CouchSurfing ~ Local hospitality for FREE! A great way to experience a destination like a local, perfect for budget backpackers. Has quite a community based momentum going. I’ve personally used this website many times all over the world and had wonderful experiences.
House Carers ~ Short term and long term house / pet sitting gigs around the world. Definitely come epic houses available!
Trusted Housitters.com ~ A popular site similar to Housecarers, post your house or profile and let the free house sitting begin!
Mind My House – A website bringing home owners and house sitters together. Low yearly memberships.
World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (aka WOOFing) ~ If you like farming and want to experience a destination like a local, do this. Room and board in exchange for household/farming duties. I’ve had many great experiences doing this!
HelpEx ~ Work for local people & families on farms, projects in exchange for accommodation and food internationally.
Accommodation (Budget to Mid Range)
Trivago – A popular online comparison site that helps you find a perfect hotel for your next vacation. It also offers reviews to make your decision easier.
AirBnB ~ Vacation rentals, private rooms or sublets by the night. A decent range at affordable prices for backpackers to luxury travelers.
Booking.com ~ Another great booking site jam packed with packages and discounts.
HostelWorld ~ My go to for booking hostels around the world! Great comparison tools and reviews.
HostelBookers ~ Connecting young travellers with hostels around the world, Hostelworld has over eight million reviews across 33,000 properties in more than 170 countries.
Kayak ~ Searches hundreds of other travel sites at once to get you the information you need to make the right decisions.
Hotwire ~ Unearth hotel deals up to 60% off in Canada, USA, Mexico and the Caribbean. You can also search cheap flight deals for Canada/USA only.
Roomorama ~Founded in 2009, short-term and vacation rental platform that offers over 80,000 owner-managed and professionally-managed vacation rentals worldwide (similar to AirBnB).
Wotif ~ Awesome Australian accommodation website. Mystery Hotels are exclusive deals from our hotel partners who want to fill their unsold rooms. They reveal the name of the hotel right after you book.
Luxury & Boutique Accommodation
Luxury Escapes ~ Is one of the world’s fastest growing travel businesses, reaching up to 3.2 million unique travellers each month with exclusive offers limited time offers at ‘insider’ prices. At Luxury Escapes, they make sure that any escape featured for a ‘Limited Time Offer’ has been personally reviewed by a member of the Luxury Escapes expert travel team.
i-escape ~ Boutique accommodation website i-escape has a collection of more than 1,500 hotels, B&Bs, villas and guesthouses (in more than 50 countries) with destinations as diverse as Argentina, Zanzibar, Malaysia and Montenegro and prices ranging from budget to luxury. The site maintains that quality, rather than quantity, is the main focus and of all the properties that apply to be on the site only a few. There is also a dedicated Kids’ Collection for travelling families.
The Treehouse Accommodation~ Guide to some amazing treehouse accommodation around the world.
Doris & Dicky ~ This new website offers a handpicked collection of 500 affordable-but-chic hotels. Its philosophy of boutique on a budget which applies to everything from European city breaks to South American adventures. Each property in the portfolio has been chosen on merit and assessed by a team of anonymous reviewers.
GoUnusual ~ Features 345 hotels ranging price-wise from free (it has two hotels that simply ask for a donation) to one that costs $16,000 for exclusive use. Geographically, it covers everywhere except Antarctica, though apparently it is chasing the McMurdo base to try and find a location there. Its motto, “life less ordinary”, has led its team of contributors and freelancers to seek out travel experiences that make guests feel part of an adventure or a story linked to the places they visit.
Chic Retreats ~ Curates beautifully designed hotels, villas and guesthouses subdivided into helpful collections such as budget chic, eco chic and safari chic (not to mention “hide and chic” if you’re really keen to get away from the crowds). There are about 700 places from which to choose, with prices ranging from $50 to $1,500 a night.
Mr & Mrs Smith ~ A company specialising in stylish boutique hotels, with a reputation for providing comfortable luxury, whether on a smaller budget or at a price. It was founded by London-based couple James and Tamara Lohan after they booked a romantic break and were disappointed with a characterless, uninspiring result. It only works with places that the team has visited personally. They decided to launch a booking service focusing on those quirky, charismatic, smaller independent hotels.
Hip Boutique Hotels ~ Their inspiration is based on transformation where escapism, relaxation, adventure, awareness, awakening… is a new way of living that inspires us and contributes to the appreciation of Small Boutique hotels, getaways or escapes. Hipboutiquehotels sounds Hip but also has a deeper meaning, Higher Individual Perspective, they strive to explore special experiences in properties that have a uniqueness and love to share this with everyone.
Sawdays ~ Family-run company Sawday’s promises to provide more than just a bed for a night; its emphasis on hotels that champion the local, the personal and the authentic, as opposed to the bland and the corporate, is underpinned by a commitment to sustainability. Founder Alastair – who has now passed the baton to his son – was a Green party candidate and it shows. All the hotels and guesthouses on offer have committed to source the food offered to guests from local, independent producers. Prices range from around $60 a night into the hundreds, with locations in Britain, France, Ireland, Spain, Italy and Portugal.
Further Afield ~Began in 2010 at the time of the furore around gay couples being denied B&B accommodation in the UK. Its aim has always been to create a stylish collection of places to stay: small hotels, B&Bs and self-catering accommodation both in cities and off the beaten track, which welcome everyone – gay, lesbian or straight. Many, such as the Villa Mazamet in the traditional French market town of Mazamet in the Midi-Pyrénées, are affordably priced (rooms from $80 a night). Its collection includes more than 270 properties across the world but with a focus on the UK, France, Spain, Greece and Italy. Prices range from $75 to over $500 a night.
Best All Rounders ~ Flights, Hotels, Packages, Car Hire etc
Skyscanner ~ Searches hundreds of airlines on 200000 routes to 5000 airports. It’s my usual go to! I usually search through Skyscanner then book directly through the cheapest airline’s website.
Expedia ~ Another good flight/hotel comparison website. Members receive extra 10% off selected hotels.
Travel Factory ~ Australia’s largest travel package deal website.
Kayak ~Available in over 40 international sites and 20 languages. They search other travel sites for you and show their offer in a clear, intuitive display – so you can easily compare and filter the results.
Momondo ~ Voted best travel website 2015. Has the largest variety of providers than any other site apparently.
Flight Centre ~Here you’ll find the lowest available prices on domestic flights to all destinations around Australia, as well as cheap international flights to a huge range of worldwide destinations. They will beat any comparable quote which is cool!
Flightfox ~ Where they do all the work for you! It’s a marketplace of genuine travel experts. They have an extraordinarily deep understanding of flights, hotels, and loyalty programs. You can use Flightfox by launching a trip request for any of our experts. Our experts then review your request, ask necessary questions, and work as hard as they can to build you the best itinerary at the lowest price.
Rome To Rio ~ Discover how to get anywhere by plane, train, bus, ferry, and automobile
Uber ~ worldwide low-cost private car transport – cheaper than taxies!
Emirates ~ Qantas and Emirates are a partnership that fly 14 times a day from Australia to Dubai, and provide ‘one-stop’ access to destinations across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The planes are modern fitted with power outlets and entertainment, decent food (for a plane), and friendly staff in my many experiences. Emirates was voted the World’s Best Airline by customers at the 2016 Skytrax World Airline Awards held at Farnborough Airshow. This is the fourth time Emirates has won this top prize in the awards history. The airline also won the World’s Best Inflight Entertainment award. Emirates improved its position across a range of awards categories performing well in First, Business and Economy Class survey sections and achieving a top-10 finish in the World’s Best Cabin Staff category. The fact that these awards are based on the direct feedback from passengers is gratifying and wonderful recognition for all of the hard work that’s gone into creating the Emirates experience.
Etihad ~ Etihad Airways is the national airline of the United Arab Emirates. I’ve flown with them many times and haven’t had a bad experience yet! According to Air Line Quality, Etihad Airways was ranked No 6 worldwide and won three awards. The airline was named as having the World’s Best First Class cabin, Best First Class seat and Best First Class catering.
Qantas ~ Qantas is one of Australia’s most popular airlines. In ninth place, Qantas was dominant in the Australia & Pacific region winning the Best Airline in Australia / Pacific for the fourth successive year in 2016 and also taking the award for Best Airline Staff in Australia & Pacific and Best Premium Economy Catering. Between Qantas and their sister airway, Jetstar, I find myself using their company regularly around Australia and beyond. Their routes go almost everywhere which is the perfect opportunity for avid travellers to gain frequent flyer points! Jetstar is a budget airline so their plane’s are sometimes old with minimal space but you get what you pay for!
Singapore Airlines ~ The service, food, comfort and experience flying with Singapore is second to none, I’ve had countless amazing experiences on long haul flights. They also won third place in 2016’s best Airline awards, achieved top success winning the award for Best Airline in Asia, as well as the title for the Best Business Class Airline Seat.
Cathay Pacific ~ In my two experiences flying with Cathay Pacific I remember the staff going above and beyond. CP was ranked No 4 in 2016’s World Airline Award, with the airline also declared the World’s Best for Cabin Cleanliness. It was a double celebration as Cathay also picked up the award for Best First Class Lounge for its recently renovated facility at its home base airport in Hong Kong.
2016 World Airline Award statistics provided by Air Line Quality.
Travel Loyalty Programs
One World Alliance ~Offers a truly global network for business and leisure travellers, flying to almost 1,000 destinations in more than 150 countries. The oneworld Interactive Network Map. is the ultimate tool to help you plan your next journey, featuring comprehensive flight schedules and routing information for all oneworld member airlines and their affiliates.
Star Alliance ~ Star Alliance’s 27 member airlines operate a fleet of approximately 4,657 aircraft, serve more than 1,330 airports in 192 countries and carry 641.1 million passengers per year on more than 18,500 daily departures. The alliance has a two-tier rewards program, Silver and Gold, with incentives including priority boarding and upgrades. Like other airline alliances, Star Alliance airlines share airport terminals (known as co-location) and many member planes are painted in the alliance’s livery.
Health & Fitness Travel ~ All in one tailor made health orientated holidays available worldwide. This is a luxury wellness travel company specialising in creating exceptional healthy holidays around the world. Founded in the UK in 2010 and with headquarters across the globe in both London and Australia, our local offices are based in Melbourne, Victoria. They align themselves around the belief that you choose to maximise your valuable time off for a health and wellness holiday designed around your personal goals; whether to get fit, lose weight, detox, discover or simply relax. All of our Travel Specialists take pride in arranging exclusive and personalised experiences and our healthy holidays are completely tailor-made for each individual.
Web Hosting & WordPress Themes
- Widely known and trusted amongst the online community
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- Great pricing structures and reasonable rates
- 24/7 outstanding customer service via phone or online chat
- Money back guarantee policy
Learn more about how to start a blog in this step by step blog post.
ThemeForest ~ the best variety of WordPress themes.
Canva ~ eBooks, social media images, textiles, business cards, resumes, portfolios, cover photos, Canva free graphic design at the touch of your fingertips.
PicMonkey ~ another useful tool for creating visual content for your blog and social media platforms.
99designs ~ Highly recommended by Tim Ferris, 99design is popular for a reason. If you need graphics, a logo or some other design element created by a pro check out the services offered by the thousands of designers at 99designs.
Pexels ~ Free stock photos across all different categories available in one place.
Snapstock.io ~ Hundreds of high-resolution images added weekly. Free from copyright restrictions.
Fiverrr ~ Professional freelancers for the lean entrepreneur projects starting at $5
UpWork ~ Whether you need one writer or an entire team of programmers, we help you find the right experts to fuel your success. Upworks freelancing website lets you work effortlessly with freelancers anywhere in the world.
LeadPages ~ A dynamic software company that creates simple, beautiful software and web apps that allow businesses to grow large and devoted audiences. Capture page and webinars creation with an easy to use back end. Membership from $25 per month.
GetResponse ~All-in-one online marketing platform to grow your business. Email marketing, landing pages, webinars, marketing automation for $15 per month.
SumoMe ~ Sumo provides free tools you need to grow your WordPress site. This plugin will make it easy for your readers to join your email list, share your articles and optimize with analytics.
Social Media Management
Gramblr ~ Gone are the days where you have to log in to your Instagram from your iPhone or iPad, just use this free program that publishes or schedules posts to Instagram for you!
Hootesuite ~ Manage all your social media marketing in one place
Random Must Haves
Grammarly ~ Chrome app that conveniently checks your spelling and grammar for you!
Google Analytics ~ A great free metrics/statistics program.
Evernote ~ Organised management of group brainstorming, note taking, capturing of ideas, writing of blog posts and whatever other tabs you have open in your head!
Wunderlist ~ The perfect to-do list app to keep you kicking goals