Many types of smart websites and apps can make traveling easier to plan and experience.
They help you find clever travel tips, better flight deals, lower hostel prices, and so much more.
This Hostelgeeks resource page is your gateway to such smart travel gear. We recommend bookmarking this page: we are constantly upgrading it!
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🙏 The Hostelgeeks
We love traveling light and in a minimalistic style. Here, we share our backpacks, day packs, gear, packing tips, and essential guides we wrote for you.
Everybody loves shortcuts. So here are some of our favorite resources:
- Tools and Websites we recommend (and use)
- Find Cheap Flights (and websites we use)
- How to get your proof for onward travel
- Travel Insurance
- Hostel Bookings (and websites we use)
- Travel Apps
- How to get tickets to sights
- Public Transport and Bus
- Travel Essentials
- Electronic Gear
- Photography Gear
- Packing List
Ultimate Travel Resources
Flight Comparison – Travel Insurance – Hostel Bookings – Travel Apps – How to get tickets to Sights – Visa – Public Transport
Let’s discuss our favorite powerful and smart resources when traveling.
The whole Hostelgeeks team has been traveling extensively, using different apps and websites for budget travel throughout the years.
There’s nothing that hits quite as well as a cheap (and safe) flight: we were even able to catch a flight from Barcelona to the Canary Islands for just 12€!
Additionally, we took a road trip across Central Europe, saving 70% of the transport costs thanks to a special app.
Find Cheap Flights with Skyscanner
The best websites to find cheap flights are:
- Onward Ticket (see below details)
Skyscanner might be the world’s most famous search engine for flights. They compare almost every airline and flight price in the world.
This site will help you set price alerts and compare routes and prices.
If you are looking for flights on Skyscanner, you can search for:
- Round-trip (most common)
- One-way trip (very common for digital nomads)
- Multi-city trip
How to get proof for onward travel?
Some countries require proof of onward travel. Meaning when entering said countries, you’ll need to show proof that you are leaving it before your visa expires.
Proof of onward travel can be a flight, train, or bus ticket, as long as it is out of the country. The most reliable way to prove onward travel is a flight ticket.
The problem? As a backpacker, you probably prefer to keep your travel dates flexible; chances are you don’t even know where you’ll be heading next.
This can cause you big trouble. Why? Well, many airlines make it a point to ask you for proof of onward travel from the destination you’re heading to.
This is because of the following: depending on your luck, the Customs&Immigration officer of the country you land in might ask you for proof of onward travel – if they do, and you don’t have one, the airline is then responsible for flying you back to the original country you came from.
So, usually, most airlines check for proof of travel at check-in to avoid this headache, and if you don’t have one, you might not be allowed to even board the flight to your destination.
We recommend always checking if you require an outbound flight and getting your official ticket (only for $12) on Onward Ticket.
We wrote a detailed guide and review of Onward Ticket and why we think it’s probably the best option out there.
The video below is our tutorial on how to use it. It shows easy steps to get proof of onward travel.
We are currently using HeyMondo Travel Insurance on our travels around South East Asia and Europe.
We are currently using Safetywing as well as Iati Seguros and Heymondo. We wrote two guides about our insurance when traveling:
- Our review of Safetywing, compared to World Nomads.
- A genuine review of Hey Mondo Insurance
Since we travel with a bit of gear and typically plan to do activities like skydiving, motorbiking, and diving, having travel insurance is a must for us.
Our travel insurance really depends on where we travel and what we do. While Safetywing is cheaper, HeyMondo covers more destinations and activities. For instance, for Cuba, we had to show valid travel insurance to enter the country.
Always do your research! We know that this isn’t the most entertaining topic but seriously, get insurance. If something goes wrong, you will be incredibly grateful.
Booking hostels has become more and more complex over time.
There are more hostels to choose from now than there were years before. And there are several hostel websites and booking portals you can use.
First, how can you find a good hostel? The answer is our website: Hostelgeeks.com!
You can find all our handwritten guides on the best hostels in the world here and all our top 5 Star Hostels here.
But when it comes to actually booking, which hostel booking site is the best and the cheapest? You have probably already heard of:
We wrote an in-depth guide to booking hostels and which websites to use. You can find our guide here: how to use Hostelworld. Here is another guide on how to book with Booking.com, a review.
How to get tickets to Sights?
Traveling the world also means visiting the most famous sights all over the globe.
From the Colosseum to the Taj Mahal. Some sights are so popular that you’ll have to pre-book them before even landing in the city. This goes for the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, the Colosseum in Rome, and other major sights. Please read this before you go to avoid disappointment.
We use two websites to find tickets to sights:
Both websites are reliable. It is worth using both as there can each offer different prices. We wrote a full review on Tiqets.com, and how to use them.
Bookmark this travel resource, you will need and love it: ivisa.com. For many countries of the world, you need a visa.
Yet, how you get the visa (and if you can get it) depends on your nationality and the agreement of your home country with your destination.
So, how can you find the most accurate and up-to-date information on visa requirements? We always use ivisa.com (they also give you the visa costs).
It is a fast and simple way to find out if
- you need a visa in the first place
- what you need to get the visa
- and if it costs money, how much it is.
We wrote a big review on how to use iVisa.
Public Transport and Bus
Public Transport like buses and trains are a fantastic way to travel cheaper. We love to use two websites for finding public transport:
Omio.com is a website we use to find all official trains and bus schedules around the world.
Flixbus is a bus company connecting mostly European cities and US cities via buses. We wrote a complete review of Flixbus here.
We love travel apps. Here we share our favorite apps for your smartphone. We dedicated a huge article to our 47 best travel apps 2023.
The Hostelworld App is your best friend when it comes to booking hostels on the go. It has some incredibly cool features, like the social feature “Solo System.” You can check who will be in the same hostel and city as you. And once you have booked your accommodation, you can get in touch with your fellow hostel mates to make plans (before you even land in the city). Super cool!
Read: How does the Hostelworld App work?
MapsMe is the perfect offline app for your phone. It works without an internet connection.
Thanks to your GPS location, you can find your way wherever in the world you are. As an alternative, you can use Google.Maps directly. It works offline as well, as long as you’ve pre-loaded the area.
Traveling on a budget?
Then get TrailWallet to keep track of your budget. It is so easy to use and gives you a full, up-to-date report. There is a free version that allows you to test it, but we loved it and invested 4.99€ in the full version.
This app is a gold mine!
FourSquare is an underrated app that has been used a lot, but nowadays, fewer people seem aware of it. This is what makes it so awesome.
It helps you to find places around, such as
With this app, we found so many gems and design-led coffee shops. Go for it!
5. Snapseed and Lightroom
The best app for editing your photos on the road are Snapseed and Lightroom. Snapseed is easy to use and free to download. You can download Snapseed both for Android and iOs.
Lightroom from Adobe is also free for the phone. I absolutely love their functionalities. It is more powerful than Lightroom, yet you really have to know what you are doing. So, in a nutshell, Snapseed is lighter and easier to handle, and Lightroom is more advanced.
Gear and Packing Items
Below we share our own travel gear and packing items we never leave behind. These items are part of our essential packing list. At the same time, there is a bunch of items we would never pack (or rather, not pack anymore). Read our list of things NOT to pack for traveling.
Did you know: We have created a specific shop on Amazon with all items we recommend. These items are not sold by us, yet we do receive a small commission when you purchase a product at no extra cost to you.
When it comes to luggage, we recommend getting a backpack.
Yet, not any backpack. A bulky, heavy backpack is not recommended. For traveling light, a backpack must have certain criteria, such as lightness and functionality. The chic factor may also be something to take into account.
Here are our top recommended luggage – including Matt’s own #1 choice: Lowe Alpine Carry-On 40l
Minimal Traveler Backpack (Matt’s #1 choice)
Lowe Alpine Carry-On 40l
Osprey Porter 46 Gear Hauler Duffel
Day Back Digital Nomads
CoolBELL Laptop Backpack with USB Port
The travel survival kit, the hostel starter kit. Here we list a bunch of travel essentials that you should bring.
We made our experiences and recommended bringing certain items you most likely own already. Yet, a few things are worth the extra investment, such as light and quick-dry towels and dry-bag.
You can find our detailed travel packing list here.
Here is our list of recommended travel essentials to bring on your adventure.
Antibacterial Premium Microfiber Travel Towel
Combination Lock with 4 Digit 3-inch Padlock
Re-Usable Water Bottle
Sagan Journey Water Bottle with Filter
Eye mask & Ear plugs
Dream well Kit with comfy eye mask and ear plugs
Backpack Rain Cover
Solid Backpack Rain Cover
Loaal Sunglasses Design Fashion
Bright LED Headlamp Flashlight
Travel-sited sewing kit
Beach Sarong for Women Bohemian Throw Bikini Cover up
Hanging Travel Cosmetic Organizer Toiletry Bag
Welcome to the 21st century. We at Hostelgeeks travel with a bit of gear. Since we are working from the road, we carry laptops and cameras.
Here are our recommendations for camera gear and electronics.
Mac Book Pro 13”
Mac Book Pro Retina 13 Inches
Mac Book Cover
Hard Rubberized Full Body Matte Cover for MacBook
iPhone 7 or 7S Plus
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 128 GB Unlocked, Jet Black
iPhone Protective Case
Laser Engraved Wood iPhone 7S Plus Case – Nautical World Map
Folding Lightweight Headset for traveling
External Disk Lacie
4TB La Cie Rugged Mini USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive
Travel Ad Travel Adapter
USB Multi Charger
Portable Travel Power Strip with 3 Smart USB Ports
This section covers our camera gear.
GoPro HERO6 Black
64 GB Disk Space
64GB Micro SDXC U3 Card Plus SD Adapter Pack
You can purchase all these items on Amazon.
Not sure how to buy on Amazon? For the Spanish speaker: read this guide on how to buy on Amazon.
Our ultimate hostel packing list covers 23 items you need to bring. From padlocks to hostel games and the perfect backpack.