Having the right digital travel resources will give you the edge you need for better travel. This page is not the ultimate list for the support you might use but use it as a guide to get you thinking about what apps and websites you may need when you travel.
Some apps might be ones you use already, like Twitter, it was something I thought politicians and celebrities used to do their things, but I find it as a resource for companies to use to let people know of problems.
Digital Surface Travel Resources
Amtrak:App and Website
Amtrak has over 500 destinations, by train and connecting services, and Amtrak is the primary way I travel. If you have never about travel by rail, give it a try. Also, check out my guides on riding Amtrak.
Amtrak has both a mobile and regular website plus apps for the major platforms. Amtrak also has an Amtrak Alerts Twitter account that is handy for finding out what is going on.
AMsnag: Website Only
This site may not work while Amtrak has the tri-weekly train, but can be worth a try.
AMsnag is a helpful site for finding the cheapest Amtrak tickets based on dates and accommodations. This site will display up to 30 days of fares at one glance. Plus, you can filter results found by routes (if there is more than one) and accommodation or ticket class you need.
Sidenote: AMsnag does have a learning curve, and you need 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.
Seat61.com: Website Only
If you are thinking of riding the rails overseas, this site can help you out.
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. This site is starting to include some flights.
Travel Resources: Get The Apps
I would suggest downloading the app for the carrier that you are taking, such as Amtrak, Greyhound, Southwest, and even local transit. The other app is the TSA, especially if you are new to flying. You can always delete these apps later if you no longer need them and could use the space.
Travel Resources For Flying
Google Flights: Website Only
Google Flights is an excellent resource for finding flight deals and allows you to view flight information from several airports at once.
If you have a few airports in your area, this site can give you help to save money and possibly provide you with flexibility.
FlightAware: Website and App
Often this app will give you more information about your flight and the plane than the airline can.
The FlightAware app allows you to follow your plane, so if you are waiting for an aircraft. This app will tell you where it is coming from, and you can track its progress.
Another fun activity you can do with this app is to find out what plane is above you when you look in the sky.
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 still use this app to know what I can pack in my carry-on, and this app helps to find the information I need quickly and efficiently.
Luggage and travel gear resource suggestions
Tortuga is an independent travel backpack company, and I have been using one of there bags for years. If you are looking for a single bag travel backpack, I recommend this company.
Tortuga backpacks founders and staff are travelers, so they know what travelers need and want.
Not a luggage company, but Chase gives honest bag reviews and other travel gear suggestions.
This site is a useful guide for purchasing your next travel bag and accessory. There is some adult language on his videos, but he has excellent “unboxing” videos with honest reviews.
This site a great place to get wheeled luggage and travel accessories. Ebags carries about everything that you need for traveling. I have purchased several bags for myself and others from them. Depending on what you are looking for in life, Ebags my be an excellent resource for you.
Travel Resources: Podcast
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! My list of some of my top podcasts is here, but here are a few great podcasts for travelers.
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.
Travelogue is a roundtable-style podcast discussion about 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.
This podcast is 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, Mark informs us that 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.
Travel Resources: 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.
Other Travel Recourse Apps
I use Google Maps a lot when I am working on booking trips to find out how to get around. This app can give you both visual and audio instructions to get to your destinations plus can be used to see is what is around the area you are at or going to see.
This app gives you directions for driving, walking, biking, public transport, and rideshares.
Side note: I own an iPhone X and found myself using Apple Maps more often for driving, especially more extended trips, because of its accessibility on the lock screen. Apple Maps works best if you are using it as you go but not the best tool for planning trips, and that is where Google Maps shines better.
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!
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!