Even as a veteran traveler it’s nearly impossible to track down and remember the wealth of different websites and resources out there. As a novice or intermediate traveler it’s easy to completely miss a lot of the incredibly useful tools available to you.
What you’ll find is a sorted list of resources I use, have used, or which the travel community have recommended. The idea is that if it is on here it’s the type of site that budget travelers ARE using. I reject about 4 sites for ever 1 I add to the list and hope that these are real resources which will help you save money, time, and energy while connecting with amazing people on the road.
Looking for something specific? Use Ctrl+F and enter your keyword. Otherwise scroll down to the category you’re interested in and go from there.
Travelers for Travelers Hostel Search Engine – A booking engine (like Kayak) but for Hostels. Searches most major hostel booking sites.
Hostelworld – One of the largest/best 2nd generation hostel booking resources available.
Hostelz – A great hostel look-up site which incorporates reviews and listings from the other major hostel booking engines.
BootsnAll – Excellent community oriented 2nd generation hostel booking resource.
Hostelbookers – One of the largest 2nd generation hostel booking resources.
Hosteling International – Far from my favorite this 1st generation hostel network is good in places under-served by 2nd generation hostels.
Couchsurfing – An incredible community that allows strangers to connect. All Couchsurfing hosts host travelers for free.
AirBnB – A social booking engine, like Couchsurfing, except on a pay-to-stay consumer to consumer model.
FlipKey – A TripAdvisor company, these guys provide global vacation rental bookings with good saturation in most locations.
Home Away – Similar to Couchsurfing except on a pay-to-stay consumer to consumer model.
Global Freeloaders – Same principle as Couchsurfing but with one caveat: new members must host someone within the first six months.
Hospitality Club – Same principle as Couchsurfing. The site has an active community that facilitates hosting travelers and local tours.
Sleeping in Airports – The ultimate guide to sleeping in airports.
Booking.com – Has a strong European presence & a best price guarantee.
HRS – One of the world’s largest hotel booking sites. Especially strong in Europe.
Hotels Combined – A large booking aggregator with global coverage.
Venere – Has a strong European presence.
Room Atlas – See hotel prices and locations overlaid on top of Google maps in real time.
Can I Drink The Water? – A website that gives reports on a country-by-country basis on water drinkability.
Bed Bug Information
Bed Bug FAQ by Cornell – If you travel long enough eventually you’ll come face to teeth with bed bugs. This FAQ has all you’ll need to know about them and more.
Air Travel Resources
Which Budget – A comprehensive list of budget airlines by coverage area.
Low Cost Airline Guide – Allows you to search what budget airlines fly between destinations.
To and From the Airport – Comprehensive site with information on how to get to/from the airport.
Kayak Explore – Don’t care where you’re going? See airfare to major airports by price range.
FlightStats – Very useful tool for checking Airport and Airline on-time statistics, with ratings for specific legs to/from specific airports. Know what to expect.
The Art of Travel: Cheap Airfare – A wonderful guide with links to airfare resources.
How Many Hours – Know how long flights take and how many miles are covered.
The Layover Guide – Have a long layover? This site has airport guides.
Seat Guru – Airline based database of plane configurations. Helps make sure you chose the right seat.
Seat Expert – Know what seats are available. Offers the ability to search by airline/flight number.
Sleeping in Airports – The ultimate guide to sleeping in airports.
The Air DB – Fairly comprehensive list, can be used to identify which airlines from from an airport/where they fly to.
Upgrade: Travel Better– A travel resource focused on providing information on how to get upgrades and make the system work for you.
Yapta – A travel ticket price tracking site. Allows you to track prices both before and after. Also has options to help you get frequent flyer credits, etc.
Kayak – Powerful airfare search portal. Allows flexible searches/daily e-mail alerts (You can now search Student Universe fares through Kayak).
ITA Software – Registration is required. Plug into the source for most airline airfare searches, via the ITA Software interface. It’s a bit crude but can be very useful.
Hipmunk – Airfare search aggregator dedicated to providing a better user experience. Unique visual interface. Very progressively minded dev. team.
FlightFox – Pay a small fee and have people search for the cheapest airfare within your set criteria. So far, I’ve heard people are getting good results.
DoHop – Airfare search aggregator with a focus on making searches as comprehensive as possible.
Sidestep Buzz – Owned by Kayak. Allows open ended price oriented searches for flexible travel.
Fly.com – Powered by discount deal finder TravelZoo. A powerful airfare search portal.
Bing Travel – Powerful airfare search portal. Gives quality price predictions for domestic flights.
Orbitz – Airfare search portal. Very flexible search options (month grid, etc.). Excellent for flexible travelers.
Priceline – A booking/bidding service similar to Orbitz but with the “Name your own price” bidding option.
CheapOAir – A comprehensive airfare search engine. Note: Listed prices include fees but exclude taxes.
Mobissimo – A comprehensive airfare search engine.
Momondo – Another up and coming airfare search engine.
Hotwire – Comprehensive airfare search engine with great flexible search options.
OneTravel – Airfare search engine.
Farecompare – A budget oriented airfare search engine.
SkyScanner – A very popular Euro-centered airfare search engine.
Airfare Watchdog – Look for airfare specials to/from a city.
TravelZoo Top 20 – A fantastic weekly list of the top 20 deals in Travel.
Last Minute – Just what it says. An aggregator for last minute travel deals.
STA Travel – A student themed airfare search engine. Specials are usually good. General prices merit research.
Student Universe – A student themed airfare search engine. General prices merit research.
Air Miles Resources
Flyer Talk – The web’s most popular frequent flyer community.
WebFlyer – A go-to resource for deals, specials and recent news in the airline mileage/frequent flyer industry.
ExpertFlyer – A site focused on flight rewards and upgrade programs.
Your Passenger Rights – An app for various devices which covers and documents your rights when flying as a passenger in the EU. This app is free and provided by the European Commission.
FlyersRights – Similar to the app above for Europe, this one is for the United States via a major American airline consumer organization. It costs $.99 but allows you to track flight delays among other services.
Flightless Travel – A community dedicated to sharing flightless travel stories, strategies, tips and tricks.
Routes International – While technically a booking site they provide comprehensive line info. Especially useful for ferry travel.
RoadSharing – Originally started in Italy, the site has grown to serve all of Europe. It works as a facilitator helping strangers carpool.
ViaMichelin – Comprehensive Europe focused resource for people planning on taking a trip by car provided by the Michelin tire company.
Seat Sixty One – Comprehensive travel info for Europe and Asia tied to travel from the UK.
Urban Rail – Comprehensive international resource site with Metro maps for major city’s subway systems.
Europe Trains Guide – A great site to be used in parallel to Seat Sixty One.
Megabus – UK/North America centered discount Bus line.
Eurolines – European centered discount Bus line.
Orange Ways – Eastern European centered discount Bus line.
Go Nomad’s Guide – Solid writeup with general information and general pricing estimates.
A la Carte Freighter Travel – General info about travel on cargo vessels.
Crew Seekers international – Similar to Global Crew Network. Puts deck hands/volunteers in contact with captains and their ships.
Sailing Networks – Their slogan “connecting sailors everywhere”. Note the crew finder option.
The Float Plan – Site dedicated to connecting crew and volunteers.
Flyer Guide: Travel Friendly Credit Cards – Hands down one of the best resources for picking a travel friendly credit card/researching foreign transaction fees.
Google Currency – View charts of historical currency trends and current exchange rates.
XE – All things currency look-up related.
Travel Resource Sites
WikiTravel – Think of it as a travel guide by the people, for the people, for free. This is the Wikipedia of travel.
TripAdvisor – One stop travel advice. One of the largest community of travelers on the web.
Trip Films – A great resource for finding (or sharing) travel videos.
TripIt – Centralize all of your travel plans in one easy to manage place while tracking past trips and friend’s activity.
Tripatini – An active Ning based travel social network with around 3,000 members.
Free Web Travel Guides
Traveller’s Point Guides – A wiki-based set of international web based travel guides.
My Destination Guides – A growing resource with free location based information and guides.
Travelfish – The go-to guide for South Eastern Asia. Provides .pdf guides.
Bootsn All Forums – very community oriented backpacker/hosteller themed forums with advice, general discussion and a wealth of information.
Lonely Planet’s Thorntree Forums – Backpacker/hosteller themed forums with advice, general discussion and a wealth of information.
Traveller’s Point Forums – Backpacker/hosteller themed forums with advice, general discussion and quality information.
Aardvark Travel Forums – Travel themed forums with advice, general discussion and good information.
Travel Blog Exchange – A wonderful travel themed community which is specifically tailored to travel bloggers.
Perpetual Travel – A round the world guide with a plethora of information.
Round The World Ticket – Powered by Bootsn All this site is dedicated to budget oriented RTW programs.
RTW Ticket Airfare Reports – A thorough and comprehensive report on prices, destinations and potential routes for people considering purchasing RTW airfare.
TEFL.com – Stands for Teach English as a Foreign Language. Site with job postings and info.
TEFL.net – Same as above but with a list of job opportunities and programs.
ISIC – International Student Identity Card. The go to international student ID for stud-abroad.
Institute of International Education – A wonderful resource focusing on study abroad programs.
Go Abroad.com – A resource to help facilitate identifying, researching, and choosing international internships.
StudyAbroad.com – A resource to for identifying, researching, and choosing international study opportunities.
Transitions Abroad – A resource to for identifying, researching, and choosing international study opportunities.
SEA Semester – Spend a semester sailing around the world on a large sailing vessel. Students man and crew the ship in addition to performing research and studying.
Semester at Sea – For those who can’t pick a single country to study abroad in. Spend a semester touring the world, while learning and studying on a large cruise ship/floating university.
InterNations – A community dedicated to bringing together expatriates and global minds to pool expertise, connect people and facilitate new relationships.
HelpX – Help Exchange for organic farms, non-organic farms, farm stays, home stays, ranches, lodges, B&Bs, backpackers hostels etc.
WWOOFING – World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms – one of the largest resources of its kind.
Work Away – A site dedicated to facilitating travel, work, and volunteering exchanges.
Personal Overseas Development – Non-profit organization arranging ethical volunteering opportunities around the world.
VolunTourism – Another Volunteer travel group.
Idealist – A comprehensive directory which connects organizations with volunteers.
International Student Protection – Several international travel and study abroad insurance plans.
iNext Insurance – Travelers insurance also ideal for students studying abroad.
Wallach & Company – Comprehensive travel insurance.
Pack Free – For people who like to be organized. Packing list tracking app for travelers.
FlightBoard – Helping you track your flight data including departure and arrival schedules.
TripIt – Coordinate your itinerary and simplify planning.
Kayak – Access one of the most popular travel search sites via your phone.
TripIt – App from TripIt to help you coordinate your itinerary and simplify the planning process.
Google Goggles – Translate foreign languages, identify images, you name it. This app is like a swiss army knife.
Kayak – Doubt this needs much explanation. One of our favorite sites in mini-form.
Skype – Voice over IP is always a handy tool to have on hand. Especially while traveling.
FancyTran – An online, multi-translation application.
Kayak – The Blackberry interface for popular travel resource Kayak.
TripIt – Same great travel resource, only designed for the BB.
RANDOM TRAVEL RESOURCES
Stolen Camera Finder – Lost or had your camera pilfered? This site uses you EXIF data to search the web for photos from your camera.
US Passport Office – For those who need a passport, or need to renew their passport. Passports should be good until 30 days after the end of your trip.
US State Department: International Travel – Visa info, travel alerts, and more. Broken down by region.
US State Department: International Drivers License – Information about how to obtain an international drivers license.
The Inquisitive Traveler: Tourist Offices – A great list of international tourist offices by country.
Bootsn All Toolkit – Loads of links to resources and guides for just about everything.
Pack A Book – Want to read books set in the destination you’re visiting? This site provides what books to read.
Something missing? Post it in a comment, and we’ll be sure to review it and consider it for addition. Think something should be categorized differently or doesn’t belong? Post a comment and let us know!