My goal is to get you on the road and traveling as quickly and efficiently as possible. Below you’ll find a giant list of everything you need to get started with your travel planning and have the best trip you can imagine.
The list does contain affiliate links (meaning if you click them, I may get a small commission for your purchase at no additional cost to you). However, rest assured that I have only listed things that I, myself, use in my travels and feel confident recommending.
Travel Research Tools
These are great sites to use while researching your trip. Of course, there are hundreds of tools you could use, but I’ve come to rely on these the most heavily.
- Trip Advisor – Traveling soon? Find hotel deals & read millions of traveler reviews on TripAdvisor!
- Hopper.com – A flight research tool that helps you determine when is the best time to fly and buy, and helps you find the lowest fare.
- Pinterest.com – If you’re not sure where to go or what the top sites are in a particular destination, Pinterest is a powerful idea generator.
- Gogobot.com – A fun way to research and learn about new destinations based on your interests, and discover new places that people with similar interests are writing about.
- Agoda – 925,000+ vacation rentals and hotels worldwide
- Booking.com – Save with Booking.com, Planet Earth’s #1 Accommodation Site. No booking fees ever!
- HotelsCombined.com – The best hotel deals from all the top travel sites. Guaranteed.
- CarRentals.com – Car Rentals from $8.98 A Day: 7 Major Car Vendors, 15,000 Locations, Save Up to 40%.
- Expedia – Cheap airfare, hotels, car rentals, vacations and cruises at Expedia.com!
- Hotwire – 4-star hotels. 2-star prices. Save up to 50% with low Hotwire Hot-Rates!
- OneTravel.com – Save up to 60% on your International flights. Save $15** by using Promo Code FLYINT. Book Now!
- Viator – Red Hot Discounts from Viator! Find and book tours and activities ahead and have more time for fun.
- Hipmunk.com – Search thousands of travel websites instantly. Quickly compare prices across flight providers and over 1.2 million hotels and vacation rentals. See flight results including layovers and duration in a visual chart.
There are so many travel apps available that can help with all aspects of travel, but these are absolute musts for me. You can find all of these apps in the App store on iTunes or the Android Play Store.
- ZUS – I love this app because it pairs with a really handy device that helps you locate your car in a parking lot and also helps you charge your phone or devices in the car in a fraction of the time it usually takes. It’s priceless when traveling.
- FlightAware – This app delivers up-to-date flight information in just about any format you want. You can view flights at any airport as a list or on a map, you can watch flights coming and going on the map, search for any flight by airline, airport, flight number or route.
- TripAdvisor – The app provides reviews for everything, just like the website, so I can find a good restaurant on the go, or even download city guides with tons of useful offline information about my destination.
- Google Translate – This app just got infinitely more useful because you can use it in offline mode. It translates up to 90 languages using voice, image, typing or handwriting. With this app, there’s really no such thing as a language barrier anymore.
- Kayak – My Trips by Kayak is a free travel planner that keeps track of all your reservations. If reservations are made outside of Kayak, you just have to email them to the system and they’ll be tracked as well.
- TripIt – TripIt allows you to gather all of your travel documents in one easy-to-use app. The PRO version also keeps track of delays and updates your schedule.
- GateGuru – Use this app to locate services in any airport. It has maps and guides to make layovers more convenient.
I’ve never bothered with travel insurance for my trips before, because in all my travels I’ve never had a situation that warranted it, like lost luggage, needing to cancel my plans at the last minute or a serious medical issue. That is until I was traveling in Cuba and broke my ankle. It then became really clear that travel insurance is necessary. After all, we pay monthly for car insurance that we hope never to use. It’s always better to be covered, just in case.
- Ultimate Guide to Travel Insurance – It’s never easy to understand the terms and inclusions of travel insurance. This comprehensive guide will teach you everything you need to know about what is covered and how to go about finding the perfect plan for you.
- InsureMyTrip.com – Instead of going from site to site gathering quotes for travel insurance, use this website to compare dozens of travel quotes in one easy-to-use website.
I often find that lovers of great travel blogs also aspire to start and write their own travel blogs. That is why I’ve decided compiled some resources. In case you feel the desire to start your own travel blog.
- How to Start Your Own Travel Blog – A Savored Journeys resources, written just for you – show you the 7 easy steps it takes to start your own blog
- bluehost Web Hosting – If you’re going to be serious about starting a blog, you’ll need web hosting. At bluehost, you can get unlimited web hosting for just $5.95 a month. It’s reliable and easy to set up.
- The Business of Travel Blogging course by Nomadic Matt – If you know the travel blogging world, you’ve likely heard of Nomadic Matt, a very successful travel blogger. Join his course and learn everything you need to know about superstar blogging.
- How to Become a Travel Photographer – If you’re like me when I started out, I could already write really well, but I wasn’t very good at photography. There’s a lot to learn about how to take great photos for the web and print. You can learn it all in this course.
- GoDaddy.com – Domain registration made easy. Use this service to find an available domain and register it all in one location. $1*/ mo hosting! Get going with GoDaddy!
Luggage & Packing
I’m a huge advocate for traveling light. The amount of time saved at the airport is a huge benefit. Here are our recommendations for backpacks and suitcases that allow you to travel light.
Mountain Hardwear Agama 33 Backpack
This is my favorite backpack. We use it for trips of 7-12 days in length that don’t require a broad wardrobe. So much fits into it in an organized and compact fashion. The back is sturdy but not inflexible, so it’s comfortable to carry. My husband uses the Mountain Hardwear Enterprise 33 Backpack and he loves it. It’s very similar to mine and the same size, just different organization.
Travelpro Luggage Maxlite4 21 Inch Expandable Spinner
Are you envious of those people pushing their luggage through the airport with ease. I definitely am! This TravelPro Spinner suitcase is one of the easiest pieces of luggage to travel with. The 21-inch size will fit in most overhead bins (always check airline size requirements). It has quite a bit of space plus a couple of convenient zipper pockets for tucking things away. And don’t forget those spinner wheels that glide in all directions.
eBags Packing Cubes – 3pc Set (Raspberry)
I can no longer travel without these eBags. They’ve made our packing so much more organized. They really compress clothes so you can pack twice as much. I used to shove my clothes directly into the backpack, but everything quickly became unfolded and messy. Now, everything stays in a neat stack and there’s no chance of things falling out at inopportune times.
We both have our own color for when we share a backpack. Use them once and you’ll never go back to any other way of packing. I use the medium size the most because it fits nicely in the backpack. Two mediums or one large can be put into the main compartment together. The large bag works best for suitcases. They also have shoe bags that will keep your shoes from making everything else dirty.Click for the current price, more information and reviews.
Vapur Eclipse 1-Liter Water Bottle
We love this collapsible water bottle. We take it everywhere we go, so we can fill up at a water fountain in the airport or at an event rather than buy expensive water. The attached clip makes carrying it very easy and it never pops open or leaks, even if it’s tipped upside down or squeezed between items in a carry on. It expands well to fit the full liter of water.
Cameras & Electronics
We have two cameras for traveling. We aren’t professional photographers, so we prefer the ease of point-and-shoot cameras, but recently we purchased our first Mirrorless camera, and we LOVE it. A Mirrorless offers the same level of professional features and changeable lenses as a DSLR, but in a much smaller package.
This camera receives very high ratings. It combines an impressive list of features with great image quality, ease-of-use and impressive zoom quality. It’s a good gateway camera for an SLR, but it can be used easily by a novice too.Click for the current price, more information and reviews.
Canon PowerShot SX720 HS Digital Camera (Black)The Canon PowerShot is a good compact camera for when space is limited or you don’t want to haul big gear. It has great stability and resolution in low light, plus a 30x optical zoom and bluetooth pairing capabilities.Click for the current price, more information and reviews.
Fire HDX 8.9, 8.9″ HDX Display, Wi-Fi, 64 GB – Includes Special Offers
Long hours on a plane are so much more bearable when we have a tablet on which to watch whatever movies and TV we want. You could even listen to an audiobook or play games. The Fire comes in different sizes and capacity. We like the 8.9 screen size with 64 GB storage space so it can hold plenty of movies and TV episodes, as well as store pictures and online games.
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