The cream of the crop.
We've been traveling and searching for the best bargains since 2009 so you can be sure if something has made it on to this list it has been checked and used many times by us over a period of years.
These are the companies we personally buy from on our travels and also recommend to our readers as affiliates on this site.
No matter how many times we keep checking out other sites we always seem to end up back at Skyscanner. Their $0 commission fee from the traveler means they beat out the competition in price and value (the airline pays them when you book).
Get an even cheaper deal from them when you tell them you're Columbian (seriously).
This is Santorini island in Greece. Great budget destination with dorm beds during summer US$9
CHEAP & FREE ACCOMMODATION
This section is slightly more competitive as there are several sites with great deals.
This is the biggest database of all the hostels all around the world, including in remote villages. It's what I look at first when I'm looking for a hostel. I then compare it to the prices offered at Booking. I find them reliable as the reviewers are only people who have booked, paid and stayed at the hostels and their reviews are brutally honest.
|How would it feel to swim in this paradise? This is Zakynthos island in Greece. Hotel rooms for 2, starting from US$20|
The free way to travel. Think of this site as somewhat similar to Facebook, except instead of being based on selfies, it's more about building connection with people you've never met before and staying on their couch for free. Only difficulty is that sometimes you need to spend quiet some time building a connection with potential hosts and can be quite time consuming if you're in a hurry.
Most people know about this site already, but the reason I am listing it here is because a friend of mine works in a hotel and told me that this is by far the cheapest site due to a simple reason - they have it in their contracts with all hotels that if they want to be listed on this site the price they list must be the cheapest on the internet. If they are found to list the same room on another site for cheaper, Booking rips up the contract. Why would hotels agree to give them the cheapest prices? Simply because this booking engine has by far the most internet traffic and most potential customers, so they can demand it of them. This is a great site for hotels but I haven't found as many hostels on here as on the site listed above, so it depends on what you're looking for.
Wherever your paradise is, nothing beats the free ratings and information available on Tripadvisor.
Whether you're looking for the top sites in a city or the best value places to eat, we've found this site to be accurate time and again. All listing are rated by travelers and this site is totally free.
For slightly more intricate, deeper knowledge and hidden gems, we recommend the latest Lonely Planet guides.
We only buy the electronic versions available through Amazon's Kindle (a free app that works on any smart phone/laptop).
|This is Santorini island in Greece. You can enjoy this great budget destination with dorm beds during summer US$9|
That way you can read the guides on your smartphone (without them adding weight to your backpack and tacking up a heap of space - not to mention the environmental benefits of not printing these books!) instead of lugging around these heavy books everywhere.
GADGETS & TECHNOLOGY
The biggest mistake I've made whilst packing technology has been carrying a laptop around.
Whether it be the weight, the fragility or having to take it out every time there's a border crossing, it's simply not worth the hassle.
Most people use laptops for keeping in touch with loved ones, for booking accommodation and researching their next location, and for watching movies on those long journeys.
We use Samsung phones and mini tablets as the close to ideal connection companions.
The phones in particular are especially useful, with GPS (and free international maps that don't require an internet connection) strong wifi, and possibly the lightest smart phone on the market.
If you can only pick one, I would go for the phone because the GPS is faster than on the tablets.
We avoid Apple phones and tablets because they restrict and strongly control what can be put on them/downloaded.
This will be your most intimate travel companion, so regardless of whether your planning on climbing the Egyptian pyramids or laying about on some perfect Greek island beach, make sure it's light, strong and comfortable!
There's nothing worse than walking through the dirty streets of India and having to pick up your clothes off the ground because you decided to go with the backpack made from cheap material that ripped!
On that note, we recommend the TETON Sports Scout3400. At 2 kilograms (4.5 pounds), the weight is reasonable, the material is strong and the comfort is awesome. Best of all the price is a steal.
TEACHING ENGLISH ABROAD
This is a great way to live and travel abroad. And best of all, in some cases you don't need to be a native English speaker.
The first thing you'll need is a TEFL certificate from a well known school. Personally I got my certificate online through i-to-i in 2008. The process is pretty thorough and well respected.
The second part is finding a job. You can either set that up yourself, or ask i-to-i to do it for you.
If you choose to do it yourself, Dave's ESL cafe is a good place to start.
Finally, you're going to need to some good material. I can recommend the following free resources for teaching English abroad:
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