Resources

These are things that make life on the road a little bit easier for me.

Logistics

Kayak — Living overseas, I don’t use these guys much anymore. I find that they they are a great first place to look for American domestic flights, and any international flights going to/from the U.S. They may not always have the best deals, but they are great for budget building, and learning what the general rate for a particular flight is.

Webjet — This is the place to go when looking for domestic flights within Australia. They list both Qantas and the discount carriers for most routes.

SkyScanner — And Europe’s favourite search engine. Be careful with this one–if you search too specifically, you’ll end up with no flights. One thing I’ve learned about flying in Europe is to always consider different cities (with a train to your destination), and be aware of the days. Many routes are only flown on certain days of the week, or seasonally.

Wikipedia — Now hear me out on this one. If I need to get somewhere, and I don’t feel like fiddling endlessly with Skyscanner’s search criteria, I’ll simply find the airport on Wikipedia, where there is often a list of the routes and carriers flying into a given airport.

EastCoast Trains — Ah, the great British rail. East Coast’s website will allow bookings across all companies, and does not charge booking fees. If you are booking an East Coast train, you can select your seat as well.

Planning

Tripadvisor —  I use this more for hotel reviews than anything else, but still find it to be a good resource. I also use it for finding good restaurants and new things in my hometown.

Lonely Planet — I’m old-school–I like the paper books. I like that by the end of my trip, it’s folded open, earmarked, highlighted, and, as likely as not, lost. My travelling companion J and I like to do the walking tours, or mashup LP’s with another guidebook’s (a half-German, half-English tour). She takes the map, I take the camera. Everyone’s happy. Budget tip: you can frequently find these in your local library.

Rick Steves Audio Tours — This is a new one for me, and one that I’ll be returning to in the future. Rick is a well-known travel guide in the U.S., who specialises in European destinations. He’s put together a series of free, downloadable podcasts of several European cities, complete with pdf maps. His routes differ from the Lonely Planet guides, so they’re worth checking out. Bonus points for not looking like a tourist reading from your guidebook every 30 paces.

Gear

Antler Suitcase — I was able to pick one of these up at a discount store, and have found it very useful for weekends and as a general carry on. I’ll have more information soon as it takes its first long-haul flight.

Universal Adapter — Living overseas, I use one of these every day. Mine’s held up for 2.5 years and counting…

iPhone — I’m not sure how I came to be an Apple person, but I somehow did. At the time I moved, Apple was the only place I could find an unlocked phone. If I’m going to spend more than a few days somewhere, I’ll buy a local SIM card and pay-as-you-go credit. I have a 4S, which is probably no longer available, but it still suits my needs well enough.

Macbook Pro — I switched over to the Macbook solely because part of my work involves coding, and my supervisor keeps everyone on Linux/Unix. I wasn’t going to go that far for my personal use, but I want to work under the same basic structure when I’m on the road. I went with the bigger, heftier pro because I need all the ports I can get.

Kindle — As someone who loves the smell of books, I never thought I’d trade in my paper tomes for a digital screen. Still, I’m hooked. My kindle goes everywhere with me, and has allowed me to maintain my “free reading time” when I’m in transit. As a bonus, I can also upload articles for work and access them out in the field.

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