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Top picks of online resources to help you travel smart

Planning for a trip is not just scanning a couple of travel sites to find cheap deals. There’s more research to do! With the information you have, you can make informed decisions about your choices and plan a trip that suits your needs. So be a smart traveler.

Even if you’re the type to go with the flow, you still need to do some research. Primarily, you’d want to know of the available things to do before you plan that trip. You want to pick the ones that interest you and might even discover some hidden gems. Most all you want to know how to have a great trip and avoid any pitfalls during the journey.

There are tons of websites where you can find travel-related information. If you’re not sure where to start, here are the top picks. Some are well-known and some are rare finds. From the solo traveler to traveling with the family, you’ll find them useful whatever your budget and travel style. Be a smart traveler.


Online Travel Guides

Photo by Pietro De Grandi

Online travel guides offer a host of travel-related information about destinations around the world. These websites come in handy and include many things that a traveler would want to know about a destination. They typically include things to do, sightseeing tips, places to stay, the food scene and how to get around.

Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet is well-known for its series of guidebooks. The books were first published in 1973 and still going strong. Lonely Planet has a website, which is another a great source of free travel information, with nearly 6 million visits each month. The online version also features articles with inspiring stories.


Fodor’s started in 1949 and since then has printed 440 guidebooks. Today, Fodor has a team of over 700 local experts around the world. Its online guide is also full of useful information, publishing over 1,300 stories on travel each year. Besides, there’s a forum section where you can ask questions and give your personal views.

Rick Steves

Rick Steves is a famous American travel writer with his own travel radio show. He is well-known for his organized tours to less touristy places in Europe. Rick also has website devoted to travels on the continent, offering his personal views and tips. Besides booking one of his tours online, you can also purchase his guidebooks.


Frommer’s has been printing travel guidebooks since 1957 and since then has published more than 350 books. The website is another good source of travel information. It’s rich in details for each destination, including places to visit, things to do, shopping, nightlife, and recommendations for hotels.

Rough Guide

Rough Guide has been printing travel guides since 1982. Initially aimed at backpackers, they are now for travelers on all kinds of budgets. Today, the books cover more than 200 destinations around the world. And many of the contents are available online. You can also book tailored-made trips online planned by local experts.

Trip Savvy

Trip Savvy has over 30,000 online travel articles, supported by a team of more than 50 writers who share their travel experiences. The articles for each destination are informative and offer useful tips. There are also stories devoted to outdoor activities, road trips, romantic travel, arts and culture, and tips for planning a trip.

World Travel Guide

World Travel Guide is another online guide, covering cities around the world. Each destination has a host of articles such as the best time to visit, how to get around, things to do, shopping, the dining scene, and nightlife. There are also guides to popular beaches, ski resorts, and many featured articles to give you ideas.


This crowdsourced online guide has been around since 2003. The articles are by thousands of writers from around the world. The online guide not only covers major destinations but also many lesser-known places. The guide is also available in other languages such as German, French, Spanish, and Korean.

Blogs by Independent Travelers

Photo by Michael Barón

Travel blogs are also great sources of travel information. Written by travelers, they share their first-hand experiences and personal thoughts. They are often rich and in-depth, with plenty of practical tips and advice. You can gain valuable insights from reading their blogs to help you make better choices.

Nomadic Matt

Nomadic Matt – real name Mathew Kepnes – is an American travel blogger. Ever since finishing his MBA and quitting his “cubicle job” in 2006, Matt has been an international traveler. He has backpacked to over 100 countries, often sleeping in hostels. Matt has a wealth of information for backpackers.

The Savvy Backpacker

James Feess is an American travel blogger who began his website in 2010. He studied at Leeds University, England, in 2007 and later worked in Paris in 2011. Since then, James has traveled to many countries in Western and Eastern Europe. His blog is devoted to budget travel on the continent.

The Broke Backpacker

The website began as a one-man travel blog by Will Hatton. It’s now a diverse bunch of backpackers led by Will, writing blogs about places around the world. It’s not only about major cities but also about places that are off the beaten track. You can find plenty of tips and advice for backpackers here.

Indie Traveller

Marek is a Dutch national based in Lisbon, Portugal. He initially started on a 2-month trip to Thailand and later to other parts of the world. He’s been writing since 2012 and his blog focuses on budget travel. Many of his trips are to developing countries including Panama, Georgia, Albania, Morocco, and Thailand.

Never Ending Footsteps

Lauren Juliff is a British travel blogger based in Melbourne, Australia. She has been traveling the world since 2011. Lauren’s trips have taken her to many places in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania. She not only writes about places visited but also about how to travel safely and affordably.

The Wandering Quinn

Ellie Quinn is British and has traveled to more than 60 countries. Many of her blogs are about places in Europe and Asia, often providing many useful tips. Countries she’s visited include Greece, Georgia, Hungary, India, Thailand, and Vietnam to name a few. Ellie also organizes special group tours for women.

Retired and Travelling

The blog is by Linda and David, a retired Canadian couple. The duo travel 6 months a year on various trips. Their blogs cover visits to North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania. The couple also writes about trips on cruises and adventure travel including scuba diving, snorkeling and wildlife.

My Itchy Travel Feet

This website is a baby boomer’s guide to travel, especially for those looking for adventure. It’s by Donna and Allan Hull and also includes Debi Lander as a featured writer – all are baby boomers. They share their experiences around the world including ship cruises, hiking trips and places that are off the beaten track.

The Gypsy Nesters

David and Veronica James are the owners of the travel site. Once their youngest left for college, they started to travel. At first across the United States, and have now traveled to over 50 countries. Their stories are often amusing yet informative. It’s more than just about tourist places but also about how to enjoy the trips.

Resources for Airports & Flights

Photo by L.Filipe C.Sousa

You’d want to know about an airport, especially if it’s your first time. A long wait for your flight can be boring if you arrive very early, there’s a delay or a long layover. So, you may want to know how to pass the time. You may also want updated details of your flight. Your flight could have been delayed or even cancelled.

Sleeping in Airports

This airport guide includes all major airports and many smaller airports across the globe. It’s very handy, with good information about services, facilities, and things to do at each airport. There are even reviews from past travelers. This a great guide if you have a long stay at the airport and want to know what’s available.

World Travel Guide

Better known as an online travel guide but also has a guide on all major airports in each country. But does include smaller airports in the United States and the United Kingdom. You’ll find details about the location, driving directions, parking, public transport, terminal facilities, car rentals, and also hotels near the airport.

Flight Stats

This is a simple and easy-to-use flight tracking site. You can subscribe for a paid plan but the free version does well for most travelers. Key in the flight details and you’ll get the latest info about the flight time, arrival time, terminals, gates, and delays if any. You can also get the latest weather condition at each airport.

Resources for Train Travel

Photo by Markus Winkler

Train travel is one of the best ways to explore a country, especially in Europe where the rail network is vast and convenient. It’s a great way to travel in many parts of Asia as well. While traveling by bus may be cheaper, trains are typically much faster and provide greater comfort, especially on long journeys.

The Man in Seat 61

The website is by Mark Smith, who spent many years with British Rail and was once the station manager at London’s Charing Cross. The articles are about train travel in the United Kingdom and around the world. He provides useful insights about each route including the travel times, tickets, and what to expect.

Show Me The Journey

Simon Harper – he has a love for train travel – is the founder of Show Me The Journey. The website is devoted to travel across Europe. You can find useful information about the various routes including travel times and tickets. There’s also information about many stations such as services and onward travel.

Rail Europe

Rail Europe is a booking site for train tickets and passes in Europe though bus tickets are also available. It’s more than just a booking site for trains. You can also find information about the major routes including ticket prices, distances, journey times, and train departures per day. There are also interesting articles to spark your interest.


Interrail offers all sorts of train passes, covering more than 30 countries in Europe. You’ll save money using these passes if you plan to travel a lot by train. There are suggested itineraries on many routes to help you plan your trip. And there’s a magazine section with lots of interesting travel stories.

Resources for Road Trips

Photo by Juan Encalada

Buses are the cheapest way to travel between cities. Travel by car, campervan, or recreational vehicle (RV) and you’re free to go anywhere you want. Besides, you can travel at your own pace. Whether you decide to drive or take the bus, both are great options for exploring a country besides the trains.

Get by Bus

Get by Bus is primarily a booking site for traveling in countries across Europe. Beyond Europe, you can book bus trips for travels in Mexico, Brazil, Morocco, Thailand, and New Zealand. Besides booking, you can find useful information about bus travel in each country, including popular routes and bus stations.


Greyhound has the largest network of bus routes in the United States. It also connects with several cities in Canada and Mexico. Besides booking, you can find information about the bus stations including the location, operating hours, and features. Also, check out the guides on cities served by Greyhound.

The Road Trip Expert

This is travel blog focuses on road trips by car in Europe. You’ll find plenty of suggestions and tips for planning a road trip including what to pack, food ideas, traveling with the family, and things to do while on the road. There’s a section about car camping and another with itineraries to give you ideas.

Rick Steves

Rick Steves’ travel guide has a section that offers some of the best advice about driving in Europe. There are articles about renting cars, finding your way on the roads, driving rules, how to handle mishaps, filling up the tank, and parking. He also gives advice on when it’s best to drive and when best to take the train.

Renee Roaming

Renee Hahnel has been blogging since 2016. She travels with her husband on road trips by car across the United States and other parts of the world. Her adventures on the road include many camping trips and hiking in the national parks. She also gives advice on how to take beautiful travel photos.

Counting Your Money

Photo by Kelly Sikkema

We all need a travel budget no matter our travel style. With a realistic budget, we’ll have a good idea of what we can afford and need to spend. After all, we don’t want to run out of money during a trip. Setting aside a realistic budget will ensure you have a memorable trip without breaking the bank.

Budget Your Trip

Here, you can find the cost of visiting cities in over 160 countries, derived from inputs provided by real travelers. Find the total costs for traveling on a small, mid-range, or high-end budget. You can even break it down to how much you’d need to spend on hotels, local transport, food and drinks, and entertainment.


You can get the travel cost for 200 cities in more than 50 countries. Key in the city, number of people, period of stay, and the currency you prefer. Then choose your travel style such as budget, tourist, comfort, and so. Once done, you can get the total cost as well as sub-totals for food, hotels, leisure, and local transport.

Xe Currency Converter

Traveling to another country? Certainly, you want to know the currency and exchange rate. Xe is best known for its free currency converter. You can check the latest exchange rates as well as get historical charts and rate tables. Xe also offers an online service to quickly send money to more than 170 countries.

Government Travel Advisories

Photo by Matt Popovich

Many governments provide advice, alerts, and warnings to their citizens about travel to foreign countries. The purpose is to allow their citizens to make informed decisions. You don’t have to be a citizen to read the advisories. Besides, it’s a good idea to read advisories from different governments.

US Government

The US State Department’s website provides travel advice in the international travel section. Each country has a travel advisory with alerts and specific country information. These include entry requirements (for US citizens), safety and security, a brief on local laws, medical care, and transportation.

Canadian Government

Travel Advice and Advisories is the Canadian government’s official source of travel advice. Information includes entry requirements (for Canadian citizens), risk levels, safety and security, health notices, laws and culture, natural disasters, and climate. The service is also available in Canadian French.

UK Government

The British government provides travel advice for 226 countries and territories. There are sections advising on entry requirements (for British citizens), safety and security, local laws and customs, health risk, medical care, and regulations on money. There’s also advice on matters related to terrorism.

Australian Government

Smart Traveller is by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Advice includes entry requirements (for Australian citizens), terrorism, crime, local laws, health risks, medical care, and local travel. You can also find the contact numbers for local fire and rescue services, police, and medical emergencies.

Center for Disease Control (CDC)

CDC is under the US Department of Health and Human Services. Its site provides travel health advice on specific countries in the Traveler’s Health section. Advice includes vaccinations, preventable diseases, safe eating and drinking, staying safe outdoors, and health-related items for your packing list.

Worldwide Visa Guide

Photo by ConvertKit

A visa allows a non-citizen to enter and stay in a country. Whether you need a visa to enter a country depends on where your citizenship is. Each country has its own visa rules for different citizens. So don’t take things for granted if you plan to visit a foreign country. You don’t want to get stuck at the border.

Visa Guide World

The website provides detailed information on visa rules for almost every country in the world. As a matter of fact, Visa Guide World is an established authority and the leading site for visa-related information. It also provides useful information and advice about buying travel insurance, including what to look for before deciding to buy.

World Travel Guide

Besides its travel guide, World Travel Guide also has a section devoted to passports and visas for most countries. The information is not as in-depth as Visa World Guide but still useful if you only need an overview. Each country listed has links to government websites for the latest visa and passport-related information.