Hopefully these links will help you get the most out of your travel and make them easier to plan and record. We’ve organised the links in to sections and we’ll make sure to add new resources after we use them and find they’re useful.
AirBnB – We use this a lot! With AirBnB we’ve stayed beside deserted beaches in New Zealand and Brighton, had access to a rooftop infinity pool overlooking the Petronas Towers in Malaysia, made lifelong friends around the world and been introduced to off the beaten path areas with expert local knowledge from our hosts. You can customise your searches, there are heaps of security checks and we’ve only ever had positive experiences. Plus, AirBnB properties can be a fraction of the price of a hotel while still being in prime locations. You don’t always have to interact with hosts and can often have your own place. Join easily using the link and both we and you will receive bonus credit then when you book your first trip we get a little extra. Great!
Couchsurfing – An excellent way to stay and communicate with people around the world for free. Again, security checks are thorough and we’ve had some brilliant experiences, especially in New Zealand.
Rome To Rio – Quite simply, an amazing resource to plan the best way to get from A to B. Find out pricing, routes, estimated travel times and heaps more. Recently redesigned and easy to use. Love it.
Holiday Pirates – This site is incredible, especially if you’re a UK traveler constantly envious at the seemingly endless travel hacks available to US citizens. They search for and post travel deals on the web. Best of all is the Flights section as the Pirates find some incredible deals. We booked our return flight to Japan for £325 for both of us together after they posted an elusive mistake fare. There were mistake fares posted recently to Dubai and Portugal for £0.81p and £0.42p respectively! Sign up for Whatsapp updates on these deals via the site.
Skyscanner – Recently acquired by Lonely Planet to power their flight search capabilities, Skyscanner is a really great way to find the best flight to your destination. The best thing we found is the ability to select “everywhere” as your destination thereby giving you huge flexibility when choosing where to go next. It can be incredibly tiresome trying to find the cheapest airport to fly in to Thailand from Australia for instance and this simple option alleviates that. The app for iPhone and Android is free, smooth and really simple to use. Scroll through to see trends in prices (Off season Tuesdays-Thursdays tend to be cheapest) so you can start to plan ahead for your big trip.
Google Flights – Similar to Skyscanner in that it compares the prices day to day of flights anywhere in the world. There’s no app yet but it’s all integrated in Google Chrome anyway. There’s a really nice feature which integrates with Google Maps which gives you a really nice visual aid in planning which airport is best to fly to. The usual clean Google aesthetic applies and it works great.
TripIt – Trip it is a handy organiser for your travel plans that is best used as an app. The free version is useful for looking up future and past travel plans and bookings. Confirmation emails can be sent to your itinerary and automatically recognises data such as flight number, booking references etc. so you don’t have to scroll through your inbox to find the necessary booking info. The pro version (which we don’t use) gives you access to a load more features such as points trackers, real time alerts, seat availability and more.
The Man in Seat 61 – For everything you could possibly want to know about travelling by train around the world. Essential.
Travelfish – One of the most up to date and detailed resources for travel in South East Asia from people on the ground. Great newsletter too.
Lonely Planet – It has it’s faults but LP is one of the biggest names in travel due to their huge range of guides and comprehensive information which it’s fair to say isn’t always up to date. I always get inspired by their annual Best of Travel lists and the essential information/ history sections in their guidebooks are amazing.
Milez.biz – A hand, albeit clunky tool for working out where you can go with your air miles.
KlickEx – Essential tool for exchanging money at real time market rates between certain currencies (mainly UK – NZ/AUS/Polynesian at the moment with more on the way) with tiny fees. You can transfer from bank accounts securely. We used this to move travel funds between NZ – Aus – UK accounts without paying the ridiculous high street/atm fees.
American Express – This is one of the best ways to earn points and air miles in the UK (one step closer to free flights!). This link will take you to the page for the Preferred Gold Rewards Card which is free for the first year (make sure you cancel the card before the renewal to avoid the fee) and you can earn 22,000 Membership Rewards points if you spend £2,000 in the first three months to redeem for flights, hotel stays or car hire. It’s a charge card, not a credit card so you need to pay off the full balance each month but we used it to renew our car insurance on the first day of receiving the card and already we’re over half way to getting those bonus points with three months of daily spending to go! Other perks include two free airport lounge visits with a plus one per year and money off stays with selected hotels as well as various insurances etc. We’re not financial advisers so it’s up to you to make sure it’s the right card for you (more info via Money Saving Expert here) but we’re already loving it.
Cost Of Living – Fun and perhaps useful guide to the average cost of living in locations around the world. Of course you can always live cheaper if you wish! 😉
Vaccinations: The NHS vaccination information page with links to everything you should know about the necessary travel immunisations.
Memrise – Incredible, game incentivised learning platform which can really help you learn languages cleverly. A better Duolingo.
Aeropress – A fantastic solution for creating delicious speciality coffee on the go. Gives a taste profile somewhere between a French Press and a Chemex, is lightweight, portable and works every time. Steve uses it most days at home it’s that good! Easy to use and clean. Don’t believe how portable it is? Here’s a guy brewing fresh coffee with the Aeropress on an airplane! And here’s the method Steve uses to brew as demonstrated by a Barista champion. As long as you have access to hot water you’re good to go.
Untappd: Invaluable social platform for recording and finding the craft beers and venues you love. It’s really easy to forget what you did or didn’t enjoy. This has become a habit now and it’s fun to look back and remember the cool bars or unique brews you’ve discovered on your travels.