TRAVEL HEALTH INSURANCE
Travel insurance is an absolute must if you want to have peace of mind and not have to worry about your safety or belongings should the dreaded worst-case-scenario occur. World Nomads offers reliable travel insurance can be bought and claimed online, even after you’ve already started traveling. Recommended by Lonely Planet and Rough Guides as the best travel insurance option World Nomads is available to people from 140 countries.
World Nomads is designed for adventurous travelers–the trusted travel insurance covers or overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. World Nomads specialist travel insurers provide 24/7 emergency assistance. With a variety of plans based on your travel style and personal items, World Nomads prices are fair and affordable. World Nomads also gives customers the chance to donate to their global community development projects. Learn more about why travel insurance is important for your trip.
My preferred platform to check flights is Skyscanner with deals from over 1,200 direct partners. I love that I can sign up for notifications for price drops or view flight costs by month instead of a specific date. Get the best deals by using the Skyscanner app.
If you’re flying internationally check rates from Qatar Airways as I find this to be the most comfortable airline for flying from the U.S. or Europe to Asia. Another airline to consider for long-haul flights is Etihad Airlines. For flights around Australia get the best prices on Budget Air.
To book flights, trains, and buses around Southeast Asia with foreign credit cards I always use Baolau or 12Go.Asia for the fairest prices. Both websites are very easy to use and always have a variety of itinerary and price options. Sometimes they have different routes so check both to see which timings are best for your itinerary.
INTERNATIONAL MONEY TRANSFERS
Unfortunately, I’ve had my wallet stolen a few times while traveling and TransferWise has been a complete lifesaver when I need access to cash from my bank while overseas. I was able to get funds into my Spanish bank account from my American bank account free of charge with my first transaction within three days. Use my TransferWise link to sign up and make your first transfer at least £200 and up to £500 completely free of charge!
Booking.com is my favorite platform to use for hotel reservations as there are no hidden fees, no credit card needed to book, great customer service, and most reservations can be canceled or changed free of charge. Booking.com also has listings for bed and breakfasts, guesthouses, both of which tend to support locals.
Do you want to earn $25 cash back from Booking.com for your next vacation? Use this link the next time you book a hotel on Booking.com for $50 or more and you’ll receive the cash back after your stay! This is open to everyone, not just first time users.
Sign up for Airbnb (or sign up with a new email address) to get $40 off your first stay of $75 or more by using my Airbnb referral link. Airbnb supports locals in the places where you visit and usually offers the most unique accommodation options.
Hostelz.com is the world’s largest free database of hostels and compares rates from between booking websites like Hostelworld, Booking, Gomio, and other accommodation sites. Hostelz.com shows the price difference between each site and allows users to book directly through the booking platform that offers the lowest fare. If you’re traveling on a budget then hostels are an excellent choice, especially if you’re traveling solo and keen to meet other travelers to share experiences and explore with.
I am a firm believer that the best way to learn about the culture and traditions of the places we visit is through locals. Homestays are the most authentic way to truly live like a local as we travel. I find hosts through Homestay.com which has more than 50,000 homestays in 160+ countries. It’s an affordable way to travel too as the average room price per night is $31.
If you seek a skill-acquiring travel experience check out the options on BookYogaRetreats.com, BookYogaTeacherTraining.com, BookDetoxRetreats.com, BookSurfCamps.com, BookMeditationRetreats.com, and BookCulinaryVacation.com.
If you’d like to try out being a digital nomad for a month overseas while working pro bono with a local NGO that fits your high-level skills look no further than Venture With Impact! Receive $50 off when you use the discount code VWIalumniLola. I joined the program in Chiang Mai, Thailand in April of 2018.
Urban Adventures is part of the Intrepid Group, the world’s largest travel B Corp and global leader in responsible travel. Urban Adventures offers half-day to multi-day trips in almost 100 countries around the globe, all of which are led by locals and crafted in a way to support sustainable tourism. Their collection of In Focus tours work exclusively with NGOs to build authentic travel experiences with grassroots charities.
Backstreet Academy is a peer-to-peer travel booking platform dedicated to impact travel experiences and poverty alleviation. Locals in over 40 cities across 8 countries lead travelers on 1,300+ immersive and authentic tours. Backstreet Academy makes it accessible and affordable to be a responsible traveler.
Lokal Travel is a marketplace for finding and booking unique local excursions. All of their experiences are operated by locally owned businesses that are committed to preserving culture, impacting the environment, and supporting locals. They truly live up to the motto of traveling further. Currently, they have activities in Asia and Latin America. 80% of all booking fees are kept in the local community.
I Like Local boasts that they give travelers the chance to see the real world through their immersive and impactful travel booking platform. Hundreds of off-the-beaten-path experiences are available around the globe from tours, homestays, farm stays, food experience, and more all offered by locals.
TourRadar offers over 20,000 tours from around the world organized by 500+ local tour operators. TourRadar has a Best Price Guarantee with no hidden booking fees, free cancellation insurance, plus 24/7 customer support.
GetYourGuide offers tours with locals around the world including UNESCO Heritage Sites and world famous places such as The Vatican and Toledo! They are the world’s largest online platform and offer over 33,000 experiences in over 7,500 places so you’re sure to find a memorable travel adventure that fits your itinerary.
Viator has thousands of tours and activities in hundreds of destinations worldwide, many of which are lead by local tour guides. It’s also possible to book mainstream experiences through the platform at competitive rates. Viator is a preferred booking platform for travelers worldwide.
Klook offers thousands of hand-picked travel activities and attractions and is a popular booking platform for Asian tourists. You can even buy your tickets to Tokyo Disneyland through Klook! They have a best price guarantee and will match rates you find elsewhere.
The Trip Guru is a travel platform featuring local experiences that are sustainable and authentic. There are over 1,000 tours to chose from around Asia and also the States and Australia.
Take Me Tour is a marketplace of tours in Thailand hosted by locals. Each of their experiences is unique and authentic. The best way to have a transformative travel memory is by supporting locals in the communities you visit. Get $6.00 off of your first experience with a local in Thailand by using the exclusive discount code MFLTLTPROMO.
If you’re interested in receiving a Sak Yant blessing while in Thailand I recommend booking the ancient tattoo ritual with Where Sidewalks End. They’ve created authentic tours lead by locals that help travelers receive sacred yantra blessings from Arjans in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Bangkok, and Ayutthaya.
Responsible travel goes beyond what you do while you’re on vacation, it also matters what you’re wearing. 31 Bits has been a marketplace of ethically-made goods for over a decade. The social enterprise sells beautiful home goods and accessories with an impact through design. They provide artisans around the globe with dignified job opportunities to handcraft their unique products and earn a fair wage. Most of the pieces are artisan-made in Uganda and Indonesia.
Modibodi reusable period panties are environmentally and socially sustainable. They’re made from natural fibers such as bamboo and microfibre nylon. The absorbent patented technology bit is 3mm thick and is barely noticeable, they feel just like any other pair of panties. There are a few absorbency options to select from based on your flow, most of which can manage the quantities that would typically require 2 tampons, so around 15ml. The innovative brand operates the excellent Give a Pair Program that provides women-in-need at women’s shelters across Australia with free pairs of Modibodi period panties.
Purchase beautiful fair trade clothing and accessories made of natural fabrics from likemary. You’ll be happy you have one of the blanket scarves the next time you’re on a freezing long-distance bus! They’re created by a cooperative of artisans who hand-weave on traditional looms.
For ethical essential oils check out the offering from Australian brand Eco Modern Essentials. Orders over $30 ship for free internationally!
If you’re looking to limit your single-use plastic consumption head to Life Without Plastic to order ethically sourced products that can replace your plastic items. They have an abundance of travel-friendly products such as bamboo utensils, water purifiers, glass straws, bamboo toothbrushes, cotton yoga mats, and more!
These are the travel essentials that I have used over the last four years of full-time travel that I wholeheartedly recommend to other travelers. They’re all available on Amazon.com which has the best prices.
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