Travel Advice

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Hot Tips

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The best way to book your tickets is with Google Flights. The website compares the cheapest flights for you. Also, if you booked your tickets on Tuesday evening it’s much cheaper that a Saturday afternoon.


Cécile’s Personal and favorite Travel Planning

Because we all want a perfect trip for any occasion. Here my friends to make the most of your trip :

  • Peek, get insider tips with Peek on the best things to do, places to see, and restaurants to visit.
  • Jetsetter, a TripAdvisor Company, is a members-only travel site that provides firsthand expert knowledge, insider access, and exclusive pricing to luxury travelers.
  • Airbnb, the community-driven hospitality company. A unique list in 190 countries. You can find a place to stay everywhere.
  • Uber,  is a ridesharing service.  Really helpfull when you are visiting a new city for vacation or business. The company uses a smartphone application to connect passengers with drivers of vehicles for hire. Customers use the app to request rides and track their reserved vehicle’s location.
  • TripIt, Organize your travel plans in one place with TripIt, your all-in-one travel itinerary and trip organizer.
  • NileGuide provides outstanding recommendations for people looking to explore popular travel destinations around the world.
  • Nomadic Matt Blog tells you that it’s possible to travel without a lot of money.
  • Air Transat Transat A.T. Inc. is an integrated international tour operator with more than 60 destination countries and that distributes products in over 50 countries.

Finding Cheap Flights

Momondo

It pulls in every flight that exists, even on the random budget airlines, and almost always has the cheapest prices. I won’t book a single flight without checking Momondo first.

Skyscanner

My favorite thing about Skyscanner is that it has “everywhere” as a destination option. Perfect when you want to see where you can fly for cheap! You can also choose an entire country, i.e. fly to Italy. Skyscanner also lets you search within a full month if you have flexible dates.

Kayak

Kayak used to be my favorite flight search engine, but they have removed several budget airlines from their search engine in the past year. You can still find deals on here, so I wouldn’t write them off completely.

WhichBudget

This great website tells you exactly which budget airlines fly between destinations.

The Points Guy

My favorite resource for navigating the world of earning free travel through points and miles and finding out current deals. The Points Guy tends to report deals before anyone else!

Finding Accommodation

Booking.com

Booking.com is my top choice for finding hotels (excluding Asia). Great selection of hotels, usually the lowest prices, and no fees.

Agoda

Agoda is the best site for booking hotels in Asia. They have the best selection and almost always have the lowest rates in the region.

Hotels.com

The best benefit of Hotels.com is that you earn a free stay for every 10 nights you book with them. The bad news is that it’s only for certain stays, and your free stays are awarded at the average rate of the 10 nights you booked. But a free night is nothing to sneeze at!

TravelPony

Thanks to private membership, TravelPony has deeply discounted rooms that aren’t available to the general public. All you need to do is sign up. I’ve found TravelPony is best when you’re looking for a 3-5 star hotel in a major city.

HostelWorld

Yes, HostelWorld has hostels, but it also has guesthouses, B&Bs, and sometimes even simple boutique hotels! The selection of cheap accommodation is the best on the web.

Couchsurfing

Far more than just free accommodation. Couchsurfing is a community of travelers dedicated to connecting and sharing. While you could stay for free around the world, I mostly use Couchsurfing to find local community events and meet people in different cities.

Overland Travel Resources

Seat61

This incredibly comprehensive guide is chock full of information on train and overland travel around the world. Want to know how to get around a certain country? Seat61 will tell you.

RailEurope

It can be tough to book trains on a million different foreign sites in Europe, but Rail Europe makes it simple to do everything from planning routes and checking times to buying tickets.

Virgin Trains

My favorite resource for booking trains in the UK. Unlike other train booking sites, they don’t charge you a booking fee.

Vacations To Go

Are you a cruiser? If so, don’t book without checking out Vacations To Go first. This private membership site (which anyone can join) displays rock-bottom cruise prices that you won’t find anywhere else.

Kayak Cars

I don’t rent cars often, but when I do, I use Kayak. I’ve found their rates to usually be the lowest.

Travel Insurance – as an American Citizen

World Nomads

Their coverage is great and can be easily extended as many times as you’d like, reporting claims is simple, and the site is easy to navigate. As with all insurance, be sure to read the fine print and make sure it’s right for you.

IMG Global

IMG Global provides travel insurance to Americans around the world AND health insurance in America as long as you’re there for less than six months out of the year. If you’re an American long-term traveler without Obamacare, this is your best bet. As with all insurance, be sure to read the fine print and make sure it’s right for you.

Clements Worldwide

Most travel insurance policies won’t cover a lot of your gear, especially if you travel with a pricey computer or camera. Clements has policies that cover expensive items like these. As with all insurance, be sure to read the fine print and make sure it’s right for you.

Travel Gear

Pacsafe Portable Safe

If there’s no safe in your lodging, put your belongings in here and lock it to the sturdiest thing in your room (pipes are best, but use whatever you have). Use it with a quality combination lock so you don’t have to worry about losing the key.

Osprey Sojourn 60L 

This wheeled backpack is what I use for most long-term trips today. The Osprey Sojourn is built like a tank: it is so strong and sturdy, yet not too heavy. While it can technically be worn as a backpack, I prefer to use it as a rolling suitcase.

eBags Medium Packing Cubes and Flight 001 Spacepak

Packing cubes are amazing — they let you pack more efficiently, fit in more than you thought you could, and “unpack without unpacking.” The eBags ones are long and narrow and I use one for tops, one for bottoms, and one for underwear, bras, bathing suits, and socks. I use the flat Spacepak for dresses and larger items.

LowePro Fastpack 250

This is my day bag – it holds my technology and photography equipment, as well as my valuables, and never leaves my side while in transit. My favorite part is the laptop slot on the side, which makes airport security so much faster!

Safety Whistle

Ladies — and dudes — this is an important safety item. A loud whistle brings attention. If you’re trapped under something, if you’re lost or isolated, if you’re endangered, using your whistle will alert people to your location.

Rubber Doorstop

Another safety item. If you have a private room, you’ll have a lock, but just in case, shoving a doorstop beneath the door will make it difficult for people to enter your room. Just in case.

LUSH Solid Shampoo

Solid shampoo is fantastic — it takes up little space and won’t leak over your bag. It’s good to switch your shampoo from time to time, so I carry one Godiva shampoo (highly conditioning and flowery), one cinnamon shampoo (highly conditioning and spicy), and I keep them in two LUSH tins.

Abeo B.I.O.system Balboa Metatarsal Flip-Flops and Tevas Tirra Sandals

I need to wear supportive shoes due to arch issues in my right foot, and these are the two kinds of sandals that I can wear comfortably. I live in the Abeo flip-flops when in warm climates; the Tevas are very light and perfect for more athletic activities. 

Travel Photography

Nikon D5100 Camera

I’ve been using this combination for my photography since 2012. It’s a good combination for your first DSLR, and it’s worked for me so far, though I do plan to upgrade to a better model within the next year.

SanDisk 32 GB Memory Cards

SanDisk builds quality memory cards. I recommend getting at least two, just in case something happens to one of them.

All-in-One Memory Card Reader

Don’t even think of plugging your camera into your computer! This memory card reader will fit cards of all sizes and make an easy transfer to your computer.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Lightroom is my primary photo editing software, and now both Photoshop and Lightroom are available in a set for just $9.99 per month.

Technology and Digital Resources

Macbook Air

There’s a debate about whether a Macbook Air or Macbook Pro is better for digital nomads. For my personal needs — internet, building presentations on Keynote, word processing, Evernote, iTunes, editing photos on Lightroom — the Macbook Air gets the job done and has the bonus of being so incredibly lightweight.

Unlocked iPhone 4S

My constant companion. I buy local SIM cards with data in most countries that I visit. After two and a half years, the battery is dying very quickly, so I hope to upgrade to the 6 when it comes out.

Kindle Paperwhite (wifi only)

If you don’t have a Paperwhite, you don’t know what you’re missing! It’s so much better than the basic Kindle, with a nice weight, smooth material, and a touch screen. Best of all, it’s backlit, so you can read in the dark as easily as you can on the beach.

MyCharge 6000 Peak Rechargeable Power Bank

Whenever I take this out, people always ask me about it. My MyCharge holds enough power to charge an iPhone four times and can charge an Apple device, USB cord, or micro device. I use it daily. Oh, and it talks! “Charging complete.” That always cracks people up.

MAXAH Universal Converter

This universal converter will have you covered for almost everywhere in the world. (Keep in mind that some countries with unusual plugs, like South Africa, are best off picked up upon your arrival in the country.)

Mini Power Strip

While I use the product linked above, you may prefer this different model because it includes USB chargers. For the times when you return from a long time without power and need to charge everything you own in a hurry, from computer to phone to Kindle to multiple camera batteries, this lets you charge several devices from a single outlet.

Seagate Expansion 2TB External Hard Drive

External hard drives are a good thing to have, period, and they’re essential if you have a Macbook Air and lots of pictures. This is a quality hard drive for a good price.

SmugMug

Do not make the mistake of not backing up your photos! SmugMug allows you to store unlimited photos and HD video for $60 per year. There are also cheaper plans.

Dropbox

Hard drives can fail and laptops can be stolen. Keep important documents — in fact, ALL of your documents — backed up on Dropbox, including copies of your passport and credit cards.

Boingo

Boingo has wifi hotspots around the world and a variety of plans for you to access them. You’ll find Boingo hotspots in just about every major airport,

Skype

Everyone knows about using Skype for video calls home for free — but it’s also very useful for cheap calls anywhere in the world, whether it’s your bank at home or a hostel abroad. I top up $10.00 about twice a year.


 

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Cécile lives in Chicago though is originally from southern France. She’s an avid traveler and is always excited by new adventures. After living in Ireland, Australia and Canada, Cécile is an advocot of having a routine but not staying comfortable for too long.

 

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