Here are a few of our favorite travel tips and resources! We use the below for all of our trips, so we hope you find them useful as well.
Planning a Trip
Tours and Day Trips
Viator is our go-to for day tours. The site aggregates local tour companies so you can compare similar tours and prices. From airport transfers, to city guided tours, to day trips and multi-day tours – Viator has a ton of tours to choose from both domestic and internationally. Their multi-day tours often start in one city and end in another, so can also serve as transportation.
Festivals or Longer Tours
DIY Trip Planning
- Google Maps – add your must-see destinations to a custom map
- Google Docs – Create a spreadsheet or doc to write out your itinerary day-by-day and include important reminders
I use a Canon Rebel T3i and iPhone 6 for quick shots.
- Wide Angle lens – for landscape photography
- MeFoto Travel Tripod – lightweight fold-up tripod
- UV Filter – to protect your lens for sunny destinations
- Toshiba FlashAir Wireless SD Memory Card – syncs your camera photos to your iPhone!
- Preview (the default Apple program) has decent editing capabilities for beginners (Tools > Adjust Color)
- Adobe Lightroom for mass edits
- Adobe Photoshop for tougher edits
- Canva – for easy-to-create Pinterest/cover images
- Google Maps: Even if you don’t have cell service, the blue dot will often still follow you if you load the map while you still have wifi. I will search walking directions to a destination on wifi, and the map will continue to lead me even after the wifi is gone.
- XE Currency: the best currency exchange app. Load the desired currency ahead of time and it will still do the math even without cell service.
- GlobeTipping: A great tip guide to avoid that awkward “what do they tip for that here” moment.
- Google Trips: Browse tips, things to do, or top places, as well as itineraries from other travelers
- Viator: You can book day trips and even airport transfers on-the-go through the app. A lifesaver when you find out that taxi ride to the airport is way more expensive than it should be.
- Trover: a picture-based inspiration site to find cool sites nearby, courtesy of other travelers. Sort of like a location based Instagram.
Information & Research
Country Background Info
It’s best to do research ahead of time and stick with digital tools, as guide books will turn out-of-date very quickly.
- Viator City Guides
- Airbnb City Guides
- Wikipedia – for history
- Pinterest – for inspiration
There are several “lists” of countries and they differ slightly. As of March 2018 these are the main lists:
- 193 countries that are United Nations Member States
- 327 countries and territories that are on the list for Traveler’s Century Club
- Wikipedia list of Countries
Country counters will often use the latter list since it’s much larger and gets them closer to qualifying for the “100 countries club”. But the UN list is a much more accurate count of what is considered a “country”. This gets especially tricky with places like the Caribbean where many of the islands are technically not their own countries, but rather territories. For example, Puerto Rico is on the TCC list, but not the UN list because, as we all know, it is still a part of the United States. But Aruba, which many would think of as a “country” is actually an constituent country owned by the Netherlands.
For the purpose of this blog we use the Wikipedia list, because it’s the one most people will relate to. However we will often breakout travel guides and posts by territories since they are often unique and worthy of their own itineraries.