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And here's a list of all the tools I use to save me money, energy, or time in travel. I only recommend products and services I like and think they are the best I found.
Some of the links are affiliate links. If you buy service or product through the affiliate links, I get a small commission from the partners at no extra charge to you, and I greatly appreciate your support!
CheapOAir is another great option I use to compare flights. You can also find hotels, car rental, holiday rentals and more. This site allows you to search the cheapest fare by dates and by different airlines. You can also create Alert Fare on the left side and have the notification sent to your inbox.
ITA software is good to do research on flight availability and time. It's Google-owned and is built for the travel industry, not exactly for consumers. The serial travelers use this tool because the search function is diverse and flexible.
One of the best website to book cheap flights. I usually compared this one with Kayak and Cheap Air, Skyscanner usually give some really good deals.
Find cheap flights and book today with Skyscanner
Before Skyscanner, I use Kayak a lot. I subscribed to their newsletters and created fare alerts with them. Their website and app are both easy to use and deals are pretty good. You can pick the desired departure month and find the lowest fare that compliments with your schedule. I like to use their map to search for the lowest deal.
Whether its hotels, hostels, guesthouses or capsule hotel, it's nice to book in advance and cancel to give you a peace of mind that at least you have somewhere to stay. This platform allows you to book your lodging in advance without any booking fees or cancellation fees. Although most of them are free to book and cancel, some charge fees, just make sure you read the terms and conditions as well as the descriptions carefully before booking. This is a good platform to arrange a 'Plan B' if Couchsurfing or Airbnb host is not good.
One of my favorite platform to book lodging by locals, availabilities can range from hostels to couch to treehouse to castles and more. For new Airbnb users, you can get $35 Airbnb credit by signing up with this first-timer special offer link.
If you think you can handle living in other people's home, mind their houses, and/or taking care of their pets, you can save rent money by becoming house/pet sitter. House sitting can be anywhere in the world and the tasks are to be discussed between you and the homeowner.
Housecarers has worldwide housesat availabilities and allows users to view listings before applying for membership. It does have fewer listings than TrustedHouseSitter though.
One of the largest platform out there that connects home owners and house sitters together. There is thousands of house sit assignments worldwide and there is about 15,722 house sitters in this platform.
Other Types of Lodging
There's host around the world that offers their place for free. Some people love this platform, some think it's unsafe, it really depends on what kind of host you found and how brave you are. For women, I'd say go with a female host, be sure to read reviews and ALWAYS have a plan B.
This website allows you to research visa base on continent and country. It will give you information like what documents are needed and application fee.
This page is a one-stop-website with full list of countries and the detail information on visa information, embassies, and travel guides. Their useful travel guide is a summary of basic country information such as population, currency, language, religion, time zone, electricity, average yearly salary, accommodation/meal costs estimation, climate, holidays, etc.
This handy spreadsheet is good for putting all your travel information in one place so you don't have to go through your gazillion emails to fetch for that confirmation number. Just click this link to download.
For the safety of your laptop and techs, it's best to install VPN to create your own virtual private network that protects your internet usage whenever you are on a public Wi-Fi so that your sensitive information is protected against other people who is sharing the network. The one I recommend is Pure VPN, it's very helpful to use it on public Wi-Fi for your laptop and phone.
As far as travel insurance, don't waste your time researching, World Nomad is the best so far and it's the one I use.
The company is well-known among travelers of all kinds. They offer various coverage base on traveler's needs. Travelers can make claims, extend plans, cover gears, and even apply online overseas.