Travel has never been easier than in the Internet age. The web is teeming with travel websites ready to help you on your adventures. If you don’t want to weigh your backpack down with heavy guidebooks then put these sites in your Bookmarks instead. With all the information provided here you won’t need to look anywhere else!
I have compiled this list after years slowly figuring out what works. All of these travel websites have been personally tried and tested by Travel Textbook and I swear by them on my adventures.
When I first tried Airbnb many years ago it was just an up-and-coming website and I was secretly worried to try it. As a backpacker, the allure of cheap apartments in central locations seemed super tempting when compared to more expensive hostels. As the years have gone on, Airbnb has grown into one of the most successful travel brands in the world. After you make a profile you can browse a range of accommodation hosted by locals in various destinations. At a range of budgets and choice of accommodation styles (private room, entire home/apartment, etc.) there is something to suit everyone. I would recommend giving Airbnb a go! Link: Airbnb
When it comes to booking hotels and hostels, booking.com is my first choice. With a fabulous cancellation policy and plenty of accommodation options to choose from, booking.com is really the ultimate online accommodation booking platform. There is accommodation including top-tier hotels, hostels, guesthouses, lodges and BnBs, and there is cancellation flexibilities available up until the day of the booking (which is good news for us indecisive travellers). Link: Booking.com
When it comes to booking hostels specifically, I really like Hostel World. The clean interface and good user experience make this site great for booking travels. Hostel World has a fantastic selection of hostels and is trusted by many travellers. The hostels available on Hostel World range from the low-end to being so high-end that you don’t even realise you’re in a hostel. Come and check it out here: Hostel World.
If you are specifically looking for booking hostels then Hostel Bookers is another good option. With a good range of hostels (as well as other properties) it is a good website to compare prices on. It has recently updated so now has a much nicer interface to use. Link: Hostel Bookers
Hostels.com is another great platform for searching and comparing hostel prices. It is not my preferred platform for hostels but I often use it to check prices and see if there is a better deal. Link: Hostels.com
Wotif often has good accommodation deals which aren’t seen on other websites. This focuses more on upmarket accommodation rather than hostels and student lodgings. Wotif also has a range of deals on flights and holiday packages, too. Link: Wotif
Other hotel booking sites
The internet has loooooooads of other accommodation booking sites and it can be hard to sift through them. Trivago, Hotels Combined and Last Minute are just some to consider. Links: Trivago, Hotels Combined, and Last Minute.
Couchsurfing is a great way to meet new people in the destinations you visit. On Couchsurfing you make a profile and find people willing to host you. This gives you a local experience and is free of charge. Not only does Couchsurfing help with accommodation but you may also find locals that will show you around the city as well as a host of Couchsurfing events. I love Couchsurfing events in cities because you can meet up with fellow travellers and locals completely for free. Obviously, caution is advised when using Couchsurfing. Link: Couchsurfing
Rome2Rio is a fantastic website which shows you all the ways to get from Point A to Point B. Just simply type in where you want to go and Rome2Rio will tell you the methods to get there and how much each option will cost. It is a great resource especially in the planning stages of a trip. It helps with figuring out transport options and budgeting. Link: Rome2Rio
BlaBlaCar is a ride-sharing website which is used particularly in Europe. It can be a great option for transport when routes are either too expensive or fully booked on other methods of transport. Link: BlaBlaCar
Never underestimate the power of good old Google Maps. Maps gives great information on the length of journeys between destinations and the maps of the places themselves. Google Maps also has an offline feature so you can save the maps you need for later when you don’t have internet. Since updating a lot of the public transport sections of Google Maps, it’s also great for figuring out train and bus times. Link: Google Maps
Skyscanner is Travel Textbook‘s favourite website for checking flight prices. Skyscanner compares the flights prices from websites all over the internet and ranks them. This website has an easy-to-use interface and the searches are highly customisable. Link: Skyscanner
Google Flights is becoming increasingly useful and I suspect it will continue on its meteoric rise. Google Flights uses a map interface and you can see the cheapest flights on the net as well as get likelihoods about whether the price will change. Link: Google Flights
Momondo is another flight searching tool which I quite like. It is similar to SkyScanner but also ranks its flights by convenience i.e. layover time, number of flights, and flight times. This feature is fantastic! Link: Momondo
Secret Flying posts whenever there is an insanely good flight deal or error fares. This is a great website to follow on Facebook or get updates because you never know if you’ll stumble upon the perfect flight. Link: Secret Flying
Most of the good things for budgeting come in the form of apps such as Splitwise and Trabee Pocket. For more information on this keep tuned for my upcoming post: Travel Apps I Swear By.
WorkAway is a fantastic platform which pairs travellers with with job/volunteer opportunities around the world. After filling out a profile and paying the small registration fee, you can check out all the options. The listings on WorkAway vary drastically and you can get a gig in farm work, hostel work, language teaching, or even helping out on yachts sailing the world. The deal is usually that you work a certain number of hours per day in exchange for free accommodation (and often free food, etc.). All the terms are laid out in the job description.
Working or volunteering abroad with WorkAway.info is a great way to become a part of a local community and reduce travel costs. Link: WorkAway.info
READ MORE: Experiences Volunteering In Morocco
“WWOOFing” is a term you will hear frequently when travelling. WWOOFing is very similar to WorkAway except with a farming focus. WWOOF stands for “Willing Workers On Organic Farms” and is a great place to find work opportunities all around over the world. Link: WWOOF
HelpX is very similar to WorkAway.info and offers a range of jobs around the world for travellers.
Paid work abroad
There are many options for paid work abroad however I have not personally tried any of them. Some suggestions which have been recommended by friends and fellow adventurers include: Work and Travel Company, and Global Work and Travel Co.
Visas and Travel Registration
If you are from Australia then SmartTraveller is worth checking out. This government website gives advice on the safety of various destinations, whether Australians need visas, and gives you an opportunity to register your travel plans. Link: Smart Traveller
Having travel insurance before you depart is a must. There are plenty of companies out there offering travel insurance and it is important to pick a plan that is right for you and your planned holiday.
Travel Insurance from World Nomads can be found at http://www.worldnomads.com.au/travel-insurance/ and is loved by Travel Textbook (you can read about it here: Travel Insurance From World Nomads). Alternatively, you can see how much it will cost to insure your trip using the handy quote widget below!
FastCover offers affordable travel insurance to travellers. With a range of plans to suit all different kinds of travel, you should be able to adequately insure your trip. One thing I particularly like about FastCover is their “cooling off” period. This gives you time to change your mind if need be; or if your plans change you can cancel your insurance. Link: FastCover
Avant Travel Insurance
If you are also a medical student then Avant offers free travel insurance for up to six months per year. Although the excess is higher than with the alternate options, you do not have to pay any upfront cost. Link: Avant Travel Insurance
TripAdvisor is the holy grail of reviews. Basically all activities, restaurants, accommodation and destinations have a place on TripAdvisor. Even if you are booking or organising something through a different site, always look on TripAdvisor to check out how the experience was for other people. This can make sure you’re onto a winner. Link: TripAdvisor
If you are a going away then it is often good to look for deals on GroupOn. This website provides discounted activities, accommodation and flights. It’s awesome to use in your own city too – I use it frequently in Melbourne. Link: Groupon
Each year Travel Textbook compiles a list of the best travel blogs to follow. These blogs have been chosen because of their usefulness, epic adventures, and mind-blowing photography. Each blog has a unique take on adventure and provides practical information from a multitude of perspectives.
Keep Travel Textbook going Some of these links are affiliate links, so if you book using the links in this article Travel Textbook will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Despite this, all opinions are my own and I would only ever link you guys to websites I genuinely use and endorse.
What travel websites would you recommend? Comment below!
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