I made a lot of mistakes when I started long term traveling. Today, with the experience acquired traveling solo for a long time, I organize my trips a lot better and a lot faster than I used to. I’m still planning my trips all over the world, but by continually going from one place to another one, everything is a lot easier for me today.
But I realize it’s not the case for everyone. Indeed, I get messages from readers asking for information about the organization of a trip, how to find cheap flights, where to find good accommodation, etc… So I’m gonna list my travel resources, which means the products and services I use. This list was created following my experience as a long-term solo traveler, and my experience as a traveler in the past, when I was stuck in the rat race (yeah I was already traveling a lot before launching this blog…).
Before hitting the road
Wanna act like you’re Indiana Jones? Your body may not agree with you so before leaving home, take all necessary precautions. In some areas, you must get vaccinated to enter the country.
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Diphteria/Tetanus/Whooping cough/Polio
- Japanese encephalitis
- Yellow fever
- Malaria! To this day there’s no vaccine against malaria, but take preventative tablets!
First thing first, check the visa requirements. Sometimes you can go somewhere without a visa, sometimes you can get the visa on arrival, in other cases, you need a visa and you can either apply online or you have to go to an embassy. US readers, check your visa requirements here. UK readers, check your visa requirements here. Canadian readers, check your visa requirements here. Other countries, you can check your visa requirements here. For a reliable information, those are the best sources when it comes to the necessary steps for a visa application (if needed). Guys please, even if you read a travel blog explaining you don’t need a visa to go to this or that country, still check your entry requirements on an official website. Even when you’re reading my blog, check if the information is up to date 🙂 I remember reading a blog saying Sri Lanka was visa-free for French citizens… Which is not the case, you have to apply online! Fortunately, I did my research before getting there!
World Nomads is the most popular travel insurance among travel bloggers. It’s a travel insurance with an excellent reputation for reliability, and a very good customer service. They’re recommended by Lonely Planet, National Geographic, and maaany travel bloggers…A bit more than expensive than Chapka Assurances (just below), but almost anyone can sign up to this insurance, even non-European citizens (USA, Canada…). Once again, you can leave everything behind and search for the Dragon Balls, but before that, get a travel insurance!!!!!!
Chapka Insurances is the most popular travel insurance in France. Some crazy people start traveling without an insurance, but almost all the French travelers who were insured signed up to Chapka. Signing up is easy and fast, the customer service is responsive and efficient, I recommend. All the European citizens can sign up. Do not leave home without travel insurance!!!!!!
This is always my first stop when searching for flights : Skyscanner! Really, it’s very useful! If you have flexible dates, you can search within a full month and Skyscanner will find the cheapest date for you. You can also type departure city + arrival country (for instance “Thailand”), and Skyscanner will find the cheapest arrival airport from your departure city. You can also type departure city + “everywhere”. Skyscanner will find the cheapest destination! From Seoul, I went to Japan for almost nothing thanks to Skyscanner! The flight ticket to Tokyo costed 250€, and by landing somewhere else in the country, in Kagoshima, I paid 50€ my flight ticket. Oh and I can’t forget Skyscanner Inspire Map, where you can see on a map the cheapest destinations based on your departure city!
Right after Skyscanner, I check Momondo, another travel fare aggregator. Momondo is also very useful if you have flexible dates, you can see on a calendar the cheapest days around the date you chose.
I can’t forget Google Flights, even though it’s not really used by most of the travelers I met. Once again, you can be surprised by what they’ll found for you! Cause yeah, we’re talking about Google! Like the two mentioned above, you can just type your departure city, and see which destinations are the cheapest. And you can see on a map the cheapest destinations based on your departure city.
Very useful in Europe. With Flixbus, you can travel through Europe by bus for a cheap price. Unfortunately, Flixbus is only present in Europe. I used this company quite often when I was traveling in Eastern Europe. Each passenger has its own outlet and some data if you need internet.
A competitor of Flixbus. Eurolines is also a cheap coach company covering Europe and also Morocco. Europe was very useful when I traveled in Northern Europe back in the days. Their buses are comfy.
Rome2Rio is a website allowing you to see the best (and cheapest) way to get from one city to another one : car, bus, train, plane… Useful but not always effective from what I noticed, especially when you leave Europe.
Booking is the most famous and the most popular website to book accommodation. They have the largest inventory in the world, and that’s the one I’m using the most. Even in less visited countries like East Timor, I found a place to stay thanks to Booking!
Another website to book accommodation, either in a hostel, or a hostel, a guesthouse… But Agoda is specialized in Asia! Yes, they have the largest inventory when it comes to Asia, the cheapest hotels, and I used it a lot during my journey in Southeast Asia!
The specialist when it comes to hostels! Hostelworld is suitable for all the budget travelers, they have the largest hostel inventory. Hostelworld was useful to me in some areas in Asia, when all the cheap hostels were fully booked on the other websites and I just had expensive options left (I’m thinking about Japan…).
Hotelscombined is not a website to book accommodation. HotelsCombined allows you to search and compare hotel rates in one search. You just found the perfect hotel in Budapest but you don’t know where to find the cheapest rate? Use Hotelscombined! Hotelscombined will compare the rates from the other websites, and will give you the cheapest price!
I don’t think I need to introduce Airbnb, this website allowing you to stay at a local’s place. Airbnb connects you with homeowners who rent their house/apartment. Instead of a hotel, you stay at a local’s place, and you usually pay less than a hotel room. Bonus : sign up through this link and you’ll get free credit on your first stay.
Jumia Travel is specialized in Africa! Jumia Travel is another website to book accommodation, specialized in the African continent. I used it a few years ago and I didn’t have any problem, everything went fine! But I heard mixed reviews, and I saw on the interner that some travelers had problems with their customer service.
Another famous one, I don’t even need to explain what it is, Couchsurfing! You are hosted by a local for free, and the local hosting you has the opportunity to exchange ideas with a foreigner about many different subjects (culture, language, food…). You can also, in your hometown, graciously host travelers. A good way to be directly immersed in the local culture.
Don’t wanna spend money to find accommodation? Don’t wanna stay for a few days at a local’s place thanks to couchsurfing? Even if it’s free, because you want your privacy? There are a other options! Thanks to WWOOFing, your host, a farmer, provides food and lodging. The thing is, you’ll have to work a few hours a day in the farm. HelpX is an online platform that connects volunteers who are seeking accommodations rather than a salary with hosts seeking help. You won’t necessarily work in a farm, it can be in a hostel, on a boat, in a ranch… You work a few hours a day, and you get food and housing for free. Workaway is a little bit like HelpX, but this time they also have paid job offers, not just volunteering in exchange for free food and accommodation.
Planning a trip
Wikitravel is a world-wide travel guide, written and edited by its contributors on demand. A mine of information quite often overlooked by the travelers, however this website is very useful! I found a lot of very good information about Turkmenistan, a country less frequented by travelers, on Wikitravel!
I guess you all know Lonely Planet! Those are the complete and useful travel guides. I used it a lot when I was going on holidays, before I started long-term travel, and the information they give are realiable. I strongly recommend checking their guides!
On the road
- My 65L backpack Robust! I spilled syrup, water, shaving foam in my backpack… And it’s still in very good condition! I met a Swedish girl in Hoi An, Vietnam, and she had the same backpack. She also spilled a lot of things in her backpack, and it stayed spotless! The same backpack for women here.
- My Eastpak backpack. This is my day bag, the one I use when I’m wandering in the daytime! I already had this bag for several years when I went to the US in 2009! It gave up the ghost in Bangkok, and I bought another one since then!
- A messenger bag. I usually use this one when I go out in the evening. I put important documents in it, my phone, my passport when I’m traveling from one country to another one…
- A security cable lock. Very useful at the hotel, the hostel… Fasten your bag to something sturdy (a bunk bed for instance), and you can be sure your backpack will still be here when you come back!
- Several combination locks, once again it’s handy! With them you can lock your rucksack, the various pockets on your backpack…
- A money belt, very important! You can hide in there important documents, some money… And put it under your T shirt! Helpful in Jaipur, India!
- A hooded sweatshirt with a zipper, that I often wear! It can be a bit cold, or not too hot, the hooded sweatshirt with a zipper is, once again, very useful!
- A microfiber towel. Doesn’t take much space in your backpack, and it dries very fast!
- A mosquito net. It can save lives in exotic countries!
- Lifestraw, important! It’s a water filter you can use, and you can even drink questionable water with it. I used it a lot when I was in India!
- A sleeping bag. It’s also useful when your bed doesn’t look very clean…
- A headlamp, useful when you’re in the dark. Very useful in Bagan, since I was cycling there before the sunrise.
- My camera, a Sony a6300 with its 16-50mm lens. This is the camera I use when I’m on the road, and I’m very satisfied! I dropped it, some sand got in it one day… But my camera is still here, working perfectly 🙂
- The camera case. Because yeah, you have to protect your camera!
- A memory card for the camera. Otherwise you won’t be able to take many pictures…
- An external hard drive. Not necessary because you can back up everything to the cloud, but just in case, I save important files in my external hard drive.
- A smartwatch Perfect to track your activity, how many steps you walked during the day, track your weight, your heart rate… It helps to stay active and in shape while traveling! And I love this watch because it doesn’t look like a geek device. It really looks like a regular watch.
- A travel plug adapter, compulsory in some countries.
- A power strip, very important! We tend to forget it, but in hostels, we quickly realize there are often not enough outlets for everyone. Get around the problem, and bring a power strip with you. It’s also a good way to charge your laptop, smartphone and camera at the same time.
- Smartphone OnePlus. It got completely wet during the Vardavar festival in Armenia, I accidentally stepped on it in Palawan, a wooden chair fell on the phone in Pokhara, I dropped it several times… And it’s still here, three years later! Click on the link for a small discount.
For your information, you ALWAYS have to use a VPN when you’re traveling! A VPN is a program providing security and privacy while browsing the web, either on a computer, a tablet, or a smartphone! A VPN protects your online identity. You prevent websites to collect information about you, because the VPN encrypts your data, you’re not trackable anymore! No more airline companies inflating their flight rates, because they “saw” you were planning a trip to Bali!
A VPN is also a way to browse the web freely in countries where many websites and social media are blocked (I’m thinking about Iran or Turkmenistan). A VPN makes the world wide web think you’re using the internet from another country. And secondarily it’s a way to use Netflix freely…
You get it, a VPN is compulsory. I use ExpressVPN, and I’m very satisfied. The connection is very fast! ExpressVPN helped a lot in those countries where many websites are blocked, and airlines companies don’t rip me off when I’m about to buy a flight ticket! I use ExpressVPN on my laptop, but also on my smartphone.
By the way, read this list of useful travel apps!
Bluehost is a web hosting service. Indeed you’ll need to host your blog “somewhere”, and that’s what web hosting services do. I use Bluehost, and I can’t complain. Low price, simple interface and helpful customer service! They saved my ass more than once when my blog was down.
Mailchimp is an email marketing service allowing you to send emails to your readers who signed up to your newsletter! Useful and free until 2000 subscribers to your newsletter. A good way to stay in touch with your readers. By the way, if you didn’t, sign up to the newsletter! Not only you’ll get the last articles, but also exclusive updates about what’s going on behind the scenes!
Moo is a service allowing you to create your own business cards. As time passed, I got serious with the blog, and I started meeting people in the travel industry. You need to give them your contact details! With Moo, you can very easily create your own business cards as you please, and they ship them to you a few days later!
Chris Guillebeau explains you don’t need to be a multimillionaire to build a business. With concrete examples, he explains you can start a side hustle with a very low initial investment, without leaving your regular 9-to-5. He also explains it’s possible to grow this side hustle and turn it into your main source of income and a successful business.
This book is the bible of many digital nomads, those people who can work from anywhere in the world as long as they have a laptop and an internet connection. Basically, Tim Ferriss explains it’s possible to work only 4 hours per week, while making decent money. By delegating simple tasks, reducing wasted time, etc… This book, released in 2007, has been translated into 35 languages and has sold more than 1 million copies. It’s still a reference for many people.
Robert Kiyosaki tells how he was “raised” by two dads in his life. His biological dad (poor dad), and his best friend’s dad (rich dad). Observing their different relationships to money, work and educational system, he made his own opinion and understood the importance to start investing as early as possible.
Excellent book! Darren Hardy explains that choices and decisions you make might seem negligible and insignificant today, but those decisions may have huge consequences in the future. He insists on the importance of picking up good habits. Those habits will have a very positive impact on your life in the future.
Note : Some of the links in this resources page are affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase, I earn a commission, at no extra cost to you. Commission or no commission, I repeat myself, I recommend all the products listed, they’ve made my travels easier and better. If you have any questions, or if you know a product/service thay might be handy/useful (to me but also to the readers), feel free to contact me!
Blogger & Traveller
Hi! I'm Roobens, from Paris. Wanna know what it's like to travel in some areas of the world as a black person? There's not much info online about black travel, so follow my journey here!