My style of travel is geared towards long-term adventure and photography. Here are various resources and links to apps and websites I personally use to make my travels easier. 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 every 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 the discovering the unknown that drives me.
I purchase a majority of my travel items through Amazon. Are you buying anything on Amazon in the near future? Use my affiliate link (click here) to make your purchase. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you to help run this website.
My photography gear is geared for adventure. It’s lightweight and solid without sacrificing image quality.
Necessities for the long-term adventure traveler.
Finding Cheap Flights
The best flight finder out there in my humble opinion. 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 get to another flight booking website to do it. Here’s how you do it with Orbitz.
This is what I use to book Google-ITA Matrix flights. Most of the best flight deals I’ve found are from here. I’ve used this service more times than I can count.
Momondo is another place where I’ve found great flight deals. If Orbitz isn’t working for you, try Momondo.
My go-to flight search engine. Very similar to 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.
I have this as an 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 actually 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.
Some of the cheapest flights from America to Europe or Europe to Asia are from Norwegian Air. It’s cheap because they get in other ways, they charge per checked-in baggage. But if you travel light and can take your backpack as a carry-on, you’re good to go.
Another great airline company that offers cheap flights.
Get compensated for delayed flights, canceled flights, denied boarding, and missed connection!
On Mobile? Here are my review and selection of the best flight apps to find and book flights on your Smartphone.
Accommodation is probably the least part of my expenses. I don’t mind sleeping in the car or just a cot on the ground. I couch surf as much as I can. Often times I’ll become friends with other travelers at the places I visit and they’ll end up inviting me to stay at their place. Most of the time, though, I wing it.
I don’t book in advance because I don’t really even know where I’m going in advance. I 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.
I find myself not couch surfing as much as I used to. It’s still a great alternative to a Hostel but I really 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 I don’t want to be disrespectful when I’m coming back maybe late at night when the host is asleep.
I often use HostelWorld to find deals in hostels but also use as a reference when I’m looking for last minute places to stay. As mentioned, I like to go to a location and find a place to stay in myself. HostelWorld is pretty good at finding spots but it’s not always accurate and keeping track of which places have available rooms or beds.
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.
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 up to 30 days, giving me huge savings on accommodations.
Airbnb is always a go-to for most travelers. If you’re traveling as a couple or more then it’s really much cheaper than staying at youth hostels. The places you stay at can be quaint and cozy as well. Get $40 in credit if you use my LINK to sign up!
I don’t’ really like booking buses and trains in advance. There’s a ton of online resources out there for busses and trains. I prefer to just ask the locals where the buses are and where it will take me to. I’ve discovered a lot of locations I’ve never even heard about just by asking. I recommend you do it this way. Just talk to another traveler or a local and see what they recommend or suggest. For me, planning sucks the adventure out of travel.
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. I discovered a lot of off-the-beaten-path locations doing this and it can double up as a place to sleep if you don’t mind car camping. Read More >>
If you’re going to be in Japan for a month, this is an awesome deal. It will save you a lot of money hopping from one place to the next. You can only purchase it outside of Japan and it’s only available to foreigners. This is the one instance where planning ahead is very prudent.
Yes, I hitchhiked. 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.
A very useful app/website. Gets you from A to B anywhere inland.
I still use Rome2Rio every now and then but GoEuro is one of the fastest travel platforms in Europe! It 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.
Grab your tickets to culture and fun directly from your Smartphone.
A tried and true travel insurance company. Don’t forget to read the fine print!
I wish I would have gotten this before my trip to Patagonia. I didn’t have my photography equipment insured and the travel insurance doesn’t really cover the $3,000 Nikon D800e that broke due to a gust of wind.
Here is a very useful resource from 1Cover on the importance of getting travel insurance coverage while abroad.
For Techies and Nerds
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.
For 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.
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, HERE. Get $20 when signing up!
Forget about Instagram. 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!
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. No more wasting time on Facebook and Instagram with all the “Centralized” corporate entity taking in all the profits from ads generated by your time and activity. Check out my Steemit Review!
Awesome website for discovering an off-the-beaten-path location! Some of the weirdest and unique facts and places can be found here.
Awesome tool for taking notes and journaling. You can take pictures in lieu of text notes and it Geotags your notes so you know where you wrote it from. Very clever.
No nonsense currency converter. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
I don’t work for Google I promise, but this is one cool app. It has a very good 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.
Here’s a secret. 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 photos from my phone and I also have a desktop version installed on my laptop to upload my RAW files to the cloud. Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial.
I’ve never had to use this and Prey you never will. It’s a software that lets you track your phone, tablet, or laptop in case it gets stolen.
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.
This is how you really geek out. Stellarium Mobile Sky Map 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!
Other Useful Resources
Many seasoned travelers are probably wondering the need for travel visa agents. The truth is, Travel Visa Pro do more than simply 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.
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?
Everyone knows iconic city destinations also cost iconic prices to visit. Use the CityPass to for significant savings on various activities. CityPASS is purposely designed to include a limited number of the best popular attractions, assuring an awesome 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.
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If you want to start a travel blog or website, you’re probably looking at some cheap shared hosting services from Bluehost or Siteground, etc., What if I told you can get Virtual Private Server or Cloud Hosting for the same price or even lower? There are services like Linode and Digital Ocean offer such a thing for a fraction of the costs. The biggest problem is that you pretty much have to be a Systems Admin to run one of the servers because they’re unmanaged. That’s where Cloudways come in, they take the fuss out of managing a complex web server using Linode or Digital Ocean.
Need A Little Inspiration?
Disclosure: Some of the links here are affiliate links. It cost you nothing if you buy anything through those links. It does earn me a small commission to offset some of the costs of running this website. I use all the products and services mentioned here whether I make any commission or not.