Travel Resources

Travel Resources – Tools That Aid Our Budget Travel

Travel Resources – Tools That Aid Our Budget Travel

Over the past three years of our travels we’ve tried and tested many different ways of travelling. From budget deal websites, to cheap flight comparisons, there’s an abundance of methods that you can use to make your next vacation cheaper, or your future live of full-time nomadic travel budget-friendly.

Below is a collection of all the travel resources, travel companies, and tools we use to travel for less than $10,000 a year.

You’ll also find a collection of links to tools which we’ve yet to use, but come highly recommended by the smart travel hacking friends we’ve met on the road.

Find Cheaper Flights

  • Skyscanner – Thanks to this smart flight comparison website we’ve been able to fly around the world for a fraction of the price we might normally pay. We never book a single flight without checking Skyscanner first. The best part? It’s free to use.

Friends Recommend

  • Expedia – since 1996 Expedia has been aiding people around the world to find the best prices for everything they may need on their next vacation, including a number of things to do & other activities.

  • Momondo – this independent travel search engine came recommended to us in 2014 due to the wide selection of savings people have made on flights, but also because of their selection of inspiration trip ideas complete with hotel suggestions.

  • Kayak – Whilst many people will know Kayak for their hotel and car rental comparisons, they also have a highly recommended flight price comparison engine that is particularly useful to those flying in North America.

  • Cheapflights (Australia) – Suggested by Victoria, Cheapflights.com.au is a flight comparison website for residents of Australia that utilises the best travel tips, news, and hottest deals to make your holiday cheap and cheerful.

Cheap Transport

Regional transportation can often be a big drain to travel finances, especially in regions of the world where there aren’t always many options to choose from; but there are times when with a little searching on the best websites, you can find a another route that won’t break your budget.

Here are a selection of websites we use to find cheaper transport.

  • Rome2Rio – this is one of those websites that you’ll find yourself asking "what did we do before we had this?". Sure, Google Maps can help you plan the route of a journey, but only Rome2Rio will tell you which transport links are best, how much they cost, and without charging you a penny to use it. A must use travel resource.

  • BlaBlaCar – When we wrote our articles, The Cheapest Way To Travel Around Europe, ridesharing with companies like BlaBlaCar was the reason behind it. Easy to use, and incredibly popular in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain; the fact that some trips are sometimes 50% cheaper than the train or coach is a delightful bonus.

  • iDbus – how did we manage to travel from Paris to London for only £12? By discovering iDbus and their cheap prices and occasional sales. They’re also expanding through Europe, so be sure to check where their route map leads today.

  • Megabus – if you’ve not heard of this incredibly cheap coach company in Europe and North America, you soon will do. Ever since discovering a £4 return ticket to Edinburgh back in 2010 we’ve both relied upon the "Ryanair-like" prices of Megabus to travel all around the UK, and most recently around Europe – and they’re expanding further and further every year. This is a real must use travel resource.

Friends Recommend

  • Eurail – travelling around Europe by train has never been so easy thanks to the traveller-friendly Eurail rail passes. With one simple ticket you can hop-on and hop-off the trains you need to travel from one country to the next, just as long as the route features on the Eurail map of partner companies.

Is using the Eurail pass worth it? Hopefully later this year when we try it for ourselves we’ll be able to give you a first hand review.

Find Affordable Accommodation

  • Booking.com – a great hotel booking website for hotels of every description all over the world. Has some of the best properties internationally, plus thousands of customer reviews so you know what you’re getting before you book.

  • Agoda – Incredibly popular to book hotels and other accommodation in Asia, Agoda is often recommended and was highly useful for us during our travels in Asia and South East Asia.

  • Hostelworld – We don’t use hostels as much as we once did, but whenever we do book into a dorm or private room we always use their extensive list to find something that fits our travel budget. In fact, some of our favourite hostel stays in Berlin, London, and around many parts of South East Asia were booked through Hostelworld.

  • Airbnb – if you’re not using this website yet, what are you waiting for? Using Airbnb to find affordable apartments and rooms to rent in neighbourhoods around the world has been one of the largest contributing factors behind our switch to slow travel. Bookings are often cheaper than hostels and hotels, plus if you book the whole apartment (which can still be incredibly cheap), it’s like having a home away from home. Plus, we’re offering $25 off your first stay if you sign up today.

  • Wimdu – a apartment and holiday home rental service in the same vein as the website above, Wimdu will often have a number of extra rooms, apartments, and villas to rent that don’t feature on other websites. It’s always worth checking this website to compare and contrast on your next vacation.

  • Couchsurfing – whilst many will write about how Couchsurfing offers free accommodation, we love it solely for the connections it has made between us and locals. By staying with locals we get the best tips, great advice, and all the knowledge that you rarely find in any guide book.

  • OK Apartment (Barcelona/Spain) – during a week spent in Barcelona we stayed in a great apartment away from the tourist-heavy streets of La Rambla and stayed in comfort in the heart of a local neighbourhood. Being vegan we have a high interest in having a kitchen to prepare the occasional vegan meal in, and OK Apartment Barcelona made that incredibly easy for us to take care of.

  • Trusted Housesitters – whilst we love using many of the above choices, it’s house sitting which changed how we travel the most. Based on a simple exchange system of accommodation in return for offering security and peace of mind for home and pet owners; we’ve been using websites like Trusted Housesitters to move our accommodation below $1 a day.

Friends Recommendations

  • Yonderbound – A new venture in accommodation booking, this unique personal recommendation website is built upon the travel tips and suggestions of other travellers out on the road today.
  • Trivago – Another great hotel comparison site that searches over 258+ hotel booking sites to find you the best deal.

Insurance

  • World Nomads – buying travel insurance has never been so straight forward. For durations from 1 week to 1 year, World Nomads will cover you against a huge number of eventualities, from adventure travel mishaps, to trips to the hospital – if the occasion calls for it. Why run the risk of having to pay $30,000 in hospital bills, when a smaller insurance bill will cover all the costs?

Tour Companies

  • Intrepid Travel – we’ve never joined a group tour, but if we had to choose one it would be Intrepid Travel. Their moves to remove elephant trekking from their packages and to make their tours more responsible have earned or full respect – and for the younger intrepid traveller they’ve also started a new company called, Geckos Adventures that we’re already starting to read good things about.

Earn Money Whilst Traveling

  • Untamed WritingWe’re the exception – we didn’t start freelance writing to build up our travel budget – but we wish we had. If we’d had our friend Karen’s simple and no-nonsense "How to Become a Freelance Writer in 4 Weeks with No Prior Experience" course from the beginning there’s no doubt we would have doubled our monthly additions to our travel budget, with little next to no hard work. Anyone can do it. We wish we had sooner.

Our Packing List

Coming Soon – In the mean time, read why we think that packing lists should go to hell.

Useful eBooks

  • How To Become A House Sitter – This eBook by Pete & Dalene of Hecktic Travels doesn’t just look fantastic, it’s full of a wealth of first-hand knowledge on how to prepare for house sitting, how to find assignments, plus great list resources to print off and use.

  • Ultimate Guide to Housesitting – another great house sitting eBook and the first one we read before deciding, "we have to do this". Dani of Globetrotter girls has crafted a book full of how to’s and advice on how to craft the perfect profile, plus a bunch of printable checklists that will elevate you to Professional Housesitter.

  • How To Build A Travel Blog – not only does Nomadic Matt put together some of the most useful travel resources and guides on the internet, he also finds the time to write great eBooks, and this is definitely one of them. A great first step for beginners.

  • How To Monetize Your Travel Blog – once you’ve built a travel blog full of travel stories and personal recommendations, take the next step and explore the realm of "monetization". This second book by Nomadic Matt will explain you need to know, with everything based on his own highly successful career as a travel blogger.

Useful Links

Below are a collection of other tools that have made our travels easier, plus a number of websites that have helped in the running of our own travel blog.

  • SiteGround – We’ve been using SiteGround for three years and not once have we ever considered changing. Their customer service is amazing, their uptime is 99%, and they’re great value for money too – you can also get a bonus 50% off by using this affiliate link.

  • Amazon – You can always rely upon the internet’s number one marketplace to find travel gear that won’t break your budget. Great for buying last minute items like packing cubes and DEET.

  • Lastminute.com – have vacation time but no idea where to go? Lastminute.com is full of travel deals on flights, accommodation, and things to do when you get there.

  • Wikivoyage – From the team that brought you Wikipedia, Wikivoyage is a community-written website full of important travel information on your next holiday destination.

  • Elegant Themes – Starting your own travel blog or just looking to give your old one a new coat of paint? Get a design just like ours with Elegant Themes.

  • Themeforest – If you’re still looking for a new design for your blog and want plenty of choice for WordPress, Blogger, and beyond? Try Themeforest (where we bought our previous much-loved design).

  • Namecheap – one day when you feel that you need a new name for your blog, buy a new domain name to go with it. Their prices are often cheap, and their very well known for regular sales of new domains at only $1!

  • Ninja Popups – If there’s one major thing we wish we knew earlier in our blogging career, it would be to start a newsletter earlier. Luckily, by using this highly-customisable plugin we’ve been making new friends for our list each and every day.

  • Smugmug – tired of trying to manage your photos across multiple USB’s? Try Smugmug and keep things safe in the cloud. Also, if you’re a keen travel photographer you can also sell some of your photos on your own easy to set up shop.

  • Mailchimp – easily the most friendly newsletter service provider on the internet. Every time we see that colourful monkey delivering our latest newsletter we smile inside.

  • Dropbox – Travel Tip: Keep a copy of your identification and important documents safe online on cloud services like Dropbox and if anything goes missing whilst travelling you’ll be able to print anything you might need. Plus, it’s free to start.

  • Buffer – if ever you find yourself clicking "Retweet" on Twitter too many times and filling up peoples feeds; this freemium service is for you. We’ve been using Buffer for three years to help us to schedule our social media updates, and it’s been perfect the entire time. Being able to keep sharing updates whilst disconnected from the net for long periods is highly useful.