Traveler Resources.

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travel resource page Traveler ResourcesHello and welcome to the Beers & Beans Traveler Resources page!

We’ve created this page to help you plan your adventures and to share the tricks and tips we’ve learned through our own travels during the past four years. So if you’re planning a trip, currently en route or just daydreaming about jetting off to foreign lands than this page is for you!

On This Page You Will Find:

  • Beers & Beans Reader Discounts (save even more!) 
  • Tech Lists (All the electronics we trust & carry)
  • Travel Apps (Our go-to smartphone travel apps)
  • Gear Lists & Reviews (What works & what doesn’t.)
  • Accommodation Tips (Camping, Apartments, Hostels, Hotels & Boats – find the best places to stay)
  • Volunteering Information (Give back and love your travels even more)
  • Budget Tips & DIY Travel Hacks (See the world on a shoestring)
  • Transportation Info (Getting around the world by train, boat, car or plane)

(This page is currently under construction but will be finished in the next couple of days.)

Beers & Beans Reader Discounts

GoWithOh – Save 10% off your apartment rental on GoWithOh.com by using this code: BEERSANDBEANS (use all caps)

Adventure Life – Get a free Quito hotel stay with the purchase of any Galapagos cruise. Visit the Adventure Life website and use the code #QUITO to get the discount.

Gili Lankanfushi Hotel Maldives – Stay5, Pay4 | Get a free night at an over the water bungalow with the purchase of 4 nights! To take advantage of this special promotion visit the Beers & Beans page on the Gili Lankanfushi website, contact them to book and use the words ”Beers & Beans Special Promotion” in your email subject line. Good until Dec. 27, 2013.

Beers & Beans Blog Giveaways – We are fortunate because we have a lot of great partners that we work with including F Stop, Intel, Tom Bihn & Captain Morgan. As a result we often give away great prizes like tablets, luggage & gift cards. Giveaways happen frequently and the best way to know about them is to sign up for our newsletter so you can be notified each time one comes up! In the near future we will be giving away a GoPro and a free copy of Adobe Lightroom editing software!

Pin-Up Live! chat on Pinterest – Did you know we host a travel chat on Pinterest? We chat with a fantastic travel brand and other travel enthusiasts about fun travel topics. Each week we give away a great gift like luggage, camera bags, gift certificates and more. All you need to do is show up on our Pin-Up Live! Pinterest board at 7pm EST on Wed and if there is a chat going on, simply join in the conversation to be in the running for a gift!

 

Tech Lists

When we first started traveling longterm in 2010, we kept things pretty simple: a laptop, iPod Touch and Beth’s camera and photo gear. Our tech checklist (Beth and I go through it before every trip) has grown over the years, in part because, our blog and freelance work assignments have expaned a bit from that inital trip. When it comes to technology on the road, the options are endless–an unlocked smartphone and a rollable bluetooth keyboard anyone? Everyone’s travel tech needs are different, the key is determing what kind of setup will work best for your travels.

Iphone & Related Items

Our unlocked Iphone 4s has completely changed the way we travel for the better. Having an unlocked phone will enable you to pick up local sim cards as you travel. Sprint will unlock your phone for International Travel. AT&T will not unlock your phone so you’ll need to jailbreak it yourself (doing this will void your warranty). If you have a different carrier be sure to contact them to find out if they will unlock it for you.

The Mophie Juice Pack Traveler Resources has proved invaluable to us on the road and we wouldn’t even consider traveling without it. It extends the life of our Iphone by about 2 whole charges. This means we can charge the Juice Pack and Iphone at night then go out all day and night without worrying about it dying on us. There are others you can buy but we love this one because it attaches to the phone directly (no need to carry any extra charging gear in our bag) and it protects the phone at the same time. A big win!

Local Sim Card – With an unlocked phone you can buy these as you go. Most countries have surprisingly cheap no contract monthly plans with plenty of data usage included. Be sure to bring your passport and the address of where you are staying when you go to the local mobile store.

3 in 1 Iphone Camera Lens Kit Traveler Resources – This Iphone lens kit is pretty cheap, which is why I bought it. I had a hard time finding a kit that would work with the Mophie Juice Pack but this one does since the lenses attach with a small magnetic ring. The lenses work great, although I think you’d get better quality with the Olloclip Traveler Resources, but for $5 you can’t really go wrong.

Waterproof Iphone DandyCase Traveler Resources – I’m not going to lie, because of the great price I was 100% skeptical that this bag would actually work but it does! I recommend testing yours out first by putting a paper towel in the bag and then submerging it to make sure there are no leaks. I wouldn’t take it deep sea diving but for snorkeling and getting some fun underwater shots it’s perfect. Also using the phone underwater is incredibly easy as the touch screen responds really well through the bag. I’ve had a ton of fun with this waterproof case.

Another find I scored on Amazon that I love is the XShot Pro Camera Extender. Traveler Resources It extends the reach of your iPhone, GoPro or other small point & shoot by about 3 feet. Great for getting over the tops of crowds or getting a little closer to something that might be a bit skiddish of you (wildlife). I love it and use it all the time, especially underwater with the GoPro. Be sure you get the one that comes with an iPhone mount.

iPod Touch – We always bring our old Ipod with us because when we are working on the road I use the iPhone to take photos and Randy uses the iPod to take notes. It’s also great since we can both listen to music or play games if we want.

 

Computer & Related Items

Mac 15″ Retina Pro – My sister gifted me this computer last year and it’s unbelievable. I had an older 13″ Pro and this one is light years ahead. I love it! I also use a Kensington mouse Traveler Resources and I protect my keyboard with this silicone cover Traveler Resources.

To minimize the weight of our bags Randy travels with the Acer Iconia W510 Windows 8 tablet Traveler Resources and he uses the Microsoft Wedge Mobile keyboard Traveler Resources and Microsoft Wedge Touch mouse Traveler Resources to turn it into a fully functioning computer. You can read more about his set up, tips and thoughts about using the Acer w510 for blogging on the road below:

Acer Iconia W510 Tablet: The First Week

8 Tips for Using Windows 8 Offline or in a Snowpocalypse

5 Essential (Free) Windows 8 Apps

I never leave home without two portable 1 terabyte hard drives. I’ve tried several kinds over the years and I really like the Seagate external hard drives Traveler Resources best. Also, be sure to bring an extra USB cord for the hard drives if you can. I lost one in Turkey and although I bought a couple extra replacements on the road none of them worked. That meant I had to spend double the amount of time backing up images.

I’m a little crazy about keeping our gear safe when we travel. I always carry my camera with me but when we went to the Galapagos I had to think about what I was going to do with it when we were snorkeling. Then I discovered that the rooms on the small cruise boat we would be on DID NOT have locks on the doors. Apparently this is very common on boats in the Galapagos. I knew there would be a safe in our room but I had no idea if it would fit all our gear–a lot of hotel safes are too small. Enter the Pacsafe. I bought the Pacsafe Portable Safe 20L Traveler Resources on Amazon and I love this thing. It is a little heavy but honestly the peace of mind it brings is worth the extra weight and the cost of it. The 20L size is enough to fit my camera a lens, 2 hard drives, the Mac and Randy’s tablet.  I used it every day on the Galapagos cruise and never had to wonder about our gear. Since then it’s become one of our travel staples.

Some extras: We always carry the Sea to Summit Dry Sack to keep our gear safe from water. We travel with two universal travel converters Traveler Resources. They work great, are very lightweight and have every region of the world right at your fingertips. I also always carry a roll of good ole’ fashioned electrical tape for electronic emergencies of all kinds.

Travel Programs & Cloud Storage

Skype

It seems like everyone has a Skype account these days (even my grandfather has one), making it our go to when we want to stay at touch when we are traveling. Last year in Florence, we even used Skype to take Beth’s parents on an evening stroll around the city with the help of a MiFi device.

Award Wallet

Beth has been using Award Wallet even before she created Beers and Beans, which turns 6-years-old in 2014 (my how the time flies). It’s a great way to keep track of  all your miles and points including airline miles, hotel points and car rental points.  Award Wallet tracks every program automatically in real-time, except American, Delta, United, and Southwest. However, for Delta, United, and Southwest, there is an easy workaround for this besides just updating those accounts manually.

All you have to do is forward your statement to award wallet, and it will track your balances and expirations whenever a new statement is sent out.  If you want to automate this process, just set up your email to auto forward your statements to Award Wallet. Alternatively,  if you don’t want to use the auto forward feature or don’t have an email account that supports auto forward, you can give United, Delta, and Southwest your direct Award Wallet email address [Award Wallet username]@AwardWallet.com. Award Wallet will import and instantly forward the statement to you. Award Wallet is also available for the iPhone/iPad and Android devices.

Buffer

We use Buffer everyday to help us schedule social media updates and track their insights. If you do any sort of social media work, including running a blog, I definitely recommend giving Buffer a go. I know a lot of people also Hoot Suite, which I tried awhile a go, but just didn’t click with it like I did with Buffer. To unlock all of Buffer’s features, it costs $10 a month otherwise it is free to use. For more info about Buffer and its free and premium services, click here.

Hotspot Shield

Ever want to watch Neftlix, Hulu, HBO Go or stream music (think Pandora) in another country? Well, then you’ll need to connect with an ip address in the United States. The easiest and cheapest (free) way to do this is by using Hotspot Shield. There are a a lot of VPN programs out there that will charge you for what Hotspot Shield does for free. I know because, I’ve paid for them before. Luckily, Shaun Kuschel of OverYonderlust introduced me to Hotspot Shield last year when we were all staying together in Florence and we’ve never looked back. Dave and Deb of The Planet D wrote a great post about using a VPN during their trip to China, which can check out here: Getting Around Internet Censorship While Travelling.

Dropbox:

I became hooked on Dropbox when one of my friends dropped a couple of CDs in the cloud for me. Dropbox revolutionized cloud storage, because it made it so easy to share files. And while I use a  couple of other cloud storage programs, like Sky Drive and iCloud, Dropbox is still my favorite when it comes to sharing files with other people in the cloud. Dropbox is a free download and gives you 2gb of free storage. If you want more you can earn more free storage by referring friends or pay a monthly fee.

Photography Tech Lists & Tips 

Beers & Beans Actions (Coming Soon)

Getting Out Of Auto

Camera and Lenses

I get a lot of questions about what camera gear I use and I’m a Nikon girl. A few years ago I bought the Nikon D300S  Traveler Resources and I LOVE IT. It’s a fantastic camera, has also held up well over the years and I’ll admit I’m pretty hard on it. My favorite lens is my Nikon 35mm f/1.8 Traveler Resources. It only costs about $200 (in comparison the f/1.4 will run about $1500- ouch!) and if you need one solid lens at a great price this is it. I shoot about 85% of my photos with this lens. It also works like a charm in low light.  Here is an example of photos taken with the 35mm f/1.8

I also carry a Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 Traveler Resources as a landscape lens. It’s extremely wide and perfect for those sweeping landscape views. I bought it used from KEH. I have used them for for buying used gear in the past and I recommend them wholeheartedly. The people there are extremely knowledgeable and although I’ve only purchased a few pieces of used gear over the past couple of decades the quality is always good. I always buy new gear when I can but sometimes an item can be just out of reach, if you find yourself in this position be sure to check out KEH. I should note that this lens has come down in price though – I found it new on Amazon for less than what I paid for it used!

Note: You’ll get the best image quality from the Tokina shooting around 13mm at f/8. To see an example of an image taken with this lens…

I also carry a Lensbaby Muse which is really a fun lens. Lensbaby isn’t for everyone but if you want to shake up the look of your images in an instant this lens is perfect. To see an example of the type of shots you can take with a Lensbaby be sure to check out this XXX photo essay.

We also carry a GoPro 3 Black Edition for underwater shots. We love playing with this camera and also use it for creating quick time lapse videos. Here’s an example of a time lapse we made with it in Maldives. It also works great with the XShot Pro Camera Extender.

I also travel with a Nikon SB900 flash. I’ve had it for a few years, it does a great job and allows for off camera flash work. Although I am not a fan of tripods I take one with me on every trip because even if I need it for just one shot, I’m glad I have it. I use the Manfrotto MKC3-H01 tripod and I recommend it. It’s light yet sturdy.

Photo Accessories

There are so many photo accessories out there, below is a list of what you really need for excellent travel photos:

Memory Cards – I use two sizes of memory cards -  Compact Flash Memory Cards and SD cards. Of those two kinds I recommend the SanDisk Traveler Resources
brand. I do not recommend using the Delkin Devices SD sized cards, I had several of them and they all broke on me. I have not had any problems with SanDisk. I generally use 32G cards and I usually travel with at least 8 of them. You probably won’t need that many but you should at least travel with 2 or 3 memory cards.

Filters – I always travel with a skylight filter on my lenses to protect against scratches. I also travel with a polarizing filter and a Cokin graduated neutral density filter Traveler Resources which is a must for landscape images. 

Camera Strap/ Camera Bag Strap – I am always looking for ways to cut down on the weight of my camera and camera bag. Over the years I discovered two excellent products – the Op/Tech USA Classic Camera Strap and the Promaster Contour Pro Shoulder Strap for my bag. I LOVE these straps. I simply can’t state enough how much I love them. For about only $20 they are one of the best investments you can make for your photography toolbox. These straps take 10 lbs off and will save your back. When your gear is easy to carry, you’re a lot more likely to use it.

For more info, you can read two in-depth reviews: The Op/Tech USA Classic Strap Review and the Promaster Contour Pro Shoulder Strap Review

Compact Card Reader – I really have a love/hate relationship with these things and every time I have to use one I curse at Apple for not making a built in card reader on the Mac big enough to accommodate a Compact Flash card. If you shoot with that size of a card, or you don’t have a built in card reader on your computer than you’ll also need one of these. I am currently using the Kodak 50-in-1 Card Reader Traveler Resources.

Don’t forget to bring a cleaning cloth for your lenses and a duck cover for your camera bag. If you need to charge a lot of things you might find additional USB hubs Traveler Resources really handy.

Photo Programs:

I highly recommend editing your best photos to put the finishing touches on. I am a big user of Photoshop but if you’re looking for something a bit easier, Lightroom is a very user friendly and fast way to edit your photos. To create HDR images I use PhotoMatix.

I also use both SmugMug and Flickr to store my photos online.

 Must Have Apps 

Our first foray into the world of the app universe came from an iPod Touch. The year was 2009 and the app store was a far cry from its current state. It’s exciting for on-the-go technology and it really does seem like there is an app for everything, probably even two or three extras. Smartphones and tablets are like tech swiss army knives and are extremely helpful and fun to have with while your traveling through this big world.

Photography Apps

I have tried out dozens of Iphone photo apps but there are only a handful that I go to time and time again. I use Camera+ for probably 50% of my images, Hipstamatic for another 25% (I always shoot food with this app) and Pro HDR for the rest.

Some other great apps I use from time to time are Pano (perfect for great panoramics) and Camera 360 (this app is just plain fun). For video we Vine and Timelapse for yep, you guessed it – creating time lapse videos!

I use Snapseed to edit my photos on the phone. I use Phoster and Rhonna Designs for adding text to my Iphone images. I use Instasize if I want to upload a vertical or horizontal to Instagram without cropping it to a square. Speaking of Instagram, I use Instatag to tag my images with what is currently trending.

 Travel Apps

Do you hate searching for a good place to eat in a new city? Especially when you are starving? FoodSpotting is our go-to meal finding app. It works great and has never steered us wrong – we always get a great meal when we use it!

Hotel Tonight is a great app for finding last minute boutique hotels at a bargain price. It currently only works in the US but it is pretty awesome, hopefully they’ll expand it soon. See below for more sites we use to find great accommodation around the world.

Receipts

Yelp

AFAR

GoGoBot

Picture Dictionary

DuoLingo

TripRider

Google Maps (if no wifi, take screenshots of where you need to go to show the cabbie or to remind yourself)

Social:

Pinterest

Instagram

Instatag

Vine

Foursquare

Facebook

Twitter

Google+

Beers & Beans blog or better yet sign up for our newsletter! (FB, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Google+)

 

Gear Lists & Reviews

In the months leading up to our first big adventure, Beth and I spent a number of weekends at REI checking out gear for our Iceland and European trip, which included camping in Iceland, Paris and Italy. I’m not sure what it is (I get the same way in libraries and bookstores) but it was exhilarating being around all of that travel gear; it was also a huge time suck. We learned a lot on that trip and our following journeys about what our gear needs are and have been lucky to have a nice stream of products to review on a monthly basis so we can let you guys know what’s worth your hard earned money. Everything we’ve listed below are items that we believe in, have tested on the road (except where noted) and use for our travels. We’ve also included our travel gear reviews to help you decide if you need to bring it or leave it behind.

Luggage

If there is one thing I have learned about luggage after traveling long term it’s that you get what you pay for. We’ve always been very budget conscious about planning our trips and I have learned the hard way that going super budget with your luggage is a very bad idea. You may wonder why some luggage costs $300 – $400 while similar styles are only $100 – $200 and I can tell you it comes down to two things – quality and comfort. They is nothing worse than having a bag fall apart on you during the middle of your travels. It’s a major pain, usually costly and can lead to losing some of your gear or wheeling your backpack around on a little grocery cart for the rest of your trip. Yep this actually happened to us, don’t let it happen to you.

If you’re planning to travel a lot and you want a bag you can rely on these are our recommendations. We use all of these bags – they are comfortable and have stood the test of time since we’ve been using these same bags for the last three years:

Tom Bihn Luggage – Tom Bihn makes some of the absolute best luggage on the market. Not only are they extremely high quality they are also highly intuitive. They have pockets right where you need them, many of the bags convert from backpacks to duffle bags and on top of it they are all carry on friendly. We rarely check bags when we travel which makes these a perfect fit for us. And after years of abuse they still look brand new. Oh I should also state that the customer service at Tom Bihn is unbelievable – if you don’t believe me read this story. Everything is made in the USA as well. Two of our favorite Tom Bihn bags are the Aeronaut and the Tri Star. You literally cannot go wrong with any of their pieces.

Hartmann – If you’d rather have wheeled luggage Hartmann is about the best you can get. We have both the Packcloth and the PC4 and after getting the PC4 I will never even consider buying any wheeled luggage that is not a spinner. It is unbelievable how much easier it is bring your luggage around with you when it spins! It takes all the stress off your body and makes traveling a lot easier. We’ve had the PC4 for about 2 years now and it’s held up incredibly well.

Backpacks – In my opinion Arc’teryx makes the best backpacks. They are insanely comfortable. I bought mine when we first left for our RTW trip and Randy bought a much cheaper Kelty backpack. On the first day the Kelty broke. I’m not going to say that all Kelty’s are bad, we might have just gotten a lemon but what I will say is the my Arc’teryx Briza 75 Backpack is still going strong. It has never broken and is still just as comfortable now as it was years ago. Like I said earlier, you get what you pay for when it comes to bags so my advice is to spend a little more for a quality bag that you will have for years to come.

Day Bags -  Having a good day bag is important for your day to day travels. For the past year or so we’ve been using the Tom Bihn Packing Cube backpack. We each have one and they weight literally nothing. They are comfortable and hold a surprising amount of items. If that wasn’t enough they also double as packing cubes.

Photobags – I am lucky enough to be sponsored by F Stop and I have a couple of their excellent camera bags like the Loka and the Guru. Both bags are great. I find the Guru a bit too small for travel so I use the Loka. The Loka fits everything – all of my camera gear, all of our computer gear and all of our cords. It’s also carry-on friendly. I also use the Tom Bihn Ego Messenger bag for my camera gear when we travel.

Randy carries the Loka with all the big gear and I carry the Ego with my camera and additional lens that way it’s easy for me to get at my camera while in transit.

Packing

Essential Travel Items From the Dollar Store

Essential WWoofing Pack List

Tom Bihn Packing System – day bag, bathroom bags, travel tray, all the bags for papers, Straps, small wallets for memory cards

Check out HerPackingList.com for tried & true packing lists for almost every country

Clothes

Tieks

Merrill Hiking Shoes & whatever beth’s are

ExOfficio

Northface

Stuffable Rain Jackets

Trunk Club

Quick Dry stuff is good depending on climate

Camping

Tent Marmot 2

Sleeping Bags Marmot

Sleeping pads

Little pillows to stuff with your clothes or blow up

Small Tarp in front of tent to put bags outside and keep clean (sort of)

Etc

Sleep Sheets

Micro Fiber Towels

Swiss Army Knife

Headlamp or small flashlight

3 in 1 utensil

nesting bowls

cooking pot

Spices

Recommend REI for gear since you can return anything

Additional:

Business Cards

 

Accommodation Tips

We’ve learned a lot about ourselves over the last few years of long-term travel and at the top of that pile is the fact that Beth and I both enjoy having access to a kitchen on our journeys. It doesn’t matter if its only a couple of hot plates at the Reykjavik campground, a stylish fully equipped kitchen in Florence or a galley in an Amsterdam barge, we just like being able to have control over meals and not be forced to eat out every night. Now that’s not to say we’re not fans of hotels, we’ve stayed in all kinds from the inky back streets of Ensenada to Boston boutiques. When it comes to lodging, everyone has their own style and preferences, so we wanted to give others access to our little black book of accommodation resources that we’ve used in our travels and go to whenever planning out a new adventure. So whether you’re on a backpacker’s budget or a CEO’s salary, we’ve got you covered.

Apartments:

We love staying in apartments when we travel. An apartment allows you to get a snapshot of local living wherever you are and you’ll also get more amenities (kitchen, clothes washer, wifi, etc) in an apartment instead of a hotel. A lot of times staying in an apartment is a great way to stretch your budget allowing you a bigger space for families and the ability to cook at ‘home’.

We’ve stayed in several apartments through our travels and we’ve always had great luck using GoWithOh, Wimdu and Roomorama.

For specific apartment recommendations in Paris, Venice, Prague check out our reviews:

Fabulous Apartment In The Heart Of Florence – Apartment Review

Paris Apartment With A KILLER View Of The Eiffel Tower – Apartment Review

The Paris Room Lonely Planet Won’t Tell You About  – Apartment Review

Looking For Unique Accommodation In Amsterdam? – Houseboat Review

Living Like A Local in Prague – Apartment Review

Living Like A Local in Venice Apt #2 – Apartment Review

Living Like A Local in Venice Apt #1 – Apartment Review

Living Like A Local In Istanbul – Apartment Review

 

Hostels:

Our other preferred accommodation is hostels and we generally book all of our hostels with Hostelbookers.

If you think you’re too old or not hip enough to stay in a hostel – you’re wrong. Today’s best hostels are more like mini boutique hotels than the dirty crowded dorm rooms you’ve heard horror stories about and they accommodate people of all ages and families as well. Although there are plenty of crummy hostels out there, the norm is now excellent amenities, clean dorm rooms and lush private en suite rooms. The key when searching for hostels is to read the reviews and do your homework.

For instance, we don’t like staying in party hostels because quite frankly, they’re mostly completely annoying. However if I was 22 I would absolutely love it. Before you book a hostel read the review to see what other people are saying – you’ll be able to tell pretty quickly if the hostel vibes with your type of travel or not.

We also don’t love staying in dorm rooms as much as we once did so now we almost always book a private room and bathroom in a hostel. The price is still great and the amenities are perfect – most hostels have free wifi, free breakfast and access to a ton of free city tours. Plus if you’re looking to make friends when you travel you cannot beat staying in a hostel, even if you are in a private room there are so many common rooms that meeting people is very easy. If I were traveling solo I would stay almost entirely in hostels.

As for age, almost every hostel I have stayed in during the past year has had at least a couple retiree’s staying in it as well – hosteling is for all travelers of all ages! Don’t overlook hostels when booking your accommodation, you can’t beat the price!

We have a lot of reviews on this site for excellent hostels. If you’re looking for fantastic, clean hostels than check out our reviews! None of them are party hostels and they all get the Beers & Beans stamp of approval.

Out of all the hostels I’ve stayed at I’ve only had 1 bad seed – the Lucky Youth Hostel in Paris. It’s terrible, take my word on this place and don’t stay there.

Check out Reviews of Seville, Austria, etc

London: Smart Hyde Park View – Hostel Review

Hostel Meyerbeer in Nice, France – Hostel Review

Casa Gracia Hostel In Barcelona – Hostel Essay

Las Ramblas Apartments in Barcelona – Hostel Review

Oasis Backpackers Palace Sevilla – Hostel Essay

Riad Baraka Hostel in Chefchaouen, Morocco – Hostel Review

Backpacker’s Lucerne Hostel in Switzerland – Hostel Review

Wombat’s City Hostel At The Naschmarkt In Vienna – Hostel Review

Hostal Del Mercado in Oaxaca, Mexico – Hostel Review

Hotels:

We love beautiful hotels but we generally don’t like the beautiful hotel price. We’ve discovered DealAngel, which is a great website to help you find the best price on hotels. Not only do they tell you the cheapest dates in a 3 month time period but they also tell you which hotels are giving the best deals. Let’s say you’re searching for a hotel in Dublin and you have a $100/night budget. Instead of searching for hotels at $100/night you’ll be able to see if a $200/night hotel is having a special bringing their rooms into your budget. DealAngel is a great hotel tool and it’s the website we check every time we search for a hotel.

Check out reviews of hotels in Maldives, Maui, Mexico, etc

I Heart Wailea Beach Villas in Maui- Hotel Review

Blowin’ In The Tropical Breezes at St. Kitt’s Marriott Resort – Hotel Review

One Perfect Day In Ottawa – Hotel Review

Avalon Hotel in Paris – Hotel Review

Landgasthof Hirschen Hotel in Interlaken,  Switzerland –  Hotel Review

Barcelo Resort in Riviera Maya – Hotel Review

Riad Vs. Resort: The Marrakech Smackdown – Riad and Hotel Review

I Left My Heart At Copley Square Hotel in Boston – Hotel Review

 

Campgrounds:

If you’re on a serious budget then camping is generally the cheapest way to stay. We’ve camped in Iceland, Paris, Italy and around the US and had a fantastic time everywhere. We actually love camping when we travel because it’s fun, super inexpensive and a great way to meet other travelers. . We recommend you use Google to see if there is a campground where you want to go.

For instance in Paris you could easily spend $35/night for a bed in a hostel dorm room and for the two of us that would be $70/night – not very doable when you have a $50/day budget. However Paris has a campground in the city and it’s only about $20 for two people each night. Plus you get your own private space and if you have a good tent and a comfy mat to sleep on, you’ll be able to spread your travel budget a lot further.

One thing to keep in mind is the location of the campground  – make sure it is easy and not costly to get into the city. Camping in Europe is fun – there are so many great campgrounds with excellent amenities, great prices and are easily accessible by trains or public transportation.

Check out our review of campgrounds we’ve stayed at

Tips For Camping In Cinque Terre, Italy – Campground Review

Camping in Paris – Yes, You Can! – Campground Review

Camping in Iceland – Campground Review

San Elijo State Beach Campground – Campground Review

Carlsbad State Beach Campground – Campground Review

Camping for free at Anza Borrego State Desert?? Shut up!!! – Campground Review

Volunteering Information

A little bit can go along way and it’s even more noticeable on the road. Find out how to help others without breaking the bank. You can read about our volunteer experiences around the world or check out this list of free or low cost places you can volunteer.

Wwoofing – we are huge cheerleaders for Wwoofing.

Cooperative For Education – Guatemala

HUGE list of free or low cost volunteering opportunities around the world

 

Budget Tips & DIY Travel Hacks

We’ve also got some great travel DIY projects too!

Wwoofing, WorkAway, Housesitting (link to the Heck’s book, get affiliate code)

Charles Schwab – free checking and reiumbursment of all fees

Make Your Own Sleep Sheet

Make Your Own Camera Bag

Photo LCD Gear Hack (Save $79!)

Tips for saving 50% on campgrounds in California

If in town for just one night try to get a place near the train station to save on money getting to and from the hotel.

Camping – Be sure to keep in mind transportation costs since many campgrounds are located outside the city. Make sure you still save enough.

Hit up local grocery stores for an authentic experience and picnic to save a bundle on your food costs.

Foodie Standards: Starbucks Via Packs, Oatmeal, Nuts & Bars

Cost of food for 3 meals a day generally is the same as the cost of your accommodation

add in some of the budget breakdowns from other sites and ours from Iceland

If you need to rent a car consider getting one big enough that you can sleep in to save on accommodation

be sure to figure in the cost of getting to/from your accommodation. You might realize it’s better to pay a little more to sleep in the city instead of just outside

Look for free museum days

Find out what the locals do for transport and do that. A lot of cities have visitor passes which are generally overpriced. Doing your research ahead of time can save you quite a bit.

Bring something to barter. Save a lot of money haggling at markets by incorporating a trade. This could be something as simple as gum to small LCD flashlights. If you have something that they don’t readily have available it will be in demand. Makes haggling a lot more successful and a lot more fun.

HOW TO TAKE BETTER PHOTOS TODAY

Getting Out Of Auto – Photo Tips & Ebook

How To Photograph Fireworks – How I Shoot Series

 

HACKS & DIY PROJECTS

This Is Your Momma’s Sleep Sheet! – DIY Travel Hack

How To Make A Budget & Fantastic Camera Bag That Doesn’t Look Like A Camera Bag! – DIY Photo Project/How I Shoot Series

Travel Photo Gear Hack! - DIY Photo Project

 

PACKING TIPS

Five Essential Pack Items From The Dollar Store

The Ultimate Photographer’s Holiday Gift List (From $1 Up!)

The Ultimate Traveler Holiday Gift List! ($50 and under!)

The Essential WWOOFing Pack List

 

TIPS & TRICKS FOR TRAVEL

How To Buy A Panama Hat In Ecuador

Tips For Eating Cheap In Europe

How To Save Money And Ride The Paris Metro Like A Local

Paris Budget Travel Tips: Free Day At The Louvre

Danube River Cruise with Gate 1: Tips and Tricks

Three Free Things To Do In Belgrade, Serbia

Five Things To Do In Reykjavik, Iceland For Under $5

Six Tips For Renting A Car In Iceland (and saving money!)

Three More Tips For Renting A Car In Iceland

Tips For Camping In Cinque Terre, Italy

Travel For Free And Have The Time Of Your Life (aka WWOOF On An Organic Farm)

Tips For Shopping In The Souks Of Marrakech

My Las Vegas Sports Book Tip

San Diego’s One Tank Trips: The Villages of Baja California Norte

Lindberg Field: The Cheapest Room In San Diego

How To Not Get Ripped Off While Camping At State Beaches in California (and how to get 1/2 off your camping rate!)

Three Free Things To Do In San Diego, California

Travel Advice

Traveling Long Term – 8 Things I’ve Learned On The Road

How To Save On Airport Parking

Need Tunes For The Road? Here’s Three Tips For Getting Free Music Without Being a Full Blown Pirate 

Five Ways To Increase Your Laptop Battery Life While Traveling

 Transportation Info

Getting there is half the fun. Find out how with this awesome list of airlines, trains, boats & anything else that moves us around the world.

Below you’ll find links to some of our most useful travel information; however if you’re looking for even more travel goodness be sure to check out our Wander Wall for beautifully curated links to everything we recommend (think: hot destinations, food, activities, etc).

GoEuro: Pretty new to the travel space, GoEuro is a transportation search website for Europe that compares and combines air, rail, bus and car rental options, bringing a new ease to finding the cheapest route for your journey. Currently, GoEuro is optimized for the UK, Germany and Spain, and I’m looking forward to seeing who else they add (Italy, please!) in the coming months.

The Man in Seat 61 - Exceptional list of train travel around the world.

Travelers Digest - They come through again with an excellent list of hop on, hop off bus systems around the world.

Japan Rail - If you’re gonna ride the rails in Japan you’ll want to check out this site.

Kemwel - Car rentals in Europe

Via Michelin - Driving Maps in Europe

MapQuest - Driving Maps in the U.S.

Cycling Around the World - A new site devoted to traveling the world by bicycle.

Eurail.Com: Train Travel Europe - Eurail.Com is your one stop shop for all your Eurail pass needs. In addition to top-notch customer service, the site provides a wealth of information- train maps, tips, advice, current news, and discounts-to help travelers see Europe the way it was meant to be seen: by train.

Photography

Wanderlust driving you mad? Why not go further down the rabbit hole and gaze upon some of our finest travel photography? Don’t miss our award winning Somewhere In Time photo series or for more in depth eye candy be sure to check out our photo essays from around the world.

Need help with your photography? Get pro tips from a professional photographer with our How I Shoot series or for more in depth help check out our highly acclaimed photography ebook: Getting Out Of Auto.

Travel Bites

Recipes, Recipes, Recipes! Visit the Travel Bites section for a collection of our best recipes (food & drink) that are made for traveling the world.

Links We Love

Other great blogs we discovered along the road.



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