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As a frequent traveler and someone who makes her living off of sharing travel tips, I’ve amassed quite. a list of my favorite travel resources over the years.

So, I’m sharing them with you! This guide covers my personal favorite travel planning resources, must have travel items I alway pack and even blogging tools I use on a daily basis.

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Best Travel Planning Resources

From the best travel safety products, to the best websites for booking travel, to ways to save money on your travel planning this guide has you covered.

Travel Safety Items

Especially as a solo female traveler, safety is of the utmost priority when I’m traveling. Here are some of my top picks for travel safety accessories.

Anti-Theft Crossbody Purse

This TravelOn anti-theft purse joins me on every trip around the world. The straps are slash resistant and it offers RFID protection.

It’s compact, but manages to fit a lot without looking too bulky. I walk with it positioned in front of me with a hand over it anytime I’m pushing through thick crowds.

Handheld Alarm Keychain

Thankfully, I’ve never had to use this. But having it on hand has given me peace of mind on several different occasions.

All you need to do is pull up on the chain to activate a very loud alarm — great for scaring someone off or drawing attention from helpful strangers if needed.

Portable Door Lock

This is on my to-buy list, although I haven’t tried it yet. If you’re nervous and looking for extra security, consider a portable door lock that fits most doors and can be placed on your hotel or apartment rental door.

TSA Approved Lock

I use these locks on my suitcase not only while in transit, but also when I leave my belongings behind while exploring. It’s also useful to have when you want to lock something up in a hostel locker.

Portable Phone Charging Bank

I’m never without this portable phone charging bank when traveling. It’s a bit weighty, but absolutely worth it to have on hand so you can recharge your phone anywhere, anytime.

SafetyWing Travel Insurance

I’m a huge proponent of travel insurance, and I’ve actually had to use it on a couple occasions.

You’ll pay a minimal fee but receive maximum coverage in case anything goes wrong. I use SafetyWing when I travel, you can choose your dates and check prices here.

Best Sites for Booking Flights & Transportation

For convenience, ease of navigation and great deals these are my recommendations for the best sites for booking flights and transportation for your travels.


For flight price comparisons, use Skyscanner to help you get the best deals.

Kayak Explore

I love using the explore feature to choose my next destination when I have flexibility in my travel plans, before booking.

Google Flights

This is usually my first stop when I’m considering taking a trip because I personally find it user friendly to consult quickly.


Especially when in Europe, Omio is my go-to for booking train travel between cities. and even countries.

Best Sites for Booking Hotels

Whether you’re staying at a hotel, rental apartment or hotel on your travels these are the best sites for booking your accommodations.

My usual go-to site for booking hotels is


Often when I travel, I prefer to stay at private apartments. VRBO is my go-to site for finding great stays around the globe.


I used to use Hostelworld extensively when traveling in my 20s, and as a solo traveler in my 30s I now like to book private rooms at hostels (rather than dorms) so I can have both privacy and an opportunity to socialize with other guests.


I’ll be honest, I don’t know what Couchsurfing is like these days but I do know you have to pick your hosts extremely carefully. I’ve had a couple great experiences as well as weird through couchsurfing.

You can read about my experiences couchsurfing in Europe and decide for yourself if this is for you.

Best Sites for Booking Tours

One of my favorite things to do when traveling is book a guided tour or experience led by a local. It’s a great way to meet fellow travelers while learning or doing something new.


I love the layout of GetYourGuide and how easy it is to find tours, read reviews and book. I’ve used GetYourGuide many times, like for finding a lunch cruise option in Lucerne, Switzerland.


Trusted and true, Viator has been around for ages and has a huge variety of tours to choose from. Many of the tours featured in my best Champagne tours from Paris are Viator tours.

No matter where you go, Viator is likely to have some great group tour options for you to book.

Go City Pass

This one’s not a tour, but a multi-attraction pass that can save you money in various cities around the world and is worth looking into as you plan your next trip.

Airbnb Experience

One of my favorite Airbnb experience types to book are private photo shoots, like the one I booked on my solo Paris trip.

I’ve also booked a yoga hike in Denver for my sister’s Denver bachelorette party itinerary, and various foodie or cultural experiences over the years.

Best Travel Credit Card

I’ve been able to fly business class on long-haul flights multiple times now and it’s all thanks to earning points (and knowing the right way to spend them) using travel credit cards. There are so many out there, but for now this is my top pick.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

This is my favorite travel credit card at the moment. Using Chase transfer partners, I’ve also been able to book multiple business class flights between Chicago and Europe with as little as 58k points!

Plus, there are no foreign transaction fees so you can use this card internationally with ease.

Find out if you qualify for a Chase Sapphire Preferred card

Creative Ways to Save Money for Travel

I’ve picked up a few money-saving tips that are useful both for saving money while traveling and in preparation for travel.

Get the Charles Schwab Debit Card

Years ago, when I moved to Madrid for a year, I got a Charles Schwab debit card. It was a bit of a pain because I had to go to one of their few brick-and-mortar locations to get it all set up, but that was one of the most worthwhile things I’ve done as a traveler.

I haven’t paid an ATM withdrawal fee anywhere in the world ever since (it’s always 100% rebated). It’s been more than a decade and you will never catch me traveling without this card.

Set up a High Yield Savings Account

If your savings are not kept in a high-yield savings account, what are you doing? This is a no-brainer way to make sure your money is working for you.

I use and recommend Wealthfront, which consistently offers the highest interest rates out there. At the time I’m writing this, they’re offering interest as high as 4.3% for signing up via this link!

Sign up with Rakuten

One of the easiest ways to save money is by signing up with Rakuten and installing their chrome extension. You’ll earn cash back across the web while online shopping on things you were already planning to buy anyway.

The chrome extension alerts you when you’re on a site that will give you cash back, and prompt you to activate it. It takes two seconds and is an easy way to keep more of your money in your own pocket. Sign up now.

Must Have Travel Items

No matter the type of destination I’m traveling to, here are the must have travel items I pack for everywhere.

Sarong or scarf

These items are so versatile and lightweight, an absolute must-have. A great sarong or scarf serves so many purposes: swimsuit coverup, warmth, shawl, towel, pillow cover, etc.

Laundry packets

Especially when I’m engaged in slow travel without access to a washing machine, these laundry packets are a life saver. I’ve done a lot of sink laundry over the years using these nifty packets.

When you do have a washing machine, it’s also great to have these single laundry packets instead of having to buy a whole thing of detergent.

Silk pillowcase

Not only will this protect your skin and hair, it allows you to bring a little piece of familiar comfort with you as you travel around the world.

Make any pillow feel cleaner and more like home when you add your own luxurious pillowcase to it.


I love my Kindle. I completely understand the desire to feel a real book in your hands — I love books, too! But I don’t love lugging them around and taking up valuable real estate in my luggage.

This Kindle is lightweight, easy on the eyes, adorable and grants me instant access to any book I want to read when I want it.

Ritual vitamins

My Ritual vitamins routine helps me stay grounded and keeps my body on a consistent dose of nutrients no matter where I am.

Try it for yourself and get $15 off your order with this link.

Travel adapters

When I’m traveling internationally, I use these.

Coin purse

Personally, a petite and unassuming coin purse that gets tossed into my unassuming antitheft crossbody purse is the way to go. Get one that holds your main cards, cash and coins as a way to keep everything in one place within your purse.


I never travel without a spiral-bound journal to document and process my thoughts. Travel is amazing, and it’s even more amazing when you’re able to take some time to reflect on your experiences.


What good is your phone without a sim card that works abroad? I’ve taken both approaches, electronic and physical sim cards. The one I use is Airalo.

Blogging Tools for Beginners +

Want to make money blogging? If you’re serious about blogging then these are some key blogging tools and resources you should be investing in.


This is my current hosting platform and it has served me well for years. To truly own your site, you’ll need to sign up with a hosting platform like Bluehost.


SEO research is a big part of blogging, and writing the content that will actually be helpful for your target audience. I use Keysearch to help me with my keyword research on a daily basis.

SYTB Course

Of course, you have to know how to do effective keyword research. Simply buying a keyword tool is not enough if you don’t know how to properly use it. I’m largely self taught in my SEO skills, however I recently signed up with a course that has taken my learning to the next level.

The Scale Your Travel Blog course is not exclusive to travel bloggers, either. Although it is more customized to serve us. I’ve taken many blogging courses over the years and to be honest I was jaded and so DONE with courses until Laura came into my life with this one.

Hands down, the best investment I’ve made toward fulfilling my dream of becoming a full-time travel blogger. You can attend a free LIVE workshop to determine if it’s right for you, too.


Canva is simply a must-have, in my opinion. The pro subscription gives you access to free stock videos, photos and design elements you can use to create graphics for your website and social channels.

I use Canva multiple times a week to create new pins. I’ve also used Canva templates for my media kit, rate card, designing imagery seen across this website and more.

Get Canva


My iPhone is my main tool for taking quality photos and videos while traveling. I use these photos and videos on my blog, on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Pinterest — everywhere! Invest in a phone that offers you the quality you need for content creation.

And be sure to protect it well with a sturdy screen cover and camera lens protector.

Smartphone Tripod

Whether or not you’re a solo traveler, at some point it will be to your benefit to have a smartphone tripod. Great for solo photography and also for filming videos for TT and IG.

Best Travel Planning Resources: Recommended Reading

This guide to my favorite travel planning resources and must have travel items should provide you a great jumping off point as you plan your own travels. Looking for even more guidance and inspiration? Check out these posts: