My Favorite Inspirational Travel Websites and Blogs
Travel Websites and Blogs for Planning, Inspiration and Help
Planning a trip is half the fun of actual traveling, in my opinion! This page lists my favourite links for websites and blogs that have been invaluable help and inspiration for backpacking and volunteering abroad.
It is easy enough to find a wealth of information online to help you plan your big trip. With this in mind I have added sites that are in many cases hidden gems, or sites that you simply cannot pass by!
When I have been searching for help on planning my adventures, I have come across similar articles to the one I am writing now. However, so many of them have out of date links. I thought that by compiling an up to date list of the websites may also help other travellers.
The Best Websites For Travel Transport - Travel information and price comparison
This website is a fantastic resource for train travel across the world. As well as being able to look at timetables and prices, the Man on Seat Sixty One also offers advice and information on what to expect from that particular country's rail travel. Often there are photos of inside the train too. As a woman travelling alone, I like to know how safe I can expect to be and know as much as I can about the nature of travelling on that particular train, this website gives an absolute wealth of trusted information.
Skyscanner "scans" prices of flights to help you choose the best deal. I like this site because unlike a lot of other price comparison sites it doesn't bring up loads of different pop up windows when you search. The results are clearly shown on a table and you have the option to be flexible with dates and see a chart of when flight prices are cheaper during any particular day of the week. Also there is an option to put "everywhere" as a destination!
Yes, the Travel Answer Man does indeed have all the answers! As well as every travel tip you can think of, Travel Answer Man has a great directory of links for transportation and journey planning.
Travel Online Magazines - Travel articles, tips, reviews, inspiration and so much more
Matador Network is the largest independent online travel magazine and crammed with articles to tantalise the traveller. Every time I visit Matador I end up spending much more time than I should reading all the diverse, informative and amusing articles on this site. The website is very easy to navigate, you can browse articles, films and photography ranging from green travel to financial advice. Matador community are one of the friendliest on the web too. What I think makes Matador really stand out though is their commitment to helping aspiring travel writers, MatadorU is their "new media school for travellers" where you can sign up for travel writing, film or photography programs.
I love Road Junky! This website isn't as slick as Matador, but has articles that you just wouldn't get anywhere else. Road Junky "goes the extra step and tell you things other guides don't and won't dare to discuss", you certainly wouldn't find their travel advice in Lonely Planet! Their articles are very hugely funny, crazy and sometimes scary but always entertaining. If you want the truth about a country before you go, you will find it here. This is one of my favorite websites, ever.
A website for people considering or planning a career break with hoards of relevant and up to date advice for those contemplating a career break, or travelling at the moment or making the transition home. Briefcase to Backpack has featured career breakers, who share their experiences on the site. Really fantastic, especially if you are just starting out in planning your trip.
It would be foolish to leave out the original (probably!) and best travel magazine EVER! Anyone interested in travelling should see this website, the photos are so awe-inspiring.
Inspirational Travel Blogs
This married couple have been travelling for 4 years now and this blog shares their experiences and philosophy on life. As well as blog posts about where they have been, there are articles, recipes, photos and videos. With 4 years of travelling under their belts, there's a lot to read and it's great to dip in and out of this website.
Vagabonding is a method of travel that involes firstly living on very basic means and secondly implies freedom of movement and thought. This blog is written by Wes Nations, who is travelling the world for a year. He is trying to use ground transportation as much as possible in order to really experience the countries he visits. With breathtaking photos, hilarious stories and also tip and articles on how he is budgeting for this journey.
Matt is also a vagabond traveller, and his blog not only provides the great stories, tips and photos that make up a good travel blog - but he also writes e-books which look great and are available to buy on his site. In fact, I am off to buy one after writing this!
I think this is my favourite blog because Christine Gilbert is similar to me in age and has left the corporate world behind her, like me. Christine has completely changed her life and she seems to be having a fantastic experience, I can only hope to be as successful as her! She is travelling the world with her cute children and husband - I just love her writing style. She also provides courses to help people learn to blog successfully.
Places to Stay the Night
This website is a Godsend for all budget travellers; read reviews, check availability, book quicky and simply online - fantastic!
Couch surfing in an online community who are either offering a bed or (a couch) in their home to people, or travellers looking for somewhere to sleep the night. The people offering beds do not charge for it either! It is a system based on trust. I am yet to try out couch surfing myself, but I will! You do need people to verify you as a good person before you really will be accepted into someone's home, so have a few friends or room mates to vouch that you are not crazy. Once you have stayed in someone's house, they will give you a reference on your profile and vice versa. Take a look at the website, it is a very interesting concept.
This website lists inns, hostels and boutique hostels all over the world that are less than $150.00 per night. Each review is comprehensive and each hotel is nominated by their members and verified by the website's editors. This is a brilliant place to find one-of-a-kind and cheap hotels to stay!
Websites For Volunteering Overseas - without the huge fees to an agent
This site is a global online noticeboard of people advertising for help and volunteers in exchange for food and boarding. I have seen posts advertising for people to renovate an ancient fort in India to volunteers needed to help out on a ranch in Wyoming! There is a vast variety of opportunities available, and you don't have the extra cost of paying hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars to a travel agent. To sign up and contact hosts you just need to pay 22 Euros for the year, I think this is very good value for what you get in return. Anyone is welcome to sign up; gap year students, retired people, families and career breakers.
WWOOF stands for Worldwide Workers on Organic Farms! Unlike Workaway above, these volunteer opportunities are just on organic farms. In exchange for food and lodging you get to work somewhere amazing - WWOOF is global. I have friends who are doing this at the moment and are staying in really good accommodation, have free use of a car and get to milk goats! There is a small fee to join.
Stay Safe Travelling - useful travel safety tips
Detective Kevin knows everything that needs to be known about travel safety! His site has great tips (survive a plane crash/avoid getting ripped off when shopping) and links to every possible website you can think of to ensure you travel safe.
Set up by journalist Robert Young Pelton, this website keeps you up to date on the most dangerous places to travel to. Robert has travelled extensively to extremely dangerous areas and his adventures are enough to make you stay home safe in bed! Or if you are a thrill junkie, go straight out to Afghanistan.
This is a good article about keeping safe as a woman traveller. Although after reading it, I wanted to shave off all my hair.