Travel cheap and like a pro with these special offers and personal favourite travel resources.
Planning a trip can be a stressful task, but it shouldn’t be. From how to choose the best travel insurance to getting the best travel accessories to make your travels easier. Over the years, I’ve tried out numerous travel services, travel websites, gear and other travel resources. Having the right tools are essential to travelling well and make your money go further and travel cheap. Recently, I’ve learned how to fly for free.
With that in mind, I’ve started collating my favourite travel resources that I highly recommend. This will be a work in progress as I continue to try out new services. So be sure to bookmark this page and check back before planning your next trip.
This page is quite long and packed with great resources so I’ve provided you and few quick links so you can jump to each section.
House and Pet Sitting
Keeping Your Photos Safe
Recommended Inspiring Travel Movies
Recommended Travel Books
Not only is Hostelworld my personal favourite, it’s also the best hostel accommodation site out there. They have the largest inventory and a great search interface. No booking fees either! Check them out here Hostelworld.com
Another good accommodation alternative, Airbnb connects with homeowners who rent out their homes and apartments to you. You’ll get all the comforts of home, the chance to stay in a local, non-touristy part of where you are going, and pay a fraction of the cost of a hotel room. Click here if you’d like a $35 voucher your first stay.
The Booking.com site guarantees the best prices for any type of property, ranging from campsites to five-star luxury properties worldwide. Subscribe here to get a FREE 10% discount.
Heading to Asia? Don’t look past Agoda. They offer the best rates with amazing savings up to a whopping 75%. Take a look at their accommodation which guesthouses and hotels. A couple of friends put me on to this site and has remained a favourite.
I love being able to compare hotel and book without the dodgy booking fee or mark-up slapped on during the checkout. Hotels Combined bring all the major travel services together in one easy hub for you to easily compare and get the best deals.
Hotels.com is another great comparison site with an even better rewards system. For every 10 nights you book, you get 1 night free. Plain and simple! Their site has extensive sorting features, affordable prices and plenty of support options.
There’s a reason why the first hotel name that pops into your mind is Hilton. They constantly have new offers and their resorts are incredible. Having serviced the travel industry for nearly a century, they should always be part of your travel planning.
Part of the TUI group, Hotelopia allows you to search for and book accommodation for any budget plus there are no additional charges or commissions for credit card payments. Bonus! They currently have some great offers in the Caribbean.
If you’re going to be sending money overseas, consider using a cost-efficient option like HiFX. Designed to be the quickest, easiest and most secure way to send money, pay people or settle bills overseas you’re sure to get consistent bank-beating exchange rates, low fees, and the ability to make transfers, manage your account and track payments 24 hours a day.
TransferWise is fantastic money transfer service. They pride themselves on cheap, easy, and quick money transfers. So quick in fact, that I’ve even heard of cases where the transaction was completed within an hour! Great to know when you find yourself in a sticky situation abroad or you find yourself unprepared for a trip.
Without a doubt, Viator is my favourite tour booking service. They make it super easy to search for and book tours and trips all over the world. I’ve been using these guys for over 10 years and I can’t recommend them highly enough. Check out their discounts here.
My first ever trip abroad I booked with Contiki and have used them multiple times since. They are great for travelling alone or in a small group. My favourite thing about Contiki is their tour guides, they are always down-to-earth and crazy knowledgeable. You can even customise your tour with different add-ons and accommodation options to suit your budget. Click here to save 10% On Trips Worldwide PLUS $250 On Flights With Contiki!
Thomson is massively popular in the UK and Europe. I first heard of them when I moved to London. They offer package holidays, flights and cruises and from what I’ve heard they are all-around amazing and great value for money. Whatever holiday you’re looking for, check out this page and use any one of their promo codes.
Do yourself a favour and pick up a Paris Pass. I’m a huge fan of using city passes that offer more bang for your buck, and Paris Pass is no exception. With so many wonderful attractions in Paris, it’s easy to overspend but Paris Pass gives you free entry over 60 Paris attractions and tours. What’s not to love!
Living in London makes getting the London Pass an essential purchase. More and more I find myself exploring this awesome city on weekends. The London Pass will give you entry to over 60 tourist attractions in the city. No matter how long your stay, the card is available for either 1, 2, 3, 6 or 10 consecutive days. Buy one here.
New York Pass
The New York Pass is jam-packed with awesome value. It by far offers the best value of all the passes listed here with access to 80+ attractions. It’s the only pass that lets you see as many attractions as you like while skipping the queue. Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Tours are also included!
STA Travel is a perfect for anyone under 26, a student, or a teacher. They offer discounted airfare as well as travel passes that save on attractions. Unfortunately, I’m too old to use them anymore but if you aren’t, make sure to check them out. Go here for up to 30% off flights
They offer good small group tours that use expert guides and leave a small environmental footprint! Click here to save up to 25% on Last Minute Trips.
I have a couple of guidebooks that I go to before planning a trip, Lonely Planet is one of them. They are full of great advice and are well organised, which is essential for on the go lookups. Not only are they lightweight but they also have a strong emphasis on budget travel. They are currently offering a 3 for 2 on all Books, eBooks and Digital Chapters.
I love Skyscanner. Their website has the ability to search and compare a copious amount of different airlines, including budget carriers. This site is a must when searching for cheap flights.
Expedia offers impressive discounts on all types of travel itineraries. Loyal customers are generously rewarded too. Whenever you make a purchase you earn points which can be redeemed for flights, hotels, activities, and vacation packages, all with no blackout dates. Flights earn you one point per every $5 spent while everything else earns two points for every dollar you spend. If that’s not enough, on their deals page you’ll find a bunch of coupons with further discounts.
National Travel Deals
National Travel Deals is a U.S. based company has a super easy to use website that allows you to search for and compare various car rental companies for the best deals.
Seat61 is an incredibly comprehensive guide full of train and overland travel around the world. Now sure how to travel in any given country? Seat61 will tell you!
It can be tough to book trains on a million different foreign sites in Europe, but Rail Europe makes it simple to do everything from planning routes and checking times to buying tickets.
Trains in the UK can be expensive so it’s nice to know that unlike other train booking sites, Virgin Trains don’t charge you a booking fee. Nice!
Vacations To Go
Vacations to Go is a private membership site (free to join) gives you super cheap cruise prices that you won’t find anywhere else.
There are comparator sites for everything else, so why not for airport parking? AirportParkingReservations.com will save you up to 70% on parking fees. Parking options include self-drive, valet, indoor and long term. Enough said!
Feel guilty about leaving your pet at home? Then check out Housecarers. They offer house both house sitters and pet sitters all over the world.
I buy all my travel insurance from World Nomads. They have great customer service, competitive prices, and in-depth coverage. They are also recommended by Lonely Planet and National Geographic so you know they are good. Don’t leave home without travel insurance! Get my full guide on how to choose travel insurance.
If you’re anything like me you’ll have accumulated thousands of photos from all your travels that are still sitting on a memory card somewhere, or lost on social media. The best ways to keep your memories alive is to convert all your photos into a physical photo album. Something you can easily pull out and flip through as you reminisce. Along with many other services, Blurb creates photos albums from your Instagram account. This super brilliant idea is also easy to set up. Click here to order your book
You know all those precious photos you took on that once in a lifetime trip? Make sure you back them up! SmugMug allows you to store unlimited photos and HD video for only $60 per year. There are also cheaper plans. Click here for a 15% off coupon.
Dropbox is a cloud-based service. You can get 2 GB for free or upgrade to get more space for a small cost. They have a great desktop and mobile app making it super easy to access your precious travel photos and videos from anywhere in the world. Click here to get an extra 500 MB added to your 2 GB of free space!
Excellent, quality web hosting at low prices and awesome customer service. Bluehost has an easy-to-use interface, and even has a one-click WordPress installation, super handy! My favourite thing about Bluehost is their customer service. I’ve had many dramas with my blog and whenever I call them up they are always very friendly, helpful, and fix all my technical dramas without batting an eyelid. Rockstars!
If you’re serious about blogging then having an email is the most important thing you can have. Make sure you start building your list from day one. I started using Mailchimp, but AWeber more powerful tools and better reporting.
Travel Blog Success
So, you’ve got the domain and your email provider, what else do you need? Well, Travel Blog Success will tell you! TBS is an awesome online course for new travel bloggers. It will give you a solid foundation in all areas of blogging putting you on the path to “success” and teach you how to start earning money as you travel the world. By joining you also get access to a private Facebook community full of well-known travel bloggers where you can get answers to all your burning questions.
So, what’s next?
Now that you’ve nailed what services to use. Check out my guide to the best travel accessories for 2017 to ensure you travel smart, safer and easier.
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
The Art of Travel
City of God
The Darjeeling Limited
Eat, Pray, Love
A Good Year
Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures
Into the Wild
Last Stop for Paul
Lawrence of Arabia
Lost in Translation
Midnight in Paris
The Motorcycle Diaries
Nowhere in Africa
Romancing the Stone
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Seven Years In Tibet
Thelma & Louise
Up in the Air
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Y Tu Mama Tambien
Anything by Bill Bryson
Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman
Cruising Attitude by Heather Poole
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Do Travel Writers Go to Hell? by Thomas Kohnstamm
Eat, Pray, Love and its sequel, Committed, by Elizabeth Gilbert
Drink, Play, F*ck
In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure by Sarah MacDonald
Into Thin Air by John Krakauer
Life is a Trip: the transformative magic of travel by Judith Fein
Love With a Chance of Drowning by Torre DeRoche
Marching Powder by Thomas McFadden and Rusty Young
Mastering the Art of French Eating by Ann Mah
Moonlight in Odessa by Janet Skeslien Charles
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
Oracle Bones by Peter Hessler
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Paris Was Ours by Penelope Rowlands
Smile When You’re Lying by Chuck Thompson
Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer
Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelman
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Beach by Alex Garland
The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner
The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost by Rachel Friedman
The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux
The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World
The Longest Way Home by Andrew McCarthy
The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver
The Ridiculous Race by Steve Hely and Vali Chandrasekaran
Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams
The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Pacific by J. Maarten Troos
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
The Turk Who Loved Apples by Matt Gross
Unlikely Destinations: The Lonely Planet Story by Tony Wheeler
Vagabonding by Rolf Potts
Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents by Elisabeth Eaves
What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding: A Memoir by Kristin Newman
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Mara Semple
Note: Some of the above links are affiliate links, which at no extra cost to you, will earn me a small commission and reduce the costs of running this site; which is a small fortune currently funded from my personal savings account. Please know that commission or no commission, I genuinely recommend every product on this page. If you have any questions about these products, please let me know! Happy Travels! Michele
That’s it for now!
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Over to you!
What other travel sites or services would you recommend? What other tips would you add to this list of how to travel cheap?
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