Trip checklist: our best travel resources to help to plan and save on your trip

Fe and Ti with their backpacks throwing coins in the air

This post is also available in: Português

 

As we are living a nomadic lifestyle since December 2014, we have accumulated a few questions from our readers – and some experience as well. Where to buy cheap flight tickets?What is the cheapest car rental company?; Which equipment to buy?What backpack to have? So, we decided to put up this trip checklist that includes all the best travel resources we use and recommend for you to plan your trip and save money on your travels as well.

 

In this section, you will find all the services, tools and products we use and recommend. If there is something you miss (or actually, we missed), please let us know in the comments below or contact us directly. Don’t forget to save this page as favourite, so you can always come back easily whenever you organize a new trip!

WHAT TO FIND IN THIS TRIP CHECKLIST PAGE

Cheap flight tickets | Transportation | Hotel booking | Tour tickets | Travel Insurance | Tools to save money while travelling | Internet when travelling | Equipment | Which backpack to buy | Apps for travelling

Cheap flight tickets

for both national and international flights

When it's time to buy our flight tickets, we always use Skyscanner.


This flight search engine crosses information from many travel companies and always offers us the best price. The secret with SkyScanner is to use the many different combinations the website allows, particularly if your dates are flexible.


The options to “travel to everywhere” and/or “depart on Whole month/ Cheapest month” on the website are excellent to find true bargains. Another tip is to check the price of the tickets at the company's website. Sometimes you find better offers or conditions, such as shorter stop overs.


ATTENTION: When you choose to fly with Low Costs, such as RyanAir, EasyJet or Norwegian Air in Europe or Fly Dubai and Air Arabia in the east, for instance, don't forget that these companies have many requirements, such as the specific size of the hand bag, prior check in and more.


These companies are cheap for a reason and failing to comply with any of these rules will result in your ticket to be much more expensive. Just read the small letters.

Transportation

Renting cars


Who doesn't like a road trip, isn't it right? We, whenever possible, rent a car to travel through the places we visit, mainly those that are quite remote and difficult to find public transportation of quality.


To find the best rental car offers in Europe and elsewhere, we use Rental Cars. This search engine also crosses data from many car rental companies to bring users the best offers.


Travelling by bus in Europe


Travelling by land are often more practical than flying. Airports are usually far from the city centres, demanding that we organise ourselves in great advance. For this reason, we would rather travel in between cities or even countries by land.

  • Bus: The Flixbus company covers most part of Europe, practically every major European town, for a quite good price.
  • Train: this service, in many countries, are not usually integrated. Therefore, it's better to check each country individually. You can start on Eurail and Raileurope. For the Transiberian in Russia, largest railway in the world - and the dream of most travellers- , read our complete guide portraying where to stay and how to buy the tickets.
  • Hitchhike: If you are not fond of driving, why not to hitchhike? This is the business purpose of Bla Bla Car, a collaborative tool that connects drivers and passengers. We have used them extensively both in Brazil and in Europe and we always had excellent experiences.

Hotel bookings

To book our hotels, wherever we are in the world, we always use booking.com.


They offer the best prices and currently have practically all the sorts of accommodation compiled in their system, such as hostel, houses, hotels, B&Bs, apartments and so on.


Air BnB is also a great option, particularly at expensive destinations. That allows you to cook at home instead of dine out, saving a few bucks.


Booking.com

Exception – Book a hotel in Iran


Due to the economical embargo imposed on Iran by the United States, American companies cannot operate in the country. That means, in Iran, it's not possible to rent a car with Rental Cars, book a hotel with either Booking nor Air BnB, not even use your international credit cards for online payment, let alone when you are in the country.


Local businesses, however, are looking for a way to go around this issue, offering online services, such as 1st Quest. With them, you can book a hotel, your tickets, tours and so on all online, in advance and safely. During our last trip to Iran, we personally met them and can assure they have a very professional work and are really reliable.

Tours and tickets

for museums, activities and more

We always leave to book our tours and activities when we arrive at our destination. However, we do understand that we generally have more time at places, allowing us to face longer queues and searching for different companies.


To book you activities before-hand, which might even come out cheaper sometimes, we recommend Get Your Guide. They are a German start-up comparison tool between tour operators and agencies from basically every corner of the world. When booking with them, don't forget to read the reviews in each tour so not to have an unwanted surprise afterwards.

Travel insurance

Until recent, we were not so keen on travel insurances. But we had to learn by experience. Travel insurance is that sort of thing that you think you will never need. Until you do. We are just so lucky that we had won an insurance in an event we went for one year. We thought "whatever, we not gonna use it anyway".


Well, if wasn't for the insurance, it would have ruined our trip to Pakistan and Dubai. In Pakistan, Fernanda felt really bad, with stomach ache. We had a doctor to see her and he gave her medicine. She felt better after. In Dubai, Fernanda fell going upstairs in a boat. It hurt her ribs. We went to the hospital to make sure she hadn't broken anything and they even gave us the pills.


Today, we just travel insured. Our official partner is World Nomad Insurance. You can get a quote directly here or read more about them in our travel insurance page.

Save money while travelling

Fe and Ti with their backpacks throwing coins in the air
* Photo by Luísa Dalé *

There are many ways of reducing the costs of your travel. In fact, we have a whole article dedicated to this topic. But to sum up, some of the tools and sites you would want to use are:


Couchsurfing


Couchsurfing used to be the most loved one of all the backpackers willing to change experience with locals and save some cash. We have used them in a few different countries in the world and we have had interesting experiences – not sure if they would be considered good for some.


But we haven't used them in a while now and we heard from some travellers that the platform has changed and no longer fulfils the purpose once it did - at least when not paying. Anyway, it is worthy checking it out.


Worldpackers


Worldpackers has the idea of exchange your workforce for accommodation in different parts of the world is continuously gaining more adepts. Websites, such as Worldpackers, connect volunteers and hosts and offer much more than simply free accommodation. The idea is to exchange experiences and culture. The Worldpackers is also a partner of Monday Feelings and we have a special offer for our readers. Using the code “MondayFeelingsWP”, you win U$10 on your annual subscription.


Travelling by bike


Have you ever considered cycle tourism?


We have done two long bike trips and absolutely loved it. The first, we left north Italy and cycle all the way to Slovenia and around the country for about one month and a half. The other, we left north Italy and cycled all the way to the most southern point of the country for about two months.


Did it sound interesting? Read more about how to prepare yourself for such trip as well as about the Eurovelo's, which is a network of cycle paths of more than 15 cycle-ways all around Europe.

  • Watch below a Doc Series about one of our bike trips - From Parma, Italy, to Ljubljana, Slovenia

Warmshowers


The Warmshowers is something like Couchsurfing, but for cyclists travelling the world. We never managed to stay at someone's house, but we have hosted already somebody in ours, when we were living in Italy.


Hitchhike


We touched on hitchhiking above, on the topic about transportation, but it is worth to highlight it again.


For the most adventurous, to hitchhike old-style by the motorway is also an option! We have done a lot of that through Asia, Africa and the Caucasus during our first two years travelling around the world. It is indeed an experience we truly think everyone should try at least once in a lifetime, as it can really be a life-changing experience. We really think that, and for this reason we created an e-book complete free outlining how is the experience of hitchhike and why you should give it a go, as well as all the info and tips about this cost-free style of travelling.

Internet when travelling

It's unnecessary to state the relevance of reliable internet connection while you are away, moreover if your work depend on the internet, such as ours. We completely understand if you believe that when you are away, you should be offline, disconnected, direct your time to yourself and be at this present moment. We have also been there. However, it's is just impossible for some. And it's with you that we are talking now.


When we did our cycling trip from north to south of Italy - video above - we partnered up with Travelers Wifi to have internet when travelling. It was the best partnership we have ever done. Their connection are incredibly reliable and their customer service always prompt to answer your questions. We have made a video review, which you are welcome to watch, but if you prefer, you can read all about our experience with Travellers Wifi in this article too.

Equipment

Photograph


There is a huge difference between those who travel for leisure and those who work with travelling. As we produce content for each place we visit, we need to have equipment. In fact, the electronics are the heaviest as well as the things that occupy most of our bags.


Currently, we have:

  • Tripod – essential for low-light pictures and filming
  • Sony a6300 – we use it for filming mostly
  • Nikon 5300 – we use for photos and different angle on interviews
  • Lavalier mic – for the interviews
  • Rode mic – for better audio caption
  • Go Pro and accessories – for different outdoor scenarios
  • Mavic Air drone – a great cost-benefit drone and compact too
  • Transcend external hard drivers – files storage

Backpack

We have a full detailed article about how to choose your backpack, but we will line up three important tips down here for you to have in your mind when choosing your backpack for your trip:

  1. Give preference to those that open entirely, just like a suitcase. It is much easier to put in and take out things. Better still, it's really annoying to put in and take out things when the only way in and out is from above.
  2. Choose one that fits your height and physical type. The weight of the backpack must be distributed amongst different parts of your body, not just the back.
  3. When carrying a backpack, less is more! Choose for a minimalist life, where you don't have to buy a huge backpack. 60L is more than enough.

Apps for your travel

It is undeniable that technology facilitated greatly the life of travellers. There are many apps launched daily to address some necessities of who travels. We wrote a complete article with the 10 most essential apps for travellers, but here is our favourite three:

  • Maps.me: It's an offline GPS map and works brilliantly. It shows you ways if you are by foot, by car or public transport, let alone showing you hotels, cash machines, restaurants, public toilets and a lot more you can imagine in a city. And it's all offline. Honestly, we don't know how we would have survived some of our trips without it as it has saved us in many occasions.
  • Travel Spend or Trail Wallet: This app is pivotal for bookkeeping your travels. At the beginning of our travel around the world, we used Trail Wallet and loved it. But, as it is just for iOS and we switched to androids, we couldn't have it any more. After researching a lot, we found out Travel Spend and it has been great!
  • Google Translator: We don't use this app as much as the other two, but it came in handy on our last trip in the Middle East. The people we spoke used frequently this app, and when the communication got stuck, it proved to be quite efficient!

Well, that is it for now. We hope this post will help you to better organise your trip and make your planning more efficient. If you have any doubt about something we haven't wrote in here, let us know by email or commenting below.


We are constantly updating this document, with new information and tools. So, it might be a good idea to bookmark it in your browser so you will easily have it when you need it.


Safe Travels,
Ti and Fe


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People in a library for launching of the book Nomad from Monday Feelings

nomad book opened and closed