Travel Resources

Just for Tramposaurus Treks followers, I’ve created an exhaustive list of the best budget travel resources you can find anywhere.

When I moved to Quito, Ecuador in 2005, I had no information resources other than an out of date Lonely Planet and the memory of a National Geographic article I had read about a decade prior. I was giddily terrified, arriving onto a continent I had never been, where I knew no one, and with very meager savings.
Yet I survived, and that seems like quite an accomplishment when I consider the lack of resources available at the time.

The world has changed quite a bit since then. Unless you are headed into the darkest parts of the Amazon or deep into the mountains of Central Asia, every village you visit will have all the information you need to know online and available for you before you arrive.

For the past 15+ years, I have gathered some of the best travel resources available anywhere and I am going to share everything with you right here.

TREKKING

WikiLoc Logo

Wikiloc is a website, launched in 2006, that offers for free GPS trails and waypoints that members can upload and share. This mashup shows the routes in frames showing Google Maps. The service is also available in Google Earth. There are mobile apps for Android and iPhone.

Ramblr Logo

Ramblr is a service to record and share your outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, skiing, or kayaking. Ramblr lets you see your route on a map with geotagged photos, video, notes along with descriptions, stats and more. The Ramblr app (available for iPhone / Android) can share your trips with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and allow you to post to your blog.

Maps.me logo

The best tool you can get for yourself to walk cross-country trails around the world, is a GPS offline tracking system on your phone. You do not have to spend a lot of money on a branded tracking device because there is a brilliant app you can download for free.

MAPS.ME — This is a GPS app that is absolutely free. Download all of your free, detailed, local maps while you have wi-fi. Once you have all of your maps, you can turn off the wi-fi, put your phone into airplane mode (to save battery), and your phone GPS will show you your current location on the map, without any wi-fi or phone signal.

PLANNING

Atlas Obscura Logo

Atlas Obscura is a definitive guide to the world’s hidden wonders. The mission is to inspire wonder and curiosity about the incredible world we all share. For many years I planned my entire travel itinerary, creating routes that would take me through countries to see as many of the amazing things listed on this site as
possible. Atlas Obscura absolutely nurtured the explorer in me, and I feel privileged to have contributed several wildly surreal attractions to their encyclopedia of wonders.

The website and all of the treasures therein are free to peruse, but there are a couple of cool books published by Atlas Obscura that are sure to inspire you.

GSA Logo

FIND THE TOURISM OFFICE FOR EVERY COUNTRY

I don’t know any better resource for this than the GSA Travel Marketing Magazine website. To find the contact information for the official tourism office for the country you would like to visit:

  1. click COUNTRY SEARCH
  2. select the country from the drop-down menu
  3. selecta TOURISM OFFICE, and finally
  4. click on the available tourism office options for contact information

This is an amazing resource I have used time and time again over the years.

Airport WifiCodes

FREE WIFI PASSWORDS FOR EVERY AIRPORT

Anil Polat, blogger, computer engineer, and avid traveler, understands everyone’s struggle with airport boredom. After a lot of research, he created a map with Wi-Fi passwords from hundreds of airports around the world. An amazing resource if you are always traveling to those pesky airports that don’t have free wifi.

FREE MAPS

I like to print out maps and carry them with me as I am making my way across a new country. These websites have an insane collection of free maps for locations all over the world.

The Points Guy is a resource for earning free travel through points and miles. This is where you will find information on deals before anyone else has it!

CRASHING

I can go on a full six-month backpacking trip and never use anything but HostelWorld. If you select ‘sort by price‘ and then look for a cheap hostel with a fairly high rating, you will rarely go wrong.

Hotels Combined Logo

Hotels Combined is an accommodation search site that includes Booking.com, Agoda, Hotels.com, Expedia and MORE. You can save a lot of time by starting here first. I have often found cheap, no-frills hotels with prices that are comparable to hostels. However, if you are looking for a hotel, use this site as the prices are
consistently cheaper than other hotel booking websites.

While HostelWorld does have the most thorough listing of hostels world-wide, you may find yourself traveling to a more remote location that is not on the backpacker circuit. In these off-the-beaten-path locations. If I find myself in a place with no hostel listings, I use Booking.com.

Agoda.com Logo

Agoda.com is the best accommodation booking website in Asia. There are special deals for hotels you can find Agoda that you will not be able to find on the other international booking websites.

Couchsurfing Logo

Couchsurfing.com is probably the cheapest way to sleep on your journey. The only problem is, it is sometimes a lot of work to find the right match with a cool host. I have had amazing experiences with Couchsurfing as both a traveler and a host, but even if I only have a little bit of money, it is often worth it to me to skip the hours of writing out requests to hosts, and just book a cheap bed at a hostel.

Airbnb has the largest directory of homes and apartments for rent. You can either rent a whole house or just a room. Often times, the host is even willing to show you around.

TRAVEL JOBS

Some people travel the world on extremely low budgets house sitting the whole way! You can receive free accommodation in exchange for taking care of people’s homes and pets while they’re away. TrustedHousesitters has the largest selection of all the house sitting directories, and they vet all users for safety.

WorkAway.info is a massive community of global travelers who genuinely want to see the world while contributing and giving back to the places they visit. Find hosts with all kinds of random jobs in every country.

Living and Working on Organic Farms
WWOOF is a worldwide movement linking volunteers with organic farmers and growers to promote cultural and educational experiences based on trust and non-monetary exchange, thereby helping to build a sustainable, global community.

Grassroots Volunteering is a resource connecting travelers to causes and communities in the places they travel. Independent volunteer organizations all over the world. Use this search engine to locate local, community-based organizations in need of your skills.

I-to-I Helps qualify you as a confident TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) teacher, before pointing you in the right direction to their TEFL Internships in epic locations such as Thailand Vietnam and China.

Help Exchange (HelpX) is an online listing of host organic farms, non-organic farms, farm stays, home-stays, ranches, lodges, B&Bs, backpackers hostels and even sailing boats who invite volunteer helpers to stay with them short-term in exchange for food and accommodation.

Coolworks Logo

Since 1995, CoolWorks has been a leader in connecting people seeking meaningful and exciting work with the employers who are looking for their enthusiasm, energy, and knowledge. They feature job opportunities in great places — from National Parks to Ski Resorts, Dude Ranches to Retreat Centers, and everything in between.

TRANSPORT

I often feel like this website is one of the greatest things that has ever been invented. Just put in the name of the place you are traveling from, and then the name of the place you are traveling to, and Rome2Rio will create a page that will show you every way to get there via every possible combination of plane, train, bus, taxi, car and boat. The website also tells you approximately how much each option will cost. This is an INSANE resource of information that makes me wonder how I ever got anywhere before I knew about this website.

FLIGHTS

Skyscanner is, as far as I know, the best and most thorough way to find the cheapest flight. The search options allow you to find the cheapest flight with the most extensive list of carriers and also allows you to compare prices over a period of time and will also compare prices to nearby airports. I often change the date and route of my flights after discovering I could save hundreds of dollars thanks to the information on this website.

Momondo is another place you can check when looking for cheap flights. This website also has amazing search options, and Momondo also includes a few budget airlines that other flight search sites miss.

WhichBudget is a great website that tells you which budget airlines can take you where you want to go.

If you are planning an extended trip spanning across continents, booking a RTW (round-the-world) ticket can be a cheap and convenient way to fly around the world. Airtreks is a leader in RTW tickets. They can mix and match from all available airlines (excluding budget airlines) to find you the best deal.

CAR SHARE

BlaBlaCar is an extremely popular option for people I have met traveling through Europe. Most Americans I meet have never heard of it before. Think of this like CouchSurfing on wheels. You search their website for someone driving to where you are going, and you get a ride with them, and you only pay a portion of the gas. Although I have never used this website, my European friends swear by it.

TRAINS

Omio is an easy one-stop shop for booking cheap train travel. While many countries require you to go through their own websites, often in different languages, Omio keeps it easy.

Seat61.com is an incredibly comprehensive guide and is chock full of information on train and overland travel around the world.

ADVENTURE TOUR OPERATORS

G Adventures is an operator of small-group escorted tours. It is based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with 28 offices worldwide. It offers more than 700 itineraries in more than 100 countries, and carries 200,000 travelers from 160 countries each year.

Oasis Overland has been operating adventure tours and expeditions for over 21 years and they aim to provide travelers with a unique experiences that are very different to that of a normal package holiday.

Tinggly is a new concept in giving the gift of EXPERIENCE. One price, hundreds of experiences: One gift buys you an entire collection of amazing experiences for the recipient to choose from. The recipient can then choose the experience they want, and book it with just a couple of clicks.

Check Viator for any type of day tours, hikes or outdoor excursions you might want to find at your destination. It has the largest selection of short tours on the internet, and you can book anything from cooking classes and flamenco shows to paragliding excursions and hiking adventures. They cover more than 1,500 destinations worldwide.

For custom private tours in Central and Eastern Europe JayWay Travel builds custom tours for independent travelers in Central, Eastern, and Southern Europe.

GROUPS

Couchsurfing Logo

The true reason I use Couchsurfing is not actually for sleeping on couches, but for its amazing ability to find local meetups and events in different cities all over the world.

Meetup.com has meetups for everything you could possibly be interested in. I can not even begin to list the number of friends I have made around the world, simply by going to fun events listed on Meetup.com.

ADMINISTRATION

For travel insurance, I recommend World Nomads for almost all travelers. Their coverage is great and can be easily extended as many times as you’d like, reporting claims is simple, and the site is easy to navigate. As with all insurance, be sure to read the fine print and make sure it’s right for you.

BANKING WHILE TRAVELING

As a long-term traveler that had been living outside of the United States for many years, When I wanted to turn my blog into a bonafide business, I found it a real challenge to try and open a bank account in the USA while abroad. After many dead-ends, I found TransferWise, and the process was remarkably easy.
When you do a little bit of digging into their program of allowing you to collect money directly into your account in any currency without paying conversion fees, you’ll wonder why you ever banked anywhere else.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you make a purchase. I use all the companies listed here and recommend them because they rock and have made my travels better. If you are ready to book your trip and would like to support this website, using these links is one way to do that. If you have any questions about the companies, e-mail me.

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    Forrest Mallard
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    If you have any more suggestions to add to the page, just let me know.

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Hi! I'm Forrest Mallard

In 2005, I moved to Quito, Ecuador with $35 in my pocket and a small handful of online clients. Fifteen years and five continents later, there were moments of absolute glamour, as well as a number of brutal rough patches. But I always felt that a horrible day of travel is infinitely more preferable than a great day at the office. Oh the stories I could tell, and I will try to do that here in Tramposaurus Treks. You'll have access to the good times, the horrifying times, and a few well-deserved moments of travel glamour.

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