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Sustainable Travel Planning

Sustainable travel starts at home with travel planning! Here are my favorite travel companies that I use again and again. If you’re looking more for trip inspiration, follow me on Pinterest and explore my country-specific boards!

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Apps

Happy Cow

This crowdsourced online and mobile app helps you find vegan and vegetarian-friendly restaurants around the world! I’ve used it extensively on my travels to find delicious hole-in-the-wall eateries as well as fancy restaurants. The mobile app costs extra, but is well worth the price since you can search what’s closest to you.

Vegaholic

When I learned I was dairy-free, one of the hardest things to cut out was alcohol with dairy in it since you can’t always ask a bartender at a busy bar to check if there’s dairy in the drink before ordering. This mobile app is a fantastic bar companion for vegans and dairy-free drinkers alike.

Duolingo

I always feel like a more responsible traveler when I know a few basic words and phrases in the local language. This free app is a fun, quick, and easy way to pick up a language at home or abroad. If you’re learning Russian, click here for more advice. If you’re learning German, click here.

Accommodations

Couchsurfing

I honestly love couchsurfing. Not only do I meet interesting people around the world, but I save a lot of money by not having to pay for accommodations! While it may take some adjustment to staying with strangers, it always makes my travels better. Read more about how to couchsurf here.

HI Hostels

This is the most eco-friendly hostel chain I’ve ever found. They’re on a long-term mission to improve the sustainability of their hostels by following the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. They have several reputable sustainability certifications and are on a mission to be zero waste.

Hostel World

*If there isn’t an HI Hostel where I’m traveling, and I can’t couchsurf, then I search on Hostel World. Hostel World takes a big cut out of hostel’s income, so I always check the hostel’s website before booking. They often offer a discount for booking direct! However, on particularly long trips, it’s convenient to keep all your accommodations located in one spot, so sometimes I still book through Hostel World. Otherwise, Hostel World is a great search engine for hostels.

Community

*If you’re looking for a supportive and active community of other women travelers, then Wanderful is it. The annual membership fee is very reasonably priced for the variety, quantity, and quality of events hosted weekly. From language clubs, an anti-racism book club, workouts, and more, this is the best virtual community for women travelers.

Insurance

DAN Dive

I prefer to use DAN for dive trips, rather than general travel insurance, because they are experts on diving insurance. It makes me feel more comfortable that this company lives and breathes diving since a diving accident can be very serious. I’d rather work with the experts in such a potentially severe emergency. Oh, and it’s only $35/year!

World Nomads

While I usually don’t buy travel insurance (I book all travel through my credit card, which offers trip protections, and I have international health insurance), sometimes group trips require it, so this is my go-to for those purposes. I’ve never had to file a claim before, but my travel friends say the customer service is exceptional!

Yonder

Yonder is the first and only travel insurance comparison tool. It’s like the Booking.com of travel insurance! Recently, I used Yonder to book trip insurance for a bachelorette party. I emailed a member of the Yonder team and they helped me choose the best and most cost-effective trip insurance option for us! I am a loyal customer now!

Transportation

Scott’s Cheap Flights

*This is an email subscription service that sends you cheap flights from your airport or region. They offer free and paid versions. I like that you book directly through the airline with this service, meaning you don’t have to deal with a third-party in case of a rebooking or refund. I booked a round-trip flight from D.C. to Oahu for $340 with this service!

Rome 2 Rio

I use this service to search for alternative methods of transportation between destinations. It features flights from several nearby airports, buses, trains, and private vehicle. The website also shows the cost and suggests train and bus companies to help you get to your destination! You can book flights here, but I prefer to book direct with the airline.

Wanderu

This website is great for finding bus operators within the U.S. between destinations. It’s a search engine that helps you easily compare bus times and prices within one day or several days. Although I prefer trains, buses are also an easy and convenient way to transport. Buses tend to me cheaper than trains, too!

The Man In Seat 61

This website is an old-style blog with priceless information on trains around the world. This is a go-to source on train travel no matter where you are. It also has extensive information on long train routes, such as the Trans-Siberian Railway.

BlaBla Car

This desktop and mobile app allows you to find people commuting between the cities you want to travel to. You create a profile and ask to join a car. The price of travel is set by the driver and it’s usually very cheap.

FlixBus

This is the only way I travel by bus in Europe. It’s a German-based company that offers ridiculously cheap bus prices around Europe, even to small cities! They also offer a carbon offsetting option at check-out. The seats are fairly comfortable for a bus, so I don’t mind late-night rides.

Travel Hacking

Delta American Express

*This was the first credit card I ever got to build up miles and get my first free flight! Delta miles never expire, has a great network of destinations and partner airlines, and is overall my favorite American-based airline. Earn 40,000 points by signing up with the link below! P.S. No, that’s not my credit card number in the photo!

American Express Platinum

*The bonuses on this card are phenomenal, including free access to hundreds of airline lounges around the world, free Global Entry application, and $15 of Uber credit every month. I never thought I’d be an airport lounge girl…until I relaxed on a long layover in an airport lounge! Earn 60,000 points by signing up with the link below!

Budget Travel Book

*If you’re new to budget travel, this is the budget travel bible. It was written by Nomadic Matt, one of the leading travel bloggers in the world. I used this book when I was a college student to afford to travel and still use the advice to this day. It’s a must for every budget (or budget-conscious) traveler!

Travel Packages

Trip In A Box

This surprise travel company creates the perfect vacation, that also happens to be responsible! It’s a white-glove travel service for a budget price. These trips are fall in the “luxury travel” category, so expect to spend a few thousand for each trip. Still, it’s so much cooler than any other surprise travel company I’ve seen!

PADI Travel

PADI–the world’s leading dive certification operator–also has a search engine and booking service for dive resorts and dive liveaboards around the world. It’s fun to explore all the incredible diving, some I never knew of! After my first liveaboard trip with Blackbeards, I’m obsessed and aim to go on one big diving trip annually.

Wander Women Retreats

While I’m all about budget and solo travel, travel planning can be overwhelming for some destinations. Since I work full-time, but want to still visit everywhere, I’ve learned to let go and love group tours. These women-only adventure tours will have you diving, hiking, yoga-ing around the world! Plus, they’re lead by my favorite travel blogger Alex.

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