What do you think of when you hear the word travel? Amazing experiences, fun, culture, relaxation? These are all a part of travel, but at some point you had to sit down and do the booking, researching, planning and packing to get there. I’m a self-confessed travel nerd and I love everything about that process, and over time I have found the stuff I love to use, like websites, travel companies, travel gear, travel guides etc. Using the right travel resources can save you time, money and help you to plan a better trip.
We used Booking.com for booking lots of our accommodation in Europe. They had a great selection and the website was really easy to use.
We love using Airbnb to have a more local stay. Stay in someone’s home (you can choose to have a room or the entire place to yourself) and get all the local tips from your host! A great way to mix things up a little, give you a chance to wash your clothes, go to the local supermarket and cook in a kitchen. You can get $35 AUD Airbnb credit by signing up here.
If you are just starting out on your hotel search, hotels combined compare all the best hotel deals through different booking sites, to make sure you get value for money.
You may or may not know from reading our website, but this year I’ve changed to “carry-on only”. So when choosing the one little bag I would take with me everywhere, I thought long and hard and did my research. And I chose my Antler Juno Cabin Suitcase. I have already taken it with me on one overseas trip, and am about to do my “Nine weeks in Europe carry-on only challenge”. I think it’s a pretty glam bag, and I have to admit I was worried how it would cope with slumming it (boats, beach, bad roads, no roads etc). But it was surprisingly awesome, sturdy and came home still looking white. At times, I did think a backpack would be easier, but more often then not, I was so happy to have the wheels. Chris has also gone “carry-on only”, and took another bag who’s brand shall remain unknown. Mine came out on top hands down! Chris admitted defeat – my wheels were better, my handle was more sturdy, my zip even worked better.
Packing cubes really help me stay organised throughout my trip, and everything’s easy to find.
I sometimes buy travel size toiletries, but some of my products I just decant into travel size bottles. I use GoToobs to put my toiletries in, and have found them by far the best in terms of being able to get all your product out of them.
I use to always pack so many documents and fill up huge travel wallets that became more of a burden than a help. Now, I love my minimalist Bellroy travel wallet. It fits everything I need and it’s so easy to use and find everything.
We absolutely love our Olympus camera, it has so many features that make it easy to use and we love the image quality. A mirrorless camera is perfect for travel as they are smaller and lighter than a DSLR without giving up the image quality.
The more I travel the more obsessed I become with photography and video. And that means the more space I need on my memory card. We actually travel with about 3 memory cards and also back them up to hard drives. We now use the SanDisk 64 GB Extreme Pro.
Although there are many compact travel tripods, they do vary in size quite a bit. We wanted the smallest folding length we could get without compromising on extended length. We ended up with a folding length of 30cm, yep, the length of a ruler!
For the past few years I have been using Good2Go Travel Insurance. Travel Insurance is such an important part of travel. I truly believe you shouldn’t travel without it. After years of travel, always having travel insurance and never having to claim, this year I finally made my first… and second travel insurance claims. Two completely different things I could never have seen coming. Walking into a hotel safe in Bali and needing 5 stitches to my head, and a spider bite in Vietnam. Accessing medical care overseas is daunting enough, but having good travel insurance really gives you that peace of mind.
Frustratingly, I found it difficult to find info on credit cards that were beneficial for points if you were an Australian resident. Until I found Pointhacks.com.au. This website outlines all the latest deals to help you earn points faster.
I use a Citibank Plus Visa Debit Card if I want to withdraw cash overseas. It has no ATM fees (unless the local ATM imposes one) and no percentage of your transaction is taken by Citibank.
Wherever we can we use our credit card for purchases so we can accrue frequent flyer miles. Obviously you will need to research to find the best credit card that meets your own needs.
Trello is a note-taking/list-making/organising tool that is online. I use Trello to help plan trips, writing lists of what restaurants I want to try, things to do etc. It’s really easy to use and it’s free.
When I know I’m going somewhere overseas, I always try and learn a bit of the language. Although I should use it more than I have, I’ve loved using Duolingo for their free online language courses.
Please note: Some of the links mentioned above are affiliate links, all of the links are things I use and love. This means that if you purchase something through these links, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission. Parts of this page are in collaboration with Good2Go Travel Insurance, a company we use and love. All opinions are 100% Mandy and Chris.