Trips are fun but planning for them usually isn’t. Through a lot of trial and many (many) errors we have picked up some handy travel planning tricks. From how to find the best accommodation deals, the cheapest flights and travel insurance you can count on to what gear to pack and why. Here we share these travel planning tips with you so that your next trip can be one to remember for all the right reasons.

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Skyscanner for getting the best deals on flights. for booking hotel accommodation.

Hostelworld for budget travelers or for anyone looking to meet travel companions while backpacking (hostels are the most social accommodation option).

GetYourGuide for the best tours and fun activities to do once you’ve arrived.

IVisa helps us know if we need a visa, how long it will take to process and how much it will cost. Applying for your visa online also saves you having to queue for hours at an embassy.

World Nomads for travel insurance we can actually count on. You can read our many epic travel fails to fully understand why you need this!

Lonely Planet is the godfather/holy grail of travel guides, check out their latest editions on Amazon.

Trip Planner Travel Guides


When it’s time to plan your trip the first thing to do is nail down your flights, everything else can then be worked in around these flight dates. Sometimes for myself entire trips are based on where I can fly to on a discount.

For the best flight deals, I do browse about to just see what’s available but I usually always end up booking on Skyscanner and I use their app to set up flight alerts too.

Search for flight deals

3 tips for cheap flights

1. Use your browser’s incognito mode to avoid fare hikes based on your search history. Booking sites know your search history, what other sites have quoted you and even what you’re likely to pay so sneak on incognito to get a real deal.

2. I find that purchasing flights on a Tuesday is the way to go because this is when fares are listed with the lowest prices.

3. Also to save money, book your flight to leave on a Tuesday instead of expensive Fridays, and return mid-week instead of on a Sunday.


When you’ve got your flights booked, you need to figure out where you’re going to stay. Whether you’re a backpacker, flash-packer or a luxe vacationer, how much you enjoy your trip depends a lot on the accommodation you choose.

A lot of the time when I was traveling on a budget in places like Southeast Asia I would wait until I’d arrived and then just turn up at a hostel and negotiate a cheap room deal directly at the reception. These days, this doesn’t work so well. Hostels have become pretty hip lately and staying in one often requires the same booking etiquette as staying in a hotel, albeit still at a much lower price. So save yourself the pain of being turned away from your already fully-booked hostel of choice by booking in advance on a site like Hostel World. This is the go-to hostel booking resource.

Staying in hostels makes travel much more affordable and is also a great way to meet new travel buddies but when I’m in need of a place with a little more privacy than a hostel or dorm room, I go on (incognito of course) to snap up a hotel deal.



Save yourself the trek to your nearest Embassy! Applying for your visa online is usually always the quickest and most stress-free option. Use these free online visa checker and calculator tools so you know if a visa is required (which depends on the country you're from) and if so, how long it will take to process your visa.


Flights and accommodation booked? Check. Next its time to sort out your travel insurance. This is something that a lot of people overlook and I was one of those people for years! Then a streak of bad luck happened; a motorbike accident, lost luggage etc and I figured it was actually cheaper to get the insurance than to not.

I recommend the guys at World Nomads because they're reliable and they cover adventure travel activities. From paragliding to gorilla trekking to shark cage diving, World Nomads aren't scared and neither should you be, if you’re insured. So if you’re planning a trip or are about to take on one of our Top 100 Travel Adventures get a free quote from World Nomads before you go.


CENTRAL AMERICA: Belize - Costa Rica - Guatemala - Nicaragua - Panama

SOUTH AMERICA: Bolivia - Brazil - Chile - Colombia - Ecuador - Peru

OCEANIA: Australia - Fiji - New Zealand

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