Some people like to keep their travel plans open, flexible and see where they end up staying. Not planning too much and being spontaneous. The lunatics. We enjoy the planning side, especially booking early to get the top rated places.
We have always been big fans of planning in advance, even for smaller holidays. For a RTW trip, happening over six months and across 15 countries, of course the level of organisation got to a different level.
Below are the websites that we have found very useful in our planning journey, some of which we have used for previous travels, other we came across only for the first time for this big adventure.
We believe they are the best resources out there, with good deals and great variety of very helpful content.
We mainly use Google Drive / Google Sheets with multiple tabs with ideas/links/itinerary/money tracker/daily planner etc – it has all flights, b&bs etc You can also access it on your mobile. “Trip It” is a great App which stores all this info too.
Travel Resources – Trip Planning Tips
Best Travel Blogs
Great for inspiration, advise, planning tips, pretty much everything you need.
A little Adrift
A must for girl travellers, whether or not you are travelling alone take a look.
You get discounts of 20% from getting a quote online, and an extra 10% when paying by Amex Card. We got Gap Cover for 6 months for about £200 each. Including adventure sports, £5k cancellation, medical etc.
Much cheaper than World Nomads we found, for similar cover.
Protect your bubble
Best way to insure single items, such as your phone or computer. (although all devices need to be less than 3-4 years old)
Your best friend when you are travelling. User reviews are the new word of mouth, and once you start you won’t be able to book somewhere without checking out the Trip Advisor reviews. It’s a must, and a no brainer.
Booking.com has good offers, and provides a great resource and booking site for cheap hotels and other accommodation, the website is also very easy to use. Always go for Free Cancellation, pay later deals.
Amazing for accommodation in Asia. This should be your primary accommodation website for guesthouses and hotels across South East Asia and South Asia. They have the most robust inventory and offer the best rates.
This is if you want the real thing, forget being a tourist and become a local for a few days. It connects with homeowners who rent out their homes/apartments to you. You’ll get all the comforts of home, be able to cook your own meals and have a night in and get local knowledge and tips from the owner. Often can be much cheaper than hotels. Studio apartments are great value.
Guided Tours/RTW flights
A RTW specialist agent with amazing reviews from travellers. Great for helping you on big trips, useful advice and great organisation. Of course they always try to sell you everything: tours, hotels, flights etc. If you ask for advice on some flights only, be prepared to receive a full itinerary with tours and hotels included. Very good customer service though and knowledgeable staff.
This is one of the biggest airline alliances, which allow you to plan your itinerary through an online map of the world – showing direct flights from each place etc. Oneworld Explorer is a very popular option – upto 16 flights with no maximum distance.
For a thorough explanation of RTW ticket options and great tips on buying them click here
The best way to gain air miles (Avios) through your big trip. You are going to spend a lot of money on your big trip… this will help you ensure none of it will go to waste! Using AMEX Cards to get bonus Avios helps too.
Click here for more info on Avios.
Rome to Rio
Great for planning multi-stop trips, it gives you a much wider array of options than Google maps – including bike, boats, buses, taxis (with actual spend expected). Easily one of the best transportation website out there!
This is a great website that searches a lot of different airlines, including many of the budget carriers that sites like Kayak miss. This site should be involved in your search for cheap flights, it gives you a great way to compare different times of the day to find the best value option. Also the new app is quite user friendly.
They search a wide variety of airline and other flight brokers (Kayak is what is known as a meta search engine). I think they are a great starting point for searching for cheap airline tickets. Works better if you are flying from some countries than others.
Not only a great shop for all your travel clothing, but also a travel clinic where you can get all your vaccinations done at a great price. Another great plus is that they offer free consultation for backpacks, and you get some very useful check lists to help you plan your packing.
Great shop if you want to find all the best brands and try them on… before you buy them on Amazon!
Great brand for all merino wool items, quick drying, odour resistant and comfortable. High prices are the only caveat.
Best shoe brand for hiking shoes, also according to most Amazon users. You’ll rarely find a negative review on Merrell and this goes for both men and women. Clothing is not as impressive, but it’s the go to for travel shoes.
Travel sandals paradise. Ok, they are not very pretty, but they are comfortable and of very good quality. A must if you are travelling in hot countries.
Simply the best. I love the way the content is organised, including small but useful maps and all the extra information about history and culture of each country. Don’t miss the film and books suggestions at the end, it’s the most enriching piece of advice.