Useful websites for researching and planning trips.
This page is for your convenience and contains all the useful travel websites you will use, come across, or need before and during your travels. You may already know about many of these sites but I’ve put them all on one page so you don’t have to waste time and search them for yourselves.
We all know planning and researching a trip can be quite overwhelming at times especially if it’s your first time. There are hundreds of blogs and websites you can search for but the ones listed below cover everything you need to plan a trip.
Some of these are my go to sites, others not so much but you might find them more useful
Wiki travel – Travel arm of Wikipedia. Facts figures and reviews of countries all around the world.
Nomadic Matt – One of, it not the most credible travel blogger/websites on the net. A go to site for most backpackers, myself included.
The broke backpacker – A great and very popular budget travel blog. Another go to site for many budget backpackers planning a trip.
Rough guides – Travel guide that covers over 120 destinations around the world
Trip Advisor – Worlds largest travel site and one of the largest travel communities in the world. Offer hints, tips and over 400 million reviews and comments from fellow travelers.
Lonely planet – The biggest travel publishers of guides in the world. Offer comprehensive guides and reviews from all over the world.
STA travel – Specialist backpacker travel agents aimed at students. Offer everything from flights, to full trip itineraries. Good tool to help with your planning if you don’t want to book directly through them. Along with the website they have walk in travel shops all over the world and call centers to answer your questions.
Kilroy – Backpacker tour and adventure company – Organize trips through and with them.
Indie traveler – Budget travel tips and guides from a fellow budget traveler. A go to site for me when researching trips.
Geckos adventure – Specialize adventure backpacking trips for 18-29 year old’s who want to travel in like minded groups. Will cater trips to your needs.
Travelindependent.info – travel advise website for budget travelers, help with everything from what to pack to where to go and how. Helpful if you’re not sure where to start.
Gap year.com – A social network and travel advise website for backpackers by backpackers. Specialize in those looking to do a gap year. Cover working holidays, volunteering and independent travel.
Useful sites to help find visa information:
Gov.uk – Official visa requirements page from the UK government. Use this page to see what visa’s are needed for your destination.
VisaHQ – Enter your nationality and your destination and it will provide all the information you need. You can also apply for visas from here.
Project Visa – Provides full information on visa requirements and embassy information for your targeted destination.
CIBT Visas – Search and apply for the correct visa.
Sky Scanner – A worldwide and popular flight compare site, offer single, return and multi-trip flights. Also will forecast when cheapest tickets are available.
Kayak – Another popular site amongst backpackers. Offer single, return, hotel, car rental and packages. Will forecast when cheapest tickets are available.
Expedia – Compares airlines, offer single, return and multi-stop.
STA Travel – Offers student discounts, can offer tour and adventure packages to go with your flight. Can plan your whole trip for you, specialize in backpacker packages.
Student universe – Flight search engine catered specifically for students. (UK students only)
Cheap flights – Finds cheap flights from across the world, offer flights, hotel, and car deals.
Air wander – Launched Dec 2016, a new flight search engine that also will include free stopovers if you are looking to break up your flight.
E-bookers – Cheap online flights.
Flight Center – A little more expensive than the others but helpful to compare prices.
Sometimes a good option is to look at regional budget airlines, Below is a list of popular budget airlines in different regions.
Where do you start when you’re looking to book accommodation? Well the more you travel, you’ll have your favorite go to booking websites. The ones listed below are used by 99% of travelers all around the world.
Booking.com – One of the largest, most comprehensive and trusted booking portals in the world. They offer rooms from campsites, small family run B&B’s to 5 star resorts. Whatever type of accommodation you want, you’ll find here.
Hostel world – A worldwide hostel booking portal – Offer a full range of hostels for every type of traveler. Includes reviews from fellow travelers. One of the most popular sites amongst budget travelers.
Hostelbookers.com – A worldwide hostel booking portal – Offer a full range of hostels for every type of traveler. Includes reviews from fellow travelers. One of the most popular sites amongst budget travelers. ( Part of the hostel world group)
Hostels.com – Offer a wide range of budget hostel options.
Nomads – An international chain of hostels around the world popular with backpackers.
AirBnB – A site to find private short term lodgings in homes and apartments rented out by home owners.
Couchsurfing – Stay with locals rather than in hostels. A community of travelers and local hosts from around the world, exchange work for accommodation. The site has a community of over 14 million in over 200,000 cities around the world.
AllTheRooms.com – A worldwide accommodation search engine and provider. They compare all the rooms from all the different accommodation sites to give you a comprehensive result.
Homestays – A program that lets you stay in other people’s houses while they are away from their property. Accommodation is free in exchange for general upkeep or house, looking after pets or some general maintenance on the property.
Transport websites for your travels.
Something that you will definitely need while traveling is how to get from one place to another. Or you might want to book transport tickets in advance. Here are some good sites that will help you plan your journey before or whilst you’re traveling.
Check my bus – A good site that lets you check and book local bus journeys all around the world.
Routes international – Covers every mode of transport from all around the world.
Wikipedia – Free online encyclopedia, covering almost every subject.
The man in seat 61 – One of the most comprehensive train travel guide, search and booking portal on the internet. Includes local, trans-country and trans-regional train journeys from all around the world.
Rome to Rio – A global trip planner by any mode of transport in any country around the world.
For the best underground/subway/metro maps you need to look up for each individual country.
STA travel worldwide bus passes – Offer passes for bus companies around the world.
Kilroy -Offer bus passes for backpackers worldwide.
Money/budgeting/ exchange rates Websites.
Money is always at the forefront of your minds when traveling especially if you’re on the tightest of budgets. You will always want to compare rates, check if you can budget a little better or want to check out cost comparisons. Here are a number of sites that will help you.
XE.Com – My go to exchange rate and currency converter, live currency rates, add multiple countries to compare. (great for multi country trips)
Visa Card ATM locator – Locates all ATMS linked to Visa Card worldwide.
Master Card ATM locator – Locates all ATMS linked to Master Card worldwide.
Expatistan – Compares general costs between any country or city you need (compare cost of traveling, local transport, groceries, Drinks, cigarettes etc. Helpful with controlling your budget)
Numbeo – Compares costs between any country or city you need (compare cost of traveling, local transport, groceries, Drinks, cigarettes etc. Helpful with controlling your budget)
Travelex budget calculator – Helps give you a rough idea of the budget you might need for your trip.
Solo Travel budget help – Another site to help you roughly calculate what your budget might be.
Western Union locator – For those times you’re in a sticky situation and need to manually send or receive money. Worlds most recognized money transfer company with locations worldwide.
Moneytravelmax.com – Another great currency converting tool recommended by a fellow traveler and travel blogger Always carry on You just put in the amount you want exchanging and it shows you what the conversion is.
Travel insurance sites.
True traveller – Specialist backpacker travel insurance, can cater to your specific trip.
World nomads – flexible travel insurance, can be bought from home or while on your travels endorsed by Lonely planet and National Geographic.
STA Travel insurance – backpacker specific travel insurance for budget travelers. (very cheap)
Virgin insurance – full range of travel insurance options depending on your trip.
Adventure insurance – Taylor made adventure insurance covering over 400 activities, includes search and rescue insurance for those who like to wonder off.
Other useful websites.
Skiddle – A guide to international music festivals.
Global surfers – A worldwide surf spots and guide.
Surf spots Atlas – International ultimate guide to all things surfing: includes worldwide maps, gear, forums, schools and guides.
World snowboard guide – Ultimate guide to where and when to snowboard around the world.
Sports events – A comprehensive guide to major sporting events around the world.
Travel Blog – A site full of travel blogs written by fellow travelers, covering destinations all around the world.
TripHappy – A site that lets you plan out your route and trips, share it and let other travelers see where you’re heading.
Road Trippers – A cool sight I just stumbled upon. A site that you can plan out your route and it shows you all the attractions, places to stay, eat, national parks along your preferred route.
Gumtree – Classified ads site, buy and sell, find and look for work or find online communities.
Craigslist – Classified ads site, broken down into city’s all around the world.
If you are looking to volunteer whilst traveling here are some good sites to check out.
Workaway – Offer all sorts of volunteering work across the world from helping families renovate homes to working in local communities.
Woofing – Your opportunity to work and live on organic farms in exchange for board and food. Recognized the world over and has a network of national organisations.
GVI (Global vision International) – Offer all types of different programs all across the world for different age groups.
Working abroad – Offer worldwide volunteering programs from human rights, wildlife surveying, agriculture to teaching.
TEFL – Enroll in the teaching course and apply to volunteer teaching around the world.
Online travel communities.
Travelers point – Online community of fellow travelers, plan your trip, share blogs, pictures and your adventures.
Lonely planet’s Thorn tree forum – Travel forums for travelers by travelers.
Bootnall – Travel guide and community for long-term travelers.
Reddit – Has many sub Reddit’s dedicated to travel, ask and answer any travel questions you have.
Travbuddy – A travel community full of real reviews from fellow travelers on destinations all over the world.
Couchsurfing – Not just an accommodation site, also a huge travel community to get to know fellow travelers and locals.
Facebook – Search for groups like – NOMADS, Me want to travel, travel, backpackers to get in touch with people traveling in the same areas as you.
Here are some apps that will help with your travels. Many of the websites I’ve mentioned above have apps so I wont list them below.
Google maps – Will help you navigate wherever you are in the world.
City mapper – Comprehensive city maps with public transport routes and schedules.
maps.me – Comprehensive and detailed maps that can be used offline.
Around me – App that lets you know everything that’s around you wherever you are.
Google translate – Very useful to help communicate in foreign countries.
Uber – Can be a cheaper option than taxi’s – Now operate all over the world.
FourSquare – Finds the best places to eat wherever you are
wifimapper – finds and recommends WiFi hotspots in whatever country you’re in.
Duallingo – Fun language learning app.
Yelp – Great app to find bars and restaurants with lots of reviews wherever you are.
travelstoke – Online community app, find fellow travelers close to you and discover new places.
fieldtripper – App that finds places and things you don’t know about wherever you are.
REI national parks – Locates and tell you all the national parks and hiking trails around you.
Did the websites and app lists on this page helpful? Any you think I’ve left off? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Was this your first time visiting? Do you need help or resources to help with solo or budget travel? If so visit my start here page to help you with your planning and during your trip.
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