Over the course of the past few years, I have learned a lot about maximizing my travel experience.
From saving money on flights, to working on the road, to meeting friends and finding cool campsites and spots to stay.
These are my tips and recommended sites for any savvy traveler.
Camping Sites and Road Trip Resources
Campendium is an all around great website which provides information on RV parks, free campsites, National Forests, National Parks and State Parks.
With a host of search options and details on every park and camp spot, this site is also very simple and easy to navigate.
If your looking for a place to stay or just a place to hang out for the day, Campendium is a great resource for any outdoor enthusiast.
Freecampsites.net is a necessity for anyone living on the road. With its interactive map and different types of camping spots, it is a great resources to utilize while on the go.
My favorite thing about this site is that campsites can be submitted by individuals as they find them. There is then also reviews on the sites, as well as GPS coordinance that you can insert into google maps.
The map is also full of BLM sites, and is much easier to navigate than the BLM website.
Roadtripping is a super fun website and app that I use whenever I’m looking for attractions or things to do on the road. From services like gas stations, ATM’s and tourist info, to campsites, hiking trails and points of interest, this site has options to fill an entire trip.
My personal favorite search options include: off beat attractions, road side diners, scenic points and swimming spots.
You can also plan an entire road trip from this app/site. Don’t forget to leave reviews on your stops for other curious travelers.
Over the past few years my travels have caused me to book many flights, and in that process I have learn a few tips and tricks. I use two different site’s simultaneously: Skyscanner and Goggle Flights.
Skyscanner is the optimal search engines for flights, its best feature being that it will show you prices for many different areas all at the same time. So, if you are like me and your travel itinerary is flexible, you can get amazingly low prices.
Have a week off and not sure where to travel? Check out the picture on the right which shows the cheapest possible options. Of course if you want to fly out of a certain location, that can increase the the price of the flight.
When I began searching tickets for my flight to Europe, I looked from Minneapolis- Cypress; tickets were $1,200. However after scouring skyscanner and searching different airport locations, I found that I could book a flight from Pittsburgh- London for only $150, and another flight later that afternoon to Cypress for $85.00.
As you look through the search options you’ll figure out what airports are the cheapest and from there you can carry them over to Google flights. Google flights will show you the price of flights per day and as indicated below the prices can vary greatly. So if you are flexible and dont mind putting in the search time, you can find flights at dirt cheap prices.
I used this method for all of my Europe flights and was able to get tickets from: Pittsburgh-London, London-Cyprus, Croatia-Athens and Athens-poland, all for under $500.00
If you want to travel but cant without a steady income, Cool Works is the place for you.
This site is full of interesting jobs located all over the US, and with it’s optimal search options, you cant go wrong. Do you live in your RV? You can search for jobs that supply hookups. You want to work in a National Park? There is a special category just for that. You can also search by state, season, or jobs that are hiring Immediately.
Last summer I searched “jobs near water” and that’s where I found my Alaska gig. Such a cool experience, and with the convenience of being just a seasonal gig. Many jobs also offer bonuses, travel stipends and company housing.
This site is aesthetically pleasing, easy to navigate and can turn your dream of travel into reality.
Workaway.com is an amazing resource for anyone looking to travel or volunteer in a work exchange type agreement.
This site is great because there are so many options in locations all over the globe; from helping in a Santorini Cafe to Sailing the Caribbean. The Workaway hosts offer food and board in exchange for your helping hands.
If you want to travel to different countries, this is a wonderful way to do it. You will save money on accommodation expenses and learn about the culture from your host. Most workaway hosts ask for several hours of work during morning hours, which gives you plenty of personal time to go exploring in the afternoon.
Workaway does charge a fee of $36 per single profile/ per year. But if you are serious about finding work exchange options, this is a small price to pay.
Crewbay is a site which works to connect boat owners and Captains with potential crew. After signing up and creating a profile you can search for paid or recreational trips, position type, boat type, trip area and more. Each position varies, and you can can work out the details with your potential captain; short term/long term trip, boat expenses covered or based on shared contribution.
I was a part of this site for 6 months and considered many options, before finding the perfect fit and flying to europe to meet my new Captain.
Airbnb had been a favorite site of mine for many years now. Back when I working 9-5 and dreaming of a different life, I use to go on the site just for inspiration.
Airbnb is a site where individuals list there personal property as vacation sites. There are regular homes and apartments as well as simple rooms for rent. There are also extravagant and offbeat rentals… Cabins, castles, boats, treehouses, train cars, airplanes and campers (including my airstream). Rentals are priced all across the board and come with different amenities. Airbnb also has a new “experiences” option, where you can book surfing lesson in Los Angeles, a sailing outing in Boston, off roading in Tuscany, and many other options, all for a fraction of the price you would pay booking through a tourist company.
What a great way to get the most for your money, make new friends, and support the shared economy.
Meetup is am amazing website connecting people with shared interests in community.
The website lets you search by location and distance, whatever interest you type into the search box.
Some communities have meetups several times a week, some host events, some classes that cost a fee. If your on the road like me and looking to connect with people nearby, this is a great resources to look into.
Before I took the plunge and purchased my camper van, the van life groups I was a part of on facebook, were my biggest source of support. From advice to encouragement to meeting new friends, groups like these are an invaluable resource.
When you search be sure to click the “groups” option (vs. people or pages). Trying different term will also expand your options. Do be aware that some groups require a written note asking to join. This weeds out those who are not seriously interested or those trying to solicit.