Rhys has sat down and compiled a list of all the online tools and services that he uses when booking his travels, for both work and fun.
If any of Rhys’s blog posts have helped you in inspiring and planning your trip, then you can help him to continue delivering great content by using any of these tools below in booking your trip.
Please note that most of these links have some sort of affiliate offer attached to them, so Rhys will get a kickback, but you’ll also save some money and get some great deals as well.
Booking.com – What makes this stand out is the ability to assess a bunch of properties quickly, book well in advance and not have to worry about paying (in most cases) until you arrive at the property. This is very handy when booking business trips at the start of the year, but allows for unexpected changes.
Thrifty – I rent a lot of cars throughout the course of the year and without doubt, the experience at Thrifty is best. No hidden fees. Really customer-focused experience. Best of all, on more than one occasion they’ve given me a partial refund for returning a car early in the instance that my travels have changed. Other rental car companies, that will not be named, have charged me an extra fee for doing the same thing.
Budget – If Thrifty doesn’t have any cars available or doesn’t service a city that I’m visiting (very rare!) then my next choice is always Budget Rental Cars. Another good reliable service without any hidden fees.
Pro Tip: Always opt to fill the car up yourself. It’s always cheaper than the rate offered by the rental car company and there is almost always a petrol station at or very close to the airport to do this on your way to returning the car.
Another Pro Tip: Rental car companies always offer an expensive insurance package to bring down the ridiculous excess should you end up in an accident. You can save a bunch of money with a good quality travel insurance package that will cover the rental car excess… See below.
Cover-More – As I just mentioned, travel insurance covers you for more than just getting sick or injured while travelling. I always, without fail get travel insurance every time I travel. In fact, I save money by purchasing an annual travel insurance plan that covers all of my scheduled trips for the year, both international and domestic. I do travel a lot though!
Lost luggage, trip cancellations, rental car excess, and obviously getting sick or injured while travelling are all covered as part of Cover-More’s packages. While I haven’t had to claim very often, maybe once or twice, it’s always been a very easy process. Which is exactly what you need when making an insurance claim.
ExpressVPN – Free internet while travelling is great, but it does come with some inherent dangers. VPN’s offer a level of protection by encrypting your data and preventing free internet service providers (or any service providers for that matter) from keeping track of what you are doing on the internet.
ExpressVPN is my service of choice at the moment, while VPN’s are great they can slow down your access when they are oversubscribed, however the last couple of years it’s not an issue I’ve experienced with ExpressVPN.
Added Bonus: VPN’s are also a great way to access geo-locked resources on the internet. Very handy for overseas travel.
Truth be told, it’s been a long time since I took a tour, but when I was just starting out my travels heading off to places I didn’t know where they spoke languages I didn’t understand, these group tours were a great way to build that confidence and discover a lot in a short amount of time, while meeting some great like-minded people along the way.
Contiki – Definitely for the young, or at least the young at heart, these tours are just great fun and a fantastic way to see a lot in a short amount of time. Especially their Europe and South East Asia tours. I did a couple when I finished up school and the formula just guarantees lifelong memories.
Merrell – This might seem like an odd addition, but with my love of exploring and hiking trails through national parks, good quality footwear is a must! Merrell’s range of high-quality hiking footwear, especially their waterproof Goretex range is my absolute go-to.