Websites that help take a load off:
We are so fortunate to be traveling in the modern era. What used to take days now can take minutes. With all the best websites for planning, booking and blogging, you can easily work out what your next move is, how much it's going to cost and how you are going to get there. The internet might just be the best tool we have at our disposal...
Booking and Planning
The purpose of hostelz.com is for you to be able to compare all those hostel booking websites together.
At last, someone realised that budget travellers are worth investing a decent comparison website on. It takes so much time to investigate prices and locations and various other features and NOW you have them all in one place. Loving it so far.
Check out this great budget accom website: www.hostelz.com
Skyscanner is one of the best comparison websites for flights there is out there.
I don't know if you are the same, but I hate those comparison websites that open a dozen windows in the background and then you still have to search through Expedia, Webjet, Kayak and all the others. This one searches and lists all flights it finds sorted by price. You can select direct flights, sort by departure or arrival times and of course by airline or journey time.
Check out this great flight search website: www.skyscanner.com
OMG I love this website.
Whats not to love really. You just enter your from and to destinations and it will give you all the possible transport options between the two. Click on that option and you can even see timetables and websites for local bus services for example. I've really used this heaps since I found it. So easy to work out if you can get from A to B on the same day that your plane lands without arriving into some isolated remote location at 2am.
Check out this amazing transport sourcing website: www.rome2rio.com
While it still feels very much like its in its infancy, I've found some great local guides and now friends through Vayable.
Vayable is pretty much local people advertising their services in their area. While there are the standard day tours advertised, you can also find local people who are happy for a small fee, to show you around their neighborhood. We found a great guide in Nepal for trekking Annapurna and have just also booked a trip with a local in the Philippines. Don't be scared to ask for past guests and send them a message and ask about your possible guide. I contacted a few people via facebook that I saw had left messages for the guides I was looking at and asked about their services to be sure it was all legit.
Check out how you can be a local: www.vayable.com
This website really fees like a backpackers AirBnB. Mostly its just families, couples and singles renting out a room so you don't see the "Entire Place" option, its just you looking for a room.
The hosts can be verified or not. There are reviews and comments so you have some point of reference for the kind of room and service you will get. The biggest asset to this website is that your deposit isn't so much that you wouldn't walk away. Unlike others who have your money for months before you trip even starts, this website is all about the local people so you pay a deposit and the balance on arrival to the family.
Check out this great rooms for rent website : http://www.homestay.com/
On The Road
A great way to keep all your travel plans in one place. They have a great free version and you can upgrade to paid for only $49 a year.
This is both an app and a website, I often use the website for any changes or updates as I'm not great using my phone for small stuff. Once you are registered any emails that come to you for bookings are automatically added to TripIt. You can also add plans simply by forwarding emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. It will even sync with Google calendar which I love.
Check out this easy to use planner : www.tripit.com
Everyone bags me for doing the odd tour but you know what: sometimes you are sick and tired of doing all the work and constantly being "on". Travel (while amazing) can be really hard work.
This website assembles heaps of tours into the one place. They do the last minute deals too so if you happen to be done with Japan and heading to Korea but you've been on the go non stop for 6 months and it really would be nice to have someone else do all the organising, consider checking out Tour Radar.
Check out this "all the tours in one place" website : www.tourradar.com
A great way to lessen the old daily rate of spend for sure. Everything from a couch to a room with full disclosure and verification levels.
I would recommend using this website as more like a "Local Interaction" facility than a free accommodation option. If people host you there has to be something in it for them so usually they want to talk and go out and show you around and interact. Its really bad form to couch surf at someone's house and then be gone all the time and coming and going at all hours. This is very much a great way to interact with like minded people who just happen to let you sleep on their couch.
Check out this stay with a local website : www.couchsurfing.com
Groupon actually caters for you being away from home with its location services. You simply let it access your location and it gives you specials for that area.
We hung out in Brooklyn for a month a few years ago and learnt to LOVE groupon. We got so many great deals for meals and trips and events etc. We couldn't fault it. The trick with Groupon is all about the booking. I would sit with my computer and have the item I wanted in my shopping cart, call the location, make sure I could book and then while I'm on the phone finish the transaction and give them the code. Obviously you have to be sure you have time to use the voucher you purchase so do so at your own risk, however if you manage it properly you can get some great savings.
Check out this save on local services website : www.groupon.com