What is the best website for travel planning

Travel planning: 400 best apps, tools & websites [checklist]

There should be a website or app for XYZ, right? There probably is. Get your travel planning done with this collection of helpful travel tools and resources.

1. Travel planning

Find out which travel destinations are yours and roughly plan your trip

German travel blogs

Read travel blogs from Germany, Austria and Switzerland for fresh inspiration

  • Top 50 Travel Blogs ranks popular travel blogs by category.
  • Reise 2 Punkt Null is a search engine in travel blogs based on travel destinations or topics.
  • Conntrip sorts articles from travel blogs according to travel destinations and categories.
  • Pinterest is a visual search engine with lots of travel blogs.

Inspirational travel images

Be inspired by travel pictures:

  • Photospots.mwong is a world map with the best pictures from Flickr and 500px.
  • Airpano has been taking aerial photos of the most photogenic places in the world for more than 10 years.
  • ShotHotspot shows beautiful photo locations, also for a travel destination.
  • Locationscout collects photogenic locations all over the world.
  • Locals and Tourists shows where tourists take the most photos for 136 destinations worldwide.

World maps with information

Capture important information clearly at a glance:

Destination info

Find out important things about different travel destinations:

2. Search for a flight

Flights are expensive and you can save a lot accordingly.

Flight deals and error fares

Before searching for a flight, check whether there is a suitable error fare

  • Flynous has probably the most affordable flights.
  • Travelfree focuses on low-cost flights.
  • Flyforfree is also looking for very cheap flights.
  • Travel Dealz is a German site with many cheap flights.
  • My Dealz crowdsourct lots of travel deals, not just flights.
  • Secret Flying is a great international flight deals site.
  • Spyfares sums up a dozen or so flight deal sites.

Read tips on flight deals and error fares.

Flight search engines

There is no egg-laying woolly milk sow among flight search engines. Better to use the price comparisons in the next list when booking.

  • Kiwi* seeks extremely flexible, especially on short-haul routes.
  • Google Flightsseeks very fast and reasonably flexible.
  • Swoodooseeks particularly flexible fork flights and round trips, also thanks to the power search
  • ITA matrixseeks flexible multistop, stopover and open jaw flights.
  • Azair seeks only low cost airlines and is great for one way

For strengths and weaknesses, read the comparison of the 5 best flight search engines.

Airfare comparisons

To book a flight that has been found, these meta price comparisons are the best choice:

  • Skyscanner * bay One Ways, Round Trips, Multi City and open jaw flights.
  • Momondo * bay One Ways, Round Trips, Multi City and open jaw flights.
  • Flight Idealo * bay One ways, round trips and open jaw flights

Always compare the airline's website and, if in doubt, book there.

Flight search by experts

Let flight experts find you particularly cheap flights with a money-back guarantee.

  • Flystein * is an expert portal especially for backpackers and world travelers.
  • Flightfox is the longest established flight expert portal and more for business.
  • Chimpando is a smaller German expert portal.

More about the expert search and why you should definitely have experts searched.

Intercontinental low-cost airlines from Europe for One Ways

Low-cost airlines have a great price advantage with One Ways

  • Eurowings from Germany *, e.g. Cuba, Mexico, Thailand
  • Norwegian Air from Germany, London e.g. Thailand, USA, Argentina
  • Scoot from Germany, e.g. Singapore, Australia
  • Condor from Germany * North America, South America, Asia, Africa
  • TUI Fly from Amsterdam, e.g. Miami, Dom Rep
  • Aigle Azur from Paris, e.g. Brazil, West Africa
  • Wow Air from Germany / Iceland, e.g. Boston, Washington
  • Wamos Air from Spain, e.g. Mexico, Dom Rep

You can find an extensive list of low-cost airlines around the world at Wikivoyage Low Cost Airlines and searchable at Fly Hacker.

Further flight connections with low-cost airlines

Find the cheapest direct connections possible and check low-cost airlines directly:

  • Airline Routemaps collects all connection cards from low-cost airlines in one place.
  • Fly Hacker shows low-cost airlines between continents, unfortunately a bit out of date.
  • Flightconnections shows all connections from an airport and all airlines for a connection.

Provide evidence of onward flights for One Ways

Please note that you may have to provide evidence of an onward flight with One Ways. There are services for a valid disposable ticket:

For free methods and alternatives, see No return flight, do you need an onward flight?

Round The World tickets

You can get a complete world tour at once here:

  • STA Travel offers tailor-made and affordable world travel flights.
  • Run away! is an online world travel agency for flights on demand.
  • Travel Nation is another provider of individual world travel flights.
  • Air New Zealand flies to New Zealand with 2 stopovers in e.g. Asia and the USA
  • Qantas flies to Australia with 4 stops in e.g. Asia and North America.
  • Oneworld has several RTW ticket variants.
  • Star Alliance has another RTW ticket on offer.
  • Skyteam is the RTW ticket of the third alliance

I advise against all these expensive RTW tickets. You can fly around the world for as little as 1,000 euros.

Buy canceled flights and trips

Many flights and trips cannot be canceled, but are transferable to other people. Who can not start his trip tries to sell them with sometimes huge discounts. There are several platforms for this:

  • ebay is also the marketplace for flights and travel. Ignore commercial providers.
  • Transfer Travel arranges flights, but also hotel rooms and package tours.
  • Trade Your Trip specializes in overnight stays with few package tours.
  • Urlaubguru has an exchange platform for all kinds of trips in the forum.
  • Cancelon only mediates hotel rooms. It's best to search without a filter.
  • Roomer also mediates hotel rooms in the luxury segment.

Before making a purchase, please check the fine print to see whether a trip is actually transferable and whether there are any rebooking costs. Also compare prices to see if it is really a bargain.

With some airlines, you can move a flight you have taken over to a different date or even a different destination for an additional fee. For example, I once bought a Condor flight and changed it from Bogota to Quito.

Flight delay

In the event of a flight delay of more than 3 hours or a cancellation with a start or destination or the airline's headquarters in the EU, you will receive € 250 to € 600. No joke, I've already collected € 600.

You can also make claims up to 3 years later. More information on flight delay compensation.

Flight compensation

Flying is very bad for the environment. Compensate for the emitted CO2 here:

  • Atmosfair is rated very well and costs € 23 per ton.
  • Klima Kollekte is rated very well and costs € 23 per ton.
  • Prima Klima is rated very well and costs € 15 per ton.
  • My Climate is rated well and costs € 22 per ton.

The ratings are from Stiftung Warentest.

3. Travel information

All important travel information for on the go

Free online travel guide

Free online travel guides for all possible travel destinations

Travel guide in book form

Travel planning to take away as a book or eBook

  • Lonely Planet * is the most popular travel guide for backpackers
  • Rough Guide * is a good alternative to Lonely Planet
  • Footprints * is a very good backpacker travel guide for South America and Africa
  • Reise Know How * is a German-speaking travel guide for backpackers
  • Stefan Loose * is a German travel guide aimed more at flash packers
  • Buggl offers Insider Guides as eBooks, many of them free of charge.

Country cuisine

Food is the best reason to travel!

  • Open Rice is an online restaurant guide for Asia
  • Migrationology Mark Wiens is an expert on ethnic food.
  • Foodbycountry tells you what to eat and where.
  • Happy Cow vegetarian restaurants worldwide
  • Groupon offers restaurant bargains in major cities around the world.
  • Eatigo offers off-peak bargains in Southeast Asia.

4. Overland transport

Plan and book land transportation

Long-distance transport

You can cover long-distance routes by bus, train or carpooling

  • Rome2Rio is the most complete route planner for bus, train and boat.
  • Omio * (formerly GoEuro) is an alternative to Rome2Rio.
  • FromAtoB * is a metasearch including blacar.
  • Blablacar * is the most active portal for carpooling in Europe.
  • 12go.asia * is a route planner and ticket service for Asia.
  • Virail is another useful alternative to route planning by bus, train and boat.
  • Busbud is a bus search engine with very good worldwide coverage
  • Ridebuzz arranges carpooling in the USA.
  • Vacations to Go is one of the largest cruise portals, also between the continents.
  • Priceline Cruises lets you search for transpacific and transatlantic cruises.
  • Cruise Direct lists other cruise deals, including intercontinental.
  • Hand against bunk is a German side to sail with.
  • Find a Crew is an English site about sailing with you.
  • Couchsailing International is an active couchsailing group to sail with.

You can find more sailing tips in the Hitchwiki

Local transport

Local public transport is worlds cheaper than taxis, especially from the airport

  • Google Maps shows city buses, metro and even boats in the route planner.
  • Public transport map is an alternative to Google Maps from Open Streetmap.
  • Wikivoyage has public transport information (Get In / Get Around) for every travel destination.
  • I hate Taxis is gathering alternatives to taxis from the airport to the city.
  • RideGuru shows you whether Uber, Grab, Lyft or another rideshare is cheaper.

Rental cars and campervans

Rental cars and campervans are worthwhile for road trips in the USA, Down Under and Europe.

  • Happy Car * is a worldwide meta-search engine for rental cars for all possible providers.
  • Car Rental Check * is another rental car meta search engine. It's worth comparing.
  • Paulcamper * is the Airbnb for campervans and motorhomes.
  • Yescapa is a worldwide alternative to Paulcamper.
  • RV Share is an alternative to Paulcamper in the USA.
  • Imoova arranges cheap motorhome transfers worldwide.
  • Transfercar arranges cheap transfers of cars and campervans for Australia, New Zealand and North America.
  • Apollocamper has inexpensive RV transfers in its program for Australia and North America.
  • In addition to carpooling, Coseats also arranges motorhome transfers in Australia.
  • Camperhero is a comparison portal for motorhome rental companies.

You can find parking spaces for motorhomes at Camper Contact for Europe and at iOverlander worldwide.

Read tips about road trips in the United States or Australia

5th night

Accommodation when traveling can be very diverse.

Guesthouses, hostels, hotels and homestays

It is best to book rooms with a meta search engine.

  • Hotelscombined * is a metasearch for hotels and hostels.
  • AllTheRooms is a metasearch for Hotels and Airbnb.
  • Hostelz is a meta search engine for hostels only.
  • booking.com * has a wide range of accommodations.
  • Agoda * has the best selection of accommodations in Asia.
  • Tripadvisor * collects countless hotel reviews.
  • Ratedrop is a metasearch for special prices in the luxury segment.

Reserving accommodation on the backpacker trails is optional and more expensive.

Rent apartments

You can rent apartments for a stay of 1 day or more

  • Airbnb is the mother of all short-term apartment rentals.
  • Tripping is a meta search engine for Wimdu, 9Flats, VRBO, Homeaway, Roomorama, and many more.
  • Craigslist has categories for sublet, shared flats, and rental apartments.
  • Facebook groups are often also available for rental offers.
  • WG Wanted in Germany is the portal for shared flats and apartments. You can also sublet there.

Overnight as a swap

You trade time for accommodation

  • Couchsurfing Swap attention and stories for the couch.
  • BeWelcome is the most promising couch surfing alternative.
  • Hippo Help is a free portal for jobs against board and lodging.
  • Grassroots Volunteering lets you stay overnight for free in return for voluntary service.
  • HelpX lists jobs against board and lodging for € 20 per 2 years.
  • Workaway lists jobs against board and lodging for € 34 per year.
  • Working Traveler offers volunteering and paid jobs worldwide
  • StayDu offers jobs, couchsurfing and homestays on one platform.
  • TalkTalkBnb offers accommodation against language skills.
  • 1 Nite Tent is couch surfing for tents and brings everyone's right to Germany.

Couchsurfing is also not free accommodation, but a trade in time for bed.

House sitting

House sitting should be called petsitting. It almost always involves taking care of pets.

Take a look at the housesitting advantages and disadvantages.

Sleep in the airport

Early morning flight, 12 hour layover or lack of money?

The golden pillow goes to Singapore Airport!

6. Meet people

Get to know fellow travelers and locals.

Meet locals, expats and travelers

The websites mainly work in large cities.

Meetups are perfect for solo travelers. No false shame!

Guided tours and courses

You can also book tours online instead of on-site.

  • Get Your Guide * offers a huge selection of guided tours and tickets.
  • Viator * has standard tours in its program, but also tours with locals.
  • Vayable * offers tours and activities with locals.
  • Klook * presents local tours in a clear and appealing way.

It is almost always cheaper if you book on site.

Tours and courses with locals

Instead of doing tours with professional organizers, you can also do tours with locals.

  • Withlocals arranges tours from locals.
  • Showaround connects you with locals who want to show you their city.
  • Bon Appetour organizes meals at local people's homes.
  • Eatwith arranges cooking courses and local dishes with locals.
  • Wingly arranges sightseeing flights with private pilots in Germany and more and more abroad.

These tours are usually less polished and therefore more authentic.

Free walking tours

Guided tours on a tip basis are mainly available in European cities.

Sometimes you have to reserve in advance. Our tour in Venice was great, the ones in Dublin and Madrid were rather boring.

Meet other travelers

Find fellow travelers, activity partners and drinking buddies

Social apps with proximity search

Find other travelers and open-minded locals in your area

  • Couchsurfing Hangouts Call out Hangouts.
  • Travello is a social app for travelers only.
  • Tourbar has many search functions and features in the app.
  • Tourlina is for women only - some men abuse social apps for dating.
  • Backpackr is specially designed for backpackers and adventure travelers.
  • Wandure is looking for other people interested in organized tours.
  • Party With finds party-loving people for nightlife and parties.
  • Hellopal focuses on language exchange and language learning features.
  • WeChat is the all in one app for the Chinese.

Dating for travelers

Dating while traveling is easier with these dating sites

  • Miss Travel is a dating site for travelers and paid for men.
  • Nomad Soulmates is a partner exchange for digital nomads.
  • Tinder works worldwide and is widely used.
  • Bumble is the most popular alternative to Tinder.
  • Tantan is the Chinese version of Tinder and is popular in Asia.

learn languages

If you want to learn more than “thank you” and “hello” beforehand or on the go

Honestly, it was all pointless to me. I only learned Spanish on site in Bolivia.

Working abroad

Find longer-term jobs to make money abroad

Work and travel visas usually take several months in advance.

7. Equipment

Here you will find everything you should get for a trip.

Free credit cards for travelers

There are currently five credit cards with no fees for withdrawing and paying worldwide money:

  1. Santander 1Plus * is one credit-Card of VISA without checking account. Santander is the only bank to reimburse third-party fees at ATMs, but has a daily limit of € 300.
  2. DKB Cash * is one Batch-Card of VISA with current account. You need € 700 per month to avoid fees.
  3. Norisbank Top Giro is one Debit-Card of Mastercard with current account.
  4. Barclaycard * is one credit-Card of VISA without checking account.
  5. Advanzia gebuehrenfrei.com * is one credit-Card of Mastercard without checking account. When withdrawing money, you have to settle immediately, otherwise the interest rates will be high. When paying, you don't have to settle until 6 weeks later.

All 5 credit cards worldwide have 0% fees for withdrawals and 0% fees for payments.They all have favorable exchange rates and no foreign currency fees or conversion fees.

More information about toll-free credit cards

Foreign health insurance

The most sensible travel insurance is a foreign health insurance.

  1. For longer trips, STA Travel * offers Allianz international health insurance for € 1.20 per day with a term of up to five years. STA Travel is my personal choice for world travel and backpacking.
  2. Hanse Merkur * is a popular international health insurance for one year or less. For more than a year, STA Travel is much more attractive.
  3. True Traveler * can also be taken out after the start of the journey. It's a good option for an extension on the go or for short stays in the US / Canada. Extreme sports are covered as well as other additional services especially for backpackers.
  4. Helden is not a health insurance, but an inexpensive worldwide liability insurance.

Read the detailed comparison of 50 international health insurances.

camera

A smartphone is enough for many travelers, you too?

  1. Canon Powershot G7X II * is the best all-round 1 ″ professional compact camera with a light output of 173% and a weight of 319g for around 500 €.
  2. Canon Powershot G9X II * is the smallest 1 ″ professional compact camera with a light output of 91% and a weight of 206g for around € 400.
  3. Panasonic Lumix LX100 II ** is the highest quality professional compact camera with a light output of 247% and 392g weight for approx. 800 €.

More information on professional compacts and travel cameras.

Shop before the trip

You have to buy your backpack somewhere:

  • amazon * In the “everything store” there is nothing that does not exist
  • Decathlon * is an affordable outdoor outfitter with backpacks, clothing and travel accessories.
  • Bergfreunde * is a well-equipped outdoor outfitter.
  • eBay, because it is also used.
  • Medicine Fox is a cheap online pharmacy for help when traveling.
  • DM drugstore has small travel packs for toothpaste, shampoo, etc.

Also check out my No Bullshit hand luggage packing list

Shopping on the go

In many developing countries there is no amazon, ebay or specialist equipment supplier.

  • Lazada is an amazon clone for Asia, e.g. in Thailand.
  • Craigslist With luck, someone is selling what you're looking for
  • Planet Express is a shipping relay service that sends items purchased in the US to all sorts of countries.
  • Piggybee is a delivery service that arranges for air travelers to take away items.

You can bring along travelers via your own social network.

8. Digital

Digital equipment regardless of whether it is apps, travel photography or the Internet

Mobile Internet

Roaming packages are expensive. You can often buy a local prepaid SIM card with a data tariff at the airport.

  • Prepaid SIM Wiki collects prepaid data tariffs in many countries around the world.
  • Simly Store * delivers international prepaid SIMs conveniently to your home for many countries around the world.
  • ChatSim is a SIM card with free WhatsApp usage worldwide for 10 euros a year.
  • Sleeping in Airports gives valuable tips on WiFi access at airports around the world.
  • Wifox shows Wifi passwords at airports worldwide, also as an app
  • WeFi is an app for freely accessible WiFi hotspots for Win, Mac, Android, iPhone, iPad.
  • Wifi Map searches for the nearest Wifi hotspot including password, if known.
  • Technitium changes the MAC address of the network card. So you can register again and again for the 30 minute test access.

Travel apps

Cool apps for travelers

  • Kiwix lets you use Wikivoyage offline on your laptop and smartphone. Must have!
  • Triposo Travel Guide uses offline information from Wikivoyage and maps for metro, trains, etc.
  • Google Translate App is an offline translation app.
  • Maps.me is the most popular free offline map.
  • Here Wego is another free offline map with better public transport.
  • Google Maps App allows you to download some maps for offline use.
  • Wikiloc has a collection of GPS data for hiking, cycling, etc.
  • XE Currency App converts all possible currency rates.
  • Basetrip shows important information for destinations, from vaccinations to power plugs.
  • Accuweather App predicts the weather worldwide.
  • Wikitude uses data from Wikipedia for an augmented reality app.
  • Pixlr Express is an image editing app for smartphones.
  • Travel Spend is a freemium app for travel expenses
  • external hard drive*
  • Backblaze * offers unlimited storage for $ 5 USD a month
  • Amazon Prime * offers 5 GB for all data and unlimited storage space for image files (including RAW) for EUR 8 per month or EUR 69 per year.
  • Google Photos offers unlimited storage for JPEG files and videos for free.
  • Google Drive gives you 15 GB for free.
  • Box gives you 10 GB for free.
  • Telekom Magenta Cloud gives you 10 GB for free.
  • Microsoft OneDrive gives you 5 GB for free.
  • Dropbox * gives you 2 GB for free.

Photo software

Free photo software for travelers

  • The Photographer’s Ephemeris tells you when and where at your location the sun and moon rise and set, it’s also available as an app, but for a fee.
  • Aurorasaurus predicts auroras (northern lights).
  • Microsoft ICE (Win) is the easiest and by far the fastest panorama developer.
  • Hugin is a panorama developer with many setting options.
  • Photomatix Pro * is the best and most natural developer for high dynamic range images.
  • Irfanview is a fast image management and batch editing program.
  • Gimp is a very powerful freeware program for image editing
  • Pixlr X is image processing software in the cloud, e.g. for Internet cafés.

For useful smartphone photo apps, check out Too Many Adapters

Surf the net

Help for surfing the net worldwide.

  • Feedly is the most popular RSS feed reader.
  • Pocket saves articles for future reference.
  • Pocket2Kindle automatically sends articles stored in Pocket to Kindle.
  • Unlimited Virtual Private Network helps against country blocks and firewalls, $ 20 USD per 3 years.
  • Proxfree lets you access blocked pages in some countries, such as Facebook in Vietnam / China.
  • Google DNS and OpenDNS are sometimes enough to bypass very light blocks.
  • uBlock is one of the fastest ad blockers. That saves a lot of bandwidth and nerves.
  • delicious is a cloud bookmarking service in and content curation network.

9. Travel media

Travel planning on the Internet

Blog aggregators

Aggregators with readable travel articles from travel blogs and other media

  • Reddit Travel is a subreddit with lots of readers, discussions, content and other subreddits
  • Outbounding is a well-cured travel aggregator with high demands on content
  • Travelistly is a stylish travel aggregator from the makers of Bucketlistly
  • Worldtravelist is another travel aggregator that is sorted by travel country

Podcasts

Travel podcasts worth listening to

  • Off The Path is a podcast featuring interviews with individual travelers.
  • South Traveler is a podcast about Latin America.
  • Weltwach is not a travel podcast, but reports on particularly blatant adventures.
  • Airmail Podcast is a podcast with an interviewee for each destination country.
  • The long-distance call is a series of podcasts with a world traveler who, as it were, calls home by long-distance and tells the story.

Find more podcast and MOOC recommendations.

Travel films

Films about traveling with release year, travel destination and IMDB rating:

  • Far * (2017) worldIMDB 8.4
  • The Fall * (2006) IndiaIMDB 7.9
  • Up in the Air * (2009) United StatesIMDB 7.5
  • Outsourced TV Series * (2010) MumbaiIMDB 7.5
  • Outsourced feature film * (2006) MumbaiIMDB 7.1
  • Lost in Translation * (2003) TokyoIMDB 7.8
  • Vicky Cristina Barcelona * (2008) BarcelonaIMDB 7.2
  • Qué tan lejos * (2006) EcuadorIMDB 7.1
  • Before Sunrise * (1995) ViennaIMDB 8.1
  • Before Sunset * (2004) ParisIMDB 8.1
  • Before Midnight * (2013) GreeceIMDB 8.0
  • A Map for Saturday (2007) worldIMDB 8.1
  • Into the Wild * (2007) CanadaIMDB 8.2
  • The Motorcycle Diaries * (2004) Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, PeruIMDB 7.8
  • Y Tu Mama Tambien * (2001) MexicoIMDB 7.7
  • Hotel Very Welcome * (2007) India & ThailandIMDB 6.4
  • Best Exotic Marigold Hotel * (2011) JaipurIMDB 7.3
  • Seven Years in Tibet * (1997) Tibet IMDB 7.0
  • The Darjeeling Limited * (2007) IndiaIMDB 7.2
  • In July * (2000) TurkeyIMDB 7.8
  • Bizarre Foods TV Series * (2006-) worldIMDB 8.2
  • Booze Traveler (2014-) worldIMDB 8.9
  • Same Same But Different * (2009) CambodiaIMDB 6.8
  • The Beach * (2000) ThailandIMDB 6.6

Books

Books about traveling with year of publication, travel destination and Goodreads rating:

  • Around the world with little money * (2019) world Goodreads N / A
  • From happiness to travel * (2019) world Goodreads N / A
  • Travel Episodes Edited Volumes * (2016-2018) world Goodreads 3.96
  • Around the world with 50 euros * (2018) world Goodreads 3.86
  • The Global Nomad * (2004) world Goodreads 4.5
  • Vagabonding * (2002) worldGoodreads 3.89
  • Siddhartha * (1922) IndiaGoodreads 3.95
  • Narcissus and Goldmund * (1930) Germany Goodreads 4.16
  • Shantaram * (2003) MumbaiGoodreads 4.24
  • 34 days, 33 nights * (2006) France, Germany Goodreads 4.19
  • The Art of Travel * (2002) Goodreads 3.81
  • Getting Stoned with Savages * (2006) Vanuatu, FijiGoodreads 3.86
  • More than footprints? (2013) South East Asia Goodreads 5.0
  • Many Ways to Change your Mind (1995) India Goodreads 4.0

There is more travel literature in the meta list of the 100 best travel books at worldhum.

Academic papers and theses

Interesting scientific work on backpacking

Congratulations, that was 400+ links, hacks, tools, apps, and resources!

What helpful websites and resources are missing?

Contribution history:
04.03.2016: First published with 250 tools
01.04.2018: Updated and sorted out on 350 tools
14.03.2019: Completely updated and compressed to 427 tools

The travel camera for my photos is a Canon professional compact *

* Affiliate advertising link: If my information helps you, please use it to buy - nothing extra!