We are swimming in a sea of resources for travel planning. From online travel agencies (OTAs) to bloggers, destination websites, tour companies, it can be difficult to find your way. Factoring in sustainability to that equation adds another variable.
Here are some resources that I use for my travel planning and hopefully can help you save some time and some mulah (or is it moolah)? Full disclosure, some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that I receive commission for purchases made through product recommendations on LOTR.
This is my favorite flight resource. Skyscanner allows you to be flexible in your search, from choosing an entire country to depart from to selecting “everywhere” as a destination. Choose a specific departure date or leave it open to the whole month, or even let them tell you which month is cheapest.
This is a great first step to mapping out flights and choosing destinations. Similar to Skyscanner, you can be general in your destination selection to an entire country or region and set up email alerts to track prices of flights (they do sometimes go down in price). However, I’ve found that Skyscanner has found better prices for me.
This is a fun site to browse. Secret Flying finds error fares and other crazy flight deals from around the globe. If you’re flexible to travel on weird days or last-minute, you can get really cheap flights. They also have a section about fuel dumping, a technique of booking flights to avoid fuel surcharges (I’m still trying to figure out how this works. Let me know if you have any tips).
Couchsurfing is the embodiment of altruism in the travel world. People of like minds sharing their couch with a traveler. Sign up and get verified ahead of your planned travel. Couchsurfing also acts as a platform for travel forums and meetups to make your travels that much more locally-focused!
Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms. You trade labor for room and board on organic farms just about anywhere in the world. Each farm is unique, and each country has its own website with information on the farms. Since this is all done with no money exchanged, the websites usually request a payment for the full contact list of the farms in that country. The charge varies from country to country.
Take care of someone’s pet(s)/farm animal(s) in exchange for a free place to stay! This site does have an annual membership ($75) associated with it, which I think is a positive because everyone on there is financially invested. Create a profile, which includes identity verification, references from friends, landlords, and other people you’ve house-sat for in the past. This site is most popular in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, but the USA and Europe have a fair amount too.
Signup using the link below to get 25% off membership!
You think you’re going to be a-ok…until you’re not. When you’re traveling, especially to a new country with unfamiliar cuisine, variable water quality, or new flora and fauna (that includes mosquitos), you want to be prepared.
I recommend World Nomads travel insurance. They’re a partner of the Adventure Travel Trade Association, cover a number of adventure activities (scuba, mountain biking, skiing, etc), transport to medical facilities including repatriation for further treament, and lost, stolen or damaged gear. You can buy for a couple of weeks or for multiple months depending on your travel needs.
To see what gear I’m using and recommend, as well as hands-on gear reviews and videos, check out my What’s In My Bag page.
Check out the blogging resources page. Tips and tricks to plan, start, and maintain a travel blog of your own!