Sometimes the best part of travel is part before you leave home – when you are still dreaming and figuring out where and what you want to do. Here are some of the best tools I’ve found for figuring out where, how, and how much it’s going to cost.
Flights. Dream big. That’s the first rule of travel. I’ve found no better tool for dreaming of wonderful trips than the Round the World Travel Planner from Airtreks. Just go there, click on the map and start clicking on the destinations you want to visit on your trip around the world, around a continent, or even around a country. They’ll estimate the cost, distance, and time it will take. Give it a try – it’s seriously addictive and fun.
Sometimes you just need one flight and there are some great tools out there for finding flights online. I’m happy to say that the one I use most often is right here on this site. It searches all of the major and budget airlines and puts together simple trips based on price, number of legs and time. Long or short, national or international.
Travel Insurance. Things can change instantly in today’s world – whether it’s a volcano shutting down every European airport, the Arab Spring, or a strike from airline workers – one thing is certain – nothing is certain. That’s why travel insurance is so important. It not only covers theft, accidents, and dangers- it also covers flight cancellations and hotel charges for not being there. I’ve found no better travel insurance than World Nomads. It’s cheap, comprehensive, and well recommended.
Travel Insurance from World Nomads
Hotels, Hostels, and Vacation Rentals. The very best search engine I’ve found for hotels and hostels is the one I’ve incorporated into this site. The Vagobond Hotel Tool searches hundreds of thousands of hotels, hostels, B&Bs, guest houses, riads, and dormitories in just about every city in the world. You can search by location, rating, price, or guest reviews. The search engine pulls reviews from all the major sites so that you can see reviews from Booking.com, Hotels.com, Tripadvisor and all the rest in one place. Like all of the tools I recommend, I use it myself to find the best deals on hostels or hotels.
If you are looking for a vacation rental or something diffferent – I recommend that you have a look at AirBnB. You can rent people’s entire apartments, rooms in their homes, or sometimes huge beautiful mansions for pennies on the dollar of what you would spend at a hotel.
Travel tips. Through the years, I’ve compiled a huge number of travel tips that have made my life on the road easier. You may want to browse through my master list of travel tips and see if there is something that you haven’t thought of yet.
Also, while guidebooks are great – I recommend you have a look at our specific destination guides, just click on the region you are going and then follow the links to get specific tips and stories about your destinations. I’ve tried to make it easy and intuitive. Have a look:
Finally, I just want to point out that I’ve set up all of these travel planning tools as affiliate links – that means that when you use them, a small portion of the total you spend comes back to Vagobond to keep us going. That money is used to pay our writers, operating costs, and sometimes to buy my little girl an ice cream. I want to emphasize that all of these tools are the ones I personally use and that using our affiliate links doesn’t add anything to your expense, in fact, you are likely to find that these are the cheapest prices on the web – which is why I use them.
As always, feel free to ask me any questions you like, it’s my pleasure to help you plan your travels. Just email me your travel questions and I will get back to you – or contact me via social media. The Vagobond accounts are at the top of the page – the white rabbits coming out of the magic hats.