Welcome to the Luxury Backpack Travel Resources Guide; an essential list of websites, tools, and tips for every stage of trip planning. These are the resources that I personally use and recommend. Please note that some of these links might be affiliate links.
Initial Trip Planning
Google Calendar and Docs
I am an excel obsessive, and use Google spreadsheets to organize my life, from blogging to trip planning. If you are planning a long trip, or plan on travelling with others, this could be a great tool for you to use too, especially as you can use the share feature to allow others to see and edit your files. Perfect for group trip planning!
A great tool for lists that you can use on your computer or on your phone via the app.
I recently fell in love with the bullet journal and can’t believe I didn’t use one before. This journal has changed my life! It is just perfect for creating your planner the way you want it (and it doesn’t have to be a standard year like most planners), along with making lists, using note pages where and when you want them, and just being super organised. I cannot recommend this one enough (I use the dotted pages style).
Essential travel mood-boarding!
For a source of inspiration when deciding where to go, travel blogs are my favourite point of reference. These travel blogs give you help in planning every stage of your trip, including honest reviews, lists of the best destinations for certain things/types of people, and advice.
I set up Luxury Backpack to do just this very thing, and I hope you will consider it one of your main resources! Some of the travel blogs that I actually read on a regular basis are…
- The Blonde Abroad
- This Battered Suitcase
- A Luxury Travel Blog
- Legal Nomads
- Hippie In Heels
- Alex In Wanderland
- Anna Everywhere
- Mexico Cassie
When it comes to booking flights there are again so many sites. I usually look directly on the airlines site and their promotions for getaways when I don’t really have an itinerary in mind, such as Easy Jet (Europe) and Spirit (US). The best thing to do I have found is to cross-check comparison websites. My favourites are:
If you are waiting to book a trip when you see a good deal, and your dates and even destination are flexible, these sites are really helpful:
*Top flight booking tip*
Always search in an incognito window on your browser. Noticed how if you search for a flight the next day the price is hiked up? Thats because the websites store your info, and therefore can increase the price. Simply go to File in your browser > New Incognito Window/Private Window.
Before You Fly
Seat Guru is a resource that helps you choose the best seat, insider tips, and guides to amenities, etc. on your flight. Worth checking out before you take off!
For something different: Airbnb
I used Air BnB for our first night in the Florida Keys when we couldn’t find ANYTHING available for less that $300 on all the last minute websites and directly with hotels. We ended up staying on a boat and what was a stressful experience became a memorable one.
I’ve used in to find Instagram-worthy apartments such as a kitsch apartment in Strasbourg, France, and a boho apartment in Wynwood, Miami. Always do a scout of available hotels and hostels beforehand, as sometimes it works out way more expensive. But usually I LOVE airbnb.
***Use this code for a discount off your first booking!***
For luxe-for-less getaways: secretescapes.com
The world’s best boutique hotels at members-only rates. This is the perfect website to find a truly luxury getaway on a budget.
***Use this code for a discount off your first booking!***
For hotel deals: Hotels.com
There are SO many hotel websites, really, hundreds. I have found that hotels.com always delivers and therefore it is my pick for booking hotels. If you have time it is worth calling the hotel directly too, but 9 times out of 10 it will be cheaper here.
For a last minute booking: Hoteltonight.com
A great tool if you are in a larger city and need something asap.
For a hostel deal: Hostelworld.com
This is a great tool for booking hostels ahead of time. Honestly though, when it comes to travelling in hostels I usually leave it to work of mouth, and combine guidebook research with the hostels website and google searches. I have found the most amazing gems by just chatting to other travellers in the current hostel I was in. These kind of places I just book directly online, or I just showed up to check it out!
Ideally, I would always recommend booking hostels beforehand, especially as private rooms and en-suites sell out. You’ll usually get a bed of some sorts in larger hostels, but for off the beaten-track gems ALWAYS book, even if just the day before or even on the day.
When You’re There
This is no secret amongst any kind of traveller. It is popular for a reason, and I love giving back by writing reviews. I use it for quick restaurant picks, hotel reviews, and quick what to do searches.
The one gripe I have with Trip Advisor which I urge you to bear in mind when using this site is that anyone can review a place based on pretty much anything, and people often take their minor frustrations out on small companies by giving them bad reviews. I once read a negative review for a hostel which the writer hadn’t even stayed in! They had a ‘run in’ with one receptionist over booking a room and therefore didn’t stay. When it affects someone’s livelihood, do think before you write a review. A personal clash with one person doesn’t always mean a bad hostel/hotel.
But, generally it is a great source for honest opinions.
These are great for planning your trip and reading up on quick facts when you are en route. I don’t rely on guidebooks for accommodation, but more for the general itinerary. I love:
- Lonely Planet for a good all-round guide
- DK Eyewitness Travel Guides for pretty keepsake guide books and historical facts.
- Wallpaper guides for chic city guides.
Online City Guides
*Pin this for future reference!*
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