While I am in the process of writing up some posts about my recent travels, I thought I'd shoot some helpful info your way. (You know, gotta stick to the One Post a Week Promise!)
Below is a list of some of my favorite travel websites, both of the professional info and blogger variety. Personally, I LOVE travel bloggers. I find the good ones to be both enjoyable story tellers and amazing resources. In addition, though, we all need some good general travel resource websites for booking hostels and planning trips. Those are included too.
Kate was 26 when she quit her job and starting traveling full-time. She used her marketing know-how to quickly turn her blog into a business. She offers a lot of great practical tips and travel info. Her goal is to debunk the fears and misnomers of solo female travel.
Jodi was a lawyer who decided to take a year off to travel. That was in 2008. She's still traveling and her focus is mainly on food and eating your way around the world.
Matt has created one of the largest travel blog empires. His site has a plethora of solid advice and travel guides. He's written a number of eBooks and even has a forum on his site.
Trey is predominately an amazing HDR photographer. His pictures are absolutely stunning. Definitely check out his portfolio. But he also has a lot of posts about the art of photography, attempting to help aspiring photographers learn the craft. He's completely open about what equipment he uses etc.
Brenna is now a graduate student working on her master's in creative writing in London. It's fitting because her posts have always been beautifully written narrative accounts. She still travels around. Her blog includes some tips for traveling, but mainly it is great non-fiction reading. She writes as a memoirist. Her posts are emotional and thoughtful.
Earl started traveling after graduation in 1999 with a budget of $1200. He managed to turn that fund into the start of a permanent nomadic experience. He travels all over, including to lots of less traditional locations. He has great posts with real advice on how to travel full-time, including an eBook titled How to Live a Life of Travel. He also has a tour business called Wandering Earl Tours.
Liz is a charming solo female traveler and one of the most popular travel bloggers. She is currently living in New Zealand, but still travels all around. Her sweet and relatable writing style have garnered her a large following. She has been featured in many online outlets and goes on a lot of cool adventures courtesy of the various tour companies, travel businesses and resorts that sponsor the trips. Any post about a trip that has been sponsored will acknowledge the support, but Liz claims that all opinions are her own.
Travel Planning Sites
BootsnAll is billed as a one-stop indie travel guide. It has travel guides by continent, Round The World travel resources, a community, and a whole bunch of practical advice.
Frommer's is the website version of their famous travel guide books. Packed with highly researched information, if you've been a fan of traditional guide books this site will probably have what you are looking for.
Hostel World is the go-to site for booking hostel accommodation. Intuitive and easy to use. Hostels have both private rooms and dorm style rooms. Dorms can be anywhere from 4 beds to 24 beds. The biggest shared rooms are usually all bunk beds. It's kind of like camp. It can be super fun if you are looking to meet fellow travelers and each hostel has their own vibe: party, quiet, big on activities etc. Be sure to read reviews and info to find a hostel that matches what you're going for. Some include free meals and group events. They almost always have a communal kitchen for use. The large dormitory beds are certainly the cheapest accommodation option for budget travelers. Just be smart about your stuff as you will be sharing a room with many strangers.
Yep, I use this. It's great for finding cheap hotel deals and booking on the spot. You can modify the search results to list by price or rating. They also have special deals by destination and can do flights and car rentals as well. Often, the bookings will have free cancelation up until the day before. I've only used it state-side, but I know it can be used internationally.
Let's Go! is primarily for student travelers going to Europe. They are all about finding deals and ideal destinations for students. Plenty of their recommendations apply to any budget traveler, but this one is billed as For Students, By Students. If that applies to you- check out their site for great guides and blog posts about traveling around Europe.
Ah, the famous Lonely Planet guide books: Now as an incredibly thorough travel website! They have all of their guide books for sale on the website, but the site itself has tons of information via it's numerous advice articles. It also has direct searches for flights, accommodations, tours etc. It has categories such as Beaches, Budget Travel, their Thorn Tree travel forum, and by destination country.
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That's what I have for now. I'm sure I'm missing some. If you have any sites you think I should include please let me know! I will periodically update this list as I learn about new sites or remember anything I'm forgetting.
I should probably also mention many of the classic airfare and accommodation sites that I assume most people are familiar with, but just in case:
Expedia, Kayak, Orbitz, Priceline, Travelocity, or any airline's own website.
Personally, I use Kayak and Expedia to check airfare a lot. I use Priceline sometimes, especially if I'm wanting to do their Name Your Own Price deal, which is cool. Before using Name Your Own Price, do your research so you know what a good deal is, because by doing Name Your Own Price you are agreeing to purchase if they match your request. Don't forget about going direct to the airline for discount companies such as Southwest. Also, try the airline's website for any airline you have a miles reward program with to see what they can offer you.