I know there are so many lists of travel websites out there. Everybody loves lists. I love lists. While researching my own list I even came across one that claimed they had the top 50 best travel websites. That doesn’t seem practical. At all. Anyway, I don’t care about other peoples’ lists. I made my own. And you don’t have to care about my list, but if you do (or need inspiration for your own list), keep on reading. There is no particular order, the numbers are just there to make a clear distinction.
The best website to get your plane tickets out there is by far Skyscanner
. It allows you to search, not only on a specific date, but also in a week, month or even the entire year. This way you are able to see at what time the tickets will be the cheapest (which is, after
all, the most important quality of plane tickets). My very favorite option of Skyscanner however, is the option to travel to: “anywhere”. It is literally in an option not to choose where to go. You don’t have to choose a destination, you can just decide you want to go away for a weekend, from an airport near you. And then you check out what the cheapest destination is for that weekend. An excellent option for adventurous travelers that don’t need a specific plan and want to be spontaneous. Although, this can also be planned months in advance.
Books are heavy. “No shit, Sherlock”, would be my brothers response to this statement. So I never bring any books with me anymore (with the occasional exception of a travel guidebook). I have recently bought a Kindle and I love it. It allows me to bring hundreds (thousands… millions…) of books with me on my trips. Even though I bought the e-reader, I also got very fond of reading books on my phone. While I’m waiting for a bus, while I’m in bed, waiting for sleep to take me away. It is possible at all times and I always have my phone handy. So it’s one of my favorite apps/websites/phenomenon.
Even though I have yet to make use of this excellent website, it is already one I can see myself falling back on in the foreseeable future. On this website you can book special rooms to stay in. A bed and breakfast in Austria, a villa in Spain or a cottage in England, it is all there. Just check out the location where you will be staying and see what is in store. People who have a space available can rent it out and post it on this website, where you can book it for a perfect weekend away.
If however, you don’t want to spend any money on accommodation, you can always opt to stay at the houses of generous locals who want to meet foreigners. Couchsurfing allows you to meet up with locals, to sleep there, or just to chat and hang out. You can, as the name says, crash at someones couch, but sometimes they have a guest room available. Not only is it a cheap way to stay at an exotic location, it is also an amazing chance to meet locals and let them show you around their city. Obviously, they know all the best places and you can really learn a lot about a culture by traveling this way. And even if you already have a place to stay, you can always post a message asking people to meet up, so you can still meet some fellow travelers or locals.
I’m sorry, maybe you thought/hoped/expected me to be the kind of person that is able to not check Facebook while traveling (who am I kidding? Everyone who knows me, knows that I am the person in the group asking: is there wi-fi?). I like to keep in touch. I like to see what my friends are doing and frankly, I like them knowing what I am doing. So yeah, Facebook made the list.
Everything you need to know, Google already knows. Google is the almighty oracle that can answer all your (travel) questions. What are the cultural norms, where to go for vegan food, what local cuisine should you try? You know Google, and if there are ANY questions you have about an upcoming trip… You know where to ask it.
7. Currency Converter
If you go to a country with another currency, this is a must. You’ll need to find out what your money is worth abroad. It always takes me a while to get used to the different values, and until I do, I use apps like these. Or use a calculator, if you want to be more old school (which, sometimes, I do).
Sharing is caring. Beautiful travel pictures will not only give your friends and family an idea of all the amazing things you are seeing, but it will also give you something to look back on when you are back home. Old school alternative: Facebook. Or keeping your pictures on an sd card until you are back home and you can sort everything out.
9. Google maps
How will you know where to go? I am aware that Google is already in this list, but Google Maps has such extreme value that it deserves an entire number itself. It tells you where you are, where to go and even what kind of facilities are in the neighborhood. An added app that is very, very convenient is Maps to go (click here for Android). Obviously being abroad means no roaming, because it’s very expensive. So if you’re out of a wi-fi zone, you can use the maps you downloaded, and still know where to go. I only discovered this app recently (thank you Vera), but it is already in my top 10.
10. Jetlag Rooster
This last website is very easy to use. If you fly out of your timezone (and let’s face it, your trip is not very adventurous if you are staying in your current timezone) you can fill out all of the details of your departure and the site will give you a sleeping schedule to adjust to the time difference. I think it is better than just staying up while it is dark or sleeping in the middle of the day, and you can even click the option to start before you have even left.
So this is my top 10. Please let me know if there are any websites or apps I will definitely need abroad!