Travel resources are always helpful
Some people have asked about the resources that I use, so I thought I would share some of my travel resources with you.
Surface travel resources
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 to traveling on Amtrak.
Amtrak has both a mobile and regular website plus apps for the major platforms.
AMsnag is a helpful site to find the cheapest Amtrak tickets based on date 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.
If you are thinking of riding the rails overseas, this site can help you out.
This site or app 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.
Other surface travel presence suggestions
I would suggest that you download the app for the carrier that you are taking such as Amtrak, Greyhound, and even local transit.
I ride Chicago public transportation a lot, so I have the Ventra App, plus Metra On TIme app to help me plan my trip faster, buy tickets, and keep an eye on how much money is on my tap cards.
Google Flights is an excellent resource to find the best deals for air travel. This site allows you to view flight information from several airports at once.
For example, Milwaukee Mitchell (MKE) and Midway (MDW) are the airports I use the most, and if I want to return to San Francisco, I can check prices and schedules with just one search from both airports at the same time.
So, if you have flexibility with your trips, this site is a time saver.
This app can give you more information about your plane than the airline can. The FlightAware app can inform you if your aircraft is waiting for you at your airport, is it en route, or what airport is it still at instead of being at your airport.
This app is a must for both new and experienced travelers because it tells what you can carry on the plane or what you need to pack in a checked suitcase. The app (or website) can also help keep you up to date and help you find the answered pretty quickly and quickly.
The app for the airline you are flying with
When you are flying, download the app of the carrier that you are using, even if it is just for the trip and you delete it off your phone after your journey.
Airline apps make it easy to check into your flight, often show gate information, updates, and has the electronic boarding pass that you can use to get through the TSA and boarding your plane. Additionally, it can make the check-in possesses more effect.
Luggage and travel gear resource suggestions
This site a great place to get wheeled luggage and travel accessories. Ebags carries about everything that you need for traveling. They do not tend to sell gear from indepnedent companies, but they are worth a look.
Well they have everything plus everything you didn’t know you needed
Tortuga is an independent travel backpack company that made my main bag. If you are looking for a single bag travel backpack, I recommend this company.
Tortuga no longer makes my bag because they continually update their product lines. 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.
Podcasts can be useful travel resources; they can give you inspirations and help you plan your next adventure!
To listen to podcasts, use a podcast app on your phone/tablet, either a built-in app or download apps such as Podbean, or off of the websites on your PC.
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, and I am happy with that suggestion!
Zero to Travel is an excellent compliment to EPOP. The guy’s team up on another podcast called Location Indie, and it’s about location independence. I have applied tips that I received from Jason on this podcast to improve my travels. His passion for travel is infectious and can brighten your day if you are down.
This podcast is a roundtable group discussion on all things relating to travel. The podcast has a realistic approach to travel sharing both highlights and warts of the subject while having 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, you must listen to this podcast. Mark has a passion for his city and loves to share his knowledge. If you are not interested in visiting New Orleans, you will be by the time your done listing to his shows.
Most people know about Bourbon Street, but Mark shares that there is so more to this city than just one street. Mark bi-weekly podcasts cover history, current events of the city and greater area, places to go, things to see, and what and where to eat.
For more great podcast suggestions, check out more of 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 you can use as a starting point to find the right one for you.
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.
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.
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!