I've been fortunate to do some global traveling this year...
You may feel that you can't afford the time, energy or money to give yourself a vacation? I'm going to challenge that belief. Rethink what's possible!
I hope these nine resources make it possible for you to travel, too!
1. Love Home Swap
Just like The Holiday, Love Home Swap connects people from around the world. This makes your only new expenses transportation and food. You can easily search and vet home owners, and insure yourself for ~$80. There is a free trial and then a few options for annual memberships. I get messages daily from around the world and have completed three incredible swaps. Give it a try!
If you're not comfortable swapping homes, you might be more comfortable renting someone's actual home or guest room—as opposed to a corporate hotel. What I like about AirBnB is that they're now offering experiences. Think of these as little groupons and guides for getaways and excursions in whatever city you visit. Search Airbnb now.
3. Hotel Tonight
The ads in the NYC subways got me to try this app out... and I love it! Think of Hotel Tonight like seat fillers for Broadway shows... only this is for really nice hotels! I got an incredible deal in Miami and you can use this for guests or getaways yourself. Often, there are 5-star hotels going for a fraction of the price! Yes, Hotel Tonight!
When looking for flights, I always use Kayak so that I can search all of the discounted flight websites at once. I typically use the flexible dates option and save a bit by flying on less popular dates. Check Kayak now.
5. Secret Flying
6. Google Translate
Confession: My French is "très mauvais" and my Spanish is "muy basico". However, when I'm traveling and have difficulty communicating in English or my rudimentary understanding of their language, I use Google Translate to type my thoughts and share the translation. Problem solved! Give it a try!
7. Google Maps
What did we do before Google Maps? Remember MapQuest and the printouts?! Thank god for that little blue dot! She helps me get to the grocery, gym, and gay bar in every city. If you haven't added Google Maps to your phone, do so right now!
More than a billion people in 180+ countries use WhatsApp to stay in touch with friends and family—anytime and anywhere. You can text, call and video chat... and it works much better than an international phone plan. Go see WhatsApp!
One more tip from my global travel buddy, Phil: switch to T-Mobile. While I enjoyed "unplugging" on Airplane mode for many siestas and fiestas, T-Mobile is the best plan if you're going to be traveling quite a bit internationally. Unless you're okay making your accessibility wi-fi only, switch to T-Mobile. You'll get unlimited data at up to 2G speeds plus texting in 140+ countries and destinations—all at no extra cost. Check it out now!
What are your favorite travel resources? Comment below!
Tony Howell is a digital strategist dedicated to helping you design your future—creating offline success from your online presence.