How do you travel the world?
Where can I find the cheapest flights?
What is the best website to book accommodation?
How to you find great places to eat?
How do you stay safe on the road?
How do I start a Travel blog?
What backpack do you carry?
What do you use to edit your photos?
What is the best offline map?
Any favourite books and movies about Travel?
Which Travel Insurance do you use?
Are just some of the questions I get ever so often
So I’ve decided to compile my very own Travel Resource Guide which I personally use to research, prepare and travel to ANY destination in the world. It hasn’t let me down yet and I hope you find it useful too!
Skyscanner lets you search ‘Everywhere’ as a destination. So if you are out of ideas of want to see where are the cheapest flights headed from your location, consider this immediate inspiration. Also it let’s you view prices by full month to let you choose the cheapest dates to fly out from if your calendar is flexible enough! Always check Skyscanner before booking that annual leave!
Best for flights to and from North America in my opinion. But sometimes Kayak does not consider smaller budget flights outside the Americas. When it does find a cheap flight, however, Kayak somehow always manages to beat all the others for price point.
Expedia is good for when you know you want to add a car rental into your flight reservation. It can aggregate prices better than other websites and bundle a cheaper deal. However if you are undecided about the car rental, stick to Skyscanner, Kayak or Google flights.
UK based third party booking agent but sometimes when my credit card would not work on direct airline websites, Kiwi is really helpful! Especially useful for booking cheap flights with Viva Colombia. Great customer service as well.
Google Flights lets you ‘Explore Destinations’ and show you all the possible destinations you can fly to and at what price from your current location. It is still pretty new compared to the above but it gets better every month. It lets you key in ‘Carribean’ or ‘Europe’ or ‘Italy’ to see where the cheapest flights fly into and if you can connect from there to your intended destination.
For example: Zurich might be your final destination but flying into Frankfurt, Germany might be $200 cheaper and you can take a bus, train,or budget flight over to Zurich for less than that.
The Points Guy
Want to learn how to flight hack, use credit card spending to get free flights around the world? This guy knows everything! Have used a couple of his tricks myself too. Although most of the cards featured are North American, it is definitely an interesting read if you want to find out more about the world of free upgrades, airline statuses and the extreme couponing of airline miles. Singapore – I’m still waiting for the equivalent of Charles Schwab or the Chase Sapphire Reserve!
One Mile At A Time
More airline mile hacking and reviews of flights. This guy makes it his JOB to fly around the world. Whaaat? I have followed along for years now and it is still as interesting to read as ever. Even though it is so much harder for Asia to capitalize on those deals due to location restriction of credit cards.
My to go site for error fares, advance flight booking sales, discounts on airfares before anyone else catches wind of it. Of course, to be more effective you should join the FB group or sign up for the newletter. The deals don’t last for very long as you can imagine.
Best for mid to higher range accommodations in Asia. Although it can be used in Europe and the Americas too, the best deals are still often found in Asia
If you are not using Airbnb on your vacations, you are doing something wrong! I don’t think I need to profess how much I use and love Airbnb. It was pretty much my go to portal while overlanding Africa. There are some amazingly cheap ones in South America too. Or just to go on it to look at crazy beautiful houses at the extreme right side of the price scale. Yes I will rent that castle for $1000/night.. not! Here’s $40 off your first trip.
Zero booking fees – Is why I always use them. Also traveling through Africa, other sites like Hostelworld just lacks in options. Also cancellations are free 24h prior to your booking here. As much as I like just rocking up to a place and paying for a room, zero booking fees, free cancellations and the possibility of arriving at night at your destination is reason enough for a peace of mind.
Better for midrange accommodation as opposed to backpacker digs. Also, 1 night free for every 10 that you book.
Hostelworld has the largest collection of hostels all over Asia, Europe, Australia, North, Central and South America. Not Africa though, use Booking or HotelsCombined for that.
I only discovered HotelsCombined while traveling through Africa but it aggregates sites like Booking and Hotels and Agoda and lets you book on the cheapest one with no booking fees.
Free accommodation with cultural exchange. While Couchsurfing has seen better days in 2008, it is still pretty legit if you look for the verified profiles and take the time to sift through the creepers. It is also great for meeting people (not just for accommodation) doing activities together and organizing car shares if you are a solo traveler.
Deuter ACT Lite (45+10) Women’s Backpack
Can’t and won’t go anywhere without this backpack. It’s pretty been around for my entire solo traveling life. It might be time for it to be retired soon but oh the places it has been and the things it has seen!
North Face Borealis Day Pack
I got this smaller day pack pretty much for the current trip I am on, but it has done a stellar job of protecting my laptop, all my electronics, books and travel essentials. I love that it has a laptop pocket built in and also the safety whistle on the chest strap (definitely did not know about that one when I bought it)
PacSafe Backpack Lock
For the paranoid soul and also a peace of mind. I don’t use it very often but when I have to I am thankful it is there. As for where to lock it? Under the sink or on anything that is attached to the walls or stuck to the floors (hey that even rhymes, lol)
Single Hook Toiletries Bag
For when your bathroom has only one spot to hang all your toiletries. This has served me amazingly well over the years and definitely has enough pockets for all your essentials and more.
I never travel anywhere without these. For a chronic overpacker, these are life savers as it limits what you can bring along according to how much you can fit in the packing cubes. I use a set of 5 lightweight ones and they pretty much hold everything from underwear to my dirty clothes
North Face Resolve Rain Jacket
Confession time: I traveled WITHOUT a rain jacket for almost 2 years. Till I succumbed to this one, leaving myself often wondering why I didn’t start my trip with one.
Merino Wool T-shirts
This is the secret to traveling light. Merino wool doesn’t smell like cotton does. It is extra thin (dries really fast) and light too! Best for travel to warmer climates but they do have them in long sleeves too! Bonus: Merino wool socks for your feet too so they don’t stink up the room!
Nosie Cancelling Earphones
The only thing you need on a long bus ride, or a flight. Music in, world off. Of course you also need a stellar music collection to make full use of these. A 20h bus ride without music and a crying baby is pretty much torture without these
Road ID Tag
I literally wear my heart on my
sleeve, wrist. Traveling solo, this is my way of keeping safe. My essential information, blood type, emergency contact, all on a tiny piece of rubber. I wear it everywhere single day as I have this irrational fear that I am going to be hit by a train / bus / bicycle and be left there, an unidentified Jane doe.
For all the times without WiFi, or when you cannot take your entire bookshelf on holiday, the Kindle has given me hours of entertainment on the road. Only needs a charge once a month too!
I’m not sure how many times this has saved my life when my phone is in dire need of a charge. Because I like to live dangerously on the edge with 5% battery life sometimes and an extremely dimmed screen. Plus, it’s made in China and cheaper than anything else per mAH charge. To the person who took my first Xiaomi powerbank in that hostel in Punta Arenas, Chile, I hope you enjoy it very much.
1TB Samsung Solid State Drive
Technically this is installed into my laptop so I don’t just carry it around. But SSD has pretty much enhanced my Windows laptop with the functionalities of a Mac. I’m not super tech savvy but this is the one thing I am really proud of and has definitely kept my laptop going as long as it has.
ASUS A45V laptop
My precious baby that I use everyday to upkeep this blog, edit a million pictures, crawl through Facebook and entertain myself for hours on YouTube.
Wireless Bluetooth Mouse (Samsung)
Because every travel blogger needs a wireless mouse. Or a mouse. How do you edit pictures and make videos without one – pray tell! And well, wireless, just to reduce clutter and keep things lightweight around here.
Absolutely necessary if you travel often or travel at all. I love this one for the 2USB charging pods
Go Pro / Go Pro floater / Go Pro mini selfie stick
Honestly, I have a love-hate relationship with my Go Pro. It does take super cool, wide angle photos and is pretty much tough as nails, waterproof and a great action camera. But I have gone through so many Go Pros throughout the years, from the original to the 3 to the 3+ and now 4 (which is malfunctioning again, probably because I take it underwater too much, I think). I don’t know if I will get another one when this one finally breaks too but it has served me well for the past few years.
Canon SX720HS Point & Shoot
This Canon is my current set up and I love it to bits. Not only for the live editing mode, but for the crazy zoom on it too. 40x optical zoom to be exact. It can go up to 125x but you absolutely need a tripod then. I didn’t know it then but it is a great safari camera if you don’t want to lug around a DSLR. Sure a DSLR can take amazing pictures but this little bugger does have a better zoom than many entry level DSLRs out there. Canon girl foreva!!
Canon Poweshot S200
I really do love my canons and I am not kidding. I don’t profess to be the best photographer despite being around the world a little bit. But I’ve always had Canon cameras and they have not let me down. Actually I have let them down, from dropping my first Canon S110 in sand to letting my second Canon S200 get taken from me right under my nose in Brazil. This was a great camera to start out with and would definitely recommend to anyone who wants a cheap and good camera that is not a DSLR.
Olympus Tough TG-4
My replacement to my failing GoPro (sorry GoPro!). Waterproof, shoots on RAW, shockproof, cheap for what it is! Also so pretty!
32GB Memory Cards
The reason why I have about 5 of these is because I am a scatterbrain and sometimes forget to put back the memory card into the camera after I’ve transferred photos into my laptop. That moment when you want to shoot something and you click on the camera and it flashes ‘No Memory Card’ – yup I’m that person. Thankfully they aren’t too expensive these days and even convenient stores sell them. Also, 32GB because I take tons of videos and they aren’t that much more than the 16GB or 8GB.
She’s one of the first few travel blogs I read back in the day, and amazingly her website design is still the same after all these years. She is definitely one of the pioneers of solo female travel and where I go to for inspiration. Proves that if you have quality, you don’t have to conform to a 5000 dollar website redesign and upgrade. I love her writing, honest narration and willingness to be politically incorrect. When I grow up I definitely want to be Adventurous Kate.
Alex In Wanderland
When I picked up diving was when I found Alex In Wanderland. She has been on the road for like 5 years and counting! While her writing niches on diving and the likes, she also does festivals around the world like a boss! Plus I do love her photography style and love for all the colors. She is also younger than me, whaaaat! Far out!
Along Dusty Roads
If you’re traveling or preparing to travel South America, they have a great series of posts and inspiration on the entire continent. Hopefully one day my photography and story telling skills can be as amazing as them. For now, I’ll just stick to stalking them on their email list and Instagram.
Be My Travel Muse
My second travel inspiration, after Adventurous Kate. Banker to blogger and now all over the world? That sounds like me! Sometimes I slide into her DMs and like call us friends but I’m pretty sure she has more important lands to conquer and blog posts to write (;
Goats on the Road
They’ve pretty much been everywhere and earn more than 10k/month with their blog. Want to learn how to do that and travel the world, they’re the ones to teach you, not me. I’m just getting by on pizza and coffee over here, yup!
I found her while I was living in Oaxaca, Mexico for a month and a bit. Lawyer turned foodie blogger, that’s what I want to do in my next blog life! Of course I need to be smart enough to first become a lawyer, hmmm. She does beautiful artwork about food too! Go check it out! I would love a country food map in my figurative living room in the future.
Um, I don’t think I need to introduce Nomadic Matt here. #1 Travel Blogger, that’s what he is.
Pin That Cloud
Singapore photo blog! There is a great dearth of Singapore travel bloggers who are on the same journey as I am. But I met Ben in Vancouver, BC in 2015 and his photography is so good! He’s in India now, probably taking more amazing photographs so go say hi. Instagram: Pinthatcloud
The World Pursuit
I pretty much stalked them throughout Africa. Not even kidding and am not sorry either. Hahahah I think they are ok with it though (; We are also best friends (in my head) and I very much wanted to see Charlie, their overlanding Toyota Land Cruiser which they drove across Africa with – but they sold it!!!! Nooo! Go read their story and see Africa through their eyes.
They teach you how to travel super cheap. I didn’t learn all these travel cheaply, live like a local things overnight. I definitely use the stuff they impart. Also, their name tells you what they do well too!
Two Scots Abroad
I found them ever since I traveled Cuba and they helped me get through the country without Spanish fluency, taking local buses and not needing to get to an ATM even once! Although I read their website less now, I open all their emails to catch up on their life and where they are at now! I always reminisce about Cuba when I do, but it’s just me – I’m slightly weird and that’s ok, right? (:
American chick who moved to NZ and now is pretty much promoting the country through her writing. Why didn’t I think of that first!? Hahaha! I love her angsty writing and how she deals with hate comments and unethical bloggers who live for every freebie under the sky.
I have so many favourite Instagram accounts that it is not even funny. Sometimes I double tap on my phone till I fall asleep and wake up to even more beautiful ones. I definitely use it to see a place before I’m there
I get lost a lot – that’s a fact. Take away data and internet connectivity and go from entertainingly lost and cute to just SAD.
maps.ME has saved me more times than I can remember, and it has improved in functionality so much over the years! From Cuba where the internet is crap-o, to Switzerland where I’m too poor to buy data, to Botswana where I just stayed 3 days. Plus, it takes up so little space in my phone which seem to always be on ‘insufficient storage’ mode.
For keeping track of all those expenses on the road! It literally takes less than a minute a day to update your expenses, unless you are shopping up a storm on Orchard road, then it might take a wee bit longer.
The best app to keep track of who spent what amongst friends. I paid for brunch and you get dinner? Sure, you can do that too but Splitwise splits it right to the cent. No more mentioning money and awkwardly asking people for it now.
Google Translate (How to get the offline version)
I used this the most in South America, before my Spanish was good enough to annoy people and be punny. Use the offline version of course, as you can take it on the go. Quick instructional on how to download the offline version here.
I use Google maps even at home in Singapore. Yes you can do the offline version but it takes up so much memory space and sometimes doesn’t even work. Still a great GPS though! Does provide better directions from A to B than maps.ME at times but yes you do need data/internet for it!
I use this together with Google Maps. It definitely has improved over the years and now is a pretty solid search engine including trains, buses and even little trams. You should try it next time.
Best information for Train travel throughout Europe!
Then you book your Eurail tickets here, print off maps and go!
Kayak seem to provide the best aggregated rates for car rentals. Yes, better than Skyscanner or individual car rental sites. Search weekly rates for cheapest deals on car rentals.
If you can’t afford Travel Insurance, you probably shouldn’t be traveling in the first place! As much as I did not want to use World Nomads and stick to insurance from my home country of Singapore – there just aren’t any catered to long term travel that was affordable. WN is fuss free and easy to claim (I hate it when it takes 321380 days for insurance people to reply only to tell you your claim cannot be processed and is not under your policy). Handsdown the best thing about WN is that you can buy it on the go. You don’t have to get it before you start your trip and it can also be extended wherever and whenever. Easy peasy.
So you want to start a Travel Blog and travel the world for cheap/free? Well, you’ve first got to have a blog. Setting it up takes literally 10 minutes, beautifying it takes a heck lot longer but oh so fulfilling. There are so many platforms to start a blog with nowadays, Blogger, WordPress, Wix, Squarespace etc. I use WordPress and self host it on Bluehost. It is the best, with 24/7 support for only $2.95/month! No complaints with them and I’ve been with Bluehost for about 3 years now.
Step 2 to building a successful blog – Your Email List. Mailchimp is pretty good for email lists under 2,000 (it’s free!) and you can send up to 12k emails a month (that’s a whole lot for a small-medium blog). Hot tip: Don’t annoy your subscribers with stupid emails more than twice a month. I stick to a monthly newsletter (on the 1st of every month) with all sorts of updates, freebies and goodies and it works for me.
Aweber is for intermediate to advanced bloggers who have thousands of email subscribers. Maybe I will be one of those one day, but that day has not come yet.
OH PINTEREST – Where do I even begin. This is the most successful drivers of traffic to KoalaTravelstheWorld, let me just put this out there. And I pretty much let it run by itself using Tailwind (a pin scheduler, so you don’t have to sit at a pc all day pinning stuff and can get out to actually travel the world!) If you are a blogger in 2017 and not using Pinterest – YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING WRONG, GET ON IT. You heard it here first!
Girls Love Travel Facebook Group
Sorry, only females only, but the best female travel community there is out there. I honestly have so much fun reading posts there daily!!
Yup, another female only travel group – we all have our secrets you know! (;
Girls vs Globe
Less active than the other 2, GvG still provides some good content and still a great platform to hang out with other women travelers
Backpacking South America
For all your backpacking questions in South America. With almost 20k members someone definitely has the answer to your question and will help you out!
This group definitely has helped me through Africa. With slightly over 5k members, it doesn’t have that many people to answer (sometimes really tough inquiries especially about local transport and how to get where), it is definitely still useful. I sometimes do help answer some questions after traveling through Africa. It’s not an easy continent to navigate especially on a budget, but it sure it worth it!
Please note: Some of the above links are affiliate links. They come at no extra cost (some even at a discount) to you, but will earn me a small commission and possibly buy me a coffee or two. That said, do know that commission or no commission, I genuinely love and recommend every product on this page and use them myself on all of my travels around the world. If you have any questions about any of these products, or just want to say a quick hi, do drop me an email at email@example.com.
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