This page includes links to the best travel brands, products and services that I use when planning my own trips. Many of these companies I have used for many years. You can also find curated packing, travel accessories and gear lists in my shop.
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I use Skyscanner for the ability to compare flight times and connections as well as cost. If you have flexibility with your dates Skyscanner is invaluable as you can compare prices for different dates and routes.
CheapOair is best for deals on first and business class travel.
I book all of our hotels through booking.com.
I find the hotel selections excellent and free cancellation is available on most of their bookings.
Check out reviews of restaurants, hotels, and tours on Trip Advisor. Although I don’t find their website the easiest to use we do check out restaurants on Trip Advisor wherever we go!
Anti-theft bags and backpacks
These are the essential items of travel kit that I always take with me.
I have a number of Travelon and Pacsafe bags and would NEVER travel without them.
After a trip to Paris when thieves attempted to steal from my backpack (unsuccessfully), the bags have paid for themselves.
I love books but traveling with a bag full of books is not practical. I always take my Kindle when I travel.
The ability to be able to read in full sunlight is for me one of the best things about having a Kindle. That and the luggage space it saves!
I have a Transferwise account and card which I use as well as my normal credit cards when I am traveling. The Transferwise card works like a debit card and can be loaded up with your home currency and converted into whichever currency you need when required.
It avoids the charges you would incur using credit cards or your normal bank debit card and is an excellent way to handle spending money when traveling.
The exchange rate is excellent and I recently held Australian $$’s, Hong Kong $$’s and UK ££’s on my card. At the end of my trip I was able to transfer any unused currency back into my bank account.
There are many excellent brands of guide book on the market and everyone has their favourite! Whether you are a fan of Rick Steves for Europe, Lonely Planet, Rough Guides ot DK Eyewitness you will find them all on Amazon.
Get Your Guide
For day trips and city guides I recommend Get Your Guide. They have more than 30,000 activities available in 7500 destinations so are sure to have something you will want to do.
Formally Walks of Italy this is the tour company for small group tours of European destinations including Italy, France, and the UK.
Specialising on unique experiences, special access, small groups and exceptional guides Take Walks offer online experiences as well as real life tours.
Intrepid organise small group tours with a difference. They focus on responsible travel experiences and work with communities so that travellers can connect with local people.
If sustainability and responsible travel are high on your agenda then Intrepid is the company to choose.
TourRadar is an online marketplace where you can compare and book multi-day tours from some of the best tour operators in the world.
Trafalgar as a well respected and multi awarded travel brand focussing on group tours around the world.
Great Rail Journeys
I know I am recommending another website but this is really the BEST site for planning your train travel anywhere in the world. This is the first place I turn when thinking about logistics when we travel by train.
We do occasionally hire cars if we can’t depend on trains and/or other public transport. Sometimes a road trip is the only way to see some destinations. We recommend either Rental Cars ot Auto Europe Car Rentals
Can’t afford Travel Insurance? Don’t go on holiday. We never travel without insurance – it can be pricy as you get older but for us the peace of mind it gives us makes it worth every penny.
We recommend World Nomads for all your travel insurance needs