• TRAVEL RESOURCES

TRAVEL RESOURCES

Some relish it, others dread it. Wherever you stand, there’s no escaping that first step on any adventure – planning. Where to go, how to get there, where to stay, what to do, and all for the best possible price. It requires the patience of a saint and some serious multi-tasking skills to bring it all together!

Fortunately, we’ve got a lot of experience on this front. So, we’ve gathered together all of our trusted travel resources to help you plan like a pro, and organise your trip with as little headache as possible.

From flights, accommodation, travel insurance and car hire, to our favourite apps and websites that we use day to day on the road, we’ve got it covered. Look no further when it comes to organising your travels.

Scroll through, or click on a link below to jump to a specific section.

Happy planning!

  • FLIGHTS

Skyscanner

For comparing airlines, prices and times, Skyscanner is the best tool out there. It searches both budget and full-service airlines, making it easy to pinpoint the best deal around. It also tells you which websites have the cheapest fares, so you can click through and book knowing you’ve scored the best deal there is.

We love the ‘search everywhere’ function too. It brings back the cheapest fares by destination, making it easy to narrow down your travel plans if you’re flexible and just looking for inspiration! Another great feature allows you to include search results from nearby airports. This can easily turn up a cheaper, better alternative that isn’t immediately obvious. On top of all that, you can view flight details for a whole month, calendar style, making it easy to compare dates and prices.


Google Flights

Another great flight resource is Google Flights. We especially love the world map function. It gives you a quick idea of prices for all possible destinations from your chosen point of departure. You can also look at a fare matrix to compare fares across different dates.

Emirates

While comparison tools like Skyscanner are great for most trips, sometimes it pays to do a bit of the leg-work yourself. Our favourite airline for multi-stop journeys, offering amazing value for money, is Emirates. They have a huge worldwide network, operating out of their hub in Dubai. You can take advantage of stopovers to create some fantastic itineraries. Check out their route map and multi-city search function to put together your own amazing trip!

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Want to Know More About Scoring The Best Flight Deals?

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  • ACCOMMODATION

Booking.com

We’ve tried a few hotel booking websites in our time but the one we keep coming back to is Booking.com. They always have good deals, and they show the total price up front, rather than adding on taxes at the end. If you’re crap at maths like Kim, this makes comparing options much easier! They also offer frequent traveller rewards, with 10% ‘genius’ discount on accommodation once you’ve booked ten stays with them. Start working on your genius status now!

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Booking.com

Hostelworld

When we’re really on a budget, our first port of call is Hostelworld. Kim’s been using this website since her first backpacking trip around Europe in 2003, and she loves it. It’s got a huge range of properties, includes free cancellation, and the site is full of useful info and reviews.

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Airbnb

When we’re staying somewhere for more than a couple of days we often look to Airbnb for an entire house or apartment. We’ve had some amazing stays over the years, from our first Airbnb experience in a beautiful fjordside house in Iceland, to a traditional home in the Albayzin area of Granada, Spain. Being able to cook for yourself and experience life in a local neighbourhood is a big bonus too. If you haven’t used Airbnb before, sign up via our link and you’ll get £25 credit towards your first booking!

GET £25 OFF YOUR FIRST STAYAirbnb Discount Code

  • TRAVEL INSURANCE

Once you’ve got your flights and accommodation sorted, the next thing on your list should be travel insurance. You’re covered for cancellation from the date of purchase, so don’t put it off!

We organise our travel insurance with World Nomads. They cover a huge number of activities, provide 24/7 emergency assistance, and should things go wrong, it’s easy to claim online. They can provide cover to residents of over 140 countries, and are one of the few insurers out there who can also cover you after you’ve left home. Get a quote and get covered today!

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For more on travel insurance, check out the post below to ensure you’re clued up and policy savvy.

Things You Should Know About Travel Insurance: Trekking to Annapurna Base Camp in the snow, Nepal

  • CAR HIRE

Planning a road trip? Nice! It’s one of our favourite ways to explore. For years we’ve booked cars through Holiday Autos. They compare prices and options from loads of different rental companies, and somehow always manage to offer the best deal.

We’ve rented cars via Holiday Autos for epic road trips in Iceland, Oman, Japan, Spain, the Balkans and Jordan, having a great experience every time. They offer free cancellation and the customer service team are super helpful (trust us, Kim spent a lot of time on the phone with them when she was a travel agent!).

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  • ROUTE PLANNING

Rome2Rio

Heard of Rome2Rio? We love this website (and app iOS/Android). It makes route planning incredibly simple. Whether mapping out a multi-country road trip (like our Balkans adventure around Croatia, Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina), or just a day trip (like our quick loop from Taipei), Rome2Rio makes it easy. It tells you how to get from A to B, with multiple transport options, estimated cost, duration and even specific bus numbers and departure times. It’s kind of mind-boggling just how useful it is! You can even book buses, trains, ferries and flights, just search your journey in the ‘Tickets’ tab. A quick play around on Rome2Rio can give you answers that would take hours scouring the internet for.

Seat 61

Another long time favourite is Seat 61. This website is especially helpful for train travel information. Want to know how to travel from London all the way to Singapore by train? This website will tell you. It’s got a ton of useful information on timetables and routes, as well as how to book tickets for train and overland travel worldwide. Trans-Mongolian Railway anyone?

  • TRAVEL INSPIRATION

Pinterest

Figuring out what you’re going to do, see and eat on your travels is the fun bit of planning, or at least we think so! These days, one of the first places we search for information, tips and insider guides is Pinterest. Pinterest acts as a sort of visual search engine. It will bring back loads of articles, photographs, videos and infographics that won’t appear on your average Google search. Click on an image you like (a ‘pin’) and it will take you to the original website for you to read or view.

You can save all the amazing pins that you find on ‘boards’ you create – a bit like bookmarking in the form of a collage board. This means all of those useful articles and images will be in one place, making it easy for you to find them again. You can also save things you find outside of Pinterest to your boards, so if you find a great post on a blog and want to save it for later, just pin it! You can sign up to Pinterest for free – head on over and check out our own boards to get your travel inspiration fix!

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Lonely Planet

Kim is a creature of habit. Even in this modern age, with the internet at our fingertips and digital libraries in our pockets, she still refuses to give up on the physical guide book. There’s nothing quite like the excitement of leafing through the pages of a brand new Lonely Planet, tracing your fingers over the map, and sounding out the names of places, wondering if you’ll be headed there sometime soon yourself.

While we often look to other resources for insider tips on food, drink and so on, a Lonely Planet is still our first introduction to a country. They’re great for figuring out the bigger picture: getting an overview of the culture, customs and history; zeroing in on the highlights and ‘must sees’; and getting your head around the transport options and general costs of the country. For us, a Lonely Planet is as relevant as ever. And if (unlike Kim), you embrace all things digital, you can just buy the ebook.

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  • TRAVEL PREPARATION

Passport, Visas & Vaccinations

Depending on where you’re going, plus when and how long for, your travel prep may be as simple as tossing a few things in a carry-on bag, or it could be weeks of organising. Either way, there are a few things you should always keep in mind.

Always double check well in advance that your passport has at least 6 months validity left on it (from the date of exit from your destination). And don’t forget to check on any visa requirements, making sure to get them sorted well in advance. As UK passport holders we check here.

For certain destinations you might need to get vaccinations. It can take a few weeks to receive your full course, so again, don’t leave this to the last minute! It’s best to speak to a medical professional to confirm what you do and don’t need, but for starters and general advice we check this website.

It’s always a good idea to pack spare passport photos and photocopies of important documents like your passport, too. Also keep a digital copy of your passport ID page on file in your email. Finally, it never hurts to pass on a copy of your passport and travel insurance certificate to a relative or close friend back home in case of emergencies.

Amazon

For ease and convenience, we do a lot of our travel shopping on Amazon. Plus, they tend to have the best prices out there! Save yourself the headache of traipsing around endless shops before your trip and stock up on all your travel essentials online instead.

Some of our most trusted travel purchases include our Osprey backpacks, Scrubba washbag, Nalgene water bottles, secret money belts, Big Agnes tent, and Thermarest sleeping mats. Check out our 10 Travel Essentials and 9 Backpacking Game Changers posts for more of our favourite gear!

  • ON THE ROAD

When it’s finally time to hit the road, putting all that research and planning into action, there are a few apps that we find really useful.

Maps.Me

We’d be lost without this offline map app. Literally. My sense of direction is appalling. Since downloading Maps.Me (iOS/Android) we’ve never looked back. While we still reference other mapping sources like Google Maps (iOS/Android) or specific local apps, Maps.Me is our go-to for route planning, discovering cool places and storing details about our own travels.

You can download a city, region or country map while you’re connected to the internet, then use it offline. You can navigate from A to B, the map displaying the distance, time and route via car, walking or bike. A directional arrow makes it really easy to see exactly where you’re headed and navigate with precision.  We’ve been amazed at how many obscure hiking or off-road trails are marked. It’s kept us on track when trekking in Tajikistan, off-roading in Oman, hiking in Scotland and more. Finding trails marked on Maps.Me has actually given us the confidence to go out and tackle certain routes, be it hiking or driving, that we otherwise wouldn’t have done.

Other great features include the ability to search for specific things such as camping spots, restaurants, viewpoints, hotels, etc., and view them on the map. We also love the fact that you can drop a pin and mark places on the map (colour co-ordinate and annotate as you wish!). This is great for building up a personalised map and saving recommendations from other travellers.

As Maps.Me is an open source mapping system, you can also add reviews, mark points of interest, accommodation, restaurants, banks, bus stops, etc., to  share publicly. Just register with OpenStreetMap to contribute.

The only things we don’t love about it is the fact that you can’t view a satellite or relief map, and it doesn’t give you a choice of routes when navigating – for these options we pull up Google Maps (assuming we’ve remembered to download the offline map in advance!).

Trail Wallet

If you’re a budgeting fiend this is the app for you (assuming you have an iPhone as it’s currently only available on iOS, unfortunately). There’s a basic free version but in our opinion it’s well worth paying the small fee for full access and accounting! You can enter details of every spend, categorise it, add multiple currencies, set budgets, and create pie charts detailing your expenditure. We’re now addicted to noting everything we spend. This has helped us with budgeting for current and future trips and has proved useful when trying to recall the cost of this or that and collating info for blog posts to share with you guys!

Google Translate

While the results aren’t always entirely accurate, Google Translate (iOS/Android) has been a game changer for us, especially in a country like Korea where the spoken and written languages are totally alien to us. Download the language you’ll need to translate in advance and you can use it offline too. You can type, speak or take a visual scan of whatever you want to translate. Pretty cool!

XE

Before travelling to a new country, we always check the exchange rate so we know how much to exchange or take out at the ATM when we first arrive. If there are big numbers involved, Kim is rubbish at calculating on the spot, and is constantly referring to the XE currency app (iOS/Android) to check rates. It’s easy to use, you can store details of multiple currencies at once, and the rate updates every minute.

Weather Channel

For keeping up to date with the weather, we use The Weather Channel app (iOS/Android). This is especially important when planning outdoor adventures, hikes or camping trips!

Sun Surveyor

We love to photograph during golden hour, and often plan out our day around sunrise and sunset. A useful app we use to quickly figure out these times wherever we are is Sun Surveyor (iOS/Android). We just use the free ‘lite’ version, but you can upgrade for more features too.

Sky View

One for the astrophotographers and galaxy geeks out there. The SkyView app (iOS/Android) shows you constellations, where the milky way is and all things star related. Just point your phone towards the sky and enjoy the show! 

  • WORK ABROAD, TRAVEL & SAVE

Travel Longer: Teach English

For years we juggled full time jobs with short trips away. Or we worked hard to save, quit our jobs to travel for a few months, and returned to work when the money ran out. Until that is, we made a big change in 2015 and moved to Korea to teach English. Here we can experience living in a completely different culture, travel extensively around the region, and (most importantly!) save a lot of money to fund our travels long term.

Teaching English abroad is a fantastic way to work, travel and save. There are well paid teaching opportunities worldwide, particularly in Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

Getting TEFL Certified is the first step to becoming a great teacher who employers want to hire. We completed online and classroom courses with i-to-i LoveTEFL and can highly recommend them! They can also help you find a job after completing your course, or you can take advantage of their TEFL Internships.

Find Out More About TEFL Courses Now

Discover more about teaching English in Korea in our post below.

Teaching English in Korea: Work, Travel & Save

*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links – if you purchase a product or service via these links, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps offset the cost of running this blog and keeps us travelling so that we can continue to produce great content for you. We greatly appreciate your support!*

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The Best Travel Resources for planning, organising & booking your trip, plus on the road apps to make your travels easier.  Whether it's a weekend away or a year long adventure, these are the resources you need to find cheap flights, the best accommodation, deals on car hire & comprehensive travel insurance. Plus, tips for route planning & travel preparation, finding travel inspiration & how to travel longer by teaching abroad. #TravelTips #TravelPlanning via @goingthewholehogg

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The Best Travel Resources for planning, organising & booking your trip, plus on the road apps to make your travels easier.  Whether it\'s a weekend away or a year long adventure, these are the resources you need to find cheap flights, the best accommodation, deals on car hire & comprehensive travel insurance. Plus, tips for route planning & travel preparation, finding travel inspiration & how to travel longer by teaching abroad. #TravelTips #TravelPlanning
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