Traveling can be an exciting and enriching experience, and with good preparation, it can also be inexpensive. Here are our tips and tricks to help you make the most of your trip. From booking accommodations and transportation to excursions and essential travel gadgets, here's everything you need for your next trip.
Find and book accommodation
Well-known booking portals like Booking.com* offer super service and often great deals, but there are more insider tips.
- Booking: The platform offers an extensive selection of accommodations worldwide, including hotels, vacation rentals, hostels and more. A huge benefit of Booking is its loyalty program ("Genius Program"). Here you get up to 15% discount and free upgrades as a member. Depending on the number of bookings made and nights stayed, Genius members can reach different Genius status levels, such as Genius Level 1, 2 or 3. Higher status levels offer additional benefits, such as bigger discounts or exclusive deals.
Book accommodation via Booking
Secret tip: Book accommodation via Booking.com with free cancellation and check shortly before if there are still cheaper offers. Thus, you have the current price safe, but can still benefit from price changes if they occur
- Couchsurfing as an alternative for free accommodation. Here you can stay with locals on the spot and get to know people on the side. As the name says, you spend the night on the couch of the hosts or hostesses, depending on the circumstances.
Warmshowers: alternative to couchsurfing
Specially for cyclists there is the portal Warmshowers. Here you can stay with locals during a bike tour.
Insider tip for cheap accommodation.
Our tip: if you have found on the above portals, it may be worthwhile to ask directly to the hotel, whether there is not a cheaper option. Often hotels offer a booking without a portal and offer breakfast or other amenities for the same price. Hotels and hostels have an interest in this, because it saves them the commission they would otherwise have to pay to the platforms.
Secret tip for the cheapest accommodation in 2 steps before:
- book (e.g. via Booking) an accommodation (with free cancellation).
- ask the accommodation if you get better conditions if you book directly at the accommodation
- check later if there are cheaper options and if so book them and cancel the old booking.
Book local activities and tickets
- GetYourGuide*: GetYourGuide offers a wide selection of excursions, tours and activities around the world. You can book activities from local providers, including city tours, sightseeing tours, adventure activities, tickets to attractions and more. You'll also find reviews and photos from other travelers.
Book tickets and activities
The easiest way to book tours and tickets online
- Viator*: Similar to GetYourGuide*, Viator also offers the ability to book and compare tickets and guided tours.
Compare tickets and activities
Secret tip: Compare prices and reviews of tours and tickets from the comfort of your own home
Book the best means of transportation: Train, bus, car, flight
Quite often, it is much more relaxing to book a trip by train or bus, for example, than to book a rental car. For this, there are easy ways to compare different means of transportation. With Google Maps Rome2Rio and Omio* you can easily view different means of transportation to get from A to B.
The advantage of Omio* is that you can also book the ticket directly through the website or app. This means you don't have to deal with individual transport companies for a ticket and can combine bus and train travel, for example.
- Via Omio* you can compare and book different means of transport such as trains, buses and flights. This way you can easily find the best connections and cheapest prices. The platform provides you with extensive information on routes, schedules and prices, so you can do all your travel planning in one place.
Find and book the best connection
Secret tip: Once you have found a suitable trip, you can easily book all tickets (even from different transport companies) via Omio. And often cheaper than buying individual tickets from the provider.
Find information to prepare for the trip.
The best 3 ways to find out about worthwhile destinations and tips.
1.TripAdvisor is one of the most popular platforms for travel reviews and recommendations. Here you can find testimonials from other travelers, hotel reviews, restaurant recommendations and much more. 2.Lonely Planet is a renowned source for travel guides and inspirational travel content. The site offers extensive information on destinations around the world, practical tips and insider knowledge. 3. travel blogs like TravelHeartbeat.com: There are numerous travel blogs that share personal experiences, insider tips and advice from travelers. There are different ones depending on the region. For Latin America, https://travelheartbeat.com/ is of course very good ;)
The 5 most important travel gadgets:
Here's the list of the most important gadgets you need for travel. While not an insider tip, how many times have we forgotten these items on our packing list and had to fret and get expensive replacements on the spot...?
- Travel Adapter*: A universal travel adapter allows you to charge your electronic devices in different countries.
- Powerbank*: A powerbank is especially useful for charging your electronic devices on the go, especially if you're going on long trips.
- Neck pillow and sleep mask*: these gadgets will keep you comfortable during long flights or train rides and help you sleep better on the road.
- Travel Luggage with Integrated GPS*: A smart luggage with GPS tracking feature helps you locate your suitcase in case it gets lost.
- Bathing slippers*: especially in hostels or even outside hotels, bathing slippers are important - and with me almost always at home in the closet instead of in the suitcase