Plan Like A Professional

Pro Tips offers the best resources for travelers on the road. Find flights, accommodation, and the best gear for your adventure.

Best Online Flight Sites

SKYSCANNER is one of the world’s most popular flight travel tools and for good reason: a monthly travel planner allows users to find the best price for their dates. This site has an easy-to-use interface that allows travelers to find nearby airports and book directly as well. The consistency of the flight information ensures users can come back a week later and still pay the same price as the week before.

www.skyscanner.com

KAYAK: An alternative to above has been around for a lot longer and works with multiple travel platforms to bring you the best deals from across the internet. This site offers users a multi-city option, where you can book your entire flight with stopovers in-between. This is an excellent option for travelers who want to rest in-between, especially on long haul flights.

www.kayak.com

MOMONDO: Combines the first two but offers the best deals on the net. Its easy to use interface and slick design allows users to build a more cohesive flight plan as well as book hotels online. If you want to travel, but don’t know where then use the ‘inspiration’ button to find some … well inspiration for your next trip.

www.momondo.com 

Best Online Accommodation Sites

BOOKING is the market leader for booking accommodation online. It has built up a reputation over the past few years to lead the pack. With multiple options for accommodation, including: hotels, hostels, apartments, lodges, pensions, camping grounds, and more, if you are traveling, Booking.com will meet your needs globally. Book your next excursion by using the link below. Join Booking and when you refer a friend you and your friend can receive 15 euros each towards your next accommodation.

www.booking.com

AGODA is the market leader in Asia. With discounts on hostels and hotels at up to 75 percent, you can expect to find a great deal on your hotel. A simple hostel can cost as little as 1 euro in some cities, while hotels can be as much a hostel.  Recent updates to the design have made Agoda more user friendly than in previous years.

www.agoda.com

COUCHSURFING is the perfect place to start your adventure from. A firm favorite of us for several years, if looking to get to know the culture is your preference to staying in a lifeless hotel then this could be for you. Couchsurfing is free but bringing a gift for your host is seen as a nice touch to add to the experience. It’s free to join, and free to surf but the experiences are priceless!

www.couchsurfing.com 

AIR B’N’B is a hosting site where locals can rent out their accommodation to make a small profit for a small fee. Air B’N’B is perfect for couples or groups, as well as business people who prefer a little privacy to the impracticality of staying in a hotel or hostel. The site also offers quirky alternatives including treehuts and other interesting options. Air B’N’B is free to sign-up to.

www.airbnb.com

IHA.FR is a site that’s an alternative to Air B N’ B for French territories. This was used for my Noumea leg of the tour and during my stay at my studio suite, I received a 20 percent discount. Due to the expense of staying on islands, this can be cheaper for long-term stays and works for anybody seeking a quieter alternative to hotels.

www.iha.fr 

Best Transportation in Europe

FLIX BUS is a German company with hubs across Europe. In recent years they’ve expanded their territorial network and can now be found across most of Central, Eastern and Southern Europe (excluding the Balkans). Often fares for popular cities can be as low as 5 euros and by booking early enough ensures heavily discounted tickets. Buses are regular and comfortable with onboard wifi, refreshment stops, with onboard toilets.

www.flixbus.com

STUDENT AGENCY is a Czech company that services countries around Central Europe as well as further afield like Rome. Fares are low and the facilities are some of the best, including onboard snacks, entertainment, and free wifi. There are also toilets and stops on long haul trips. While their website is not the most user friendly, their fares are.

www.studentagency.cz 

MEGABUS is a UK company with locations across continental Europe and the UK. Their ultra low fares are aimed at students and backpackers alike with fares from as low as 1 euro when booked in advance. Megabus also offers codesharing with other bus companies and can be a great alternative for long-haul bus journeys.

www.megabus.co.uk 

AUTOEUROPE is an excellent website that allows car rentals to be viewed from across multiple platforms all on one site. Visitors can compare prices with multiple companies to find the best option for their trip. Auto Europe offers the lowest rate first from the list of comparisons along with the company’s available in the area. Perfect for finding your car with one simple click.

www.autoeurope.eu

Best Travel Insurance

WORLD NOMADS: This Australian company has grown to become one of the world’s most loved travel insurance firms and for good reason. They offer simple and flexible travel insurance that can be bought at home or whilst traveling. This is a company that gives back to the community through their footprints program which donates 2$ or more to every package you purchase. In 2005, I had to go under the knife in Canada and World Nomad’s was there to make the process easy and simple. In 2016, I was left out of pocket due to an airport issue which saw me lose flights and accommodation for a trip, but World Nomads made sure that my insurance was refunded and compensated accordingly. For a quote or more information, check out: www.worldnomads.com.

Best Gear For Your Trip

BACKPACK:

SMALL:

Camelbak Octane 10 – Complete with a handy blabber pouch and with a functional lightweight, rip cord design. These backpacks are surprisingly compact and provide ample space for snacks, and gear. I owned a bag for 7 years before it was lost. It was still in pristine condition after countless adventures. Camelbak are the leader in outdoor day and sports packs. Check out: www.camelbak.com for more details.

MEDIUM:

50L Kathmandu Shuttle Bag: Although it’s dimensional are not so functional, this backpack/shuttlebag is good value. It’s lightweight, easy-to-clean and keeps items dry in heavy rain. It’s interior makes for easy packing with ample space to pack plenty but still only weighing 10-15 kg with a maximum load. While plenty of inside pockets, ensure it’s secure. It has large zips to attach security locks with plenty of inner padding to protect gear.  Check out the full range of packs at: www.kathmandu.co.nz.

LARGE:

Jack Wolfskin Extreme 70: This 70L pack’s thin and lightweight for travelers. It comes with large zips for easy-access, the soft padded straps are excellent for keeping the weight distribution even. There are two small pockets built into the straps so you can store items of importance next to you. It comes with a small daypack, perfect for athletes or dayhikers who only need the bare essentials.  There are plenty of straps for tying carabineers or loose items like sleeping bags, etc. Check out the fill range of Jack Wolfskin products at: www.jack-wolfskin.com.

OUTDOOR ESSENTIALS:

SLEEPING BAG:

Kathmandu Globetrotter 2c: Pack weight: 800g with 650 duckdown loft power. The material is lightweight with enough warmth for the summer months. It is extremely compactable and suitable for budget backpackers planning to do some light camping or outdoor sleeping.

POCKET KNIFE:

Victorinox: I swear by the Original Swiss Army knife for durability and versality. Superior steel and with multiple options to tend to your needs, this company is synonymous with Swiss culture and outdoor camping worldwide.

UTENSILS:

Sea to Summit is a trusted outdoor brand with an excellent product range. Their sturdy reinforced plastic bowls and handy eating utensils (that are multi-functional as a knife/fork/spoon in-one) are some of the best camping products on the market and have been a trusted source of my camping experiences.