Top travel resources for planning your next adventure

Good morning all – all this lovely sunshine has awoken the dormant traveller in me. Whenever the sun is out I start dreaming of more exotic climes. I’m not the only one – our Darling Lovely Maddy has travelled all over the world and knows how to organise the hell out of a trip. So she’s written this fabulous and informative piece for would-be wanderers. I’ll hand over to Maddy to tell you all about how to get organised before you go away.

I think I can call myself a relatively experienced globe trotter these days, but in any case I have earned my nickname in certain circles as Research Queen. I love to plan and research wherever I’m going and wherever I may not be going. It’s fun! As I sat down to write this article, my husband leant over my shoulder and commented ‘I hope you’re not going to overwhelm the Darling Lovely Life readers with information’ but isn’t that what I’m here to do?

So with that in mind, I wanted to share with you my top travel resources.

Madeleine Noble Jones white bicycle Chiang Mai Thailand

All images in this post are from Maddy’s various adventures!

Getting There

TripIt (FREE app) – when you’re booking a trip whether it’s by plane train or automobile there’s always paperwork, tickets, passes to be stored. I’m super keen on my email filing system but I’m guessing not everyone’s like me so this app is a popular one amongst travellers to save confirmation emails and e-tickets all in one place. It then automatically creates an itinerary, which you can share with whomever you choose. If you purchase the full version then you can check latest flight status and all sorts of other lovely extras.

Skyscanner (FREE app and website) – the best flight comparison site out there. You can set up price alerts on flights you’re watching so that if the price changes you get sent an email. Sometimes a good motivator to get your holiday booked! I also recommend Momondo (app and website) which is another go-to free flight comparison app.

Seat61- this site was invaluable when I was travelling through south east Asia but it’s great for European and US travel too. It’s run by a guy who can give you the details for any train journey practically anywhere, how long the journey may take and which class you should choose.

Madeleine Noble Jones on a long tail boat on the Mekong in Laos

Where To Stay

Airbnb (FREE app and website) – this is a great site to rent whole houses or spare rooms in many interesting places around the world. Often with very competitive rates you get the nice homely feel but still get looked after like a hotel. What’s not to like?

Hotels.Com (FREE app and website) – I first used this in 2012 to book our mini moon to Morocco and it’s been a great resource ever since. A great source for good deals (although do a bit of research on the hotels before booking as the reviews aren’t completely reliable sometimes!)

HolidayLettings – the sister site of TripAdvisor, it’s fantastic for finding houses and apartments to rent with all the added extras that TripAdvisor offers such as customer reviews, places nearby, etc.

Madeleine Noble Jones in a tuktuk in Hampi India

Things To Do

WikiTravel – a free, constantly updated guidebook on anywhere you want to go – what’s not to love? It’s great to get the real lowdown on a place rather than anyone with an agenda to drive bookings.

TripAdvisor (FREE app and website) – This is of course the most well known travel review sites and I have left reviews on this site when I have felt particularly strongly (either negative or positive!) about a place I’ve been to. However, in my experience these reviews are so subjective (I have no idea what some guests were expecting) I tend to take reviews on this site with a pinch of salt, but it is useful for getting the names of hotels/restaurants and then using that as a starting point.

TimeOut (FREE app for your chosen city and website – If it’s a city you’re heading to then you can do no better than TimeOut where they list parties, museum events, club nights and many other fun things to do. I have a special place in my heart for London and New York, both of which TimeOut has been a lifesaver.

Travel Blogs – I couldn’t possibly limit this to one but it’s fun to read other people’s accounts of where they’ve been and some of them are so thorough with being helpful. However if you would like a tip in the right direction then http://www.neverendingvoyage.com is a great place to start (plus they designed a fantastic budget app for travellers called Travel Pocket!)

So those are my top travel resources. I hope you find them useful, and if you use something different, I’d love to hear how you research your travelling adventures! 

Maddy x

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