Beginning Travel Resources
Do you want to travel but don’t know where to start? If you are a new traveler, a smartphone is valuable, too, as long as you know how to use it and comfortable with the phone. If you have one smartphone, the next question becomes what apps do you need. This page will help you find the Beginning Travel Resources to get you started on your first or next adventure.
This page is by no means the ultimate list for all things travel, but they are sites I find helpful and often use. Use these suggestions are building blocks for your travel toolbox.
One resource that I use found handy is Twitter, it wasn’t a resource that I used much till lately, but many companies are using Twitter to let people know of problems.
Beginning Travel Resources: Planning Tools
The following helpful Apps and Websites For Travel are available as websites and apps but for Google Flights.
Google Maps (App and Website)
Google Maps App is a useful tool for planning trips because it can help plan surface travel and seeing what is around your destination. Many people use Google Maps for driving and do not know that it also helps with public transport, Amtrak, and bus information as well.
For example, I can enter the address to a train station and then type hotel. The app will tell me what hotels are around and the distance between the two points. Additionally, the app will inform me if public transportation is available, approximate rideshare cost, or how far to walk.
Google Flights (Website only)
Not am app (sadly), but Google Flights is an excellent resource for finding the best deals for air travel. Google flights allow you to view flight choices from several airports at once. For example, Milwaukee Mitchell (MKE) and Midway (MDW) are two airports I use the most, and if I want to return to San Francisco, I can check prices and schedules for both airports with one search. Be aware that most of the price listest are in basic economy.
If you have flexibility with a trip, this site is a time saver.
Wanderu: Website and App
Wanderu is a resource for people looking to book surface journeys (instead of flying). This site can help plan out a route using trains and buses or even the combination of the two using transportation sources that you may not have known existed.
Transit is a new app for me; this app connects all forms of transit in one spot. The Transit App helps people get from point A to point B by mixing rideshares and public transportation. This app could save you money by avoiding long rideshare rides.
Apps For Transportation Services You Use
For me, as an example, the apps that fit this category include Amtrak, Southwest, Delta, South Shore Line, Venture (Chicago CTA and Metra), and other carriers. For planning, purposes (and occasionally booking), I installed many of these apps on both my phone and iPad.
Most of the bookings I do with these apps. I also can check-in (on airlines), more accessible, and a quicker what to look up cost if you have a crazy idea for a trip
I know for some this suggestion is a “no kidding and useless point,” but for others, this could be a helpful trip.
FlightAware: Website and App
This app can give you more information about your flight and your plane than the airline can.
The FlightAware app can inform you if your aircraft is waiting for you the airport you are at or if it’s en route, or what airport is it still at instead of being at your airport.
The TSA: Website and App
For those who fly often, the TSA website should be in your favorites or download the app. The TSA informs both new and experienced travelers what you can carry on the plane or what you need to pack in a checked suitcase.
I was not a fan of Twitter for years, but I found it is an excellent tool for many travelers. You never have to tweet and if you can use the app when you trave and never touch it when you aren’t. It is possible to block people that you do not like, such as political figures or whomever else.
Why get a Twitter account? Many transportation companies (Amtrak, Southwest, local transportation such as Metra) will tweet out delays and also can be a way to get ahold of the carrier. You can also follow fellow travelers such as me!
Other Train Resources
AMsnag: Website Only
AMsnag is a helpful site to find the cheapest Amtrak tickets based on dates and accommodations. This site can display up to 30 days of fares at one glance, plus allowing you to filter the results based routes (if there is more than one) and what accommodation you need. If there is more than one route available, you can filter everything to just what you want to see.
Sidenote: AMsnag does have a learning curve for people starting, and you do need to know the three-letter station codes for stations you are using. Once you get the hang of the site and what Amtrak offers, it will quickly become a handy site for picking dates for a trip based on cost if you are flexible or in the planning stage.
Audio Travel Resources
Podcasts can be a useful travel resource; with a wide variety of topics from inspirations to helping you plan your next adventure, a podcast can change your world or world view!
Give them a try; I find them useful.
EPOP is the first travel podcast that I listened to, and I still am subscribed. EPOP offers several insightful podcasts called “Destination Diaries,” discussing cities and countries. This podcast also covers travel tips and stories. I bought my Tortuga backpack based on their recommendation. Even if you are not a world traveler, you can benefit from a listen and the archives.
Zero to Travel is an excellent complement to EPOP. The guy’s team up on another podcast called Location Indie, and it’s about location independence.
I have applied tips I learned from Jason on this podcast to improve my travels. His passion for travel is infectious and can brighten your day if you are down. I sometimes listen to this podcast just for his enthusiasm, even if the topic is irrelevant.
This roundtable-style podcast discussion on all things relating to travel.
The podcast shows a realistic approach to travel sharing both highlights and warts of the subject with a practical perspective to round both out. Additionally, they tell the real stories of people working in the industry. They are no longer producing new podcasts, but the archives are handy.
If New Orleans is on your horizon, this is a must-listen podcast. Mark has a passion for his city and loves to share his knowledge. If you are on the fence about visiting New Orleans, after a few podcasts, you’ll be booking a trip to the Cresent City.
Most people know about Bourbon Street, but as the title implies, there is so more to this city than just one street or, for that matter, more than only the French Quarter.
Mark bi-weekly podcasts cover history, current events of the city and greater area, including places to go and things to see, and what and where to eat and drink.
For more great podcast suggestions, check out Kev’s Favorite Podcast.
Travel Resources on YouTube
There are certainly a lot more than I have listed, but here below is a list of people that I have followed and learned from over the years. Use them as a starting point to find the vloggers that are right for you.
“Nadine” covers a variety of topics on travel. I enjoy learning her thoughts. Her approach is helpful for the ladies, and she knows how to pack for the ladies better than I do.
The brothers’ have some cool travel Vlogs that I have enjoyed. They have an excellent video on suggestions on what to pack, what to buy as a traveler. They also cover where to travel to as a world traveler.
Mark offers a great series of vlogs, including locations and helpful travel information, including what to do and what not to do as you see other countries. He has many great videos on travel scams and how to be a better traveler.
Thanks for checking out my travel resource page
I hope that these travel resources can help you with your next journey. If you think I should add something or have more questions, feel free to reach out to me.
Safe travels, my friends!