1. The Unconventional Guides.
The Unconventional Guides provides tips on discount airfares and the pros and cons of purchasing round the world airfare. The author, Chris Guillebeau, has traveled to more than 100 countries and offers insight on traveling for all budgets.
2. ITA Software.
ITA is an airline search engine without the annoying pop-up ads. It is a simple interface and combines different airlines to provide the lowest price. If you are flexible with your dates you can browse prices for a month to find the most competitive pricing. You can’t book directly with the website so you’ll need to go to the specific airline for booking.
Skyscanner has similar features as the ITA Software website. It has the added feature of being able to view the prices in any major currency. You can book directly with the site but we use it only as a search tool.
Wotif offers deals on accommodations around the world. If you are feeling adventurous you can try their mystery deal where you don’t find out the hotel’s name or location until you have paid for it but it is supposed to be a good deal. They are an Australian-based company so we find that they offer much more deals in Australia and New Zealand. They also have a flight search engine section.
5. Trip Advisor.
Trip Advisor has been our go-to-site for accommodations. With so many hotels in an area it is hard to choose and the guidebooks only print a small number of accommodations. We search for accommodations that have the most reviews with an 85% or higher recommendation rating. Then we book with the hotel directly via their website or phone.
Travelfish provides great travel advice on Southeast Asia. It is hard to determine how current their information is since there is no publication date on the articles but we find it to be a good base to start with. Their travel forum is similar to the Thorn Tree Forum on Lonely Planet and people on the forums are very helpful.
7. Seat 61.
Anyone who has traveled using the trains in Vietnam will tell you it can be a nightmare. It can be a confusing system to maneuver on your own. Seat 61 provides detailed information on how, where, why, and when to purchase train tickets. It has train information from all over the world.
8. World Nomads.
World Nomads is the travel insurance we went with based on a friend’s recommendation. It covers the most important things, such as emergency evacuation though you hope you never have to file a claim for it as well as baggage loss, flight cancellations, among many other things. A nice feature is that it allows you to extend a month at a time if you are unsure how long you are going to be gone.
9. International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers.
A nurse from a travel clinic recommended we become members of the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers. It offers a wealth of information on health travel issues along with a list of doctors and clinics around the world who are fully licensed and speaks English. Best of all it is free to join.
10. US Department of State.
It is always a good idea to keep an eye on the current issues affecting your area of travel. The US Department of State is a good resource and was helpful as we tried to avoid the Red Shirt conflict in Thailand during our travels. You can sign up for email alerts that keep you abreast of the latest news regarding your preferred travel destination.