A few of my favourite things...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Here are some great links that I've used in planning this trip, or that I just like to drop in on occasionally. This page is a work in progress, so if you run across dead links or odd, half-completed sentences, that's why. If you discovered this post by perusing the archives, you can return here easily by clicking on "Links" in the menu bar right under the beautiful Go See Run Eat Drink image at the top of the page. If you discovered this post by clicking on "Links", well done.

General Travel Information:
WikiTravel
- a great wiki-style resource for tons of info on traveling to different places. It includes lots of real-world practical info on things like how to buy a train ticket in China, or the best way to exchange currency in Zimbabwe. I should spend more time here than I do.

Travel Discussion Board/Forum/Things:
Lonely Planet Thorn Tree - I think most people consider this the go-to place for travel discussion.
Boots 'n' All Travel Network - But I like this one too. They've got a whole area devoted just to Around-the-World travel (or RTW, as the cool kids call it).
Rick Steves Travel Forums - Mostly concentrating on European destinations, but it's got some good info on traveling light.

Flying:
Kayak - This has become my go-to site for getting a quick idea of what a flight from anywhere to anywhere might cost. Very handy, and it often turns up unexpectedly cheap results.
European Low Cost Airlines - a handy amalgamation of information about all the discount air carriers in Europe, including a map of who flies from where.
One World Itinerary Planner - Though I've elected not the travel with a RTW ('Round the World) ticket, they can be a great bargain. One World's offering is priced according to the number of continents you visit, and their trip planner is a fun way to while away a week of your life.
Star Alliance Mileage Calculator - The other offering in the RTW ticket game, Star Alliance bases their prices on total mileage. They also have an online planner, but it's not as fun as the One World one.

Gear-related:
Practical Travel Gear - Reviews of gear, clothing and other gadgets related to travel
Rick Steves Travel Store - This seems like a good spot for cheap-ish odds and ends. I suspect I'll be spending some money at Rick's place before this is all over.
Tom Bihn Designs - High end messenger bags, backpacks, laptop sleeves and accessories, and manufacturer of the Aeronaut, my pick for a Bag To Take Around the World.
Redoxx - Shockingly expensive but super-tough looking soft-sided luggage of all shapes and sizes.
Mountain Equipment Co-Op - A Canadian company (yay!), where I spent many hours and more dollars getting geared up.
Tilley Endurables - Another Canadian Company, and makers of the famous Tilley Hat. I like them for their other clothing, though many of the styles seem to be geared towards... older consumers. They also have excellent tavel socks.

Packing and Traveling Light:
One Bag - Doug Dyment, the Grand Poobah of the Cult of Packing Light
One Bag, One World - A great blog with gear reviews, travel news etc...

Package Tours:
GAP Adventures - Camel treks, felucca cruising, donkey rides, the Inca Trail, the Trans-Siberian Railway - these kinds of companies package stuff together into everything from 3 day to 60 day tours and publish irresistible glossy brochures that make me swoon with excitement.
Imaginative Traveler - Almost indistinguishable from GAP... I have no idea how to decide between the two, other than by which particular detials of destination or schedule fit your plan. I hope to visit Jordan and Egypt with ImTrav (that's what the cool kids call it).
Intrepid Travel - This one seems much the same as the two above, but perhaps a bit newer and a bit edgier. Perhaps best in Asia, I'm going to Moscow and St. Petersburg with Intrepid.
Tucan Travel - This one seems to concentrate mostly on South America, and on overland travel is specially kitted-out buses.
Dragoman - They specialize in overland travel, in more of those specially kitted-out buses, but Dragoman tends to be pretty bare bones - mostly camping, with participants expected to share cooking and cleaning chores. I'm going to Africa with Dragoman!

Accomodations:Servas - Couch-surfing for grown-ups. See my post about this for a lot more details.
Hostelworld - A great place to search out hostel-style digs all over the world. They have reviews from what seem like real people, and lots information about price. I used this site a lot to help me budget for accommodations in all different parts of the world.
Hostelbookers - Another online boking site, though this one charges no fees!
Monastery Stays - This seems like an interesting idea.

Favourite Travel Blogs:

Thirteen Months - I love this site - a honeymoon couple who take a year off to travel. It's beautifully designed, has tons of photographs and great information, an excellent FAQ section, and even details everything they packed. Nice job!
Around The World - One young American guy traveling mostly in Southeast Asia. There's nothing that really stands out about how this blog looks or acts, but I really like the guy's writing, and his general level of enthusiasm. His journey was completed in August/08.
One Year on Earth - Another honeymoon couple, another good site, a lot more good information.
One Giant Step ... Is All It Takes - A site I just discovered of a couple who seem to be my doppelgangers - two 40-ish people from B.C. who are selling their house, and hitting the road at the same time I am. I'm looking forward to seeing the choices they make as they get ready to take off.
The Art of Nonconformity - This blog is about more than just travel but the author, Chris Gillebeau, has a goal to visit every country in the world before he turns 35. As a result, he's got a lot of really good information to offer about traveling cheap and smart. He's a master of maximizing the RTW ('Round the World) ticket, and a mega-collector of frequent flyer miles. He's got a couple of ebook poducts related to travel too, and they're quite good. And he's got a post on why you should quit your job and travel around the world.
Nomadic Sabbatical - (Added October 2012!)  I periodically get requests from people to "trade links" and ignore most of them, usually because the requests are obviously automated spam-bot crap.  But Pete seems to be a real person, and I've had a look through his blog, which is really nicely designed and seems to say all the right things, and have lovely photographs.  So thanks for the email Pete!

Volunteering:
Habitat for Humanity - a "faith-based" international organization that build homes for people all over the world, with the help of volunteer labour. I wrote about them here.
Global Vision International - a non-religious, non-political organization that "promotes sustainable development worldwide through responsible volunteering programs." TO faithful GSRED readers, these are the dolphin people.
Projects Abroad - Another "volunteer abroad" organization that I'm considering.
WWOOF - World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (formerly known as: Willing Workers on Organic Farms). An network that allows "willing workers" to connect with organic farmers; in return for volunteer help, WWOOF hosts offer food, accommodation and opportunities to learn about organic lifestyles.

Services:
Citizens Bank - A Canadian web-based bank founded and run out of British Columbia. Their Global Chequing account is the one I've chosen as my traveling bank account because they charge no fees for international transactions. Scratch this.  They stopped offering that excellent Global chequing account while I was on the road which was inconvenient and impolite, to say the least.  Boo!
XE.com - A really handy currency conversion site.
Project Visa - A handy site that tells you which countries require visas for citizens of which countries.

Edited: Oct. 18/12

4 Comments:

Viviane said...

Check out: http://eurosatemydollars.com/

Laura said...

Hi! I would like to swap links with your site. My blog is http://www.travelocafe.com. I've already added you under my "Links" section on my page. Please send me the description you favor for your site. Thank you!
I'm also looking for guest bloggers. Please let me know if you'd be interested in being featured on Travelocafe.
Regards, Laura

Alan said...

Hi,

Would it be possible to exchange links

We are a family who left England in November 2008 and set off with round the world tickets to escape a failing business and failing health - We are now living in Malaysia and continue to travel.

Our Site is called: 'A Big Adventure' Subtitled: '4 Tickets, 1 Year, No Plan and More, Much More' and is found at http://www.worldtravelgapyear.com/ check it out if you have a minute.

If you do add us, drop me a line and I promise I will add your site within 24hrs!

regards

Alan & Sofia

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