their place for you for a given amount of time. You can find anything from private rooms, entire apartments, castles, vacation homes, boats, tree houses, tipis, igloos, private islands and many other properties available in over 34,000 cities and 192 countries. Users must register and create a profile before gaining access to the website. It is fun, simple to use and extremely useful, so check it out!
If I’m traveling solo and I need a hostel, then Hostelworld is my go-to site. It has literally every single city in the world that you imagine traveling to. The search filter lets you narrow your results down price, location proximity, wifi availability, and many more. Also, there is a helpful map view of all the hostels in a given city, so you can find one that is closet to the city center or near public transportation.
Booking.com has everything related to accommodations, with the most unbeatable prices out there. It includes both hostels and hotels. At booking.com, there are several reviews that you can quickly scan through to make sure that any give hotel/hostel suits your needs. Each hotel is awarded a score on a scale from 1-10, which considers customer reviews that are broken off into 6 categories. Booking.com is the way to go if you want the best deal on a hotel!
Overland Travel Resources
This is your go-to site for ANYTHING train related all over the world. The entire website is run by a travel enthusiast from London, who knows train transportation better than anyone around. Seat 61 tells you the best routes, train times and fares in every place that uses trains around the world. In addition, the website has all kinds of other information to help you along your journey. The best
Eurail offers the best train transportation in Europe. You can buy an all inclusive pass for 1-week, 2-weeks or a month which gives you access to any train in 28 different countries. Eurail makes it simple to do everything from planning routes and checking times to buying tickets.
I never travel without travel insurance. For a small price (usually a few hundred dollars for a few month trip,) it’s definitely worth buying. This travel insurance covers everything from lost luggage, stolen laptops, hospital bills and unexpected cancellations of travel plans. it really saved my butt when my Mt. Everest hike in Nepal was cancelled due to the massive earthquake in April 2015, and they refunded everything back to me.
I can’t travel anywhere without my precious laptop, because I work online! I decided to go with the 13” Pro because it’s small enough to carry around with me everywhere, and it has the space to hold all of my data. I know it’s expensive, but I would recommend this if you are planning to work and travel at the same time.
My iPhone is by my side 24/7 when I am traveling. And now that I have been streaming all of my travels live on Snapchat (@drewbinsky), it’s necessary to carry with me everywhere. In most countries I visit, I buy a local SIM card for data plans. They are usually cheap ($10-40 per month) and they are convenient to have when I am not in a wifi zone.
GoPro is the most versatile camera in the world. You can use it to capture almost anything that you’re doing in action (surfing, scuba diving, hiking, sports, etc). It’s small, durable and waterproof. I make Gopro videos as I travel around the world, and I never miss a day without carrying it with me.
Osprey 40L Backpack
I’ve been through 3 different travel backpacks, and I finally found one that I love. It’s affordable, perfect size (fits as a carry on) and it’s comfortable. There is even a specific sleeve to hold laptops up to 15”, which is crucial if you will be working from your computer as you travel.
Lonely Planet is the biggest travel recommendation website and travel guidebook publisher on the market. Simply type in a city and get thousands upon thousands of recommendations for food, tourist attractions, lodging, nightlife and more. Before I travel to any city, I usually give lonely planet a quick look to see if anything catches my eye that I want to read into further. It is really the best resource out there for all around travel guides in any place worldwide.
As the name implies, this is the most comprehensive travel blog on the internet. This website has everything A-Z travel related. Travelblog.org is a huge database where many knowledgeable travelers share their stories around the world. Check it out and read about your destination from people who have already experienced it!
Spotted by locals offers city guides provided by locals in over 65 big cities in Europe and North America. The “spotters” are apparently hand-picked by the owners of the website, and they live in the city that they write about. They generally give exclusive information about their favorite local spots and things to do — always up-to-date. It’s kind-of like having a local friend showing you around their town. It’s definitely worth checking out if you are traveling around Europe, just to get some more ideas on where to go.
Grabr is a global travel + shopping marketplace connecting the world through travel. As a traveler, it allows you to make money traveling (by delivering items) and connect with locals anywhere you go, and as a shopper, get things you miss from abroad or that are not available in your home country. Everything you deliver is personally purchased and the shopper pays in advance, so it is totally safe! Join the global community at: i.grabr.io/drew
The most up-to-date currency and foreign exchange website. Always check this website to know the exact exchange rate before exchanging your money, so you know if you’re getting ripped off or not!
Check this website if you’re not sure what the visa situation is in a particular country. It would be horrible if you were forced to pay hundreds of dollars for a visa (or denied entry) into a country because you were unaware of the visa requirements. This website has up to date information. You can even apply for many visas directly on the website, and they will deal with all of your paperwork.
And that’s it! Hope you found my recommendations useful 🙂