There is no shortage of resources out there for travelers of all types. So much information can be overwhelming to wade through, especially if you don’t know where to start. I’ve compiled a list of resources I personally find helpful to get you started!
Student Universe: The ship has almost sailed for me on this resource but it has been a great asset. If you have a student ID, you can use Student Universe to book pretty cheap tickets. I have scored some pretty nice flights from here but you have to really check the rates and routes sometimes. It’s not always the best deal, but it is a good place to start if you are eligible. Tip: They will take proof of enrollment or a course schedule to check eligibility, so even if you are not technically a student but are enrolled in a course somewhere, you could take advantage of the fares.
Skyscanner: I really like Skyscanner because of its search capabilities. If you’re flexible and want to see when the cheapest fares are, you can search the whole month. If you’re not sure where you want to go, you can search your time frame and simply select “Everywhere” as your destination and Skyscanner will show you all the fares for every country. It’s a great tool for an impulsive weekend getaway! Tip: I have found some of the tickets are generated by travel agencies. I tend to ignore some of the fares that don’t seem to come from reputable airlines. I am sure they are fine but I feel more comfortable buying a fare from an airline than a random travel agency in the middle of Nepal.
Amtrak: There is something inherently romantic about train travel. I love Amtrak! Living in New England, you can take Amtrak to a number of places along the east coast. Check out their rail pass program which lets you make multiple connections over the course of 15, 30, or 45 days.
Eurorail: The trains in Europe are truly an experience and in most cases, pretty efficient. Instead of flying, try to find a train heading to your destination. The great thing about trains in Europe is that you can always bring a nice picnic, including wine, along with you.
Seat 61: This is my go-to resource for train travel. Mark Smith, the site’s owner is seriously the foremost expert on travel travel around the world and have charted out routes, costs, connections, and train conditions in a clear and wonderfully organized manner. I not only use this site to plan my trips but to get ideas about future train journeys that sound exciting.
AirBnB: I was pretty skeptical about AirBnB when I first heard about it. But, I absolutely love it! I have booked some incredible rentals through AirBnB, including a studio in Greece with a movie screen on the roof that overlooked the Acropolis and a wonderful flat near the aqueducts in Rome. I have also hosted many travelers and made some extra income to fund my travelers. Use this link to sign up and get $25 towards your first rental.
Agoda: If you are looking to book accommodations in Southeast Asia, Agoda is your best bet. The rates are very competitive and you will have no problem booking last minute or canceling and changing reservations.
Booking.com: Another excellent resource with competitive rates and generous cancellation/change policies.
Snazzy Traveler: I am new to Snazzy Traveler but really like the concept. This is a great resource for those who travel a bit above the budget level. Snazzy lets you book hotel rooms at near wholesale prices without having to wait on last-minute sales like other sites.
If you’re thinking about traveling without insurance, I offer you this advice: Don’t! Travel insurance can save your butt and wallet in so many ways and it’s just silly to travel without it.
World Nomads: I searched high and low for the best insurance and landed on World Nomads, which seems to be the preferred insurance for most travelers I know. They have a pretty comprehensive coverage plan and I particularly like that they have a policy to cover rental cars which saves me a lot on the ridiculously priced coverage offered by rental companies. They also have a very generous emergency evacuation limit which is an important thing to look for when selecting a policy. My only complaint about WN is that I found their customer service reps pretty impossible to talk to since they simply read the policy documents to you. But the online system works like a charm.