In 2010 I set off to fulfill a lifelong dream of travelling around the world. Since that time I have visited over 30 countries, booked over one-hundred flights, stayed in countless hotels and hostels, and seen many of the world’s most well-known cities. As part of that experience, I’ve become very familiar with all the services on the Internet for booking flights, accommodations, setting up blogs, and conducting travel research via books.
The follow list represent some of my favourite books and internet services related to travel that I use almost all the time whenever I plan a trip. I highly recommend each of these if you’re looking to plan your trip, or want some reading material for inspiration.
Travel Reward Cards
One of the easiest ways to earn free travel is to start using a travel rewards card. Almost all of them give you a sign-up bonus that you can promptly use to go on a trip, and also let you accumulate additional rewards every time you make a purchase. I have three different travel cards myself, and I earned enough over the last three years for three separate vacations, simply by charging most of my day-to-day purchases to these cards.
Barclaycard Arrival Card (USA)
Easily the best travel rewards card in the United States is the Barclaycard Arrival Card. It offers 40,000 free miles upon signing up, which is equivalent to approximately $400 worth of free travel. In addition the $89 annual fee is waived during the first year. You’ll also accumulate free travel at a rate of 2 miles for each dollar you spend, and receive a 10% refund of mileage whenever you redeem. In addition, you won’t pay any foreign exchange fees at all, which can be a big savings on their own – you’ll often get penalized 2-3% of your purchase price with other credit cards if you buy something in another currency. This card offers great value, and it’s highly recommended for anyone who travels.
A good friend of mine was riding a scooter in Thailand a few years ago when he got into a bad accident. His shoulder was broken, and he was in a great deal of pain. Thanks to his travel insurance he was promptly treated in a hospital in Thailand, and then flown back to Canada in first class as soon as he was stabilized to continue being treated.
The number one travel insurance company on the Internet these days is almost unanimously World Nomads. They provide cost-effective coverage anywhere in the world for citizens of almost all countries. Many travellers I have met in the last three years have been using World Nomads. [Read More]
These are some of my favourite websites for searching for and later booking flights on the internet.
Kayak is a great website to look for cheap deals. One of the features I use the most is the ability to look for flights not only on a particular travel date, but also on various dates around the ones you are interested in.
Skyscanner is similar to Kayak, but I find that it contains more low-cost carriers. You can’t book directly through Skyscanner, but they provide links to various other sites where you can book a flight.
If you’re looking at booking accommodation for one of your trips, then I highly recommend using one of these websites.
Whenever I need a hotel in a city and don’t really care which one I end up in, I usually use Hotwire because it’s often the cheapest way to find a nice hotel.
If knowing which hotel you end up in is important to you, then Hotels.com provides a much better option than Hotwire. The prices are slightly higher, but you get the piece of mind of knowing where you will be staying.
Most people think hostels are grubby places meant only for young travellers. But the truth is hostels now accommodate almost all age groups, and provide both dormitory rooms and private rooms.
Here are some of my favourite web resources around the web. These include hosting companies, content distribution networks (to make your website faster).
Bluehost is one of my favourite web hosting companies, and I recommend them often for friends and family members who want to host their own website. I have several sites on Bluehost myself currently.
Digital Ocean is an affordable VPS provider with plans starting for as little as $5. I currently use a Digital Ocean VPS to host this website, which is based on WordPress.
Hostgator is another great alternative to Bluehost, and they both work great for hosting WordPress websites. Several of my friends use Hostgator and are happy with them.
Here are some of my favourite travel books. Many of these provided the inspiration for me prior to leaving on my first multi-month travel adventure.
Many travel books are available that help answer the question of ‘how to travel’, but very few books approach the question of why travel is important in the first place. This is one of my favourite travel books, and I’ve recommended it to most of my friends.
This is the book that provided most of the my travel inspiration and also helped me realize the important of passive income generation. If you’re looking to redesign your life so that you can travel for, then this book is for you.
If you’re looking for information about any destination, then the Lonely Planet guidebooks are the most popular option. They detail various accommodations, restaurants, tourist attractions, and provide countless tips for when you arrive.