If you’re looking for useful tools and information to help with your long-term travel planning, you’ll find all kinds of it here to help take the guesswork out of the process. Looking for location-specific information about that dream destination? If we don’t have it on our blog, perhaps you can find it on one of our favorite blogs or websites/forums we visit regularly. How about useful apps for planning your dream trip or products or services we use that could make your long-term travel more stress free and comfortable? We’ve included those too.
Budget/Money Related Apps
We use this super easy currency converter because it converts multiple currencies on one screen. It’s great for travel throughout multiple countries especially when switching back and forth.
We also use this as does all the same things that XE Currency like converting multiple currencies and providing live updates to rates does but also has a built-in calculator to make it extra handy.
Transportation Related Apps
This is our go to airfare search tool when estimating and double checking prices. We love that you can check prices for a whole month and leave the destination open to find cheap deals to anywhere.
Another great airfare price checker is Wego. We used this while in SEA to source out the cheapest flights. It doesn’t offer the same flexibilty as Skyscanner but gets more results for small airlines.
Grab is basically a ride-hailing service for Southeast Asia. We used the app throughout SEA and it was fantastic. After inputting your pick up point and destination, you are given the price and eta. We often paid less than half of what the taxi fare would have been. Very convenient when there is no public transportation. Or you have to jump off your bus halfway to the airport and need to get back into the city fast because you just remembered that you left your laptop in your hotel room. Hypothetically, of course.
Map Related Apps
Maps.me is an offline mapping app that we use on every trip. Just download maps of the places you’re going and use your phone GPS capabilities without wifi. A lifesaver when you do not have data. Although some maps have a lack of street names, it always seems to provide about the same amount of hotels, restaurants, gas stations and landmarks as google maps.
We’ve started using the offline option for Google maps to see if it’s better than maps.me as in many cases the maps are more detailed.
Hotel/Hostel Related Apps
Booking.com allows you to search and book hotels all over the world. We have used it for years as it provides detailed customer reviews & ratings, pictures, maps and the ability to filter by a range of criteria including price range, and location. Some bookings do not require a credit card and have flexible cancellation policies.
Agoda is very similar to Booking.com. Sometimes they provide a different list of hotels and often have discounted rooms. It’s worth checking both sites to find the best deal.
Communication Related Apps
Where would we be without this?! On the wrong bus to who knows where starving and without a room to sleep in! Seriously this is a must have. You can use google translate online and also download a language (or languages) to use offline. I don’t know how we survived without this!
FB messenger is our go to for communicating with our peeps. We basically use it as our phone, email, text and to send pics while traveling.
Skype is our means of communication for calling toll free numbers or if someone doesn’t have FB messenger (gasp) We used to use Skype a lot back in the day it was the go to for communicating while travelling.
An instant messaging and voice over IP service that basically enables you to use your mobile number as an online phone & messaging service. So without cellular service you can continue to make and receive calls when you have an internet connection. We’re running out of excuses to be out of touch!
Misc Handy Apps
This app allows you to locate your phone if it’s ever lost or stolen. It gives us some peace of mind while traveling. The find my phone feature is super useful because when you live out of a backpack, and go from bus to hotel, to car shit gets lost. The cool part is that if it your phone gets stolen you can track it and remotely wipe out your phone data and sd card.
Kobo is a great app for those who like to read. We actually leave our Kobo at home and use the android Kobo app on our phones while traveling. It works great and it cuts down on how many devices we travel with.
This thing is fantastic! Before we got it we were always torn between leaving our passports in the room or go into the water one at at a time while the other watches our stuff. This has given us freedom! Now we just put our passports, cards and money in the belt and don’t think about them again. We use an extra ziploc bag for the passports just to be safe but haven’t needed to. Not as subtle with a bikini as it is with swim shorts but still works.
Again with the freedom! No worries about leaving your phone on the beach while swimming. Bonus – we can take pics and videos in the water. Hello swimming with sea turtles. We’ve had them for 2 years and they’ve been in many cenotes and oceans with no leaks!
This little plug-in gadget extends the strength and range of Wifi connections AND gives you a secure (password protected) connection. Awesome for out of range, slow hotel Wifi. Also great for securely booking airline tickets, and banking from a shared Wifi connection. We love this thing but it is intended for home use so just be aware that you need to program in the network every time you change locations. Not a deal breaker but a little annoying if moving often.
We travel with notebook laptops that have a very small amount of memory. This hard drive is compact and allows us to save files and dump all our photos and videos as a backup to cloud storage. With a whopping 1TB we won’t run out of space anytime soon.
Daily disposables are the greatest when traveling! No more packing around big bottle(s) of solution or trying to clean & remove lenses in awkward places. Just wear one day and toss! So easy. I suffer from really dry, sensitive eyes and these are so comfortable & bonus UV protection. There are lots of brands if these ones don’t work for you but I highly recommend giving dailies a try.
You can buy and claim online, even after you’ve left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
Blogs We Follow
We’ll be adding to this but we wanted to list a few blogs that we feel have practical information about the long-term travel lifestyle that we’re advocating. We are not affiliated with them in any way but enjoy following them when we can on social media. Give them a look and we’re sure you’ll see why we do. So in no particular order here they are:
This is a newer travel blogger that we wanted to mention. Her name is Dawn and she’s currently traveling long-term with her teenage daughter through India, Nepal, and Southeast Asia. She is posting very informative articles about the places they are visiting along the way while keeping readers entertained with her great sense of humor. While this site is for everyone interested in travel, there are articles that women and families traveling with children will find inspiring and thought-provoking. Give it a read!
We really enjoy this blog. Besides the fact that we’ve shared the same “Surely there is more to life than this?” moment as a catalyst to traveling we enjoy his perspective. He offers great tips and resources for anyone considering a travel lifestyle.
This is not just a pretty site (but it is so pretty!) She is a fantastic writer. We love reading her often humorous posts on travel & lifestyle.
We can’t recall a time where we considered traveling somewhere and didn’t come to Lonely Planet’s Thorntree forum to get an idea of what to expect. It’s been around since the mid 90’s and is the go-to community for independent travelers to share valuable advice with others. Check it out next time you’re planning a trip as you’ll find information there that you won’t find in any travel guide.
We will only recommend what we use and like. Some of these links are affiliates, which means that at no extra cost to you, we will get a little sumpthin’, sumpthin’, if you purchase through our link. This doesn’t affect what we choose to share.