Loving all the tips and advice Rhys has provided so far? Good news, he’s also compiled a list of all his favourite 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 that Rhys will get a kickback, but you’ll also save some money 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.
I find Booking.com an extremely handy tool to organise all of my accommodation needs in one place at the start of a busy travel year, and then I don’t have to worry about it. I know exactly where I need to go to get my accommodation information, even if I booked it months ago and if I need to change or cancel anything, it’s all in one place.
Thrifty – I rent a lot of cars throughout the course of the year, and without a 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.
Avis – Again, because I rent cars often, I have a lot of experience with different rental car companies. Avis is also an extremely good option. I can’t recall an airport that I have visited that isn’t serviced by Avis. Their check-in process is extremely straightforward, 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 return 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. VPNs 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 while you are travelling.
There is nothing worse than having your banking details or credit card details recorded while booking the next stop on your trip simply because you used the wrong internet connection.
ExpressVPN is my service of choice at the moment. VPNs are great for extra piece of mind. However, they can slow down your access to the internet when the service is oversubscribed. Having used ExpressVPN over the last couple of years, it’s not an issue I’ve experienced with them.
Added Bonus: VPNs are also a great way to access geo-locked resources on the internet. Very handy for watching your favourite Netflix shows during your overseas travels as well.
Airalo – While most tourist destinations offer a pretty good range of free WiFi internet services, being able to access the internet from every through your mobile device is extremely important to a lot of people. Especially if you plan on renting a car and using Google Maps to navigate.
Picking up a local sim is a great way to do this, but you could take advantage of a travel eSim provider like Airalo to secure your data service before you leave your home country. That way, you are ready to connect the moment you land. Very handy for booking that Uber from the airport to your hotel.
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. All 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 fun and a fantastic way to see a lot in a short amount of time – especially their Europe and South East Asia tours.
In my early travel days, I did a couple of Contiki tours shortly after finishing up school, and the formula guarantees lifelong memories. If you are planning your first overseas adventure, I would strongly recommend this style of trip.
Big Bus – Even as a seasoned traveller these days, one of the best ways I find to get up to speed with a new city quickly is the local Big Bus tour.
These hop-on/hop-off style tours are a great way to be able to get your bearings in a city you’ve never visited before. The audio tours are informative, but more so, it allows you to work out where everything is in the city you are visiting. Spot any good and/or bad areas, and then solidify your plans for the next couple of days of your trip.
I don’t get off at every stop. Instead, I pick out one or two things that might be difficult to get to without another form of transport and explore those, making mental notes as to what else I would like to come back to over the next few days.
Klook – I used to be the kind of person who waited until I got to my destination before booking tickets to different attractions. However, in this recent boom in travel, I’ve found out the hard way that it’s a very good way to miss out on certain activities and attractions.
This is where Klook comes in handy; much in the same way I use booking.com to keep all my accommodation bookings in one place, I use Klook to keep all my attraction ticket bookings in one easily accessible place. It’s also a good way to discover different attractions and tours at your next destination.
Ticketmaster – I really enjoy attending sporting events at the different destinations I visit. In fact, I fairly regularly organise my travels around certain sporting events. The best way to secure tickets to major events is through an official ticket provider like Ticketmaster. There are a few others providers, but I’ve found that the vast majority of events I want tickets to attend are through them.
Ticketmaster is a great way to secure tickets in your destination city, not only to sporting events, but concerts and other events, and lock in your seats well ahead of your travels.
Mountain Designs – My one stop shop for all things travel gear. Especially for luggage, snow gear and hiking boots. In saying that, their range of equipment is much more extensive especially if you love being in the outdoors and camping.
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.
If walking around and exploring on foot is your go-to way of discovering all a new destination has to offer, you need good-quality footwear.
You can save up to 60% on select styles using my referral link.