It’s no secret that I love to travel. Part of that comes planning my trip and there are a number of resources I turn to when I am in the planning process. And there are even more that I turn to when I’m on the actual trip. In this post, I thought I would share my top trip resources with you. So go ahead and bookmark this page and refer to it next time you or a loved one is planning a trip.
1 // Google Flights
I mentioned this in an earlier blog post, but my go-to source for finding airfare is Google Flights. It’s an unbiased tool for finding one-way, roundtrip, or multi-city flights across all airlines. And, if you search for some place broad, like Europe, it will show you a map populated with rates for each city so you can see them on one screen.
2 // Airbnb
More often than not, I use Airbnb for my accommodations. Not only is it great for lodging, you can find experiences for the city you are visiting to check out. In my experience, the hosts are always very attentive, responsive, and are always willing to accommodate you when you message them. Pro tip: if you communicate with your host and tell them you need to check in earlier than the time on the listing, more often than not, they let you do it. All you have to do is ask!
3 // World Nomads
I came across this travel insurance provider from one of my favorite bloggers, The Blonde Abroad. She uses it for all of her travel insurance, so I now do too. It’s affordable with great coverage and signing up takes only a few steps.
4 // Citymapper
If you are looking to get around a city, look no further than Citymapper. You just pop in the location you want to go to and the app will tell you how to get there, whether it be by bus, walking, the metro, and more. This will help cut out all the anxiety that comes with trying to get from place to place in a new city.
5 // Google Translate
Let’s face it, most of know English and maybe bits and pieces of one other language. This is where Google Translate comes in handy. If you have it on your phone, you can easily communicate with people who’s English isn’t their first language. It works a lot better than showing them a word. I did that once and they thought I was going to a place called “Alexa” (which was a hostel) instead of my name!
6 // WhatsApp
I love WhatsApp for communicating with people at home when I’m traveling. It works over WiFi and cellular data. It’s free and works with just a phone number. Line is similar, but WhatsApp is most widely used all around the world. You can text or do audio and video calling. A must-get if you are traveling abroad and not sure what you are going to do with your phone.
7 // XE Currency
This by far is my favorite app for currency exchange. It’s so easy to use; just put the amount of one currency in and it will tell you what it is in another. It’s great for when you are exchanging your money to see how much you want to get or if you are curious how much your dinner cost. It’s got both a web version and a mobile app. I love using it when I’m abroad.
8 // The Lonely Planet
If I’m going to another country, I high-tail it to Barnes & Noble to pick up The Lonely Planet guidebook for that place. I love their guidebooks for recommendations on where to go, how to get there, and other useful travel information. Their website also gives great travel guides and recommendations for different itineraries if you don’t know where to begin when researching things to do at that destination.
9 // Google Trips
I love keeping all of my travel docs in one place — itineraries, flight confirmations, lodging reservations, etc. It is nice to have something digital in place compared to years ago where we had to print everything and keep it with us at all times. I like Google Trips because whatever is sent to your email automatically populates in Google Trips. Everything is all in one place so you can access it both on- or offline.
10 // Dropbox
I always like to keep a copy of my important travel documents scanned and with me incase I lose them. I always have a scanned copy of my passport, drivers license, and Global Entry card on me. Additionally, I keep any copies of confirmations or reservations. I use Dropbox because you can access certain folders offline, which is perfect in an area without WiFi or cell service.
Anytime I travel international, I always register with the U.S. Embassy in the country I’m going to. That way, if something were to happen, there is a record that I’m staying in that country and can seek refuge at the embassy. It’s a pretty quick and easy process to register, and anyone can do it. For safety, especially if you are solo traveling, I highly recommend doing this. I started doing it per recommendation of my dad, and do it for every international trip I go on.
12 // Google Maps
Google Maps is by far my favorite for navigation and for food recommendations. This is great, especially when I’m walking somewhere and need to know which turns to take. I also will look for food in the area that is highly rated so I know the quality of the food I’m eating. Plus, you can save the maps and make them available offline to access anytime, anywhere.
13 // Apple Pay
Have you ever been in a pinch where you’ve forgotten to bring a credit card, but you have it via Apple Pay? Most countries now offer contactless payment, so Apple Pay is a totally acceptable form of payment. I’ve used it when I forgot to bring my credit card somewhere and was too far to go back and get it. I know it’s a little skeptical for some, but I totally love it and it really comes in handy in a pinch.
14 // The Blonde Abroad
I love The Blonde Abroad for travel tips and guides. She focuses a lot more on travel from the female perspective, which I completely appreciate. I read up on her stuff when I’m researching destinations or forming itineraries. Plus, it’s just great travel content to read in general. In fact, my favorite crossbody bag, the Lo & Sons Pearl was a recommendation from her.
15 // The Points Guy
If you are looking for flight deals and how to successfully use points to travel hack, this is your place. This is a great blog for how to get the most bang from your buck when traveling, along with other hacks such as using TSA Precheck/Global Entry, Mobile Passport, and more.
I hope these resources will be helpful to you when you are planning and going on your next adventure!