Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.J.K. Rowling
Everything you need to plan your next adventure
Planning a trip can be daunting, but after doing it for so many years, I’ve found my favorite travel resources that have helped me get the best deals and experiences, that I’m confident you will love too. Here are my top picks of products and services that have been paramount in my trip planning all these years.
If you’d like to start planning your own trip, check out my super simple 8-step guide on how to plan your trip like a pro!
I always use Googe Flights as a jumping off point because it’s the best flight aggregator IMO, and prices are usually rather accurate. They also have a great filtering system that’s way more advanced than any other search engine. From here, I gauge how much my flights would cost, and there’s a graph where I can see price trends if my dates are flexible.
Kayak is another one of my favorites for finding the best deals. It scours multiple booking sites to find the cheapest prices, and has this unique function called ’Hacker Fares’ where they match the best flights across different airlines to find you the best price. I also love their fare predictions which will indicate if you should book your flight now, if you’re advised to wait or if they predict you’ll see a better price in the future.
Sometimes airlines make mistakes that can cause serious drops in prices (yay for us!) but who has time to refresh airline websites for this waiting to happen? Enter, Airfarewatchdog. Just input your departure airport and it’ll list out all the top deals for the day.
If you’re always on the lookout for the best flight deals, then you will love Scott’s Cheap Flights. You sign up for their newsletter and select your favorite departure airport, and you’ll get alerts when their team of experts finds awesome deals. They look for airline pricing errors and take advantage of that which can save you even $1,000s!
Booking.com is my absolute go-to when looking for accommodations because of its comprehensive filtering system. It’s probably one of the most widely used booking sites, so there are more reviews on the site which leads to a more accurate review experience.
Let me just say, I looooove Airbnb. I love having more space when I’m traveling so instead of just having a room to myself, I get extra facilities like a kitchen and living room. Especially since I often travel with family, I love being able to stay in the same unit while still having our own private space.
Read more: If you’re wondering where to start with Airbnb, I wrote an in-depth guide to get you started!
Agoda is another huge hotel booking site that’s as competitive as Booking.com! I’ll always check both these sites to see which has the better deal for my hotel of choise. This site is really popular especially if you’re booking your trip to Asia.
Tripadvisor is like the big momma of everything travel. Here you can find reviews of hotels, attractions, and restaurants in any given city. I like using it as a starting point to finding the best of the best in every city, and it’s great that they also have a price comparison engine for hotels so you can always get the price!
travel activities & tour companies
GetYourGuide lets you find, compare, and book sightseeing tours, attractions, excursions, things to do, and fun activities from around the world at attractive prices. A great one-stop shop if you’re planning tours during your trip!
Viator is one of the biggest tour aggregators online, and often you will find fantastic deals on their site that you won’t find when booking direct. As with all services online, be sure to read up on reviews to ensure you get the best experience possible!
If you’re planning a trip to Asia, Klook will be the best place to book everything you need for your trip. From tour packages to airport transfers to SIM cards, you’re guaranteed to find the best price here! You’ll find top experiences for some of Asia’s finest cities such as Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea and more!
Who knows travel insurance better than actual travelers? World Nomads Travel Insurance was created by travelers for travelers, so they know exactly what they’re doing. It takes the bore and complications out of buying travel insurance and makes it super easy! They cover residents from over 150 countries, and policies can be bought anytime, anywhere 24/7 – even when you’ve already started your trip!
Staying connected is an important part of traveling especially when you need to navigate around a new city or keep in touch with loved ones. And swapping SIM cards can be such a pain. Enter Airalo! Airalo harnesses the power of e-SIM technology to connect you to local networks at local rates, so you save up to 10x on mobile roaming data fees. I love it because it’s hassle-free – just download the app from the App Store or Google Play Store, purchase a data package for your destination country and you’re instantly connected once you get there! Navigating a new country is tough enough, and I really hate having to switch between SIM cards and risking losing that tiny little thing. So the convenience of just switching between e-SIMs with Airalo has been a lifesaver. It’s great especially if you’re traveling throughout Europe where you’ll be hopping from country to country!
currency & credit cards
Wise is an online account where you can send money abroad or get paid in other currencies, and also has its own international credit card. The exchange rates are some of the best you’ll find. Wise has definitely changed my (travel) life and in a good way! Say goodbye to overseas transaction fees, bank fees, and all that extra fluff. No more exchanging cash at money changers and getting ripped off by fees on top of fees. You just need to take the Wise credit card with you and you can pay at merchants or withdraw cash from the ATMs wherever you are. With Wise, you are always guaranteed the best exchange rate, and I have saved sooo much money just by using this card. Most of the time, I get charged the exchange rate I see on Google, plus or minus a few cents.
Wise is also great for digital nomads that work in multiple currencies, so you can receive almost any currency, with lower international wire fees.
Backpack | Fjallraven Kanken
In my opinion, the Fjallraven Kanken is the perfect travel daypack. It’s lightweight, water-resistant, and roomy which makes it a great bag for day to day travel. Plus, it looks great and it comes so many colors, there’s sure to be one that you’ll love. I love the colour of it and how it pops so I actually use it as a prop in many of my photos!
Battery pack/Power bank
I don’t leave home without my battery pack because it’s one of my worst nightmares having my devices run out of juice–especially when you just needed to capture that one epic photo or navigate yourself through a foreign place.
Camera | Sony A6000
I will forever sing praises about my Sony A6000, and Sony’s whole line of mirrorless cameras. It’s perfect if you want DSLR-quality photos but can’t care for the weight and bulk. The Sony A6000 is super light and portable, and I always just throw it in my bag whenever I’m out traveling for the day. I highly recommend this or any other models in the Sony Alpha series! I’m currently on the hunt for a new mirrorless camera and am looking to upgrade to a full-frame, which will likely be the Sony A7III or Sony A7C.
The GoPro is perfect if you get really active during your travels, or even if you just like walking around the city. It’s great for vlogging since it’s so lightweight and compact! It’s also great for those wide-angle selfies. I used this to capture a timelapse of the Northern Lights on my trip to Tromsø!
I cannot stress how much these have saved my life on numerous occasions. I simply will not board a flight if I forget my trusty earphones! Good to remedy screaming babies on a plane, snoring roomies, and well, when you’re in the mood for a good ol’ jam session.
If you like total noise isolation, getting a pair of over-ear noise-canceling headphones like these Bose ones are a good option. If you’d prefer something lighter and less bulky, the Airpods Pro (2nd Gen) can’t be beaten!
Here’s my tried and tested packing list you can print and take with you!
November 15, 2022