The Common Wanderer

our travel resources

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Looking to plan your perfect long-term trip? Simply after a quick weekend getaway? Feeling daunted by the whole process?

You’ve come to the right place! 

Combining our knowledge and expertise gained from years travelling the world, we’ve rounded up all the products and services we use on a regular basis to plan our own adventures with.

Here, you’ll find everything you need to have the best time possible, wherever it is you’re going.

Happy Travels!


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Transport

SKYSCANNER

Whenever we’re planning to visit somewhere new the first thing we do is check Skyscanner for cheap flights.

The most efficient and easy to use flight search engine, Skyscanner will search all airlines, including budget airlines, to get you the cheapest available airfare. Just pop in your date, your destination (you can even choose multi-city) and let Skyscanner do all the bargain-hunting for you.

Even better, if you don't have a set destination in mind already but just want some cheap flights, you can select "Everywhere" in the destination field, and Skyscanner will bring up all the results for the cheapest worldwide airfares from your point of origin. 

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AGODA

Agoda is another flight search aggregator, and functions in a similar way to Skyscanner.

The difference with Agoda is that it's also a hotels aggregrator, which is super useful if you want to search both flights and hotels on the one website. 


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Accommodation

From campervans to airbnb, swanky hotels to glamping tents, these are the sites we use to find a comfy place to rest our heads at night

AIRBNB

We were a little late to the AirBnB party, only joining in February 2016. Now we’re fully converted, and have stayed in houses all over the world, from Galle to Barcelona, and Bangkok to Porto.  

We love it because it’s generally cheaper than hotels (and even hostels), the options are almost endless, and most importantly, you’ll stay in a local suburb with locals, meaning you’ll be far more immersed in the city you’re visiting.

Sign up here using our exclusive discount code and you’ll receive £25/$40 off your first booking. How good is that!


HOTELS COMBINED

If you haven’t heard of Hotels Combined, it’s essentially the Skyscanner of accommodation. It compares all the top travel sites to find the best hotel deals.

It’s super easy to use; just type in your destination, dates and search. Simples.

Save on your hotel - www.hotelscombined.com


HOSTELWORLD

If we’re not staying in AirBnB’s, we’re generally staying in hostels, and we use Hostelworld to find the best hostels/cheapest hostels in our destination of choice.

Hostelworld has a huge inventory, the cheapest rates, they don’t charge a booking fee and they have reviews, which are a great way of finding out which hostel has bed bugs!


OTHERS 

Prior to our discovery of Hotels Combined, Booking.com was our go-to for any last minute hotel deals. It served us well, especially in Nepal and Sri Lanka. Agoda is another website we recommend, with the added benefit of being able to search for flights.


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Travel Insurance

WORLD NOMADS

Travel insurance is as essential to travel as buying a plane ticket, backpack or accommodation. You simply shouldn’t leave home without it.

There are heaps of travel insurance providers in the marketplace, so it pays to do your research, however we recommend World Nomads. We find they’re the best when it comes to providing a good range of cover and service, at affordable rates.

 
 

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Travel Planning

LONELY PLANET

In some ways, sifting through a brand new guidebook while planning your holiday is the best part of travel. Nothing beats the rush of excitement that rushes through your body as you read about the places you’ll explore, the food you’ll eat and the people you’ll meet. That’s why we always travel with a Lonely Planet guidebook in our rucksack.

Just remember, it’s a guide book, not a manual. Use Lonely Planet’s research to inform your travel, not to define it!

Read how you can travel like a local too:

 
 

TRIPADVISOR

If you've travelled anywhere in the last few years, we're pretty sure that TripAdvisor has factored into your planning at some point along the way. Since it began in 2000, millions of users have taken to the site to upload personal reviews of the hotels, restaurants, attractions, and flights they've used on their travels, to help guide your own travel adventures.

For us, it's been an invaluable resource when working out what to see on a tight schedule in a new city, or for trying to find the best budget accommodation (minus the bed lice). Like all reviews though, always remember to take them with a grain of salt, as they're not always verified - plus someone else's cup of tea may not be yours at all. 

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travel gear

Backpack - Check. Washbag - Check. Camera? oh s**t.

Yep, there’s heaps of essential gear you need for your travels.
Below are some of our absolute essentials for life on the road, or check out our eco-friendly travel packing guide for the essentials you need to tread lighter when you travel! 

 

BACKPACK | OSPREY FARPOINT 70

In our opinion, the Osprey Farpoint 70 is the perfect travel backpack. It features a large zipped lockable opening which allows you to pack it like a suitcase; it’s  lightweight, roomy, has an adjustable harness/hip belt, and above all has a removable daypack.


SWISS ARMY KNIFE/POCKET KNIFE

The single greatest invention ever? Perhaps not, but we totally recommend buying one as they’re pretty awesome. Use your pocket knife to cut up fruit from a market, pick that pesky but of food from your teeth, or open beer bottles for your hostel crew.


RAIN JACKET | KATHMANDU MONROVIA WATERPROOF JACKET

Without fail, you’ll get stuck somewhere in the rain, so having a rain jacket is important. The Kathmandu Monrovia jacket has kept us dry in downpours from Sri Lanka to Italy.

The benefit of the Kathmandu Monrovia jacket is that it packs down very small, so it’s easy to fit into your luggage, or daypack.


CAMERA

A few years ago, before Mark was obsessed with photography, he travelled for four months through Africa with an iPhone. Needless to say, he regrets that decision now. Don’t be like him; buy yourself a camera before you travel, even if it’s a small point and shoot.

If you can afford it, we recommend buying a mid-range DSLR for a few reasons; they’re cheaper than professional cameras, they take excellent photos in jpg or RAW, and they’re far smaller than their professional cousins. We shoot on a Sony a7rii and a Canon 5d Markiii ourselves, but if you're looking for a good entry level camera, our pick would be the Canon 80D

Otherwise, grab a point and shoot such as the Canon G7X. It’s super powerful and fits in your pocket.

Learn more about the camera gear we use when we're travelling

 
 

FIRST AID KIT

We’re going to be annoying like your parents and tell you to pack a first aid kit.

Why?

Because you never know when you’ll need it, like when Mark stepped on a sea urchin in Zanzibar and needed antiseptic cream.


BATTERY PACK/POWER BANK

Our battery pack has been our saviour on too many occasions, and has since become a staple in our day packs. It’s perfect for those long bus/train rides/flights, where you want nothing more than to shut out the noise around you and listen to a good podcast!


 
 

TRAVEL APPS

Smartphones are now an essential part of our daily life, and the little apps inside our smartphones have literally changed our lives. As a result, travel far easier than it used to be; now, you’re able to access your bank balance in the middle of Namibia, book a flight on the train ride home, or find your way through the maze-like streets of Venice using a map. It’s glorious.

Here are 9 essential apps we recommend for every traveller.

 
 

 

CHECK OUT MORE OF OUR TRAVEL RESOURCES POSTS HERE