Travel Planning Resources

Dream vacation on Côte d’Azur, backpacking in Mongolia or multi-year journey around the world? In truth, the success of any trip depends on careful planning. Above all, these online travel planning resources save time and make any trip preparation less stressful.

Travel Planning Puzzle

Our travel planning resources cover all facets of travel planning. For instance, learn about the cost of living or type of power outlets. Likewise, search for best plane tickets. Afterward, look into booking accommodations or even decide to try housesitting instead. Finally, refresh your travel etiquette knowledge.

Jump to Visas | Financials | Travel Insurance | Keeping in Touch | Useful Apps | Tickets | Accommodations (including House Sitting) | Practical Advice | Traveling with Children | Solo Travel | Travel Forums and Communities | Travel Gear

List of travel planning resources can’t be complete without the answer to “How to find the best plane ticket?” question. In Under The Radar Airlines we share our successful strategy.

Travel Planning Resources » BEFORE YOU GO

  • Numbeo – the world’s largest database of user contributed data about cities and countries worldwide
  • Expatistan – cost of living index
  • Expatfinder – looking for a new place to stay/live/work somewhere in the world? No doubts, there is a good chance that Expatfinder might help. Browse articles and advice concerning digital nomads, location independent professionals and, of course, expats around the world. Banking questions or looking for insurance? Check their variety of expat-targeted services.
  • Country Profiles – from BBC
  • European Commission
  • European Border Crossing – information about Schengen Borders by European Commission
  • BootsnAll – one-stop indie travel guide
  • Travel Math – online trip calculator. For instance, you can measure travel distance and travel time or compare the distance by car, or the length of your road trip
  • Speed Limits by Country – from Wikipedia
  • Trustpilot – Europe’s largest and fastest-growing consumer review platform
  • The Guide to Sleeping in Airports – whether you sleep in an airport overnight by choice or you just get stuck in the airport due to a layover or weather delay, let’s make your travel experience more tolerable
  • LoungeBuddy – discover and book premium airport lounges worldwide
  • Which travel adaptor do I need for… – country-by-country report from Electrical Safety First
  • Worldwide Travel Plug Guide – from Cheapflights.co.uk
  • GasBuddy.com – gas prices in the US and Canada. Including gas prices map, gas prices per gas station in different cities, trip cost calculator
  • RewardExpert – a service that provides you with a strategy about getting an airline ticket to anywhere in the world without paying the airfare

Travel Planning Resources » International Driving Permit

Online Travel Planning Resources » Air Quality and Pollution

  • Air Quality Map (by Breezometer) – perhaps, not a first thing that comes to mind when you start thinking about your next destination. However, if you plan to stay in one place for a prolonged period of time (i.e., slow travel) and/or you have a medical condition that makes you sensitive to the quality of air, better to consult this map.
  • Worldwide Air Quality Map (by Plume Labs)
Travel planning resources by country: 🇧🇬Bulgaria and Sofia ~ 🇨🇴Colombia and Medellin ~ 🇨🇷Costa Rica and San Jose ~ 🇨🇾Cyprus and Limassol ~ 🇬🇪Georgia and Tbilisi ~ 🇳🇱Netherlands and Amsterdam ~ 🇵🇹Portugal and Lisbon ~ 🇹🇭Thailand and Chiang Mai ~ 🇺🇾Uruguay and Montevideo

Online Travel Planning Resources » Visas

  • iVisa – check if you need a tourist visa. Then, if you need it, apply online. According to iVisa website: “We enable travelers to process visas from a computer, smartphone or tablet. Travelers no longer need to research or get frustrated dealing with different Governments.”
  • How to Get an EU Passport – Citizenship by Descent – from XYU and Beyond – Europe is on your mind, and you want to stay there for an extended period time. For an American or Canadian citizen, it’s not easy. Getting an EU passport is notoriously difficult but possible. This article explains how to obtain this coveted item by applying for residency through descent
  • How to (Legally) Stay in Europe for More Than 90 Days – from Nomadic Matt
  • The Ultimate Guide to staying longer in Europe – from I am Aileen by Aileen Adalid
  • Know Before You Go: Passport, Visa and Health Regulations – a tool provided by IATA (International Air Transport Association). Specifically, it provides personalized passport, visa and health requirements advice based on your personal details and itinerary. In addition, check if your travel documents are sufficient. Also, details on customs import and export regulations. In particular, it covers rules about pets, airport departure taxes, and import and export restrictions.
  • Sherpa – Easy Travel Visas. This mobile app allows to search travel visa information for your citizenship, and apply for those visas

Online Travel Planning Resources » Financials

  • WeSwap – is the people’s currency exchange. Specifically, they let travelers around the world swap currency with each other with no hidden costs, so that everyone gets the fairest rate and has more to spend on the important things on holiday
  • TransferWise – send money with the real exchange rate. Banks and other providers often add a markup to their exchange rate while advertising low fees, which means you could be paying huge hidden charges. TransferWise transparently displays its fee upfront and deducts it before conversion. TransferWise then uses the mid-market rate, independently provided by Reuters without any markup
  • Square Cash – exchange money quickly, easily, and for free
  • N26 – smart banking with Europe’s most modern bank account
  • Xoom and Venmo were acquired by PayPal – they both offer “send money” services. Since they become part of Paypal, the advantage of using them instead of Paypal is not clear
Expanding travel planning resources even further. What a traveler should know about insurance. International travel insurance vs. health insurance.

Online Travel Planning Resources » Travel Insurance

Online Travel Planning Resources » Keeping in Touch

More travel planning resources. We travel, we work –> list of Technology Resources (Digital Nomad Resources) on the road.

Online Travel Planning Resources » Useful Apps

  • Klook – discover activities, attractions and things to do wherever you travel. Link to download apps is in the right top corner of the page
  • Mobile Passport Control (MPC) – expedite a traveler’s entry process into the United States. Eligible travelers can use the app to submit their passport information and customs declaration form via a smartphone or tablet prior to CBP inspection

Online Travel Planning Resources » Tickets and Airfare Aggregators

  • Matrix Airfare Search – from ITA Software by Google – if you are based in the US, this is one of the most helpful online travel planning resources you can find
  • Dohop – a travel search engine based in Reykjavík, Iceland, originally founded to aggregate and link low cost flight connections. TB NOTE: in comparison to Hipmunk found better flight deals
  • Skyscanner – compares over 1000 airlines to find the cheapest airfares
  • Momondo – a Copenhagen-based travel metasearch engine to find and compare prices on airplane tickets, hotels, cars and travel deals. It does not sell tickets directly but provides an overview of available travel services on the internet and refers to travel providers. The number one on my list of travel planning resources.
  • Kiwi.com (formerly known as Skypicker) – find and book low-cost flights all around the world. Some call them “THE flight hack” others say “No customer service, no assistance, the Kiwi Guarantee doesn’t exist.” I haven’t used them.
  • Airfare Watchdog – search for best airfare deals. TB NOTE: in comparison to Hipmunk found better flight deals
  • Hipmunk
  • Vayama – best at finding two one-way fares that beat the price of a roundtrip fare. Also has great deals for flights to South America
  • Indie – Multi-Country Flight Finder

Travel Planning Resources » Onward Ticket Services

  • Best Onward Ticket – if you are traveling long-term or without a fixed plan using one-way tickets, you may be required to show proof of onward travel in order to obtain a visa or even to board your plane. BOT provides you with a perfectly legitimate flight ticket that lasts for the duration of your journey (generally long enough to get you through airport check-in and immigration on arrival).
  • One Way Fly – a Paris located travel agency offering the possibility to receive an onward ticket that is good for 14 days (including your choice of onward destination). You will only have to pay a small amount for this service, way less than you would have paid if you had to book for a real plane ticket.
  • Ticket Onward – another service if you need an onward ticket. Ticket Onward is valid for use within 72 hours (3 days). Beware: you would have to upload  a photo of your passport to book your ticket.

Travel Planning Resources » LOGISTICS AND SUCH: plane, rail, bus, taxi…

  • SeatGuru – airline seat maps, flights shopping, and flight information
  • FlightsFrom.com – finding airline routes and flight schedules from a specific airport. Combining their results with booking directly from airlines is one of many purposes of these online travel planning resources
  • Low Cost Airline Guide – in the UK and Europe
  • GoEuro – a multi-mode search engine for all major forms of travel in Europe. It compares and combines air, bus, train and car rental options for many destinations throughout Europe. GoEuro covers both big and small localities, not just cities lucky enough to have an airport. In addition, it calculates the overall travel time and costs, making it easier to plan and budget a trip
  • Freighter Voyages – sailing on a freighter
  • Taxible – taxi in one click: mobile app (available in Spain, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Andorra)
  • Rail Europe – the one-stop shop for train travel in Europe
  • Eurail – travel Europe with Eurail train pass. It was formerly known as Europass or Eurorail pass. The Eurail is a train pass that allows its holders to travel in 28 European countries. It covers nearly all European railroads and some shipping lines
  • Taxi2Airport – an online reservation and booking system for airport transfers all around the globe
  • Suntransfers – reliable, low-cost airport transfers. TB Note: our favorite choice of airport transfers around the world 
  • AirHelp – provides legal services to airline passengers who have experienced a flight cancellation, delay or overbooking when traveling into or out of the European Union

Travel Planning Resources » ACCOMMODATIONS

Online Travel Planning Resources » Housing

  • Airbnb – find a place to stay around the world. Our go-to source to find long[er]-term accommodations
  • AirDNA – Airbnb data & insights; might help you to make educated decision about where to go next
  • HostelsClub – 28,000+ affordable accommodations all around the world
  • HotelsCombined – compare hundreds of travel sites and save
  • Couchsurfing – a service that connects members to a global community of travelers. Use it to find a place to stay or share your home and hometown with travelers
  • HouseTrip – one of Europe’s largest holiday rental booking sites
  • 9flats.com – european counterpart of airbnb
  • HomeAway
  • Be Mate – a new way to stay and live in the city. It is a place where the comfort, space and privacy of a home meets the security and amenities of a hotel.
  • Holiday Lettings – privately owned holiday rentals worldwide
  • Roam – an international network of communal living spaces. Roam is building the first global co-living provider. Sign a single lease and you can roam among properties across multiple continents

Online Travel Planning Resources » House Sitting

Travel Planning Resources » PRACTICAL ADVICE: Life on the Road, Etiquette and Been Smart

Travel Planning Resources » TRAVELING WITH CHILDREN

Travel Planning Resources » SOLO TRAVEL

Online Travel Planning Resources » TRAVEL FORUMS AND COMMUNITIES

  • Backpack ME Travel Blog Traffic Exchange – The Travel Blog Traffic Exchange is a collection of the best travel blogs on the internet.
  • BootsnAll – around the world travel community for indie travel with good coverage of online travel planning resources
  • Expats Blog
  • Expat Arrivals – local info for global expats
  • Expat Exchange
  • GotSaga – a worldwide community of people with a passion for traveling and cultural diversity
  • InterNations – expatriates community from expats for expats
  • JourneyWoman – online travel planning resources just for women
  • Just Landed – Everything you need to live abroad – connecting expats worldwide
  • Lonely Planet – certainly, no introductions necessary. In particular, include their forums as a part of your online travel planning startegy
  • Matador Network – a community of passionate travelers across the globe
  • TravelDudes – a travel community. Above all, for Travelers, by Travelers!
  • TravelFish.org – helping travelers to Southeast Asia get the best experience. As well as helps off-the-radar places gain a little more exposure to the world

Travel Planning Resources » TRAVEL GEAR

Looking for more information about what to do before you leave for a trip? Check our Travel Resources.

Published: May 2015. Last update: April 2019

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Travel Planning Resources
Dream vacation on Côte d’Azur, backpacking in Mongolia or multi-year journey around the world? The success of any trip depends on careful planning. These online travel planning resources save time and make any trip preparation less stressful.

 

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26 thoughts on “Travel Planning Resources”

  1. Awesome list Elena!

    Loads of stuff in here I’d not heard of – great job compiling (and updating). Thanks!

  2. The site really helped me a lot to find some travel spots to add in my travel bucket, thanks for your suggestions.

  3. I’m not the best planner, so this is awesome for me – thank you for all your research, I’m saving this & will check it for my next trip, especially the travel insurance options – cheers

  4. What about Tripit for organizing your itinerary into one place? I’ve found that helpful since it’s easy to lose track of confirmation emails. Also, Vamo.com is nice for planning trips to multiple destinations, it automatically finds the best route and makes booking open jaws easier.

    • I used Tripit for a while but have mixed feelings about it. Tripit was useful for trip planning inside the US for non-overlapping trips. However, it did not work as well for multi-stop foreign trips. The biggest problem was with different currencies. For example, one airline used €, another – EUR. Tripit did not treat them as the same currency and could not calculate the total price of the trip. The only workaround was to manually re-insert amounts. Another problem was with “a trip within the trip” – for example, I have a 2-month long trip to Spain, but during 3rd week of this trip I am planning to visit Portugal. Tripit went haywire and never recorded correct dates. The bottom line: I had to manually “correct” Tripit for every non-US trip. Not very impressive.

      I haven’t heard about Vamo. Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll play with it to see how it works.

      • Ah, yeah, I can see TripIt not handling more complicated trips well. I’ve mainly used it for shorter ones. I run into the same thing with google calendar messing up auto-entered flight times because of time zones!

  5. Wow these are some great resources. I’m definitely bookmarking this page to check all of these out later. I use Travel Math quite a bit, sometimes just for fun to plan hypothetical road trips. Gasbuddy.com is also a great site for road trips because it’ll give you prices for gas stations in cities across the US and Canada.

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