It starts with an idea, a thought, a dream you had as a child, a photo or story you saw. This ignites something within you. It gives you boldness, it moves you to action. Travel is whatever you want it to be… relaxation, a recharge, a cultural awakening, a learning experience, a challenge.
Answer Some Basics to Get You Started…
- Where do I wish to go?
- When am I planning to go?
- How long of do I have?
- What do I seek out of my break?
- What is my preferred style of travel?
- Do I have a budget I will try to adhere to?
- Am I a ‘do-it-youself’er’, or prefer an organized tour?
Remember… Its the journey.. not the destination.
AIRFARE & FLIGHTS
Step 1 of your break.. your boldness, is asking for, or gifting yourself the time off. Purchasing your flight ticket is typically Step 2. These days, there are many booking engines that make price comparison and booking simple and easy. If you do not relish the time and effort it takes to do this on your own, you can always visit your friendly neighborhood Travel Agent.
Cheap Tickets has been my go-to site over the years to check, compare airfares and book the cheapest flights. I especially like the fact that it lists various airlines, so I can check that against my personal frequent-flyer mileage plan.
Kayak.com is a great site to compare routes, airlines and prices. And, is a great way to search for rental car prices.
Google Flights is a great tool for those who are wide open with their travel plans, both destination and travel dates.
tripadvisor is one of my most-loved and most-used travel tools. It is invaluable is finding the best hotels, best restaurants, things to do and much more. Read reviews, compare prices, and even book. Narrow down searching by using filters.
Booking.com is part of the Priceline Group. I use Booking.com dozens of times each year for both domestic hotel bookings and international. It also serves well for last-minute bookings. (NOTE! I recommend to always ‘refresh’ your computer browser history before and after using Booking.com and similar search engines for hotels and airlines).
AirBnB is ubiquitous and changing the landscape of overnight accommodations. Many cities in crowded tourism areas struggle with beds for visitors versus having affordable housing available for residents. However, I do use this myself, and appreciate the neighborhood locations and special touches and attention to detail given by most all the hosts I’ve encountered.
agoda: agoda is a great hotel and accommodation booking agent to find cheap hotel deals, especially in SE Asia. It has an extensive database so you’ll find all the big hotel brands, as well as smaller guesthouses.
WorldNomads: I have used World Nomads personally and professionally for over a decade. They are very reputable, offer a range of coverage, and any claims are processed quickly. And they give you the ability to donate to local communities by connecting customers to projects run by established charities.
TRAVEL CLOTHING & GEAR
ExOfficio: ExOfficio, is a leading manufacturer of adventure travel apparel. For over 20 years, I never leave home without a couple of pairs of Exofficio pants and shirts. They wick sweat, dry fast, serve as sun and bug protection, and they’re so damn stylish!
EagleCreek. You are not a typical traveler, and Eagle Creek is not your typical suitcase. For decades, Eagle Creek has led the field in travel luggage, duffels, backpacks, organizers and travel accessories. check out their helpful: Buying Guide to Travel Luggage.
SUPERfeet: I don’t know where I would be without SUPERfeet! I have been using SUPERfeet arch support for over 20 years. I keep a pair in every one of my dress, casual, hiking, and ski boots.
KEEN. Keen Footwear combines sustainable style with outdoor performance. I love taking my Keens when I travel. For stepping out in style, I like the Men’s Austin. Made in America (Portland, OR)
Klean Kanteen. Plastic is a scourge! this is why I belong to TAP (Travelers Against Plastic). Do your part and use a sturdy, refillable ‘kanteen’. My Klean Kanteen has been to so many countries, it should have its own passport. Check out their Supporting Action page to see their action in areas of plastic pollution, water conservation and more.
Atlas: Snowshoeing has grown from a fringe winter activity to one of the most popular wintertime pastimes. And, no wonder.. its easy to learn, great exercise, great for the whole family, and fun as heck! Try it out.
Lonely Planet: Plan your perfect trip with expert advice, travel tips, destination information and inspiration from Lonely Planet.
Afar Magazine. “Endless Inspiration” is what they promise. I would agree! Each and every issue is filled with travel inspiration, stories, and helpful tips for us travelers. Check out their “Where to Go” features.
WordPress. Many of the top Travel Blogs out there use WordPress as the content management system (CMS). It’s free, offers thousands of travel themes and ways you can customize your site. Consider self-hosting so that you own your domain name.
SmugMug: I prefer SmugMug for its design options, ability to create personalized photo galleries, built-in SEO optimization, and ability to resize photos. SmugMug offers different plans, some of which offer ability to sell photos.