It’s always difficult to categorise stuff like this, so I hope these ones are easy enough to browse through. I’ve found all the links useful at some point or another. Some will take you to sites that require registration to make the most of them. I can guarantee that none of them will result in spam, and none of them will be after your cash (except the obvious ones like airlines!). As with all the pages, your feedback is welcomed and appreciated. See the sidebar for contact details.
Where possible and necessary I’ve linked to the English-language version of each site.
Places | Organisations | Activities | Accommodation | Financial | Cheap flight searches | Transport | Contacts/Info
Good sites relating to general information on a place or area.
- Bhutan Trails – tour company we used to visit Bhutan [seem to have vanished off-line. Shame]
- Into Asia – information on many Asian countries
- Best Singapore Vacation – a wealth of information on the island nation
- Stewart Island – accommodation, transport and info on this small island off the south of NZ
Charities, foundations and other organisations you can help or volunteer for.
- Angkor Hospital For Children – in Siem Reap, Cambodia
- Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation – Hanoi-based charity educating street children
- Kantha Bopha Childrens’ Hospitals – in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, Cambodia. You can donate blood at any of the hospitals as well as donate money. No actual web pages for them, though. The link is to the founder’s site
- Tiger Temple – Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Buddhist temple run by monks where tigers are raised by hand
Things to do when you get there!
- Black Dog Surfing – at Byron Bay. They got me standing up!
- Deep Sea Divers Den – other diving firm I used in Cairns
- Dive Shed – great firm in Busselton for Swan Wreck and Jetty dives
- Down Under Dive – company in Cairns I passed my PADI certifications with
- Lucky Divers – very cheap, great staff in Eilat, Israel
- ProDive Bali – did my Divemaster with them (Bali, Indonesia)
- Sipadan Scuba – got me through my Rescue Diver course (Semporna, Malaysian Borneo)
- Taupo Tandem Skydive – where I jumped out of a perfectly good plane
Guides on places to stay, how to find them and easy booking. Some of these will also give a decent discount based on the “at the counter” price.
- My Accommodation Page – listing everywhere I’ve stayed on my trip including prices and contact details
- AsiaRooms – Asia region only and mainly hotels, but worth checking for some good savings
- Hostelbookers – Search for, check availability of and pre-book hostels worldwide. No fees charged
- Hostelling International – tied to the YHA
- Hostels.com – More hostels
- Hostelworld – Same as above, but with different hostels and a small commission fee
Work out how much all this is costing you and how to get that cash out.
- Mastercard – details of ATM availability
- Nationwide – only UK bank to not charge ATM fees abroad (until June 2009)
- Visa – includes details of ATM availability worldwide
- Universal Currency Convertor – work out how much your currency is worth at current rates
Cheap flight search engines
I’ve listed a load of these and it’s worth checking them all for the area you’re flying within. None is better than any other, but they all have different searches of different airlines. Often you can look at three, then checking a fourth will give you an enormous saving.
eDreams– Link removed. See this post for the reason why
- Expedia – Covers major carriers and routes, sometimes cheaper than booking direct with the carrier
- Flightcentre (Oz) – easiest way to check the three main Oz air carriers
- FlightChecker – search engine for budget flights to/from the UK
- IWantThatFlight – similar to Flightcentre but only covers the main 4 carriers in Oz
- Kayak – worldwide budget flights
- Sidestep UK – superb checker for many flight providers, even obscure routes within Europe
- Sidestep US – same site as above with prices in US dollars
- Skyscanner – multiple airline flight checker for Europe
- WhichBudget – catches a lot of budget airlines the others miss
Local, national and international transport organisations.
- Egged – Israeli national bus service
- Eurolines – European bus tickets
- Knight Rider (NZ) – overnight bus service from Christchurch to Invercargill
- NADICORP – intra- and inter-city buses in Malaysia
- DeutscheBahn – Germany’s rail network for timetables and ticket bookings
- Indian Railways – for station, train and route information
- IRCTC – Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, for booking tickets in India
- KTMB – Malaysian Railways official website
- Metlink Melbourne – Train (and bus, and tram) info for Melbourne, Australia
- Queensland Rail – timetables, news, fares and so on
- Rail Europe – route planner, passes and tickets
- State Railway of Thailand – official page with timetables and ticket pricing
- The Man In Seat 61 – excellent resource regarding rail travel worldwide
- Air Arabia – the Middle East’s answer to RyanAir
- Air Asia – Asia-only budget airline, and their more international sister Air Asia X
- Air New Zealand GrabASeat – last minute, stupid cheap seats
- Jazeera Air – another cheap Middle East airline
- Tiger Airways – based in Singapore and covering Asia and Australia
- Adventure Tours Australia – used them a lot in Oz. Great staff, great fun
- Apollo Campers – “relocation” page for very cheap rental in Oz and NZ
- AusTravel – 4×4 adventures, buses and the like across Austalia
- Stewart Island Experience – ferry or plane from Invercargill to Stewart Island
Friendship / Contacts / Travel Info
More or less a “miscellaneous” section, but lots of general information to be gathered from this lot.
- CouchSurfing.com – a global network of likeminded people who may well offer you a spare room or a couch to sleep on. Also great for chatting and finding out information about other places.
- Foreign and Commonwealth Office – travel advice by country
- LOCATE – a free safety service offered to British travellers by the Foreign Office
- Lonely Planet – discussion groups and forums are worth checking out for information
- Mango Languages – Free online language courses, covering the basics
- Project Visa – lists visa regulations for every country
- Travel Doctor – superb resource regarding pre-travel jabs, medication and so on
- Wikitravel – Free and up-to-date travel information
- World Travel Guide – tons and tons of information on virtually every country