I’ve been traveling 365 days a year for over 8 years and have learned a thing or two on the road. Hope you find some of these travel resources helpful as you plan your next adventure!
I always browse for the cheapest dates to fly using Skyscanner.net then purchase my ticket on Travelocity.com or CheapOair.com. for the best deals. (Travelocity has a 24 hour refund policy for women that find it hard to commit to a flight, like me!)
Read this post for my five step process to find the best flight deals.
For Round the World trips and journeys with destinations in different parts of the globe, I save money by booking RTW tickets. Believe it or not, they’re a great value! My agent of choice is Airtreks especially because you can get free quotes using their airfare planning tool. This is how a round-the-world (RTW) ticket works.
FREQUENT FLYER MILES
If you travel, you HAVE TO join frequent flyer miles programs that allow you to get free flights and other rewards. I have a brief explanation here but the real experts are Frugal Travel Guy and The Points Guy.
I love the One World Alliance because I can make the most of one way flight awards with American Airlines which is great since I never have an end destination in mind.
Find out how I’ve earned numerous free international flights by shopping!
For accommodation, we love Airbnb for accommodation in Europe and major cities around the world. This is particularly cost effective if traveling with more than one person and for families. Sign up here for a free $40 credit!
I prefer to to book “the entire home” instead of opting for shared accommodation on Airbnb. Aside from safety, I also like to feel like I’m living in the destination. It’s a small taste of local life plus you get more amenities than you would at a hotel such as a kitchen and washing machine.
Read these Airbnb tips for more info!
When traveling to less expensive destinations such as Southeast Asia or Central America, I prefer to stay in local guesthouses rather than Airbnb because they’re more cost effective. I book guesthouses and hotels or resorts, using Booking.com or Agoda.com. Depending on how long you’re traveling you can also walk around to find good deals upon arrival.
If you prefer the convenience and comfort of a hotel room, I like using Booking.com, Agoda.com and Hotels.com. I always stay in hotels when traveling for business or for conferences to ensure I have all the amenities I need to get work done efficiently. Airbnbs some times lack basic things like hair dryers, irons, or an easy check-in process. Tip: Hotels.com gives you a free night for every ten nights you book!
For hostels, I use Hostelworld.com. I recommend hostels for solo travelers rather than Airbnb because they offer a more social environment. If you don’t feel comfortable staying in a dorm with other people or need privacy, you can stay in a private room in a hostel and still have the benefits of using the common area to meet other travelers. (Here are my recommended hostel essentials.)
Always read the reviews before booking to get the best idea if the hostel is right for you. Some are quiet and family friendly while others are known for their party atmosphere.
Not sure about staying at a hostel? Read this.
For extended travel, I always book the first 1-2 nights when arriving in a new destination. Once I’ve had a chance to get situated in the new destinations, I search for a different place to stay or extend my booking.
Another way I maximize my money and my travel experiences are by participating in work exchanges through Workaway that provide free accommodation in exchange for 20 hours of work per week.
For many travelers, the travel guide is dead but I still find mine to be a valuable resource to find everything I need in one convenient location – especially to find local transportation tips that help me travel on a budget.
For budget travelers, I love the Lonely Planet “Shoestring” series that offers details specifically for those with tiny travel funds. These are my favorites:
- Southeast Asia on a shoestring
- South America on a shoestring
- Central America on a shoestring
- Europe on a shoestring
Travel guides also help consolidate travel tips into a region instead of just one country making them a better overall value, too.
On my round-the-world trip, having travel insurance saved me $800 in hospital fees.
I used Travel Guard which had customer service 24/7 and helped me figure out all the doctor bills with ease no matter what part of the world I was in.
Just keep all your hospital receipts and get a check for any money spent when you return home. Easy enough!
I’m probably one of the few travelers that will encourage you to take a tour – if it’s the only way to get you comfortable with the idea about exploring the world, then do it!
Back in 2008 when I was scared to travel on my own I started traveling by taking tours with G Adventures (or GAP like they were called back then). I used their services to go to Egypt, Jordan, Brazil, Argentina, and Peru.
Their tours are a great option for solo travelers because they don’t charge you a single supplement fee and it’s a perfect introduction to traveling. If I hadn’t started out by taking tours, I would still be stuck behind a cubicle!
In 2008, I did a yoga & spirituality tour with Sacred Earth Journeys and it changed my life! (That’s when I decided to quit life to travel.) If you’re looking for a travel experience that offers more of a personal journey, check out their tours!
Tip: look for free walking tours like the New Europe tours in Europe. They’re a great way to get oriented with a city and help you make the most of your time – all you do is give them a tip!
To get the best exchange rate when I travel I pull money out at ATM machines and use xe.com for currency exchange rate information. Download their app for money updates on the go. Here are tips on how to exchange foreign currency.
I am a brand loyal gal and all my travel backpacks (and now suitcase) have been Osprey because I need a stylish bag that’s going to last the wear and tear of long term travel. Read my reviews here.
This is a complete list of all my digital nomad travel gadgets and electronics:
Before you do anything else, download our FREE printable packing list. Not only can you print it, but you can customize it and save it, too! Everyone says it’s the most comprehensive travel checklist online. And the best part? It’s free!
Use our sample summer and fall capsule wardrobes along with our international packing lists to learn what to pack for your trip. If you don’t find the destination you need, ask a question to our community on our free Facebook Group!
Obviously you’re reading TFG for awesome packing tips, but did you also know I have an eBook? Never check bags again by reading “Pack Light Stylishly”.
For a step by step guide to packing and planning for your trip, please read our Getting Started page.