Travel Services & Resources

When planning your trip. It's always good the right resources to help you enjoy travel. I put together a list of all the resources and travel services I personally to help you along the way. 

Before I stared any of my traveling I use a personal travel checklist to make sure I have guaranteed safe travels.  Especially when planning and overseas travel adventure.  Because I enjoy helping others save money when traveling. You can get Instantly download my checklist when you subscribe you my monthly travel newsletter.

Consider this page as a starting point for your step by step travel hack tutorials. If you're like me, I hate reading vague instructions. While writing this, I made sure you have the right information for you to follow and use for your travels.  

Step 1: Get Your Finances In Order

The first thing anyone should do when planning a trip is making sure you have the money to travel. Assuming you know nothing about funding your travels. Lets start with with managing your bank account. 

When planning your trip let, call your bank and let them know you will be traveling for a few months. Let them know where you will be visiting and how long you will be in the area you are visiting. The reason this is important is because you do not want to be in the middle of your vacation, try to buy something to find out your bank froze your account. 

My Traveling Horror Story

When I was brand new to traveling. I made this mistake. While working as a traveling merchandiser in Southern California, Everything was going smoothly until about the 4th day when I left California to work in Arizona. I stopped at a gas station right smack in the middle of nowhere. With the nearest town being an hour away. I was on empty, so I didn't have much of an option.I pulled in then an elderly man who looked like a guy you would see in the Texas chainsaw massacre came out to fill my tank. When it was time to pay, I went inside took out my debit card and kept getting a payment declined message. I called my bank, but since it was Sunday, it was closed. With no possible way of paying for gas!

After working out an agreement, I gave him my License plate number and had him make a copy of my drivers license. He let me leave as long as I sent him the cash by mail when I got everything figured out. Thank God he was understanding! So the next day, I called my bank to get everything taken care, went to an ATM to take out $50 bucks to mail to the gas station.I was a complete idiot and don't want you making the same mistakes I did when being new to being a solo traveler. 

With that traveling horror story in your mind. It always a smart idea to let your bank know you will be traveling. As well as setting up a separate travelers bank or in other words,  prepaid cards and getting a free bitcoin wallet. 

Prepaid Cards

I understand that most people aren't very interested in opening a totally separate bank account or getting a new credit just for the sake of traveling. Though they are an important aspect when traveling. Prepaid Cards are the most hassle free way of avoiding international and certain transactions fees. I use 3 different prepaid cards. 

Western Union NetSpend is probably the most known and reliable way to transfer money from your main bank account. They offer a few rewards that you can use to go towards your travels.  One of which is getting free $20 dollars just for accepting an invite from a current Western Union Member. Which I am. 

Step 2: Setting Up Your Travel Rewards Programs

Now that you have your money affairs in order it's time to learn how to get free flights and hotel stays through travel rewards programs. There are thousands of rewards programs which are hard to keep track of. We'll that used to be the case until I found award wallet.  This is by far the most valuable free traveling resource anyone can use.   This is the most time consuming thing to get set up. But once you do, you'll will be ready to start getting free travel points without even thinking about it.  

When you get set up with your account simply follow the tabs from left to right. Signing up for as many of the programs as possible.  The way this works is when you sign up for one of the airline frequent flyer programs, you'll be using your debit card or prepaid card to get points everywhere you shop, eat, get gas or what ever. You don't have to change your shopping habits or do anything out of the ordinary. When you do this, you'll be stacking up your frequent flyer miles without thinking about it. Some of the programs require you to have a VISA, American Express which is why I had you get set up with the prepaid cards in step 1.

Hopefully by now, you're starting to see how easy planning a trip really is.  

Step 3: Finding Travel Insurance Companies

When planning your trip. It's always good the right resources to help you enjoy travel. I put together a list of all the resources and travel services I personally to help you along the way. 

Before I stared any of my traveling I use a personal checklist to make sure I have guaranteed safe travels.  Especially when planning and overseas travel adventure. This is where travel insurance comes in. 

In my article, Discovering Travelers Insurance in 4 Easy steps I go into depth about what to look for in an insurance provider.  I personally use the two best rated travel insurance policies. The reason why is I like to play it safe. In other words, I treat them as primary and secondary. Since I'm constantly on the road and visiting different countries its nice to know that I have international healthcare no matter where I visit. 

Step 4: Booking Your Flight

Booking your flight is probably the most fun aspect when I comes to planning a trip. If you have been following along and did the steps recommended. You won't have to be paying for your flights. Instead it's like throwing a dart at a map, and where it lands, that's your next place to visit, unless it lands in the middle of the ocean. 

When booking your flight. Don't buy round trip tickets and stay away from direct flights.  Both are a waste of money.  Instead book a one way flight to your destination then search for the cheapest price.  If you can book a flight at least 2 weeks in advance on a Tuesday you will get the lowest price.  For example,  I wanted to fly to Los Angeles from saint Louis, which cost me only $85!

The flight had one 6 hour stop in Denver, Which was more or less a mini vacation. Since I knew I had time to kill. I got around by using Uber then checked out the different shops in the area. I just made sure I got back to the airport within an hour before the plane arrived to take me to Los Angeles. 

Step 5: Locating Your Transportation Services

If you're not a fan of Uber or lift, there are plenty of other affordable car rental services to choose from.  As a frugal traveler, I'm big on not spending more than I have to. When looking for a car rental I look for the lowest price guarantee car rental service. If they don't offer this, I don't waste my time on them. 

This is much like how hotels compete. Instead of choosing a hotel, you're choosing a car. Also as a perk, if you set up an award program for this, you will not have to pay out of pocket for your car rental.  When traveling, everything revolves around your awards programs. Would you rather pay $30 dollars a day on a car rental or spend you free awards points to go towards your transportation? If you're sane, you'd go with the free awards points to find a car rental that will get you to where you will be staying. 

Step 6: Choosing your hotel, Vacation Resort or Vacation Home

Once you are ready to find cheap hotels, exclusive resorts, or vacation homes for rent. There are endless ways to save money on these. The option I'm partial to is finding vacation homes for rent.  As a solo traveler who is constantly going to new places. It's nice to have a place to myself.  Sites like Airbnb, and homeaway are great for this.  The reason why I like Airbnb is because you can't beat the prices offered on there. I've stayed in quiet a few mansions for $30 a night and different hostels for $10 a night. 

Since I'm mainly working where I'm staying, I treat is as if I were looking for an apartment, such as using crime maps for the area. I don't want to park my car somewhere with a high theft rate, do you?  This also helps with finding nearby guided tours and various tourism packages by putting close to everything you are interested in. 

Step 7: Finding Guided Tours (optional)

Assuming you are like most people who travel as tourists, the best option is getting discounted resort packages, Such as going to the most popular place in the world, Disney World.  If you play your cards right with using your awards programs. You can get free tickets to Disney World and other overly expensive attractions.  

With using everything I mentioned in this article. I have been to all sorts of different places, while experience the best they have to offer for very little money out of pocket expenses.

The traveling life style does requiring a different mindset. With me, I view the world as my home. All that is preventing you from living as you truly desire is how you think.  Once you learn how to find and resources around you. You're new life as a traveler is simply just a click away.