Save Time & Money
My style of travel is geared toward long-term adventure and photography. Here are various resources and links to apps and websites I use to make my travels easier, cheaper, and longer. I might go on a backcountry excursion or a climb a mountain, so my needs might differ from yours. From years of travel, I’ve found the best combination of gear and digital apps that fit my needs, and I hope you will gain a few insights from it.
I’m not a fan of travel guides, so other than Hitchwiki; I’ll read a Lonely Planet or Rough Guides book now and then but I prefer to talk to locals and discover things that aren’t written about in some guidebook. There’s just something about discovering the unknown that drives me.
Below the resources that have helped me stretch my travels and saved me lots of money. I’ve also included photographers resources that will help budding travel and landscape photographers.
- OVERLAND TRAVEL
- VISA & PASSPORT
Finding Cheap Flights
I can afford travel and travel to many places not because I have a lot of money. I can because I try to be as smart about it by using the below resources to their full potential. You can too!
Orbitz is what I use to book flight routes found on Google ITA Matrix. Most of the best flight deals I’ve found are booked through Orbitz. It’s simply one of the best. I’ve used this service more times than I can count and it has saved me a lot of money.
Skyscanner is my go-to flight search engine. Very similar to the Google ITA Matrix but allows you to purchase the ticket with its partners. I’ve found plenty of cheap flights from their website and app. It’s has a very intuitive and easy to use interface as well.
Momondo is another website and app where I’ve found great deals on airfare. It’s comparable to all the other search engines. I often use the service as a comparison tool before I make my decision.
I use the JetRadar app on my Android. It’s intuitive enough. If I don’t have access to a PC and I’m looking for flights I use this app. I’ve purchased a couple of airline tickets in South America using it. In my experience, this has given me some of the best deals. Check it out.
Articles To Score The Best Flight Deals:
Google ITA Matrix is one of the most advanced flight search engines out there. It uses some of the most sophisticated search algorithms power by Google to find the best flights and deals. The only problem is, you can’t book flights directly from it. You’ll have to use one of the booking flights above.
Apps to Find Cheap Flights – Got a smartphone? Don’t miss my roundup reviews on the best app to find cheap airfare!
Best Day To Buy Airline Tickets – It’s true. There are best days to book your flights. Typically it’s during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but you can also find deals during Travel Tuesday. Read more about it.
Accommodation is the least of my travel expenses. I’ve mastered the art of sleeping in the car or someone else’s couch. Often I’ll end up becoming friends with other travelers at the places I visit, and they’ll end up inviting me to stay at their home.
I don’t usually book in advance because I like to go with the flow. If I get a suggestion from a local or another traveler about some cool spot they’ve been too, I’m likely to go there on a whim. I’d often go to a town or city and use Hostelworld or Google Maps to find a hostel and see if they have any available beds. With this kind of ad-hoc travel you need the right tools – I use the services below to make my life easier.
Couchsurfing I find myself not couch surfing as much as I used to. It’s still a great alternative to hostels, but I prefer to have the freedom to come and go as I please like 24 hostel offers (most of them are). When I’m with a host, I feel somewhat restricted because it feels weird when you come back late at night and the host is already sleeping. Still, CouchSurfing is a great way to meet people and save money.
Hotels Combined Hotels Combined is the Skyscanner for hotels. It’s an aggregator that takes all the fuss out of comparing hotel prices from different providers. Use it find the best deals out of any hotels. You will find hotels at the best price without any booking fees. Along with Booking.com, it’s one of the sites I use most.
Booking.com I use Booking.com to book a place to stay when I know ahead of time where I’d be staying. I’m able to find apartment rentals cheaper than Airbnb. I also use to book hotels for up to 30 days, giving me huge savings on accommodations.
TripAdvisor has been around a long time and is a great resource for hotel reviews and other reviews related to travel. You can practically use it to plan your trips. It also allows you to book your hotels or apartments directly on the website and app.
VRBO is one of the biggest websites for vacation rentals, they have over two million unique places to stay in over 190 countries. It’s a little like Airbnb but the difference is, VRBO list whole houses or apartments for rentals. Airbnd, on the other hand, can list rooms and sublets.
Whether by rental cars, trains, or buses. The following resources are your best bet to get you from point A to point B.
Renting a car from Auto Europe is one of the cheapest ways to travel around Europe. I highly recommend this if you have 30-180 days of traveling overland in Europe. If you split it with a partner or group, it’s a lot cheaper than buying a Eurorail pass. It gives you easy access to the European countryside that you’d probably miss just hopping on trains that only stop at major metros.
12Go.Asia is one of the biggest online travel agencies in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Ground and water transportation tickets are sold in more than 3000 stations in 15 countries: Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Vietnam, Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, Singapore, Myanmar, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Philippines, New Zealand, Macao, and China.
Arguably, traveling by train is one of the best ways to see the wonders of Europe. With Rail Europe, you can see 28 countries and a whopping 15,000 cities and towns in Europe. All this with the widest selection of train tickets and rail passes at your disposal.
GoEuro compares trains, buses and plane prices and timetables all in one place. With this program, we are looking to grow our user base in Europe and as well as the United States and Canada. We are aspiring to become the leading platform for booking European trips.
You can book hotels, cruises, and flights on Expedia but I’ve found that it’s really good at finding rental cars. Browse their inventory of hundreds of cheap car rentals. Get the best rental car deals with their Price Guarantee.
Don’t care much for cars or trains? BikesBooking.com is an online booking service for motorcycles, scooters, quads, and bicycles all over the world. The service compares prices of 950 rental companies from over 40 countries. 50,000 vehicles are available for booking in 2000+ locations around the world.
Unconventional Form of Travel – Hitchwiki Is a go-to resource for hitchhikers. Hitchhiking is fun and a great way to meet new friends. It’s also one of the cheapest ways to get around. When I was traveling around Europe with a car, I picked up a lot of hitchhikers. It’s a cheap and fun way to get around places.
World Nomads Travel Insurance A tried and valid travel insurance company. It’s an insurance that was designed by travelers for travelers. It’s trusted and recommended by Lonely Planet and it’s one of the most popular travel insurance around.
Flight Delay Compensation – Get compensated for delayed flights, canceled flights denied boarding, and missed connections. It happens more often than you think! Be prepared and use this awesome insurance to cover your back in instances where it happens to you.
Travelex Travel Insurance plans prevent you from losing your travel investment by providing protection for unforeseen events like a traffic accident while en route to the airport or the shut down of all transportation services causing you to miss your flight. Protecting your trip should be a priority!
Roam Right insurance can help protect the money you’ve spent on things like airfare, rental fees, tour package costs, cruise tickets, and other non-refundable deposits. If you plan a trip but have to cancel it before you leave, or need to suddenly return home during the trip, international travel insurance can help cover the associated expenses.
Travel like an insider via Viator! Viator’s team of travel insiders are obsessed with finding the best things to do everywhere they travel. From London to Phuket to Christchurch, from standard tours to once-in-a-lifetime experiences, Viator has something for every kind of traveler. After 17 experience-packed years, Viator is the world leader. When planning your travels, why start with anyone else?
Tourradar provides you with over 500 tour operators and over 20,000 tours to compare and choose from. Tourradar is not a tour operator they can list all tours from their database without a bias. It is up to you to choose which tour operator and tour you would like to go with. Tourradar does not charge any extra booking fees and there are no markups on their tour prices.
GAdventures offers you to be a part of the experience is their small international groups. On average there are about 10 travelers on one of their trips, depending on the destination. Their also the first tour company to offer 100% departure guarantee.
Everyone knows iconic city destinations also cost iconic prices to visit. Use the CityPass for significant savings on various activities. CityPASS is purposely designed to include a limited number of the best popular attractions, assuring an excellent experience that makes the most of every second, without a lot of research needed. Save up to 50% off combined prices for admission to must-see attractions with CityPASS.
Tiqets is one of the biggest online ticketing platforms in the world. Tiqets offer directly bookable tickets for museums, shows, and attractions all over the world directly to your mobile phone. Including cities like Dubai, Rome, New York and many more.
Tours4Fun is an online travel booking website where you can book vacation packages, hotels, cruises, tours, and activities. The company also partnered with a non-profit organization, Pack for a Purpose, to promote ethical and responsible travel, and informs travelers of charity foundation around their destinations.
Travel & Technology
Google My Maps Amazing tool! This is what I use to plan an impromptu itinerary. I have it on my Android phone. Everywhere I visit I strike up a conversation with the locals or other travelers and punch in the name of the place (I’ve likely never heard of) and then plan my trip accordingly. Read my guide on how to use it, HERE.
Esplorio For all you Apple enthusiast this is it! Your perfect travel companion app. Esplorio automatically maps out your routes, checks you in places and uses your photos to create a travel journal.
Google Project FI is a phone service that you can use in over 120 countries around the world! Let’s call over WiFi or use your Google Voice number. You would need specific phones to run the service, but they’re all pretty good. Best of all, it’s super cheap! Read my review and Get $20 when signing up!
Trover is your Instagram for travel. Aren’t you tired of looking at selfies and somebody’s lunch? Trover is a travel-centric app that lets you discover new things. Not as popular as Instagram but it should be. Come and join me HERE!
Atlas Obscura is an excellent website for discovering an off-the-beaten-path location! Some of the weirdest and unique facts and places can be found here.
Evernote is an excellent tool for taking notes and journaling. You can take pictures instead of text notes and it Geotags your notes, so you know where you wrote it from. Very clever.
Oanda Currency Converter No nonsense currency converter. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Google Photos has morphed into a very useful tool/service throughout the years. It has an excellent editor built in so you can spice up your photos. You can also have it back up your photos directly to their cloud – do this over WiFi, so you don’t rack up data usage.
Amazon Photos – Cloud If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you are entitled to unlimited cloud storage for your photos. Amazon doesn’t advertise this, but it’s true. I have the app automatically back up the pictures from my phone, and I also have a desktop version installed on my laptop to upload my RAW files to the cloud. I have over 3.5 Terabytes of photos already stored in the cloud! Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial.
BackCountry Navigator Pro lets you turn your smartphone into a full-blown GPS unit! You can download maps from various TOPO sources and for all maps around the world. You can use it without any data connection.
Stellarium is a full-blown planetarium for your phone. Point your phone at the sky and the sensor control will help you identify a star in just a few seconds. It’s great for spotting the Milky Way in the sky no matter where you are in the world. If you’re ever in an area where there is low light pollution you can see the galaxy with your naked eye!
Blogging & Webhosting
If you want to start a travel blog or website, you’re probably looking at some cheap shared hosting services such as Bluehost. What if I told you could get a Virtual Private Server or Cloud Hosting for the same price or even lower? You can get such hosting at UpCloud. I pay $10 a month for the hosting service and my website runs like it was on a $300 a month Managed WordPress hosting. If you hire somebody on Upwork or Fiverr to set you up on Upcloud, your website would be on steroids
1 & 1 Web Hosting provides managed WordPress hosting. They’re better than Siteground and Bluehost. If you don’t have the technical skills, the time, or the means to tackle Upcloud then this 1 and 1 is the next best thing. It’s easy to set up, speed up, and there’s a technical consultant ready to help you get up and running. They have plans that start at just $1 a month!
WPEngine is one of the best managed WordPress Hosting around. If you’re queasy about all the technical details of hosting your own WordPress Site, this is your best ticket. Price can be steep, at almost $300 a month but it’s well worth the price if you plan on running your website as a business. Most of the pros who make tons of money from their blog use WPEngine.
Cloudways is a Managed Hosting service that goes on top of unmanaged cloud hosting services such as Amazon Cloud, Linode, and Digital Ocean. Cloudways allows you to host your website very easily in a very fast environment – most of which are just as fast as the hosting where you will be paying hundreds of dollars a month for.
Directory Of Travel Blogs– My very own directory of travel blogs. I’ve collected these throughout the years and has grown quite a bit.
How to Start a Travel Blog and Make Money – It’s very difficult to make it in the travel blogosphere but if you follow these steps, you can definitely get an income from travel blogging.
Blog on Steeemit and Make Money– While cryptocurrency is just starting to get noticed and may not get mass adoption, the technology behind it – the Blockchain is here to stay. Steemit runs on the Steem Blockchain. Steemit is a “Decentralized” social media platform that pays you for activities. Imagine getting paid to write posts, take pictures of your lunch, and like other people’s post. That’s what Steemit is all about. It’s a community of people who want to break free the corporate and centralized controlled social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
Many seasoned travelers are probably wondering the need for travel visa agents. The truth is, Travel Visa Pro do more than provide rushed passports and travel visas to those who need to travel in a hurry. Travel Visa Pro’s team of travel experts spread across their nine offices in the United States and a few international ones combine for over forty years of experience between them. Travel Visa Pro will get your visa applications through the embassies and consulates through relationships forged from years of networking.
Save 5% by using my code – “TVP5”
ESTA VISA Waiver – For Brits Traveling to The USA. The ESTA visa waiver is your best bet. My friend Josh has experience and talks about this awesome Visa Waiver program.
My photography gear is geared for adventure. It’s lightweight and reliable without sacrificing image quality.
Photography Gear For Adventure Travelers – If you’re an adventure traveler, here’s an article for you.
Best Full-Frame Travel Cameras – If you’re serious about photography and want to get your travel photos published on National Geographic and other publications, Full-Frame cameras is one of the best investments you can have on achieving this goal.
Travel Tripods Under $100 – You may think you won’t need a tripod but if you want to take those dazzling sunset or sunrise photos in your travels you need a way to stabilize your camera.
Polarizing Filter – Why You Need One – A polarizer is one of the best things you can add to your photography gear collection. It will improve some of your outdoor photos.
Sony E Mount Lenses For Travel – Sony mirror-less full frame cameras are my favorite and here’s a selection of E Mount lenses ideal for travel.
Tips For Adventure Travel Photography – Here are some tips for adventure and travel photography.
Improve Your Smartphone Photos For Instagram – Most professional Instagrammers aren’t shooting with their smartphone. But you can get the same results following these tips.
Outdoor Master strives to ensure that everyone enjoys the outdoors. They make nature accessible to everyone by building affordable, very functional outdoor clothing and gear. OutdoorMaster is always looking for improved materials as well as smart new ways of designing their products. 20% off orders of $129.
US Outdoor features brand name snowboard, ski, surf, outdoor clothing & gear on awesome deals. Get up to 80% on some items and call it a day. US Outdoor is one of the few outdoor companies I trust and purchase from.
Travel Gear For Adventure Travelers – The best adventure gear.
Camping Checklist – Download or print my handy camping checklist to use on your next camping adventure.
How To Prep For A Road Trip – Tips on how to prep for a road trip.
50 Travel Quotes For Inspiration – The best adventure and travel quotes.
27 Movies That Will Inspire You To Travel – Adventure, romance, intrigue, and a travel. These movies are a hit with anyone bit with the travel bug.
25 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Traveling – Travel is healthy and travel is good.
Travel Inspiration – Excuses Why You Don’t Travel – These are excuses you tell yourself why you’re not traveling.
Other Useful Articles
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