Traveling is important, and I think it’s good for people. It feeds the soul, changes perspectives, and challenges beliefs. It’s like the world’s wisest teacher, from who you’ll learn and experience things that’ll change your life. There is truly nothing else like it.
I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite travel resources. Some of them will help you save money, some will save time, and other will simply make your travels more enjoyable. All of them will help make your trip something to remember.
I don’t think I even need to explain Airbnb – that’s how popular it is. It’s an online marketplace that lets people rent out their property to guests on a short-term basis.
By staying at a house listed on Airbnb, travelers can experience living like a local, at a cheaper cost than most hotels. Another bonus is that guests will have access to all the comforts of a real home, such as a full-sized kitchen and laundry room. It’s especially cost effective for those who are traveling in big groups.
Hostelworld is my number one choice for booking hostels.
It has a massive amount of properties listed on its website and makes finding a place to stay fast and easy. They’ve got a great phone app that runs like a dream, a stellar user interface, and thousands of reviews, submitted by real people, that make deciding on a hostel even easier.
If you’re looking for a broad car rental search engine, Kayak is it. I use it to see prices and pick a reasonable car rental company. By grouping a large variety of car providers together on one website, it saves a lot of time – and sometimes money.
While Rome 2 Rio is similar to Kayak, it has one key difference. Instead of only including cars and planes, it takes into account other types of transportation such as travel by train, bus, and ferry. It’s the ultimate travel search engine and is the best way to find cheap transit from point A to point B.
BlaBlaCar is a great way to cut costs on car travel in Europe – both as a passenger and a driver. It works by connecting drivers who want to save on fuel costs to passengers willing to pitch in on gas and pay a small reservation fee. It’s a carpool service where everyone wins.
G Adventures is a company that offers many types of tours. These include Marine travel, Active travel, Family travel and more. They are affordable, trustworthy, and – my favorite part – have a responsible stance on sustainability. They are always conscious of the social and environmental welfare of whatever country they’re visiting.
Intrepid Traveler is similar to G Adventures in their stance on sustainability. They differ in their even larger variety of tours, tendency to have smaller group sizes, and their rockin’ rewards program. If you plan to go on multiple tours, hands-down go with Intrepid. It’ll save you tons of money.
WWOOF is an organization that matches people looking for work on farms with farmers looking for labor. It’s a great way to make some hard-earned cash while staying in some of the world’s most beautiful countries. You can work on farms in many regions, including the Americas, Asia, Africa, Europe, Oceania, and more.
As a Wwoof Volunteer, you’ll perform a wide variety of tasks. This includes anything from pulling weeds, plowing fields, dusting bookshelves, to teaching yoga. Your Wwoof Host will provide food and accommodation, so it’s a cost-effect way of seeing the world – as long as you’re willing to put in the work.
Travel insurance is the most important thing you can bring with you on the road. Life doesn’t always go as planned (which isn’t a bad thing) and you never know what can happen. The large majority of health insurance plans won’t cover you when you travel, so it’s imperative you get insurance tailored to your lifestyle.
My favorite company is World Nomads.
They’re a cult favorite travel insurance company that covers people from all over the world, in over 140 countries. Not only will they cover you for virtually any injury or illness, they’ll also cover the items you bring with you. Need to see a doctor in Ho Chi Minh City? No problem. Your laptop get broken or stolen? World Nomads has got your back and will replace it at no cost.
You’ll want to bring at least a couple cards with you, in case of theft or loss.
Best-case scenario, it’d be one Mastercard and one Visa, because some countries and stores only accept one or the other.
The two best ways to convert your money while traveling to ensure you don’t pay extra fees are:
- ATM withdrawals using a card that has no international withdrawal fees
- A credit card with 0% currency conversion fees
For those of you who are traveling short term, the best way to exchange money is to do so before you get to your destination. Your local bank or credit union will offer the best exchange rates, and many won’t charge any fee at all.
1. Water Filter
Clean water is a necessity when traveling, but it sometimes isn’t available. I ALWAYS bring some sort of water filter with me, no where I’m going.
I prefer using a good headlamp over a flashlight because it allows me to be hand free in case of an emergency. They’re lightweight, comfortable, durable, and – if you get a good one – waterproof. I take one with me everywhere.
3. Pepper Spray
Traveling isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. It can be stressful, hectic, overwhelming, and sometimes unsafe. Being prepared for dangerous situations can make a world of a difference, so I carry pepper spray with me everywhere I go. (where it’s legal)
I wouldn’t dream of traveling anywhere without a sarong. They’re light, cheap, easily packable, and are usable as a blanket, headscarf, dress, pillow, shopping bag and so much more. Not to mention they’re as adorable as they are versatile.
5. First Aid Kit
Another essential in any travelers pack is a first aid kit. I find it best to carry a basic one, with just the necessities, because the average traveler won’t need (or have room to carry) the advanced items.
The ever useful multi tool is a must have. They come in handy with items such as knives, scissors, and bottle openers all contained in a small travel friendly tool.