We are asked a lot for our personalized travel advice, from which companies use for booking hotels and flights to what luggage we use. So, we’ve put together this world travel resource page with all the companies and gear that we’ve used and tested over the last 12+ years of traveling the world. Here you’ll find practical advice for planning and gearing up for your upcoming travels, as well as your digital nomad business. As we learn about and test different products and services we’ll continue to add to this to make this resource page as useful as it can be.
Disclosure: Many of the links on this page are Amazon.com, Amazon.de or other affiliate links for products and services we recommend. Read our Disclosure Policy for more information. We won’t put anything on this page that we haven’t personally used. If you make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, we’ll earn a small commission. This is a way to support us so we can keep sharing stories from around the world. Thanks in advance for your support!
This is for those of you who are interested in a tour in order to have access to a local guide at all times and have logistics taken care of, but are interested in a small group size and a certain level of independence and free time during the tour. The tours are divided into styles — e.g., Classic, Active, 18 to 30-something, National Geographic Journeys — so that you can find the right style and price of tour to match your needs. G Adventures has recently added a Travel with Confidence Plus collection of tours that includes smaller groups, additional space in transport and other features to make you feel comfortable and safe. In addition, many of the tours include a community development project via their Planeterra Foundation. If you’re not sure where to start, here is our list of recommended G Adventures tours.
If you are looking for a local experience on your next trip — whether a cooking class, walking tour, day trip, boat ride, etc. — then Get Your Guide probably has you covered. It partners with local companies and entrepreneurs around the world to offer a wide selection of tours and day trips with no additional booking fees and free cancellation up to 24 hours before. Also, Get Your Guide is Berlin based so we consider them as a local partner.
If you’re looking for a walking tour or local experience that is unusual and led by a subject matter expert, then Context Travel is a good fit. Many of their guides are local experts — e.g., a historian, chef or art specialist — and so the tours go deep into a subject and place. We’ve taken Context Travel walking tours in Berlin and Cartagena and learned a lot, even about places that we thought we already knew. Note: Our readers get a special 10% discount on Context tours around the world by using this link.
If we’re going to stay somewhere for just one or two nights, especially if we’re booking at the last minute, then Booking.com is usually the first place we go for accommodation. Not only does it list all the standard hotels, but depending upon the destination it often has an extensive list of smaller guest houses, bed & breakfasts, and other family-run accommodation. We used the Booking.com app a lot for booking hotels the same day during recent road trips in the Balkans and Southern Italy, as well as when walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain.
If you are traveling in Asia, and specifically Southeast Asia, Agoda is a great accommodation booking agent to find cheap deals. It has an extensive database so you’ll find all the big hotel brands, as well as smaller guesthouses.
This usually the first flight search website that we go to compare our options in terms of routes, airlines, prices. It is beginning to list more low-cost airlines, but still not everything. We’ve also found it useful for booking rental cars as well.
One of the things that we like about using Skyscanner is that it lists all the low-cost airlines. This is especially useful when we are booking flights within Europe and Asia where there are lots of low-cost airlines that don’t always show up in regular flight searches. Skyscanner also has a fun “Everywhere” function so that if you’re not sure where you want to go, but know the general timeframe, you can put in your departure city and see the price of flights are to almost anywhere in the world. The weekly deals can also help save some money if you have flexibility.
Unlike the other flight search sites above that send you to another site to actually purchase the ticket, at Expedia you book the flight directly through them. We’ll often use Expedia as prices are usually similar, you have all your flight information in one account, and it gives 24-hours to change or cancel your reservation. Also, sometimes you can find great last-minute deals. We also use Expedia often when we rent cars in the United States.
This is another go-to website for flight searches. One of the things that we really like about Momondo is that it offers a monthly view of how prices for your desired flights and route changes. This means that if you have flexibility with dates you can change to the cheapest time in the month.
Packing List: Luggage, Clothes, and Other Gear
Each time we return to the United States to visit family we either visit an REI store or go online to stock up on travel and hiking gear. REI has a great selection, and if you catch them during one of their regular sales you can usually get some great deals as well. For a comprehensive list of all the trekking and hiking gear we recommend check out our article on how to pack for a trek.
We both are addicted to our Clothing Arts Adventure Travel Pants for multi-day treks, long walks and day hikes. The pants are designed with lots of zippers and pockets so that are great for safely and comfortable holding all your valuables (phone, keys, wallet, etc.). The fabric is light and easy to dry, plus it repels stains and smells so you can wear these travel pants for days in a row. We’ve each had ours for almost eight years and have really put them to the test during all sorts of treks and Caminos, but they still are in really good condition. Check out the Women’s Adventure Travel Pants and the Men’s Adventure Travel Pants.
We’ve been using Eagle Creek backpacks for years, and have recently added a couple of their wheeled duffel bags to the mix (Dan uses the 32-inch, Audrey uses the 26-inch). What we like about these bags is that the wheels are wide and sturdy, meaning that they do great if you’re walking down a cobblestone street or over uneven ground. We are also huge fans of Eagle Creek packing cubes.
Blogging and Technology Tools
This blog and many of the top blogs out there use WordPress as the content management system (CMS). We can’t recommend it enough. It’s free, and there are literally thousands of themes and ways you can customize your site to look and do exactly as you please. If you are serious about blogging, be sure to invest self-hosting so that you own your domain name.
This is a great hosting provider, especially for small to medium-sized blogs and websites. We recently switched to SiteGround for one of our smaller sites and have been really impressed by the quality of customer service, speed of the site, and how easy they made it to move the site over from our previous host. We also used SiteGround to host several destination websites we helped develop for a client and have been happy with the service and support. They also specialize in offering hosting services for WordPress sites.
GeneratePress is a great option for a simple, clean, fast-loading, mobile friendly WordPress theme. It’s what we use here on Uncornered Market. The basic theme and options are free, but we recommend purchasing the GeneratePress Premium plugin for additional options and flexibility with headers, navigation, formatting, and more. Even non-tech folks like me (Audrey) can figure it out.
A trusted VPN service is valuable for security and to be able to access certain websites and services whether you are on the road or working from home. It’s just safer for privacy these days to use a VPN, especially with public wifi systems. We’ve tested out a few VPN services over the years with limited success and have used ExpressVPN for the last few. We find the yearly plan quite reasonably priced for the quality and reliability of service it provides.
Whether you are a digital nomad or not, your data is precious. It’s so important to take strong measures to backup you data in multiple ways, external hard drives and online. For us, this means we prepare for the worst case scenario: that we lose all our equipment during a trip and our data is backed up online somewhere. And for this service we use a Backblaze personal plan so that we can can secure the data from our laptops and external drives. It’s constantly backing up in the background so we don’t even notice that it’s always working.
We all have way too many passwords to try and remember, not to mention that passwords need to be more sophisticated these days to prevent hacking. We love LastPass for managing all of our passwords and creating super complicated passwords when we need it. Another great feature is that we can share password information between us since sometimes we both want access to an account. This is perfect for couples who want both people to be able to access certain accounts. If you sign up below then you’ll get a free month of premium service.
This is the service we use for our photo hosting and for our main travel photography gallery. It took us a while to switch over as we had thousands of photos over on Flickr, but we’re glad we did because SmugMug has endless designs to create a personalized photo gallery, customized URLs so that the photo gallery is integrated into our website, built-in SEO optimization, ability to instantly resize photos to embed on this site, and more. You can get 20% off by using this SmugMug discount code.
We have a Dropbox professional account and use it all the time to store documents and share files with clients. This is especially useful for sending large documents or photos so that you don’t clog up people’s email with large files. The syncing process runs in the background and with Macs it’s super easy to use as it integrates right into the Finder. The free Dropbox version is also great.