Trip planning links
Purchasing an around-the-world-plane ticket (RTW ticket) may be the way for you to go. Click the link for more information on the pluses and minuses of an RTW ticket.
If you decide to skip the RTW ticket we like the airfare price guide at Kayak.com as a planning tool. But they do sometimes get it wrong. Some low-cost airlines might not appear and an airline’s web site might be cheaper. Trust but verify.
Skyscanner is another airfare site that also includes discount airlines like Ryanair.
SKYTRAX is the world’s largest airline review site. Based on viewer input the site has extremely detailed ratings on every airline including their food, seat comfort, service, etc.
Once you find a flight, where should you sit? Rows 22 and 23 may sound the same but SeatGuru will tell you that on your particular flight Row 23 stores the in-flight entertainment system and has less leg room. They also provide nifty seating charts for every possible configuration.
The Man in Seat 61 is the definitive web site for information on train travel. Interested in traveling from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh city by rail? Well there’s a video of the journey. Need the timetable for the Beijing-Shanghai bullet train? That’s here too.
You’ll save money by renting a home or apartment instead of staying in a hotel. Our favorite sites for vacation rentals are Airbnb, Homeaway, VRBO, FlipKey and Sabbatical Homes. Click here for more information on the benefits of a vacation rental.
A company that offers a wide range of lodging choices is Hotels Combined. Unlike many other search sites, it shows home stay options in addition to hotels. Many of these offer a good value to the traveler.
The above links offer places to rent all over the world. There are also some sites that specialize in certain countries or regions:
- Stayz.com has over 30,000 places to rent in Australia
- Holiday Houses to rent in New Zealand
- Book A Bach is affiliated with the New Zealand Automobile Association
What to do there
The Time Out series provides relevant information beyond the usual tourist sites. Published in a magazine format, we pick one up at an airport newsstand upon arrival along with a local newspaper.
Meetup.com is a great way to meet new people, both at home and on the road. They have groups for practically any interest.
Chowhound – Our favorite place to find out where the locals are eating.
YourLocalBooking.com – Tours and drivers in Vietnam. We used them three times, excellent customer service.
Groovy Map – Really cool maps for many Asian cities. They get it right and are easy to use.
After checking many, many travel health insurance sites around the world we settled on HTH Worldwide which happened to be located only 20 minutes away from us. They offer a variety of plans to suit different budgets and were helpful and easy to reach on the phone.
The web site of the Centers for Disease Control. Use their handy tool to get information about the country you are visiting, find out what exotic diseases you can catch there and, hopefully, how to avoid them.
The US State Department’s update of conditions in every country. This is where you find out that a civil war has just broken out where you booked your honeymoon.
For long-term travel you may need multiple passport pictures as you apply for extra visas. It’s cheaper to print them yourself rather than paying at a photo shop. The State Department provides a handy tool to make sure your photo meets the proper specs.
Here are our favorite blogs:
- Hole in the Donut – Barbara is discovering the world, one culture at a time
- Wonderful Wanderings – Follow Sofie from Belgium as she travels around the world
- We Said Go Travel – Couples travelogue
- Rear View Mirror – Exploring Europe by road
- Go, See, Write – A lawyer who chucked it all to travel
- Go Backpacking – Top ranked guide for backpackers and future travel bloggers
- LandLopers – Exploring the world, one adventure at a time
- The Cranky Flier – All the latest on the airline industry for you plane geeks
- The Road Forks – The adventures of a couple where food and travel intersect
- Landing Standing – One wife, one husband, one grand adventure
- Virtual Wayfarer – A young traveler’s eclectic adventures around the world
- Backpacking Travel Blog – Nomadic Samuel and Audrey backpack around the world.
- Lola’s Travels – A sassy, fun and flirtatious view of the world.
- Driving Like a Maniac – One woman’s crazy adventures in Italy.
- Sunshine and Siestas – Chicago ex-pat Cat Gaa shares tales of sunny Spain.
- Expert Vagabond – Vagabond Matt shares incredible stories and photos from around the world.
Note: This page is continually being added to as we find new sites so come back again and check it out.