Over the years I’ve learned a lot about planning and booking travel. Here are some of the resources, products, websites and apps that I use regularly for travel.

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Accommodation

Booking.com – this is the site I use most often for booking accommodation.

AirBnB – use with some caution. I would primarily recommend AirBnB in more remote locations where you are supporting locals. In cities there are often concerns about an excessive conversion of housing to short-term lets which negatively impacts residents. There are some great places to stay, but if you end up somewhere not so nice, AirBnB will take limited responsibility for helping sort it out so make sure you read reviews carefully.

Hotwire.com – discounted hotel rates, on the condition that you don’t actually pick the hotel. You can filter to get a match in the area you want and then once you have booked you will find out which hotel you are booked into. There are no refunds, but it’s a great way to save some money if you aren’t set on a particular hotel.

Travel Products

Away Suitcase – they aren’t the cheapest luggage options, but they are very good quality. Mine took a fair bit of bashing on my road trip and while it has picked up a few scuffs it’s still in very good condition. There are versions that fit carry on luggage sizes and others for checked bags. The cases have useful compartments and are just generally great.

Packing Cubes – to fold or to roll, to cube or not to cube. People have strong opinions. Personally, I chose compression packing cubes when I went on my USA road trip and it worked really well. Everything was organised and easy to find. Some items were rolled and others folded, but every item of clothing was in a cube. Packing cubes all the way.

Power bank – if you have several devices with you, it’s worth bringing a power bank along (just remember it has to go in your hand luggage). Charge it up and when your phone inevitably runs out of battery while you are wandering through a new city you don’t have to go looking for a plug.

Compression socks – if you are on a long flight it’s a good idea to wear compression socks during the flight to help with blood flow when you aren’t moving for a long time. Just remember to take them off when you land.

Travel Apps

Tripit – my favourite travel app. You forward your flight, hotel, car rental, activity booking emails, and it creates an itinerary with all the details in one place. It also keeps the information so you can look back at previous trips and remember what you did. I have previous trips as far back as 2014 on my app. All for free. There is a paid upgrade, but I’ve never used more than the free version.

Roadtrippers – this is more for a major road trip. You enter all the stops you want to visit and it creates a route for you. It also shows points of interest along the route. The free version limits how many stops you can add to the trip but is still useful for planning. Use this link to get a discount on the yearly subscription.

Miscellaneous

Wise – I’ve used other methods of dealing with different currencies in the past, but now I’m with Wise I wouldn’t go back. You get a debit card that you load with different currencies, and then pay in the local currency when away. You can have many different currencies active at the same time and it will automatically detect which one is appropriate for the country you are in. It’s also a useful business option as you can generate bank account details for each currency if you need to be paid by a person or business. When you start to run low just log in to the app and load more money on to the card.

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