Travel Resources

You can use the companies and resources below to better plan and book your trip. All the companies listed here are the ones I use when I travel. I consider them the best companies out there and the ones that continually offer the best deals.

Airfare

Kayak

A good flight search engine for fares leaving from the United States. They search a wide variety of airline and other flight brokers (Kayak is what is known as a meta search engine). I think they are a great starting point for searching for cheap airline tickets, especially if you are based in the US.

Vayama

A great flight search engine, especially for international flights outside the US. It’s one of my main starting points for when I book international tickets and I’ve found fares on their site hundreds of dollars cheaper than I’ve found elsewhere.

Skyscanner

This great website searches a lot of different airlines, including many of the budget carriers that sites like Kayak miss. This site should be involved in your search for cheap flights.

Momondo

This is one of my all time favorite search engines. They always seem to find airlines that offer the best deals. I tend to make this my starting point for all international flights.

Airfarewatchdog

This website monitors airline ticket prices and will alert you when deals occur. They find a lot of unadvertised fares and I highly recommend signing up for their newsletter. This is one of the best websites on the Internet to find airfare.

Accommodation

Agoda

An amazing website for accommodation in Asia. This should be your primary accommodation website for guesthouses and hotels in Asia. They have the most robust inventory and offer the best rates. When I travel around Asia, I don’t use anyone else.

Booking.com

Booking.com provides great resource and booking site for cheap hotels and other accommodation. I like their easy to use interface too.

Hotwire

This is probably the hotel site I use most. I really enjoy their blind booking process. They essentially say “we have a super rate on a 3 star hotel in New York’s Time Square” and you book it without knowing the hotel. While that sounds scary, I’ve never ended up in a bad hotel and have saved a ton of money in the process. Highly recommended site.

Hostelworld

The best hostel accommodation site out there with the largest inventory, best search interface, and availability. I use them for my bookings and they are an official sponsor of this website.

Couchsurfing

This website allows you to stay on people’s couches or spare rooms for free. It’s a great way to save money while meeting locals who can tell you much more about a city than you will find out in a hostel/hotel. I have used this website dozens of times and the site also has groups where you can meet up for events in your city.

Expedia

Not my favorite website but they do a really good deals on cruises, hotels, and sometimes flights. Better flight booking sites are Kayak and Vayama. However, for cruises and package deals, you really can’t beat Expedia. They also have a really good loyalty program.

Priceline

One of my favorite hotel sites because it allows you to bid on hotels and save a lot more money than just by booking directly. When used in conjunction with the bidding site Better Bidding, you can substantially lower the cost of your hotels by as much as 60%.

Airbnb

Another good accommodation alternative, this site connects with homeowners who rent out their homes/apartments to you. You’ll get all the comforts of home, the chance to stay in a local, non-touristy part of where you are going, and pay a fraction of the cost of a hotel room.

Travel Gear/Products

World Nomads Travel Insurance

I buy all my travel insurance from World Nomads. They have great customer service, competitive prices, and in depth coverage. I’ve been using this company since I started traveling in 2006 and think they are the best. They are also recommended by Lonely Planet and National Geographic.

Lonely Planet Guidebooks

Everyone has their own guidebook preference. Lonely Planet is mine. I like the look of their guides, organization, light weight, and emphasis on budget travel. Lonely Planet also redesigned their books in 2011 and they are now better organized with more photos and better maps.

REI Backpacks and Gear

I’ve had the same REI backpack with me for the last 6 years and it’s as good now as it was the day I bought it. Their products will last you a long time. Because the quality has been so great, I purchase all my travel gear through them.

Rail Europe

If you are going to visit Europe and plan on taking a lot of trains, get a rail pass. You will save money a lot of money. I’ve used a rail pass three times and saved hundreds of dollars each time. The math just works. I use the company Rail Europe and suggest you do too. They even ship passes for free. You can read about my experience using rail passes and a breakdown of my savings by clicking this link.

I-to-I Online TEFL Course

If you are looking for a good TEFL class, check out I-to-I. They run online courses, are cheaper than their competition, widely recognized, and will help you find a job. I highly recommend them over any other company if you are looking for to get a TEFL in order to teach English overseas.

Tours/Agents

G Adventures

My first overseas trip was in 2003 to Costa Rica with G Adventures. That trip turned me into a travel junkie I am today. I like their commitment to the environment, local communities, small group sizes, and balance of free time and scheduled activities. It’s the way touring should be done. Use the code “2014GONOMADIC” and get 10% off your tour! This is exclusive to my readers. No discount this big exists anywhere else!

STA Travel

A good company for those under 26 or are students. They offer discounted airfare as well as travel passes that save on attractions. I don’t use them that much anymore since I’m way over 26 but if you aren’t, make sure to check them out.

Briefcase to Backpack

A great resource for people who want to take a career break and need to know how. They hold yearly meet ups around the country to help people meet, plan, and go.

Airtreks

This company is a leader in RTW tickets. They offer some very good deals and, if you are interested in purchasing a round the world ticket, it’s best to call and get a quote from them first. They know their stuff.

The Man in Seat 61

This website is the ultimate guide to train travel anywhere in the world. They have the most comprehensive information on routes, times, prices, and train conditions. If you are planning a long train journey or some epic train trip, consult this site.

Go Today

Great website showcasing highly-discounted last minute tours and hotels. Great for the last minute planner.

Grassroots Volunteering

If you are looking to volunteer when you travel and want to support good organizations, use this website. It compiles a list of good local volunteer organizations that keep the money within the community. This is a tremendous resource for anyone wanting to volunteer overseas.

Top Travel Credit Cards

Travel credit cards offer huge sign-up bonuses that help you travel for free. They are worth getting. I’ve listed my favorites:

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

This is my favorite rewards card. You can earn up to 25,000 bonus points when you get the card (10,000 after your first purchase, 15,000 more after you spend $5,000 in 90 days) as well as a 20% transfer bonus when you move 20,000 to any participating airline (my favorite feature)! There’s no annual fee the first year ($65 per year after that). I use this card for all my day-to-day spending. Like all credit cards, terms and conditions apply.

Chase Sapphire Card

Another great card with a 40,000 Ultimate Rewards spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. You can transfer those points to companies like United, Hyatt, Amtrak, and more. This card comes with no overseas transaction fee and an introductory annual fee of $0 the first year, then $95. This is my second favorite rewards card after the Starwood card and the one I use when I’m overseas.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Get 40,000 membership reward points when you sign up and make $3,000 in purchases with your new card in the first three months. The card comes with a $450 yearly membership fee but you get Starwood Gold status, PriorityPass lounge access, and most domestic US lounge access. Moreover, you get $200 a year in statement credits for airline incidental fees like checked bags fees, flight-change fees, and snacks and there are no foreign transaction fees. In my opinion, if you travel a lot, I think it’s worth it. The card makes my life a lot easier. Like all credit cards, terms and conditions apply.

American Airlines Citi Card

Loyal to American Airlines? Get their credit card. You get up to 35,000 bonus miles when you sign up plus priority access, and free checked bags. You should always have the credit card of the airline you are most loyal to (in my case American).

United Mileage Plus Chase Card

Loyal to United? Get their credit card. You get with 30,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months, free checked bags, no foreign transaction fees, priority boarding, and two United club passes. There is a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 each year after.

The US Airways Premier World MasterCard

With this card, you get up to 35,000 bonus miles when you sign up, lounge passes, reduced reward redemptions, and free checked bags. This is a good card to get because when US airways mergers with American, your frequent flier accounts will get combined doubling your mileage account! Plan head!

The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard

This card gives you up to 50,000 points (40,000 after $500 in purchases, 10,000 after a balance transfer).  That’s enough for two round-trip domestic tickets. With the low minimum spending requirement, this would be a good card to get for some quickie domestic tickets.

Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard

Barclay’s card gives you 40,000 points after spending $1,000. That’s worth $440. This isn’t a bad card to get for a $440 airline credit. I got it to use as a one off but I won’t make this my everyday card, despite earning 2 miles per dollar spent.

American Express Platinum Card (Canada)

The public offer for this card is 50,000 Bonus Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months and comes with a $699 annual fee. Referral offers of 60,000 Bonus Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months are also available via this FlyerTalk thread.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I use all the companies listed and I recommend them because they rock and have made my travels better. If you are ready to book your trip and would like to support this website in some way, using these links will help do exactly that. Everybody wins and if you have any questions about the companies, e-mail me. I’m happy to answer any questions about the companies you have.

My Favorite Travel Books/Movies

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.