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Last updated: July 2020
Welcome to our travel planning resources page. Here you’ll find a curated list of platforms and companies that you can use to map out your next holiday, and enjoy your trip away to the fullest. Our list is chock-full of links and ideas that we’ve tried and tested, and are happy to share with you. We've pulled together our best planning resources to help you in your quest for organising the perfect trip.
When planning a trip abroad, there are many questions that must be considered before you jet off. Planning in advance allows you time to do plenty of research, make all the necessary reservations, and check if you might be missing anything. It's vital to spend time planning your trip so that you do not miss out on amazing experiences during your vacation. Then, once you land in your destination, your travel plan will give you a sense of guidance and security as you are exploring a new place.
But before you start working through our round-up, an important disclosure: our list is only offered for informative purposes, and does not constitute actual advice in a legal sense. We’re not liable for any of the products and services mentioned, and we’re not linked to any of the companies. As always, make sure you read all the terms and conditions before booking!
When traveling to a new country or region, it's a good idea to do plenty of research when planning your trip. Creating an itinerary may feel constraining to some people, but I actually love planning out our trips and seeing all the details come together. It's fun to look at all of the things to do, places to eat, and tours to go on. These days, there are a couple of websites that can make this process easier, such as Inspirock and Trip Hobo. Using one of these sites allows you to keep track of your flight, hotel, and tour information, and then use a range of helpful features such as maps and distance calculation between points and interest, alongside budgeting and pricing tools.
But don't forget - outside of dates and costs, there are also other important factors to consider including safety, obtaining a visa, or receiving vaccines. We have created a few resources to help you plan your vacation:
These days, most of us start our flight search on either Google Flights, Skyscanner, or Expedia. Whichever flight comparison platform you prefer, we advise that you read all the T&Cs carefully before booking. With all of the ongoing travel issues brought on by the coronavirus, it’s more important than ever to make sure that you’re entitled to a refund if your flight is cancelled, or your government issues a travel ban.
If you’re in doubt, make sure you get a solid travel insurance policy which will protect you against these scenarios. One such option is World Nomads, which offer simple and flexible policies for international travel. At the time of writing, there is no cover available for travel to any country or area that has an active COVID-19 travel ban, however you can protect yourself against most flight cancellations and circumstances outside of your control with their premium policies.
Traveling around the world does not have to break the bank. There are many destinations around the world with favorable exchange rates, which makes traveling actually cheaper than everyday life. Also, flights are getting more affordable and there are more options for low-cost accommodations than ever before. You can use apps to determine the best times to buy a plane ticket or find great flight deals. Getting a travel credit card helps you to save up money just by using the card for daily purchases. You receive points for every dollar you spend, which you can then spend on flights, taxis, car rentals, hotels, and more. Always remember to do the math, because the "cheapest" thing may not actually be that cheap. For instance, does staying an extra day for a discounted flight actually balance out with having to spend more on hotels and food?
If you fly regularly, you may be interested in using a flight compensation service to receive a payout whenever your flight is late. There are several such services where you can sign-up free of charge, and then receive compensation for each and every hour that your flight is delayed for. Regardless of the reason for the delay, whether poor weather, strikes, or even complete cancellation, you’ll receive your payout just 24 hours after your flight lands. Our pick for quick compensation is Colibra, better known as the ‘Robin Hood of Flight Compensations’. To find out more about how they can help you while you’re travelling, you can checkout their website at Colibra.io, or download their app.
Have you ever been on a trip and realized you forgot something? It's such a bad feeling! Packing is one of my least favorite parts of any trip. I tend to overpack because I'm anxious I will miss something and then I have this super heavy bag I have to lug around all vacation. I am trying to become a more efficient packer and with each journey, it gets easier. I learn from my mistakes and try to improve. Making a packing list is the best way I have found to avoid the dreaded feeling of forgetting something important. Lay everything out on your bed before you pack so you can see if any items are redundant or unnecessary. Finally, invest in a travel scale! I will never travel without one again. I hate having to unpack and repack at the airport when my luggage is too heavy because I bought too many souvenirs. Whoops!
If you do need to gear up and purchase luggage, there are plenty of online stores that can help. While Amazon will ship to most countries, those living in the Benelux region can try A.S.Adventure, a high-quality Belgian retailer of outdoor equipment and clothing, or Decathlon, a French sporting goods retailer with hundreds of stores all across in Europe.
There are so many different hotel booking sites these days, it can be hard to know where to look. And once you start adding serviced apartments, bed & breakfasts, villas, cottages, camping sites, RV hire, and AirBnB into the mix, it can easily start to become overwhelming! Of course Hotels.com and Booking.com are great places to start your search for a reasonably priced hotel room, but what about villa rentals?
If you’re looking for a luxury stay that still feels like home, why not book into an villa water resort? Overwater Bungalows is the ultimate resource for every underwater bungalow and water villa resort in the world. You can find information about a broad range of stays, from single units to private island. If you're looking for a more unique holiday - perhaps a romantic retreat in Bora Bora, a quiet retreat in Qatar, or an unforgettable family holiday in the Maldives, Overwater Bungalow has you covered.
Of course we hope that The Travelling Souk is your first port of call when you’re researching your next overseas trip, but there are plenty of other exciting sites out there that can connect you with guided trips. If you prefer to have a travel guide lead you around a new city, or want to go sightseeing with a local, you could try Get Your Guide or G Adventures - both offer tons of amazing tours in all sorts of amazing locations. Viator is another great option for city and sightseeing tours, plus skip-the-line tickets. The platform is easy to use - just enter in your dates and location to see what’s available.
Did we miss something? Do you know of a new travel or packing resource that you think our readers would love to hear about? Then please Get in touch with us! We’re happy to feature businesses on our list that offer affordable, trustworthy products and services which make international travel just that little bit easier.
We are Jacob and Taylor. Travel is our passion and we love sharing our experiences here at The Travelling Souk. Our hope is that you would be inspired by this little blog to try something new, embrace an adventure, and live life to the fullest.