I consulted a lot of resources before beginning my yearlong-plus journey through Asia and Oceania, and I’m greatly indebted to all I learned from my fellow travelers and vagabonds. While the following list(s) are by no means complete, I’ve collected some of those resources here. I hope the can help you in whatever journeys lie ahead for you.
Looking for LGBTQ-specific travel resources? Check out this page.
Long-Term and ‘Round-the-World Travel
Planning Your Trip
BootsnAll provides a helpful 30-day e-mail series on planning your RTW trip, which can be tailored to a variety of situations (gap year, sabbatical, family). Really useful resources, including this checklist on planning your trip as a career break and this budget spreadsheet, which I relied on heavily in my financial plans.
Nomadic Matt provides extensive information and recommendations on long-term travel, including location guides, insurance suggestions, and money-saving tips. In early stages of planning, I also relied heavily on Matt’s helpful book, How to Travel the World on $50 a Day.
What to Pack
The Ultimate Guide to Packing for a Long-Term Trip by BootsnAll (Great for an overview of how and what to pack–and why)
RTW Packing List (Minimalist Friendly) by Half the Clothes (My favorite packing list, especially because of its breadth, depth, and minimalism)
My Minimalist Packing List by Allison Levine
What to Pack for a Trip Around the World by Spartan Traveler
Working While Traveling
From going freelance with a skill you already possess to volunteering on a farm, there are lots of options for working for pay or for room and board while you travel. I’ll admit, beyond freelancing and WWOOFing (see below), I haven’t done worked with a lot of the popular programs that backpackers use. But I’ve met folks along the way who have and who recommended them to me! (Note: To register with most of the job search/volunteering sites below, you have to pay a small registration fee.)
Willing Workers on Organic Farms (WWOOF) is an international volunteer program in which willing workers (backpackers like me!) volunteer on an organic farm in exchange for room and board. Each country that participates usually has its own WWOOF-specific website that you can sign up on, and you ought to be able to find the website via the link above. Sites are reviewed by your fellow workers, and work hours are limited to a certain amount max per week. (I volunteered at Jirye Art Village outside of Andong, South Korea (site number GB_111). I totally recommend it for anyone visiting Korea!)
HelpX is another site where travelers can exchange work for room and board, but work options tend to have a broader range than WWOOF (but there are still listings by farms). I signed up via HelpX and applied to work at an intentional community in Melbourne (a few hours of work per day for room only), but unfortunately, our schedules didn’t line up. However, I’ve met both folks who have worked with HelpX and made listings with HelpX, and they said good things about their experiences!
WorkAway offers the same deal as HelpX. Their site is a little clearer/up-to-date, but it seemed they had fewer listings. Still, I definitely eyed a lot of options there along the way–but ultimately, I spent most of my time freelancing.
FlexJobs offers a curated, searchable, frequently updated database of flexible job listings (remote and/or short-term). To access the full listings, you have to register and pay a small fee, but the listings are high quality and worth signing up for, I think.
Jobbatical is a site where you can search for short-term jobs around the world. Probably most useful for tech and design sectors.
Dave’s ESL Cafe boasts a long-standing job board for teaching ESL/EFL overseas. I know his Asia boards are particularly popular among jobseekers in Asia.
Tutor.com allows you to work online tutoring students in a range of subjects. Really useful for doing some part-time work while you travel, as long as you have a decent internet connection.
Still stumped about how you might make money on the road? Check out 5 Options for Working While Traveling by BootsnAll.
Too Many Adapters (My go-to resource for advice on SIM cards and cell phones in countries around the world)
Searching for Flights
- Momondo is my go-to aggregation search engine for flights within Asia. They usually scour all the right websites, including Asian budget airlines. I use it almost exclusively in Asia, and it was useful in Oceania, too.
- Kayak is another aggregator and my favorite for searching flights and other travel deals within or to/from the United States. They also have useful tools like an “Explore” option (where you pick a starting point, a date range, a price range, and you can see where your money will take you), and they tend to track the ups and downs of ticket prices so you can see if you’re getting a good deal or not. Just a really nice tool, overall.
- Vayama is the site I used to use for all my travel to/from South Korea. While I’ve since fallen in love with Momondo, I’ve heard from fellow travelers that Vayama still has good deals.
- Orbitz has great deals in the U.S., and I’ve also found nice packages with car rentals and hotels.
- Priceline‘s hotel deals seem to be better than their flights, but a lot of their flights have free cancellation if you do so within 24 hours of booking–which is useful if you need to book a flight to show onward travel (at immigration) but also want the flexibility to cancel it if you need to.
Asian Budget Airlines
- The Man in Seat 61 (THE resource for railway travel almost anywhere in the world)
- Firefly Express (Australia)
- TransWa (Western Australia)
- ClearTrip (India)
- Make My Trip (India)
- BusOnlineTicket (Malaysia and Singapore)
- Korail (South Korea)
- 12go.asia (Thailand)
- Baolau (Vietnam)
- Airbnb (great for living like a local, finding studio apartments or house shares, and staying somewhere for a week or more)
- First time using Airbnb? Get $40 off a reservation of $75 or more using this link–as an added bonus, I get $20 off my next Airbnb reservation, too!
- Agoda (best site for booking hotels/hostels in Asia)
- Booking (probably the site I used to book the most hotels/hostels)
- Priceline (especially useful for getting deals and discounts in the U.S.)