Travel Resources for Smart Travelers
As a full-time traveler, I have made many mistakes over the years, usually, oftentimes because I was not aware of the resources I needed to make my trip planning more successful. And now there are so many travel resources and amazing deals available online for smart travelers, smart planning can make all the difference. This is why I put together a list of references, divided by sections, for all of my amazing readers. Check it out and I hope that these help not only to inspire you to travel more but also to ease the planning of your future trips.
Finding Cheap Flights
When I am looking to compare flights, one of my favorite websites is Google.com/flights. The information comparability of costs between different airline carriers and dates is better organized than similar sites. It is easier to get a clearer picture of the options available faster, and you can easily adjust the dates for comparison shopping. Some airlines however, like Southwest, won’t show their prices in Google Flights, but will redirect you to the airline’s main website. My favorite feature is the ability to use Google Flights to track flights too. You can mark your selection and receive emails with price changes and travel tips for your trip.
Another recommendation is Skyscanner.com (or download the app on your phone) because it allows you to enter your location & travel dates and then it gives you a list of different destinations for your consideration, starting with the least expensive. It is also perfect for a last minute, spontaneous getaway/vacation…. and we all deserve that! Let them pick the best destination for your budget! Don’t forget to utilize the alerts that will text you as prices fluctuate (make it work for you).
Where to stay?
Wanna make extra money by renting your place or spare room too?
You can also use AirBNB for this as well. In some countries, there are policies where you can only rent a spare room in your apartment and not your whole place. Make sure to find out the rules of your country of residency.
Also, there is FlipKey by Trip Advisor. You can also rent out your home or spare room there. Find out more by clicking on the picture below.
If you are really flexible with where to stay, you can use Priceline’s website option: Name Your Own Price.
Lonely Planet makes my favorite travel guides, but the good news is that I no longer have to carry the books around— instead, I buy their Ebook PDFs, save them to my Dropbox, then open them in iBooks on my iPhone. You can also save them to your kindle or Ipad. If you prefer, you can also buy single chapters from most guidebooks, which is convenient if you’re only visiting one city or region in a country.
I would highly recommend World Nomads insurance because their coverage is really good and can be easily extended as many times as you’d like. They also make reporting claims easy, and it is very simple to sign-up for it. As with all insurance, be sure to read the fine print and make sure it’s right for you.
Free Walking Tours
Almost every major city offers free walking tours. I took several, for example in Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Stockholm and Berlin among other cities. The best part is that first, you can get an overview of the city and learn about some of the highlights on these tours (which usually could run from 2 to 4 hours depending on the place) for places to visit later. Second, they have some more specialized tours, for example, specifically about The Hollocaust, Pub Crawls, etc. One memorable tour, a Syrian Refugee walking tour in Berlin, focused on learning more about the history and culture, ending with a meal at a delicious Syrian Restaurant. There are so many choices and most companies also offer tours for a flat fee or minimum purchase at a bar or location. Just depends. Please remember that these tour guides live on tips and donations, so don’t be shy and tip accordingly. Of course, the amount depends on how much you enjoyed the tour or liked the guide which, in my experience, most often exceed my expectations. Lastly, another perk is that you get to interact with people that speak your language. You may meet some travel friends, which is important if you are in a foreign country traveling solo. I’ve enjoyed meeting others to continue exploring. Most valuable result, I’ve made so many friends around the world due to such tours. We keep in touch via social media and share tips and recommendations.
Welcome cards and pass
Museums and attractions
Check for special discounts or free entrance days. For example, the Bronx Zoo in New York offers free entrance every Wednesday. Also, some museums entrances are by donation, for example, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. You can give as much as you want or can (a recommended donation is usually noted as a guideline).
Meet New Friends
Join apps such as meet up. Also couchsurfing has a hangout area where you can browse people that are in your area and want to do something on that day. Some people want to have a drink, or explore the area, or plan a day trip. It is up to you.