Let’s face it, traveling isn’t always easy. There will be missed flights, lost passports, illness and language barriers encountered. Yet exploring parts unknown is a pastime that millions embark on each year, opening our hearts and minds to new people and places, to uncertainty and the possibility that things can and will go wrong.
With all that goes into the initial planning, budgeting, and preparing of a trip, I want to make it an easy, stress-free experience for everyone. Whether you are after a weekend getaway, a gap year abroad, or a cross country roadtrip, this guide has you covered. Feel free to pin, tweet, and share this list to your little heart’s desire!
For stress-free planning…
All of your travel plans at your fingertips! Tripit helps organize everything from flight bookings to accommodation, rental car and restaurant reservations. Simply forward your confirmation emails to firstname.lastname@example.org and the app will send a detailed itinerary for you to follow daily. It alerts you for flight delays and cancellations for the ultimate peace of mind.
Favorite feature: Access itineraries even offline when you’re stuck without wifi!
Also try: Tripverse
If you don’t have a specific destination in mind for your next trip, KAYAK’s Explore will narrow down all the places in the world to your specific criteria. Search by departure airport and set a range you are willing to spend then pick a month or season and out pops a map with pins showing a where to fly! Filter on flight duration, activities, temperature, and even language spoken.
Favorite Feature: Travelhacker uses data analysis of lowest airfares to recommend the cheapest days of the week to travel from US and Canada to each continent with an average cost to fly.
(Note: you have to be flexible on dates with this tool)
If you are a forgetful or last minute packer (guilty!) the essentials will never make it into your bag. Build a packing list customized to length of travel, weather, and activities during your trip. Just punch in a city you’re traveling to, a departure date, and the number of nights and let PackPro take over!
Favorite Feature: A ‘Repeat Basics’ and ‘Laundry’ option that you can turn on or off depending on how lazy you intend to be on your trip 🙂
If you are wandering into a city for the first time, live like a local with an extensive travel guide right in the palm of your hands. Comprehensive content is curated from millions of unbiased reviews, tips, and photos from travelers around the world. It is available offline, perfect for trips abroad.
Science has proven that we are happier spending money on experiences than material items. That’s where Peek comes in! Cut down on hours of research by browsing themes of “adventure” or “fun for locals” Explore “Perfect Days” itineraries where tastemakers like Tory Burch and Wolfgang Puck share their favorite way to spend 24 hours in a city they love, complete with insider tips on the hidden gems and restaurants not to miss. And book activities instantly with a lowest price guarantee!
Favorite Feature: When you first open the Peek app, you take a quiz to discover your travel persona. Then receive personalized activity recommendations, handpicked by Peek just for you!
Some roads aren’t meant to be traveled alone! Find unforgettable adventures across the globe for 18 to 30-somethings, ranging from Eurotrips to African safaris, pyramid expeditions, sailing and surf camps. Exploring the world has never been easier!
Spend less time planning and more time experiencing! Bucket scans the text on any given web page and extracts any destinations mentioned, then automatically adds in photos, ratings, and reviews. All of the places are displayed on an interface with square cards where the user can then add them — whether it’s a restaurant, attraction or activity — to a “bucket” for each trip.
For a smooth ride…
Search, compare and book flights on the go! Filter by journey duration, number of stops, airline, travel class and departure & arrival times. Easily find cheaper days and months to fly in the color-coded chart and calendar. Once you find the best deal, book directly through the airline without hidden fees. Instead of searching for a specific destination, enter “everywhere” into the to: box and let wanderlust take over!
Favorite Feature: With Price Alerts, you are notified of any price drop for a saved route, if you are better of buying now or waiting, based on predictions on what the flight price will do in the next 7 days!
Note: Always search in an incognito browser (On Chrome, File > New Incognito Window) so the site isn’t saving any information (cookies) on your searches, to ensure you get the best deals!
The dirty little secret airlines don’t want you to know about. Seek out the cheapest flight possible by making use of hidden opportunities. You book a flight past your destination, with your target destination as a stop on the route, and save up to 80% more than if on the direct route. So say you want to fly from San Fran to Chicago, it’s sometimes cheaper to buy a San Fran to New York ticket with a Chicago layover, and simply not take the Chicago to New York connection.
Before booking your plane, train, or ferry tickets, plug in a start and end destination to estimate exactly how long your trip will take from A to B in the most efficient way. You choose an address or landmark and Rome2rio will show you the transportation options with estimated travel times and fares.
Want to get out of town in a hurry? Surprise your love with a weekend trip? Just fly somewhere, anywhere, right the flight now? GTFO helps you be spontaneous. Find and book the best available roundtrip flights leaving from your location tonight and tomorrow morning. GTFO!
Traveling across multiple time zones? This app creates a personalised sleep schedule for you to follow so you sync with your regular sleeping cycle.
Also try: Jet Lag Rooster
Uber is your private, trusted driver in 50 countries and counting. Request a ride using the app and be whisked away within minutes, no reservations required. Set your pickup location and final destination and connect with your personal driver to check the progress of your Uber at any time. Sign up and get $25 off your first ride!
Favorite Feature: Add PayPal or a credit card to your secure account so you never need cash on hand.
Instant access to detailed maps of every country in the world! Innovative map data compression makes for super fast processing. Sure GoogleMaps suits in some cases, but turn to Maps.Me when navigating open uncharted spaces such as mountain treks or trails. Discover restaurants, tourist destinations, gas stations, ATMs, bookmark locations and follow directions all without connecting to Internet.
Favorite Feature: Auto-follow mode automatically orients the map to the direction you are moving.
Who said a getaway has to be expensive? I’ve had amazing Airbnb experiences in 4 countries that have made hotels a thing of the past for me! All the comforts of home, staying with friendly locals, at a fraction of the price. Check out these Airbnbs by by the sea and Europe with a view for less than $100 dollars a night! What are you waiting for? get $25 off your first stay!
Featuring over 600,000 properties worldwide including hotels, apartments and hostels. You get free cancellation on most rooms, a best price guarantee, and you can book now, pay later at check in.
Also try: Hotels.com
For the community..
If Pinterest and TripAdvisor had a baby, it would be Trover. Connect to a community of wanderers and photographers sharing photos and discoveries to inspire others to see the world. Explore thousands of beautiful, geo-tagged photos of experiences as varied as ziplines in Singapore, markets in Madrid, and cocktails in Kyrgyzstan.
Favorite feature: Each photo has a handy tab “Explore this area” or “Nearby Experiences” to spark your wanderlust further.
There’s something appealing about the idea of discovering the world through someone else’s eyes. To see what they see, hear what they hear, and hopefully feel what they feel. Periscope lets you broadcast live video to the world. “Going live” instantly notifies your followers who can join, comment and send you hearts in real time. The more hearts you get, the higher they flutter on the screen.
Nothing makes traveling to a new land better than befriending a local along the way. You’ll do better things and see better places, but finding that person can be hard. Join a peer-to-peer marketplace where trusted locals connect with travelers to help them discover the real, less touristy side of Asia and Europe. Authentic experiences include dining at a local’s homes and guided tours to hidden gems and participating in local activities.
Think Tinder but for solo travelers. Connect with fellow nomads around you now or in a destination you are soon to be. Then reach out for questions, tips, to meet up for sightseeing, or just a drink! Search by travel style, age, gender, location and more. Explore trips, match travel plans, and discover events to attend in any destination around the world.
Favorite Feature: Need a lift? Advice on a destination? Just a friend? The Noticeboard is where you can start topic threads that the entire community will be able to chime in on.
Not exclusive to travel but still a neat way to meet those you cross paths with! Whether walking down the street, at a café, or out on the town, rediscover those that may have piqued your interest. Like them secretly with the Heart button and they won’t find out… unless the interest is mutual! And if you wish to be noticed, charm them to send them a notification. If they like you back, you can start a conversation and sparks will fly!
Travel Massive is a network of locally organized communities of travel industry insiders who care about making travel better. Events are hosted around the globe to bring together travel and tourism companies, travel bloggers, startups, and travel media to connect and share globally.
Instant access to over 2,000 phrases in 13 languages, a voice translator in 19 languages and a 10,000 word offline dictionary
Favorite Feature: A “culture crash course” to get familiar with local customs and etiquette.
For the wallet…
Organise your expenses by trip or month, set a daily budget, then easily add expenses as you go. When you get a bill or receipt, launch the app, add the amount using the Quick Add screen and you’re done. Forget about it. Get on with your day.
Convert every world currency with the XE Currency App – Free Edition. It offers live proprietary currency rates, charts, and even stores the last updated rates, so it works when the Internet doesn’
Passbook is a pre-downloaded feature on iPhone to store tickets, credit cards, gift cards, coupons, loyalty cards and boarding passes in one convenient place. It uses GPS location to show you the right items when you’re in a specific place. Then you’re only a scan away from getting in, topping off, or fueling up.
Just for fun…
- Create an interactive map of all the countries you’ve visited to display on your blog or share and compare among friends.
- Prefer to plan a trip the good ‘ol fashion way? Why not create a custom itinerary with Google Maps!
- Don’t have time to travel? Spur your wanderlust with Geoguessr, a game using randomized Google Street View that you guess a location in the world using only the clues visible.
- Travel blogger stuck for inspiration? Choose a topic from this list of post ideas!
- Comprehensive list of World Travel Resources (one, two) including topics such as: Pre-trip planning, packing lists, Budgeting, Travel Hacking, Safe Eating Abroad, Solo Female Travel, Cultural Research, Travel Insurance, Vaccinations, Visas, Volunteering, Overcoming Fears, Can you Make Money From a Travel Blog?
- Join Travel communities with twitter chats and Facebook groups to connect with fellow wanderlusts.
- Wanderlist of my favorite travel tweeters and Twitter lists I’m a member of… 1 / 2 / 3 / 4/ 5 / 6 / 7/ 8/ 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15
- Explore the travel category on Bloglovin and these comprehensive lists of thousands of 2015 top travel bloggers: one, two, three. Did you make the cut?
My #1 resource for travel inspiration!
So what are you waiting for? Get started planning your next grand adventure today!