We’ve all had the experience of trying to book a last minute flight or find quality budget accommodation. Don’t even get me started on the search for the perfect travel insurance. Here are some of my favorite travel services that make traveling that much sweeter and smoother on the go. I highly recommend the companies below and I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have!
These days there are a ton of ways to get from point A to B. Below are my favorite, budget friendly (aka super cheap!) companies to search for plane, bus, or car-sharing options around the world.
Bla Bla Car
This is a free service and it saved me a ton of money while I was traveling in Europe. All you have to do is create a free profile and find drivers or passengers in the area to carpool with. The cost is usually a percentage of the cost for fuel. In my experience, Bla Bla Car is much cheaper than buying train tickets. To learn more, check out my post, “Why Not to buy a Eurail Pass.”
This is a new company that allows you to search various modes of transportation with one click. Instead of doing exhaustive research with multiple tabs and switching back and forth, GoEuro simplifies the process and helps to find you the best deal!
This company is primarily in the States, but is branching out in Europe too. You can find tickets starting as low as $1 if you search in advance. Mega buses are on a luxury coaches which usually include wifi.
This is one of my favorite budget airline search engines. I consistently find the cheapest prices compared to other sites. They have a free app for downloading and you can search for cruises, hotels, and car rentals as well.
This is a cool alternative if you’re not quite sure how you feel about couch surfing but are tired of the empty hotel rooms or the crazy loud-ness of hostels. AirBnb is available in all major cities and even popping up in more rural locations too. Check it out!
I always try to couch surf whenever possible. In my experience it’s much more than a free place to stay, it’s a way to connect with the local people and culture. I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive moments I’ve shared with couch surfers and I’d highly encourage anyone to try it out.
This is a good search engine for finding budget hostels all over the world. They have extensive reviews and detailed lists of the amenities offered for each hostel.
For those pet lovers out there looking for a more stable home base while traveling, this might be the perfect place for you to start your journey! Trusted Housesitters has an excellent reputation, and though I’ve yet to do an assignment through their website, I can’t wait to try it!
Volunteering with Workaway is one of the best ways I know of to have an authentic, local experience no matter where you go. It’s a culture exchange program that allows you to save money while traveling by staying with a host family and volunteering a few hours a day. You can read about my first Workaway experience in France here, and read a follow-up post where I sing its praises.
COOL TRAVEL-RELATED STUFF
These are a few things that have made my travels seamless and added to my comfort on-the-go.
If you’re into hiking, biking, or horseback riding, this app is for you. Based on your GPS location it will find the closest trails to you with a variety of levels and distances. There are often pictures and reviews, or you can add your own!
Allianz Travel Insurance
While traveling, I’ve gotten malaria, gotten pick-pocketed, and had to cancel one of my flights. Allianz travel insurance has taken care of it all. They have a simple and comprehensive plan that includes travel and medical coverage. Filing a claim can be done online anywhere, and they respond quickly without giving you grief. I’m very happy I took the plunge and decided to purchase travel insurance!
I call home and Skype on a regular basis with my premium account. While it’s free to Skype call video to video, having a premium account gave me a local (U.S.) phone number my friends and family could call at any time with no charge. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without Skype!
I’m a bit of a music lover and Spotify is the best app I’ve found to listen to music on the road. I have a premium account ($9.99.mo) which lets me download music for free and then listen to it offline on my phone or laptop. This has been a life-saver on long flights and bus rides.
MORE COOL STUFF
Here are a few other travel services that have been helpful to me on the road.
I’m not a huge fan of guidebooks, but Lonely Planet blows me away every time. They have authentic reviews and recommendations with personality for even the most seasoned back-packer. They keep their destination guides fresh and up-to-date without going over and over the top tourist attractions. If you like off-the-beat places, check out the Lonely Planet Shop online!
Before I quit my job to travel, I’d spend secret moments at work looking at all of the Groupon Getaways featured around the world. My co-workers and I would oooh, and ahhh, over photos of exotic locations and exciting adventures. If you’re the resort or package deal kind of traveler, Groupon is for you!
Healthy Travel 101
Whether you live and breathe fitness or simply tend to overindulge on holidays, staying in tip-top shape while travelling can be a challenge. The last thing you want to do is get sick on the road. Trust me, I’ve been there. Healthy Travel 101 is a great resource with some practical ways to stay healthy and enjoy your travels to the fullest.
What products or services have you found invaluable on the road? I’d love to hear about them! If you’re a company who’d like me to write a review of your travel related gear, please shoot me an email at email@example.com
*Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for some of the travel services mentioned above. However, this in no way has influenced my endorsement for the products or services offered. I will receive a small commission if you purchase a product by clicking on the links above, but this is at no extra cost to you, and helps me to continue my travels! Thanks for supporting my affiliates, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to comment or send me an email. Cheers!Google+
Thank you for the valuable resources like Bla Bla Car and GoEuro. I just returned from Scandinavia. I took the train throughout Sweden to Denmark, then a ferry from Denmark to Oslo. I have plans to return (as soon as possible with Workaway) so these resources will come in handy for sure.
I’m so glad you found these resources helpful! I think planning long-term travel can feel overwhelming sometimes. But once you realize how many resources are out there, it feels a lot more do-able! Best of luck on your travels, I love Scandinavia!