Our Favorite Travel Links
Wondering where to start when planning a round-the-world (RTW) trip? We used many online resources to help us find cheap flights, good lodging, itinerary ideas and visa information. We also read some informational travel books, but the internet usually had the most up-to-date information. Here are our favorite travel planning websites, which we used to plan our RTW trip:
AirBnB.com – Our go to site for lodging. It will allow you to avoid hotels and book people’s apartments or homes directly from them in other cities. It offers great deals for long term stays, especially for a month or more. AirBnB often comes out cheaper then two beds in a hostel, and is a far better way to experience actually living in a place like the locals. We have used it on every trip we’ve taken so far at least once, and have yet to encounter a problem.
Skyscanner.net – This is a great search engine for finding cheap flights anywhere. They also have a fun function where you can pick your location and then pick “Everywhere” in your search. Skyscanner will then create a list of destinations along with prices of the flights departing from your city. Just note that it doesn’t always list the cheap European airlines like EasyJet or RyanAir, or US Airlines like Southwest.
Rome2rio.com – This simple search engine lets you enter two cities and then shows you the costs and various modes of transportation between them. This includes trains, buses, ferries, planes and automobiles. For the traveler on a budget, it’s great to know what your cheapest option for transportation will be to get to your next city.
Seat61.com – The Man in Seat Sixty-One is a wonderful resource for transportation planning, particularly for train or ferry trips. The site will show you how to travel in a more rewarding and often less stressful way, comfortably and affordably where you might think that air was the only option.
Trip Advisor Forums – Nothing is more helpful than a real person’s experience at a tourist destination. Whenever I’m considering a visit to certain spots or landmarks, forums on Trip Advisor helps me decide if it’s worth it or not. The forums also have answers to random questions like, “Is a ferry available at Lake Como if I arrive at 7 pm?” or “Can I get from Kyoto to Koyasan by train?” I usually just Google my question and include the keyword “Trip Advisor” and it will pull up the forums automatically. Chances are that someone else already asked the same question and others have posted the answers I’m looking for.
Thorn Tree Forum – Another forum where you can questions and get read others peoples thoughts and reviews for inspiration. Since 1996 the Lonely Planet community of independent travelers have been sharing trusted advice to help you get to the heart of a destination. Thorn Tree travel forum is by travelers, for travelers, and covers every place on the planet.
r/Travel – The travel community on Reddit is a great resource to ask questions, read about other’s trips and get inspiration for where to go next. We also recommend joining the sub-forums for the individual countries or cities you plan to visit, that way you can start to learn about the hot topics for the region and maybe get to know some of the locals before you even depart..
TRAVEL BLOGS & WEBSITES
Reading travel blogs and other websites dedicated to travel were what inspired us to take our own extended RTW journey. The ones below are some of our favorites.
Travel Independent – Travel Independent .info is an independent, non-commercial site by travelers for travelers to encourage everyone to travel independently and give them the information they need to feel confident about it. No self-promotion, no sponsored content, unrealistic claims or e-books/tours for sale. Updated monthly, you’ll find balanced, comparative, simple advice for 100+ countries – everything important to get you ‘on the road’.
BootsnAll Travel – We highly recommend signing up for the e-course, for those looking for the ultimate checklist and planning guide for taking that long-awaited trip around the world. Their free 30-day guide will give you all the details you need to plan, save, and circumnavigate the globe on any time or budget.
Rick Steves – As an icon in travel, Rick Steve’s site is a wealth of information focusing specifically on the continent of Europe. Includes tips, a travel forum, and of course country guides that you can purchase and that are updated frequently.
Spartan Traveler – This isn’t really a travel blog in the traditional sense. Big on the how-to of ultra-light, ultra-cheap, and often, ‘adventure travel’. Traveling can be a lot more fun with a particular goal in mind.
Legal Nomads – Follow Jodi on her travels. Over those years, the site has morphed into a place where people can learn about how food shapes what we see and experience, and how it deepens knowledge about culture and history.
Our Big Fat Adventure – In March 2013 Amy & Andrea quit their jobs, left their home in London and said goodbye to everyone they know to travel the world indefinitely. A great source for detailed travel costs and planning.
Expert Vagabond – Follow Matthew Karsten, a full-time adventure travel blogger & photographer who’s been exploring the world for over 5 years. An extensive blog covering an assortment of travel topics.