The world is a big place, and it’s a shame how many people never get to experience much beyond there small corner of it. We all need to spread our wings more and learn about new cultures.
In many regions outside the U.S., traveling abroad is a rite of passage. But you’d be surprised at how many people I met while exploring the west coast who never left their home state.
When we travel, we open ourselves up to different perspectives and ways of life. Better Late Than Never is a great show on NBC about elderly celebrities traveling together. Of course, we have entire channels dedicated to travel too.
If you’re looking to plan the trip of a lifetime, these are the essential blogs and websites you need to visit.
FLyerTalk is an online forum created in 1998 and one of the best resources online to learn about frequent flier and hotel loyalty programs. Travel hackers consistently learn to game these programs for free travel, and you can join them by reading discussions on the ins and outs of each company’s point systems. It’s a great place to start the journey before your journey.
The National Geographic Society has a wealth of information, advice, tips, photography, and videos from around the world since 1888. Everything from popular tourist destinations to unique off-the-beaten-path adventures are covered here. If you’re looking for a glimpse into other parts of the world, this is the place to do it.
Kayak was founded in 2004 as a travel metasearch engine. It functions as a fare aggregator that lets you price shop hotels, cruises, airfare, and car rentals from different companies and services. Kayak is one of the reasons travel agents don’t have much of a job anymore these days.
7. Nomadic Matt
Matthew Kepnes is a travel expert who’s been featured in a wide variety of publications. His blog, NomadicMatt, was started in 2008 in order to monetize his travelling. Matt is the gold standard for travel bloggers and his business model is consistently replicated by aspiring travel bloggers looking to gain financial freedom while exploring the world.
Lonely Planet has published travel guide books since 1972 and is the largest such publisher in the world. It’s also a magazine, website, and TV series that gives a glimpse into travel experiences all around the planet. Its popularity is also its downfall, however, as any unique experience it covers becomes a major tourist destination that somewhat ruins the point.
View from the Wing is a travel news, advice, and discussion blog created by Gary Leff. It’s part of the BoardingArea group of travel blogs and a great resource to learn insider tips and first-person accounts of every aspect of traveling.
Conde Nast Traveler was started in 1987 and covers all aspects of luxury travel. For those who can afford to see the world in a more comfortable way, it’s the definitive guide to doing it. It also features in-depth journalism and stories about regions you may dream of visiting, so it’s a great resource for anybody looking to travel abroad.
Airbnb redefined the travel industry in 2008 by letting homeowners and renters offer short-term lodging through a consumer-to-consumer marketplace. Instead of staying in a boring hotel like a plebeian, you can stay with a local by renting a room or even an entire house during your stay. It’s a great way to meet new people and learn the local customs anywhere you decide to go.
Expedia was created in 1996 to streamline the travel booking process. You can search hotels, car rentals, flights, cruises, and vacation rentals all across the globe, while comparing prices across all brands. It is a one-stop shop for booking all your travel, and you can even access discounts by bundling different services.
While traveling is a dream of many, it can quickly become a nightmare if you’re not prepared. Before leaving the country, be sure to check the U.S. State Department’s website for important travel advisories and tips to ensure your trip is safe and efficient. The last thing you need is to end up on CNN because you walked into a war zone without realizing Americans aren’t welcome there. Everything from necessary vaccinations to advice on passing through a country’s customs with a U.S. passport can be found on this essential government site for American travelers.