Are you looking for resources to help you plan your travel? If so, you have come to the right place.
After 30+ years of travel, I’ve spent countless hours on different websites, poring over travel guides and trying out gear. I’ve made mistakes along the way but there have also been triumphs.
Here are my favourite resources which, unless otherwise stated, I have personally used.
Please get in touch if you have any questions or if you would like to share your favourite resources. I’d love to hear from you!
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I can get slightly obsessive about finding the perfect flight at the perfect time for the perfect price. This holy trinity is difficult to find but the search can often be fun?
This is where I do splash the cash. For flight times in excess of six hours, I look for good value business class flights (or try to bag an air miles flight). For shorter flights, the class of travel is less important.
Here are my go-to online resources for air and train travel.
Skyscanner is my go-to platform to search for flights. I like having the ability to filter results by cabin class and to compare the price of flights across an entire month. Skyscanner also supports multi-city options in searching for open-jaw flights.
Can be useful for a quick broad search to identify the best travel dates for competitive fares
Try ITA Matrix Flights for more complex routes including ex EU flights.
Seeking out the best business class fares? Check out the excellent Turning Left for Less
For verified traveller reviews and ratings for Airlines, Airports, Airline Seats and Lounges.
Do you want to know who offers the best premium economy product? Check out the who won Skytrax’s Awards for Best Premium Economy Class.
Want to select the best seat in your ticket category? Go to Seat Guru.
The king of rail travel resources is The Man in Seat 61. Mark Smith’s excellent website is an incredibly comprehensive guide to global rail travel.
For booking rail tickets go to Omio. It also lets you plan routes and check timetables.
GETTING FROM A TO B
Rome to Rio is a great resource for exploring travel options, including taxis and fares, between two points. It is also available as an app.
I do like a nice bed for the night. Although not a deal-breaker, really good or really bad accommodation can impact your travel experience.
To get the best bang for your buck, invest time in choosing the right accommodation for you.
Here are my favourite accommodation booking sites.
Booking.com is a clear, easy-to-use booking platform. It offers a wide selection of hotels and apartments, often with refundable rates and special deals for returning customers.
If Booking.com doesn’t deliver the choice I want, my next stop is Expedia.
For reviews of accommodation, amongst other things, go to Trip Advisor. If you plug in your destination and travel dates it will bring up a list of options, along with review ratings and prices sourced from booking engines and the hotel.
To rent a room, an apartment or a house or villa, go to Airbnb
Booking Group Travel
As well as being a relatively hassle-free way of travelling, group tours are a superb way for a first-time solo traveller to get their feet wet before striking out independently. Here are my favourite group travel companies:
I’ve travelled with Explore on half a dozen occasions and have never been disappointed. Group sizes are small – 6 to 20 people – and their tours attract travellers of all ages. They offer tours worldwide to suit all travel styles.
Equally, I’ve been away with Exodus six times and would not hesitate to book with them again. Like Explore, groups are small and they have strong eco-credentials. Exodus’s Premium holidays allow you to discover the world from a more comfortable base each evening.
Booking Day Trips & Activities
My go-to resource for booking day tours and activities is GetYourGuide, which offers a broad selection and free cancellation.
GENERAL TRAVEL GEAR
For the trips when only a smart wheeled suitcase will cut it, I use my Level8 Pro Carry-On. The Level8 range is stylish, sturdy and affordable.
Whether you are backpacking on a budget or staying in five-star hotels, packing cubes are an essential tool to help to keep your gear organised when you travel. They come in various sizes (I usually take away three different sizes with me).
An all-in-one universal power adaptor is an essential part of any traveller’s packing list. The one that I use is compact and lightweight, it comes with its own case, has adjustable voltage and can charge multiple USB devices at the same time.
I am so pleased with this daypack that I bought before travelling to Japan. Not only is it packed with awesome anti-theft features, but it also looks good and doubles as a handbag and messenger bag.
I’m a long-time DSLR user but made the move to a mirrorless camera a few years ago. Fuji makes some of the best cameras on the market and I’ve been bowled over by the results from this little beauty.
Ideal for capturing city night scenes, this Joby Gorillapod is compact and lightweight, it can mount both my smartphone and mirrorless camera, and its legs wrap around most surfaces.
Say goodbye to lugging around books with one of the best e-readers out there. Super lightweight and has impressive battery life.
These headphones punch above their price point and are my constant companion, home or away.
Keeping Safe & Well
Finally, it goes without saying that we all need to protect ourselves and our health whilst travelling, from taking any necessary health precautions to packing the right travel medical kit to making sure that comprehensive travel insurance is in place. A good traveller is a well-prepared traveller.
fitfortravel – a free, interactive, resource providing up to date information on avoiding illness and staying healthy when travelling abroad.
TRAVEL HEALTH PRO – a website comprising the travel health resources of the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC), set up by the UK’s Department of Health to protect the health of travellers.
CDC TRAVELER’S HEALTH – an extensive collection of resources from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.