When traveling solo, there's a lot to plan so I'm a big fan of anything (products, services and websites) that make trip planning easier. I'm all about making my trip as stress free as possible (and affordable, of course). This initial list covers flights, accommodation, insurance and safety resources I've used or know of.
P.S. some of these links are referral links, which means I get a small percentage if you book/purchase through me at no extra cost. Thanks for supporting me as a travel blogger and GirlGoTravel!
This is a no brainer. I love using Google Flights. I specifically love scrolling through the calendar to find the cheapest roundtrip ticket. Pro Tip: find great deals on the explore map tab!
Even though Google Flights is great, I always cross reference it with SkyScanner. It seems like it finds more deals by looking at smaller airlines. I haven't used their app but I hear it's good.
Such a good site! It finds the cheapest flights by looking at routes rather than destinations. In other words, it tells you the prices of flights going to or through your destination. The idea is you get off at your destination and forget the rest of the route. However, this works best with one way flights. You won't be able to get back on a returning flight if you didn't fulfill the one way there.
I love Booking.com. It's a site that has all kinds of accommodations, so you can find whatever floats your boat. Hostels, hotels, bnbs, etc. It also lets you filter through with interesting criteria like free cancellation, no payment required or breakfast included.
Obvi, you know this one. It's great for having privacy and a relaxing vacation. If you're solo however, find a place thats shared (like multiple rooms in a house) so other people are around for social reasons and activity recommendations. If you don't know Airbnb, then sign up for the link and get travel credit instantly!
Amazon is the world's largest adult toy store so clearly I have to mention it. I ordered a bunch of stuff all at once through Amazon two weeks before I left on a 3 month trip. Checking off half of my to do list at once is a life saver when you're running around.
A necessary stop if you are backpacking because they know how to size you for the correct backpack. They also have tons of other fun knickknacks you may use.
Insurance is necessary even though you think it's not. You need it because it covers medical and financial problems. So if your bag is stolen, you get sick and visit the hospital or you get into a moto accident, travel insurance covers you. Insure My Trip is a comparison site which is helpful to know what your looking at in price.
I used World Nomads for my three month trip. I like their detailed descriptions and simple process. There's no confusion. Two plans, two prices. One was more comprehensive than the other. I also like them because the company was started by a traveler for travelers.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
STEP stands for the Smart Traveler's Enrollment Program. It's pretty nifty, actually. You sign up, submit the countries you are going to and the consulates are notified of when you'll be there. You also get email alerts from the consulates notifying you of any news.
CDC stands for the Center for Disease and Control. It has all the information you need on health. Once you're on the site, find your destination, check what, if any, diseases are there and which vaccinations/immunizations you'll need.
This is a good site to make sure you have everything you need and are educated on the country, culture, health, security and news of the destination you are traveling to. This is a good site to send to parents as well.
This is a no brainer. Lonely Planet books are great. Others think so too because it's everywhere when I travel. Everyone has a book. If you don't want a book, then check the website for a full overview of your destination. Pro Tip: you can download the book on a tablet for free if you have Amazon Prime!
Bloggers are always posting their itineraries on Pinterest with tons of photos. The quality isn't always great and reco's are by random people, BUT it's free and a fun way to start researching your destination.
GROUP TOURS (you can still travel solo in a group tour)
Purposeful Nomad brings women together to travel and leave a positive impact on communities. It's ideal for women who are not ready to go completely on their own but still want a transformative, empowering experience. One owner is a friend of mine, so please let them know Michelle from GirlGoTravel send you.
Damesly is a tour company for women who want to build connections and skills with other creative women. These tours are women only and include workshops. It was started by a leader in the women's travel industry, and she's badass. Please let them know Michelle from GirlGoTravel sent you.