Here is a carefully curated list of our favorite travel web resources:
Photoseek.com – Website of a professional photographer based in Seattle, WA. Excellent travel photography and some in-depth travel guides with a focus on photography and tramping/trekking/hiking. This site has particularly good content for Europe and New Zealand.
Zerototravel.com – This is our favorite travel podcast, which also includes great information on flexible work arrangements, creative living, global activism, and all sorts of lifestyle tips for those who enjoy getting out and seeing the world.
Thirteenmonths.com – The blog of a couple who got married and spent a year-long honeymoon traveling the world. The site is dead and has not been updated since 2006, but it’s still a good read.
Ricksteves.com – Some love his travel style and some hate it. Personally, watching his PBS TV shows on the weekends during high school are probably one of the largest contributing factors in terms of starting my travel “career”. I have used his guide books all over Europe and I think that they are very well done indeed. This site is probably the first stop I would recommend for any European vacation.
Neverendingvoyage.com – A couple who quit the corporate American way of life and now lives and works on the road. This is a good blog to introduce the idea of slow travel and working while traveling.
Tripsthatwork.com – Fun travel blog with some good content on unique destinations like Russia, North Korea, Cuba, the Ukraine, etc. Great pictures
Freakinflyers.com – Another couple who travels full time, largely for free using points and miles. A cool thing about this site is the transparency around travel costs, including monthly summaries of how much it costs to travel with their methods.
Flyertalk.com – These forums are probably the epicenter of all this travel-hacking, as much as any place on the internet can be on a particular subject. However, a lot of it seems written in code and the conversations for newbies can be hostile. Therefore, it seems to be also where many of the travel hacking blogs get their content, repackaging it for easier, mass consumption.
Millionmilesecrets.com – Loads of step by step instructions on travel hacking and many guides make this a good introductory site for people looking to get started in the hobby.
Travelisfree.com – The most advanced travel hacking site that I follow. Includes many comprehensive airline routing and redemption tips, and some particularly good and unique content about maximizing hotel points.
Extrapackofpeanuts.com – A site with some older content about travel hacking, but I recommend mainly for the excellent podcast about travel and lifestyle. Of the podcast episodes, I particularly enjoy the ones that are interviews with individuals pursuing unique travels and adventures.
Thepointsguy.com – I’m guessing this is the busiest site for travel hacking on the web. There is definitely a slant towards luxury travel and is therefore not always my interest.
Travelwithgrant.com – A blog that includes some unique money saving tips and tricks.
Romsdeals.com – A blog run by a fellow accountant and travel hacker. Includes some decent content and trip reports.
Creditkarma.com – A free proxy credit score service. We check this monthly along with creditsesame to make sure nothing goes wrong with our credit.
Creditsesame.com – A free proxy credit score service. We check this monthly along with creditkarma to make sure nothing goes wrong with our credit.
Priceoftravel.com – For long term trip planning, includes estimated costs of travel for countries all over the world, including differences based on travel style (backpacker, budget, luxury)
AwardMapper.com – A map search engine which displays reward night availability for global chain hotels. I use this during planning of each trip to see where I can best utilize my hotel points for free stays.
Airbnb.com – We stay at Airbnb quite often and usually have better experiences then when we use hotels. Particularly good for large cities with expensive hotels, if you have a big party (more than 2), if you want a kitchen to cook in, or if you prefer to have a local contact who can provide you with some local recommendations that are not motivated by a commission or what all the other tourists want to do. Prices have started to inflate quite a bit as people are becoming more marketing savvy, but it’s still usually cheaper for us to stay somewhere with Airbnb over a chain hotel.
Hostelworld.com – Renting an apartment or staying in a budget hotel is usually preferable to us when we travel. However, if it’s just one person a hostel is usually the best option for meeting people, price and location.
Hotels.com – Hotels.com seems to have the best rates going, and you effectively get 10% off on top of whatever pay with the buy 10, get one free. Note that it also is included in many reward portals, so you can get some extra cash back that way. Booking through hotels.com makes it much harder to cancel a stay, however.
Agoda.com – Specific booking site best for Asia.
Seat61.com – Very globally comprehensive source of information about riding in trains almost anywhere in the world. Includes descriptions and trip reports of some fun “special” train routes that are destinations in themselves.
http://matrix.itasoftware.com – From Google, this is the best way to search flights anywhere. Includes some very detailed filters that allow one to search for specific airlines, connections, multiple airports and ranges of dates and open-jaws. I would recommend that you also google search “ita advanced search options” to find instructions on how to use it. Once you get the hang of it you will never look elsewhere.
Whichbudget.com – Great source for budget airlines in Europe that are hard to search otherwise.
Fidelity.com – We use fidelity investments for all our banking. However, specifically for travelers they are excellent as they reimburse all ATM fees anywhere in the world. This usually saves us at least $10-20 for a week traveling, and that adds up if you travel a lot. In addition, their AMEX card offers 2% cash back and no annual fee, which is hard to beat.
Eebacanhelp.com – I highly recommend the envelope system of budgeting. We use this app and anytime we spend money we just punch in a few details here and it tracks and summarizes where we are vs budget. This app provides a good means for this, and can be used during extended travels for different categories of expense (food, hotel, sightseeing, transport, etc).