It’s a big world out there.
Hotels, Hostels or Apartments?
Hotels: Finding the right hotels can be a challenge, but I use a few tips & tricks to find cool places to stay. I usually start by checking out what’s listed on Tablet Hotels, TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Lists and Design Hotels. I also sometimes use the Hotel Tonight app for last-minute bookings. I tend to book hotels either directly or through either Booking.com or Agoda.com. Both are popular and easy-to-use websites for narrowing down searches and sorting by location or price. HotelsCombined.co.uk is a useful search site for comparing prices.
Hostels: Hostelworld and Hostelbookers are the two main players here, but if you want to discover some cool indie hostels, try Gomio.com. I also like the search functions from Hostelsclub which includes over 28,000 listings. Hostelscentral includes search filters for gay-friendly, eco-friendly and design hostels.
Apartments: The best options are going to be found on AirBNB.com. Other apartment-rental options include HomeAway and GoWithOh while Roomorama offers professionally-managed vacation rentals. One company I absolutely would *not* recommend is Wimdu.
Read my entire collection of accommodation reviews.
Europe: Unfortunately I’m not much of a fan of the airlines in Germany, but thankfully Europe serves up plenty of budget options. EasyJet and Vueling are more often than not my preferred budget options.
North America: My preferred airline has (and probably always will be) American Airlines. That’s because I’ve got a bit of a family history with them and I’ve been collecting AAdvantage miles since I was 16.
Booking: I use Dohop, Expedia, Skyscanner and Google Flights to find airfares but generally prefer to book directly through the airline rather than third-parties. That usually ensures I get the most air miles as possible.
Twitter for Travelers
Twitter has long-been one of my favorite secret tools for traveling. Sometimes simply by posting a question and tweeting @ the right Twitterers, you can get some really useful tips. For example, anyone who tweets at me with a destination question, if I can help, I’ll happily reply in 140 characters or less! And if you’re looking for useful travel Twitter lists, try the following:
Foursquare for Travelers
My #1 recommended travel app is Foursquare. It’s easily the most useful app for finding nearby restaurants and things to do. And no: you don’t have to share your location with everyone in order to reap the full benefits of the app. Simply open the app once you’ve checked into your hotel and use it to see what’s nearby. If you are a regular user like myself, you’ll find it’s pretty good at recommending places.
My Foursquare travel guides: Berlin | Cologne | Tel Aviv | Jerusalem | Amsterdam | London | East London | Edinburgh | Budapest | Helsinki | Barcelona | Seville | Brussels | Antwerp | Rome | Toronto | Boston | Austin | More…
Recommended Travel Blogs
What I’m reading regularly changes, but below are a handful of some of my favorite travel blogs. There are lots of other great websites for travel inspiration as well, but these are the personal blogs I find interesting and/or informative.
Moving Postcard | Cheryl Howard | Heart Rome | Bruised Passports | Young Adventuress | D Travels Round | That Gay Backpacker | Fly Brother | Wonderful Wanderings | Amsterdam Foodie | Backpack with Brock | Nomadic Matt | Leave Your Daily Hell | More…
Gay Travel Resources
For LGBT travelers and gay backpackers, there is a lot of information out on the web. Unfortunately much of it is outdated, but below are some useful websites and blogs.
Stay tuned for additional gay travel tips, including the best apps and tips on how to meet other gay backpackers in future blog posts.
While I increasingly do my travel research online, sometimes it’s still useful to have a guidebook. And even still more useful is a printed & bound guidebook rather than one of those new-fangled apps for your iPhone. Below are some of my favorite guidebook brands but knowing which guidebooks are the best is really a difficult art. It’s important to know who the author of the book is and go from there.
My best guidebook tip? Visit a bookstore before you leave on your holiday and pick up a few different brands. Quickly thumb through them and read the descriptions for their mid-range hotels. Check the variety and if there’s any overlap, compare the writing to see which style you prefer.
Determining what to bring on a holiday can be rather challenging. And everyone travels differently, so really you have to determine for yourself what works best. Do you want to escape reality for the week? Leave behind your computer. Do you want to go clubbing every night? Make sure you bring extra shoes. Is it a beach holiday, a city break, an adventure trip? Know what’s needed and make sure you know the weather beforehand! Read the full travel fashion archives here.
- What to Pack when Studying Abroad
- Travel Fashion Tips: How to Look Good & Pack Light
- Hipster Fashion for Indie Travelers
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