Ready to go on your next voyage? Use these travel resources as your one-stop shop for all your travel needs. Links in Step 1 let you dream and explore where you might want to go next. Then use the Step 2 links to plan and book your next trip. These are my go-to resources when I book travel—and I do that as often as I can ; )
Step 1: Exploration & Research
My Pinterest “Best of…” boards are a great place to start if you’re not sure where you’d like to go and are looking for some visual inspiration. I pin the best photos I find from each continent—photos that make me say “Wow”. Also check out “My Travels in…” boards. Some good photos there too. And I can give you info on any of these destinations.
The Amateur Traveler podcast. Chris Christensen’s podcast has been going for over 10 years! He talks to guests on destinations throughout the world covering what to see and do in each place and what makes it unique and desirable to see. If you’re thinking of going somewhere chances are, with over 500 episodes, he’ll have a podcast on that destination.
Join Us in France podcast. This is a podcast I found out about at the beginning of the year and is one of my very favorites. If you’re at all interested in France, this is the podcast to listen to to learn all about topics such as food, art, history and the logistics of traveling in France as well as destinations all over the country.
Rick Steves’ YouTube channel. If you’re interested in Europe, you probably already know about Rick Steves. With over 30 years of European travel, writing guidebooks, running tours, and public speaking, Rick is the go-to resource for Europe. And he’s also branching out a bit to other parts of the world. His professional-quality videos are a great introduction to travel on this continent.
Expoza YouTube channel. Although a bit old and stuffy in its British narration, Expoza has the most comprehensive collection of videos on all parts of the world that I’ve found. Good for seeing what a destination will be like before going.
Trip Advisor. Perhaps everyone’s “go-to” reference for travel. Great for all types of info and reviews. I use it as a resource for planning what to do and see in a destination.
Amazon.com. Get your guidebooks and travel supplies here.
Step 2: Planning & Booking
Kayak is a travel consolidator that compares the major airlines for prices. Good for finding the best price on airlines that you can use your frequent flier miles with.
Skyscanner is a travel consolidator that compares all airlines, including smaller ones, for prices. Good for finding the cheapest price.
Seat Guru gives you info on what each seat is like on your flight before choosing. I’ve sat in some tiny, annoying seats on flights. Avoid this issue by checking your seat reservation here first.
Hotels.com is my favorite resource for finding hotels around the world. I love the search options, reviews, and photos, and especially the 10th night free (AKA 10% off).
Airbnb is my choice when I want to get to know locals in the place I’m traveling, but still want to see photos and get information on the accommodation. I’ve used it to find rooms to stay in several countries.
I rent cars when I go to Florida to visit family and occasionally overseas. Hertz has been my favorite company. It was a breeze to rent in Barcelona and the staff was very helpful and friendly. I don’t feel extra fees are going to pop up when I rent from Hertz like sometimes with other companies.
Traveling in Europe? Train travel is the way to go—it’s convenient, fast, and affordable, and served by a large rail network. Get a Eurail pass for travel around most of the countries.
Traveling in Latin America? Bus travel is the way to go. Some sites you can buy your ticket online for South American routes are Latin Bus (for Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru), Tickets Bolivia (for Bolivia), Bus Portal (for Peru), and Omni Lines (for Argentina).
Although I usually do independent travel, these are my favorite options for travel to places I can’t (or wouldn’t want to) travel on my own:
G Adventures is the largest small group adventure travel company. It is committed to responsible, sustainable travel and has a large offering of tours, in six different styles of comfort/adventure, around the world. Its sister company, Planeterra, supports community development around the world through travel.
Intrepid Travel offers affordable tours to all parts of the world. With its 3 types of tours (Basix, Original, and Comfort), you can choose how you want to travel while still having memorable adventures.
National Geographic Journeys is the new partnership between G Adventures and National Geographic. It mixes National Geographic’s history of research and scholarly exploration with G Adventures’ tour knowledge and focus on sustainable travel. A good match, as both companies are focused on the environment, and the partnership allows for a learning adventure at a price much lower than you would find through National Geographic.
Looking to improve your photography skills as you explore new destinations? Then check out PhotoEnrichment Adventures. Ralph Velasco is an expert teacher with a talent for capturing authentic people shots around the world. His tours mix cultural experiences with photography training.
Walking Tours/Day Trips
Walking tours and/or day trips are my favorite ways to explore a new destination. I have the freedom to travel on my own, but a guide when I get to a city when I want to learn more about a specific place or have an experience I might not be able to arrange on my own.
*Urban Adventures offers day trips in cities around the world helping you get to know a culture better by experiencing daily life. I did a great evening in Delhi, India, during Diwali learning about how the holiday is celebrated and how to cook a traditional Indian meal.
Walks of Italy is a great choice when you’re in Italy. The company has now branched out to walking tours in New York City and Turkey too.
Yes, this one is important, especially if you’re traveling long-term and out of the country (where your insurance usually isn’t in effect). Most tours require participants to show proof of insurance before the start of the tour. And, it’s good to know that if something unexpected happens (you never know when an unexpected fall or emergency at home could abruptly end a trip), you’re covered.
World Nomads is a good insurance choice for long-term/multi-month travel if you will be out of the country over 6 months.
Let me know if you have other recommended resources you think I should add to the list (and why). I’m always trying to supply the best, and manageable amount of resources for successful trip planning!
*The links marked with an asterisk are affiliate partners of Voyager Vicki. I will earn a small commission if you book through these links. However, you won’t spend any more than booking directly with the company. So, it’s a great way for us to help each other out in our travels!