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To make the best of your travels and get the most bang for your buck, I am sharing my list of great travel resources that I highly recommend:

Accommodations Flights Travel Books Travel Apps Travel Hacking Travel Site Resources Sightseeing Transportation Other Travel Resources Great Travel Blogs

Accommodations

Airbnb

Airbnb is my favorite site to book accommodations – there are options for any budget and you can immerse into the local culture of your destination if you are looking for something other than a hotel stay. From tree houses, to house boats, cottages, or luxurious beach condos, Airbnb has a wide variety of accommodation types available. Bonus: Sign up through this link to receive $25 in free Airbnb credit to spend on your first trip.

Bookit.com

If I do ever need or want to book a hotel, BookIt is usually my favorite site. They have lots of great sales and I have found them to have usually the lowest lodging options for two- and three-star hotels. I recommend you always check for coupon codes before you make a reservation as you can save additionally on your booking, especially on bookings for several nights. They also have free cancellation up until 48 or 72 hours on most hotels, which is very convenient.

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Flights

CheapOair

Among other travel sites, CheapOair is one of the first sites that I use when I start to search for flights or hotels It really depends on the route you are looking for and in which destination you are looking for hotels for, but you can find some great deals on certain cases. I would not ever use them for car rentals, I have always been able to find a better rate on other sites. They do have a best price guarantee (with their own terms and conditions), but I personally never book any travel until I have done my research and am confident enough to book and stop looking thereafter. 😉

Priceline

Before I started travel hacking and I was still paying for my flights, I used Priceline’s “Name your own Price” option to save up to 40% on flights. It’s a great way to save some money if you are somewhat flexible in your flight arrival and departure times. Keep in mind that you have to pre-pay for the flight if your offer is accepted by an airline before you get to see your flight details and it is not possible to cancel the flight afterwards. Priceline also has some great cruise deals, especially on last-minute deals.

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Travel Books

How to Travel the World on $50 a Day

This is one of my absolute favorite travel guides – it has tons of great tips and guidance on traveling inexpensively around the world from tips on travel hacking through frequent flyer programs to finding cheap or even free accommodations. This guide does exactly what it promises, it “shows you how to stretch your money further so you can travel cheaper, smarter, and longer”.

Travel: How to Drop Everything And Travel Around The World

This is a great inspirational book that will help you figure out if you are ready for the adventure of travel, how you need to prepare your mind and figure out where you would like to go and how to pack accordingly. I like this book, because it does not sugar coat, but also talks about those tough and sometimes lonely moments and how to cope with those. Finally, it touches base on the financials related to traveling. Great read!
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Travel Apps

Backbackr

I think part of what makes travel most memorable and rewarding is when you share these experiences with other people. Backpackr is a great app to discover and connect with other like-minded travelers across the globe. You can read their honest reviews of nearby activities or find the best restaurants around. Enter a date and city and Backpackr will show you all the travellers going there at the same time and if their interests match yours you can plan to meet or travel together. The connections we make while traveling are some of the closest friendships you can create in life.

AwardWallet

Once you start signing up for frequent flyer programs, it can get really overwhelming and you can quickly let some of your award miles/points go to waste. AwardWallet helps keeps track of your reward programs such as your frequent flyer miles, hotel and credit card points – it has helped me save some of my miles from expiring in more than one instance. The first 10 readers can use the following code to upgrade their accounts for free: free-agakmb

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Travel Hacking

Smart Destinations

Smart Destinations offers multi-attraction passes with the goal of saving travelers money when on vacation. Their attraction cards offer included admission to over 400 top attractions, activities, tours and museums for one flat price and is available in some popular vacation destinations including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Hawaii, Orlando, San Diego, and San Francisco.. If you have a budget set for sightseeing, then Smart Destinations can save you up to 55% versus buying separate tickets at the attractions and you receive a free full-color guide book with your purchase.

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Frequent Flyer Porgrams

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards

Earn flights fast with Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards frequent flyer program. No blackout dates & unlimited reward seats.

United Airlines MileagePlus

Earn frequent flyer miles with MileagePlus, the award winning frequent flyer program from United Airlines.

AAdvantage

Earn frequent flyer miles with American Airlines AAdvantage travel awards program.

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Travel Site Resources

GoDaddy

GoDaddy is my favorite hosting provider and domain registrar. I used to have hosting with different hosting companies and my domains were registered with multiple registrars, but after testing different companies, I have now moved all of my domains and hosting to GoDaddy. I’ve had a great experience with them and their customer service has been very responsive. Their plans are very reasonable and a WordPress hosting plan is as low as $3.99 per month.

ThemeForest

ThemeForest is the #1 marketplace for premium website templates, including themes for WordPress, Magento, Drupal, Joomla, and more and is my absolute favorite places buy WordPress themes for all of my websites. ThemeForest is part of the Envato Market, where you can also buy beautiful stock photos for reasonable prices as well as great plugins to enhance your site.

Hootsuite

I use Hootsuite to schedule some posts ahead of time on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and some other social networks. When I am going on vacation and know I will have limited availability to access the internet that is extremely useful and is well worth the $9.99 per month fee. If you are panning to start your own travel blog or if you have a business/site/social presence yourself, I would highly recommend using Hootsuite. You can try Hootsuite Pro free for 30 days.

MailChimp

I used ConstantContact for quite a while for my e-Mail campaigns, however I found some of their features quite limiting and after several attempts to contact their customer service, I decided to switch. Then I started using MailChimp and I really love their features and their functionality (have not yet needed to contact customer service as everything has been working with no issues or complaints). They have a free plan available for up to 2,000 subscribers (up to 12,000 e-Mails), so if you  are looking to build an e-Mail list or you are dissatisfied with your currently e-Mail Marketing provider, I would highly recommend switching to MailChimp.

SeedProd

My favorite coming soon and maintenance plugin that I use for all my new sites (and the one I used while working on TravelNerdNici.com) is SeedProd. You can use images, videos or slideshow to create a capitvating background. It allows you to include a countdown and progress bar to keep your visitors in the loop while under construction and let them know when to expect the site launch. And you can easily configure the plugin to allow your visitors to share your site on social media and display your social profiles as well as integrate your Coming Soon page with popular e-Mail Marketing platforms, including MailChimp.

Marketing Services

I help companies from all over the world develop successful Marketing strategies and implement them, including but not limited to Social Media Management and Marketing, Web Design & Development, Search Engine Optimization, and many creative initiatives. If you are or know anyone who is in need of Marketing Services, please visit my website for a free customized quote: NicoleElmore.com 

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Sightseeing

Smart Destinations

Smart Destinations offers multi-attraction passes with the goal of saving travelers money when on vacation. Their attraction cards offer included admission to over 400 top attractions, activities, tours and museums for one flat price and is available in some popular vacation destinations including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Hawaii, Orlando, San Diego, and San Francisco.. If you have a budget set for sightseeing, then Smart Destinations can save you up to 55% versus buying separate tickets at the attractions and you receive a free full-color guide book with your purchase.

Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel is one of the world’s leading small-group adventure travel companies. Since it’s inception in 1989, Intrepid has focused on providing a style of travel that has all the benefits of independent travel with none of the hassle; small groups travelling at the grassroots level, meeting local people, trying local food and having real life cultural experiences. Intrepid grew from two entrepreneurs with a passion for travel to a global organization supported by 1,000+ employees in offices across the globe and taking around more than 90,000 passengers on all seven continents. You can get the best deal when you book one of their last minute deals.

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Transportation

Megabus

Megabus has over 100 stops across the United States. If you are looking for cheap transportation, take a look at their route map and check if they have a stop near you and a stop near your destination. If so, chances are this will be your cheapest mode of transportation from point A to point B as they offer many routes for only $1 per ticket. Even if you are too late to get any of their $1 tickets, you can usually still find great deals at lower prices you could find elsewhere. Don’t expect a luxurious experience; keep in mind, it is a low-cost budget friendly basic way of transportation where you personally don’t have to drive.

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Other Travel Resources

Travel Guard

With more than 20 years of industry experience, Travel Guard is America’s leading travel insurance plan provider.  I highly recommend anyone traveling for longer than two weeks at a time to obtain travel insurance for any unforeseen problems, from a cancelled flight to a serious illness that needs medical attention and could result in thousands of dollars in medical care if you don’t happen to have travel insurance. Travel Guard provides free quotes and have an option you can choose to be able to cancel for any reason (for an additional fee at the time of booking). I am all about saving money, but this is one investment always worth making. Better safe than sorry!
P.S.: If you are going to volunteer somewhere, the International Volunteer Card is an alternative and less expensive insurance specifically for volunteers who are volunteering through an official volunteering organization.
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Great Travel Blogs

yTravelBlog

yTravelBlog is one of my favorite travel blogs on the web – it is very well organized and has tons of fantastic articles on these 4 phases of travel: finding the inspiration, finding the money, planning your trip and getting on the road. What I love most about Caz’s and Craig’s travel blog is that they are so genuine and are not afraid to share their mistakes, so others can learn and benefit from them.

Nomadic Matt

This is one of the first travel blogs I came across and the source a lot of my inspiration and learning about travel hacking. Even though, Matt does cover a lot of information on different types of travel from family travel to couples travel, he is primarily a solo traveler and offers much insight into what it means to travel solo around the world. He has lots of valuable guides on budget travel and I highly recommend his book: How to Travel the World on $50 a Day

Wandering Earl

In 1999, Earl left the USA for a three-month, post-graduation trip to Southeast Asia. Now, 14 years later, his trip is still on-going and he has traveled to more than 85 countries. He has worked several jobs around the world and volunteered as well, which you can read more about on his site. I like to read about his travels and experiences and he has lots of great content on his well-established travel blog.

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Disclosure: Some of the above links are affiliate links, which at no additional cost to you, will earn me a small commission and help me cover the expenses of running this site. I have had a great experience with each of these companies and genuinely recommend them. If you have any questions about any of these companies or products, let me know and I would be more than happy to answer them.

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