This page is separated into different categories to help you easily plan for your long-term trip. Click on one of the categories below, and you will find articles and resources to help answer all of your travel-related questions!
We always start our flight search with Google Flights. With the fare calendar, you can see prices for months in advance, which is beneficial in finding the cheapest days to fly out. Google Flights search functionality also allows you to explore different route options and to search from regions or multiple destinations. It’s a good tool to get an idea of the cheapest days to fly out and to find the best routes.
Momondo searches thousands of airlines for the best flight deals. You can often find the cheapest flight prices on Momondo because they search hundreds of different airlines and budget airlines – much more than Google Flights does. We usually start our search with Google Flights to find the cheapest days to fly out and then cross reference on Momondo’s site.
Skyscanner is another good tool to search for airfare. It also searches a lot (over 1,200!) of airlines, including smaller carriers and budget airlines , which you don’t find on Google Flights. While we don’t often book with Skyscanner, we will use it to compare prices with Momondo and Google flights to find the best deal.
Scott's Cheap Flights
Scott’s Cheap Flights sends flight deals and mistake fares directly to your inbox. When you sign up, you can choose the airports you fly out of, and they will send you an email whenever there is a flight deal from one of your selected airports. Basically, they do all of the work for you to find great deals for international trips. Another perk – they have a free option available! That’s what we use and I’m happy with the number of deals we get in our inbox.
train & bus
Check out the Global Pass with Eurail if you plan to take a lot of trains during your trip in Europe. With the Global Pass, you can travel by train between 33 countries in Europe for often a fraction of the cost of point-to-point tickets. This is best for long-term trips and for travelers who plan to mainly travel by train. For single country rail passes, look into the site Rail Europe.
Japan Rail Pass
The Japan Rail Pass is an affordable option to travel around Japan. It’s worth it to get the pass if you plan to visit more than once city in Japan, otherwise point-to-point tickets can add up quickly. Make sure to order your pass before you arrive in Japan to avoid paying higher prices when you arrive!
Rome 2 Rio
Rome 2 Rio searches the best routes to get to any destination by train, bus, ferry, car, and plane. This site is best for booking transportation in the United States, Canada, Europe, and South America. This site is especially helpful in finding bus tickets in advance.
12 Go Asia
12 Go Asia is similar to Rome 2 Rio but for Asia. This site searches for the best routes to get around Asia by train, bus, ferry, car, and plane. It is useful in booking trains and buses online in Asia since there currently aren’t a lot of other options available.
Bla Bla Car
Bla Bla Car is a carpooling service offered throughout Europe. On this site, you select your destination and pay a small fee to share a ride with a local driver to get you from point A to B. It’s a much cheaper option than renting a car or taking a train, plus you get to meet locals along the way!
This is one of our go-to sites for booking rental cars around the world. They search over 900 different companies to find the best prices and cars for your trips. This site is reliable and has a lot of different car rental options to choose from.
Outdoorsy is kinda like Airbnb but for camper vans and RVs. If you are looking for more of an outdoor adventure in the United States, this is your site! You rent directly from the owner of the vehicle, pick it up, and off you go. The best part – it doubles as a hotel and a car – making it an affordable option.
International Driving Permit
An International Driving Permit (IDP) is required to legally drive in many countries around the world. I would recommend getting one online before your international trip – it’s only $20 and easy to apply. It will give you the peace of mind that you can rent a car anywhere and won’t have to pay hefty fines if you are pulled over without having one.
hotels & hostels
Airbnb is the #1 site we use to book accommodation. With Airbnb, you can rent out single bedrooms in shared apartments, entire apartments, or houses – we’ve done all of the above. We love Airbnb because you often have all of the amenities of a home (kitchen, washer/dryer, etc) while traveling. Airbnb has saved us hundreds of dollars during our travels around the world.
Booking.com is our go-to site for booking hotels and sometimes hostels. This site has accommodation in over 150,000 destinations around the world. We have always found Booking.com to be easy to navigate and the reviews to be trustworthy.
Agoda is like a Booking.com for Asia. They have over 2 million properties worldwide to choose from – from hostels and apartments to hotels and monthly stays, there is something for everyone. We used this site to book a few hotels and bed & breakfasts while in Vietnam and Thailand, and we found the site very reliable and easy to use.
Hostelworld is by far our favorite site to book hostels. There are hundreds if not thousands of trustworthy reviews for each hostel. They also have ratings on the cleanliness, security, facilities, etc. for each property, which is very important to know when booking hostels. We have used this site countless number of times and have always been happy with our experience.
cheap or free accommodation
Couchsurfing is a platform that provides a way for travelers to connect with locals and stay with locals for free/cheap. Usually, as a guest, you should give back to your host for the free stay by cooking, cleaning, or giving some sort of a gift. Even then, this is a very affordable way to travel around the world and to meet friends along the way.
Workaway is a work exchange site that connects you with people from all over the world who are looking for volunteers to help them with a project in exchange for free food and stay. Basically, you work for around 25 hours per week and in exchange you get free room and board (usually). I’ve done this twice and have loved both of my experiences. You can read more about it here.
Worldpackers is pretty much the same as Workaway. This site has a lot of volunteer options in South America and Asia, and Workaway is more focused on Europe. There are a few key differences between the two sites – you can read about it here.
WWOOFing (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) – is an exchange program where you get to work and live on an organic farm and receive free room and board while you volunteer. This is an incredible opportunity to travel slowly and learn about sustainability while working on an organic farm.
Trusted Housesitters is the most popular house sitting site. They have opportunities mainly in the UK, US, Europe, and Australia. As a house sitter, you get to stay in someone’s house for free while you watch their house and pets (sometimes) while they are out-of-town. This is a great option for budget travelers or long-term travelers who like to take it slow.
Nomador is also a house-sitting site. Their main focus was originally in France; however, they have since expanded to destinations all over the world. All travelers and home owners are verified, so you can trust the users on the site
Phone plans & wifi
We have been using T-Mobile for years now, and we would highly recommend switching to them if you are a traveler! The international perks are so worth it – unlimited data and texting in over 200 countries, plus calls are only $0.25 cents per minute. The only downside with T-Mobile is that their international plans are not meant for long-term use. Meaning if you are on the road for longer than a couple of months, you should look into other options because T-Mobile will mostly like shut off your international service – this happened to us. We recommend local SIM cards or trying Google Fi.
Google Fi is a fairly new international phone plan option by Google. With Google Fi, you have the option to pay for an unlimited plan (unlimited data) or flexible plan (pay as you go) per month. The best part about about Google Fi is that it works in over 200 countries. So when you arrive to a new place, you are automatically connected to the local carrier at no extra cost. The main drawback with this plan is that it is not 100% compatible with iPhones. It’s important to note that Google Fi must be activated in the U.S. before it works abroad. We think this is still worth looking into, as it seems like a great option for international phone use.
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) helps you to keep your network private while you are browsing online for security reasons. I would highly recommend getting a VPN because it helps to keep your online network private while you are abroad, which is especially helpful while logging into bank/credit card accounts. We use Express VPN and have always been happy with the product!
If you need reliable WIFI coverage on your travels, then you should look into getting a global wifi hotspot like Skyroam. With the Skyroam hotspot, you get WIFI coverage all over the world, and it covers WIFI for up to 10 different devices. This is a great option if you plan on working abroad and need reliable network coverage.
credit & debit cards
Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a low-fee card with a lot of travel benefits, especially if you are a new card user. The sign-up bonus alone can sometimes get you a round trip international ticket and you get 2x points on all travel and dining purchases.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Sapphire Reserve card is the fancier version of the Sapphire Preferred. The annual fee is around $550, but you also get a lot of perks – like $300 in travel credits, access to airport lounges around the world, 3x points on travel and dining, and much more.
American Express Gold Delta Skymiles
The AMEX Gold Delta card gives you the best bang for your buck. You typically only have to spend $1,000 in the first 3-months to get the sign-up bonus points, which is much less than either of the Chase cards. We mainly use the Skymiles earned from this card to book international flights from the U.S.
Charles Schwab Debit Card
The Charles Schwab Debit Card is the best debit card for travel. There are no foreign transaction fees, no minimum balance requirements, no monthly service fees, and no ATM fees anywhere in the world. The Charles Schwab Debit Card was built for the world traveler.