The 20 Best Travel Websites on the Internet3/13/2011
Update: Visit the 2012 version of The 20 Best Travel Websites on the Internet
I hope that everyone who attended my SXSW Core Conversation panel on How to Make Money Traveling Around the World enjoyed the presentation. As promised, I have a listing of my top 20 favorite travel websites (in no particular order).
I’m still working on my eBook “70 Vacations in 7 Months“. The project has consumed most of my time of late. If you attended the presentation with myself and Tynan, shoot me over an email (if you haven’t already) and I’ll make sure you receive a free copy upon completion
The Top 20!
Hands down my favorite travel website on the internet. The community is huge, over a million couch surfers worldwide. I couch surfed once in Budapest, and was rewarded a point of view only a local could show. Since I moved back to Austin, I’ve hosted a number of couch surfers. I give travelers a place to stay, they show me their way of life. In addition, couchsurfing.org has local meetup groups. I’ve met and hung out with some extraordinary travelers through the couchsurfing community. I highly recommend you start building your CouchSurfing profile now!
Travellerspoint is a small travel community that features expert travel advice. The members on the message board are extraordinary helpful and knowledgeable. Travellerspoint is my top choice for travel advice, legalities, and transportation issues. Before traveling, I recommend running your itinerary through the boards.
How can a Danish aggregator feature cheaper flights within the U.S, than any American flight aggregator? By eliminating all third party fees! I use Momondo to research every flight I book. I’ve seen Momondo rates as much as $150 cheaper than SkyScanner. Momondo eliminates all booking fees by forwarding you directly to the airline’s main website.
Escape the City is a new website that continues to grow like wildfire. The idea: Turn the corporate world upside down by offering jobs that make a difference. I’m especially impressed with the quality of volunteer opportunities posted on Escape the City. Examples include, partaking in a gold mining expedition in Ecuador and leading a volunteer group in Malawi. If you’re tired of your boring day to day job, definitely give Escape the City a look.
My go to site for anything related to hostels. I read the reviews on hostelworld before booking any hostel. I’ve found some great places to stay during peak seasons by exploring page 2 and page 3 of this website.
I build almost all of my travel itineraries through Trip-it. Trip-it allows you to forward all of your lodging and transportation information to store in one location. In addition you receive statistics on miles traveled, locations visited, cities visited.
Airbnb is great for people who enjoy a finer lodging experience. Connect with other travelers to rent out house, apartments, villas, or condos. Like CouchSurfing the community is safe, secure, and builds trust through user reviews. AirBnB doesn’t charge until after a traveler books your home. They even offer free professional photography in many instances.
Flyertalk features some of the best travel hackers on the planet. Airfare remains the most expensive travel cost. The users of this forum exchange ideas on generating airline miles through various credit card reward programs. If you really want to dwell deep into the art of discount travel, FlyerTalk is a must read.
Ever wonder where to find the best nooks and crannies for overnight airport sleeping? Sleepinginairports displays the best locations to sleep. I used to dread the days of overnight uncomfortable, noisy airports. Now, I have an advantage over about 90% of other overnighters through knowledge of this great website.
Think sleepinginairports, but with airplane seats. Seatguru maps out the exact location of the most comfortable seats inside the airplane. Not everyone can afford 1st class long distance traveling. Thus, before booking a coach ticket, take a gander at seatguru to find the best available seats.
Conversion fees can add up during overseas traveling. Travelfinances outlines the conversion percentages of the major credit cards. I’ll save you the research. Capital One is the best travel card available. No foreign transaction fees and favorable airline miles rewards. In addition, Travelfinances is a great resource for information on financial news, legalities, taxes, and travel insurance.
I haven’t used roadshare yet, but added based on responses from people who have. Roadshare is a social community that helps travelers save on transportation fees. A great way to travel with a companion for a few days while splitting the costs.
A travel aggregator for cruises. You can find some superb deals by searching thoroughly on this website. Check this site frequently during the offseason. Great deals await!
Weather2travel is your global resource for worldwide weather information. Avoid the pitfalls of travel by planning ahead. If your flleixble with your dates, view Weather2travel to ensure that mother nature doesn’t affect your travel plans
A great resource for volunteering abroad. Global Volunteers helps you find volunteer opportunities in areas your passionate about. For example, if you enjoy helping young children, Global Volunteers can help place you in exotic locations like the Cook Islands.
If you prefer the comforts of a hotel, HotelsCombined is the cheapest aggregator I’ve seen. I only use hotels these days for business travel. However, there are times where you need to unwind and relax from travel stresses. View HotelsCombined to receive a great overview of the hotels in your area.
Darn Good Digs
Darn Good Digs is a unique travel site I stumbled upon that finds great places off the grid. The users rate the most enjoyable small hostels, hotels, and B&B locations around the world. In most instances the price is kept under $150 a night. If you find a great location during your travels, you can nominate your “dig” to be added to the directory. The reviews are much more in depth than most websites. Thus, the people who contribute often experience an extraordinary stay.
Connect and share your photos with friends and family. Flickr is my headquarters for storage of all my travel photos. The account is free. (A small yearly fee for additional storage). Flickr has the largest collection of travel photos on the net. If you don’t have a Flickr account, get one! The benefits including, free online storage, geo-tagging, and mobile viewing are too numerous to name.
Trip films organizes user uploaded travel videos. The community uploads, organizes, and rates the videos. I especially enjoy the many How-to type videos on this website. Visit Trip films for inspiration, information, or relaxation of the mind.
Trav Buddy is a great site that helps connect people with similar interest on travel excursions. In addition, Trav Buddy allows travelers to share advice on experiences, locations, and places stayed. The community is huge! Rivaling Coach Surfing with over 1.6 million members! You can find just about anything related to travel here!
But wait! There’s more!
In addition to my top 20 websites, I want to include my favorite travel blogs. These travel blogs consistently produce amazing content on a weekly basis. I highly recommend you follow the blogs that resonate with you. For me that’s all of them!
Blogs I follow
I’ve followed Tynan’s blog for quite some time now. He originally wrote about dating and pickup back in his “betterthanyourboyfriend” days. Through his success in the dating industry and his other endeavors, the blog slowly morphed into a life mastery site. These days Tynan lives out of an RV traveling around the world. (I helped him reach this nomadic lifestyle by purchasing his car years ago). The gear Tynan travels with can be considered the best of the best. He thoroughly researches each item and explains in great detail the value of the travel gear.
Gary runs a powerhouse of a blog. He’s visited an absurd amount of countries since 2007, and does a great job connecting with his audience. Consistently, Everything Everywhere ranks as one of the top 10 travel blogs on the internet. Gary posts a daily travel photo, fresh content 4 -5x a week, and frequent podcasts. I personally enjoy his writings about visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Gadling is a must read for anything related to travel. With about 30 writers pouring out fresh content on a daily basis, you will always have articles to read throughout the day. I really enjoy Gadling’s travel news articles. They provide in-depth detail of current travel trends, noteworthy events, and changes effecting the industry.
The title says it all, a great blog on the art of language hacking. Benny has developed a formula he uses to learn a new language in 3 months. He’s traveled the world since 2003, studying, learning, and applying new languages. In addition to learning techniques, Benny provides great resources on travel experiences. A must read for anyone learning how to master a language quickly.
Steve posts about fitness and world travel. His nerd fitness guide is incredibly detailed and provides a great resource for his “Rebel Army”. The Nerd Fitness challenges are superb. Steve creates personal challenges for himself and user based fitness challenges.
Matt’s blog is full of personal stories and great travel experiences. He truly lives the nomadic lifestyle, documenting the experiences along the way. I enjoy reading his hostel adventures and watching his fascinating travel videos.
I’ve recently started following the Technomadia blog after learning of their presentation at SXSW. I love learning new words. Chris and Cherie created a new one based on their lifestyles as techie nomads. Expect to find great travel resources and hacks on this technology/travel blog.
I’m a big fan of anything that helps me save money while traveling. Adam travels around with his wife and young daughter blogging about his experiences traveling the world and paying off accumulated debt. I find Man vs. Debt inspiring on multiple levels. 1. The man travels the world and is successfully lowering his debt. 2. The man travels with a wife and small child!