Often, I get asked for travel tips or tricks, my favorite things to bring on trips, and so on. Here, I share my favorite resources I use to plan and make the most of adventures.
It’s rare I’ll stay in a hotel while traveling. I’ve been known to make exceptions when a hotel is really the only option (e.g., Disney World) or there’s a great deal to be found. Booking.com is my go-to for those times I need to book a hotel- it never fails me.
Other times, I’m booking through Airbnb. I never book an Airbnb unless it has dozens of positive reviews, wifi, and is central to where I need to be. I’ve rented entire apartments, and also stayed in private rooms as part of someone else’s home. I’ve never felt unsafe, and often enjoy chatting with hosts to learn more about the place I’m visiting.
I’ve written about how I find and book cheap flights, but Google.com/flights and Skyscanner are my go-to’s for searching flight routes. Once I have a destination or route in mind, I use Hopper to predict future price drops, and always sign up for an email alert from Hipmunk to ensure I don’t miss out on any savings.
I also search in Google’s Incognito mode– once the airlines know you’re looking, prices go up.
Pro-tip: If you don’t live in the states, set your Hipmunk settings to USD to ensure you’re able to utilize the email alert feature.
I use Digit to help auto-save for trips, and always insure my trips with World Nomads. I recently made the mistake of not doing so on a weekend trip to Paris, which ended with me spending 7 hours in a French hospital. You never know what’s going to happen- make sure you’re covered for weather, sickness and unfortunate luck.
These are 12 apps I like to have when traveling, but my true ‘can’t live withouts’ are:
- Custom Google Maps (read more about how to make one here, but these are essential- I make one for every trip)
- XE Currency (quick currency exchanges)
- Google Translate (type text or scan a photo to easily translate, you can also download languages ahead of time so they’re available if you don’t have wifi)
- WhatsApp (essential for international check-ins with family and friends)
- Foursquare/Yelp (the best for finding quick restaurant/coffee/drink recos on the go)
As of now, I only shoot on my iPhone. I’ll likely be investing in a DSLR later this year, but until then, I rely on ColorStory and Picfx to help edit photos.
The only time I’ve paid to check luggage in the past 6 years was when I moved to London. These secrets to packing light help ensure I carry-on every time.
- For whatever reason, I destroy luggage. This American Tourister carry-on can take a beating, fits every airline’s baggage restrictions (even budget carriers), and fits a ton of stuff- I use it for weekend trips, as well as 2+ weeks away
- If I’m only going away for a few nights, I’ll usually just take my Eagle Creeck Afar backpack or my Everlane duffel bag
On almost every trip, you’ll find these things in my bag:
- Compression cubes: Big fan of the Specter ones, they save so much space and organize things so nicely
- World adapter: Something most people don’t think about until they’re packing, but critical
- USB wall port charger: Charge everything at once
- Back-up battery: I usually travel with at least two of these, which ensures I’m never stressing about my phone dying
- TEP wireless device / international phone plan: A lot of US carriers make it easy to get international coverage in Western Europe for as low as $9 a day to your existing plan. Is having wifi essential to traveling abroad? No, but it does make it a lot easier and more enjoyable.
- Now that I live in London, I’m on a phone plan that covers the EU, which is great. However, international data is unbearably expensive (we’re talking $30-40 a day), so I use a TEP wireless device if I’m going outside of Europe. These are also great if you’re traveling in a group and want to split the cost of staying connected abroad
- Black sneakers: I’ll never be someone who packs cute shoes and expects to walk +20k steps in them each day. You’ll always find functional and comfortable sneakers in my bag- these are my current favorites
If you travel solo as much as I do, then you know what it’s like to pass time on countless plane/train rides alone. If I don’t have my laptop, I’m reading on my Kindle or listening to one of my favorite podcasts. Ones I’m into currently: The Rich Roll Podcast, Girls Gone WOD, Being Boss, Smart Passive Income, The Get Paid Podcast, The GaryVee Audio Experience, Freakonomics, This American Life).