Resources

Below are some of the tools that Matt and I use when we travel and plan for travel. All of the things listed here we actually use and highly recommend.

Click below to be taken to a specific section or just scroll on through.*Some of these links are affiliate links. Click here for more information.*

Travel Planning

Gear

Blogging Tools

Travel Planning Resources

This section contains all the tools we use to plan our trip and our budget.

Trip planning
Big maps are an essential resource for trip planning
General
Lonely_Planet In our opinion - there is no better source of information about your destination than Lonely Planet Guides. The website also gives you excellent at a glance information for any country which can help plan your budget and the activities you might want to do. In recent years we have used the digital downloads and find the ability to download one chapter a really convenient and cheap option.  
Flights
SkyscannerWe use Skyscanner to see what the cheapest flights are for a specific destination. It also tells you cheaper days before or after your dates. When you find a flight you want the site will re-direct you to a booking site that actually owns that fair. All the big ones (Expedia, Travelocity, etc..) are included as are specific airlines. If you are feeling particularly adventurous enter "anywhere" in the destination.
Google_MatrixThis website is not pretty but it is another great resource for finding flight information and determining how much you should pay for a flight. You can't book directly with them but we always check here first before booking anywhere else to make sure we aren't paying too much.
Accomodation
CouchsurfingThis is a great website that lets you stay at someone's house for FREE. You create a profile and people leave reviews.  We have surfed in Puerto Rico, Egypt, United States, Hungary and Canada and each time had an incredible experience. We have also hosted some wonderful people in our own home - many we are still in touch with.
AirbnbAirbnb is just like couchsurfing except you pay to stay. We have been hosting for over a year and have also used it while travelling. Sometimes you share a space with someone and sometimes you get the place to yourself. You can adjust the settings for whichever you prefer. Be sure to have a way to communicate on the road so you can sort out logistics (where to get the key etc..). We have not been disappointed with any Airbnb experience we have had.
HostelworldWhen you need to plan ahead and make a booking at a hostel this is the site we use most often.
Booking.comSometimes you need an old fashioned hotel room and when you do I recommend booking.com. I like their cancellation policies and they usually have a really good inventory of places to stay in a wide variety of price ranges. The reviews are fairly accurate as well. 

Back to Top

Gear

This is some of the stuff we take when we travel.  We have ONLY included those items that we use and believe are worthwhile enough to recommend which explains why there aren’t any shoe recommendations for Heather.

Our Luggage for 10 months
This is it! Everything we owned for 10 months stored in these bags. Matt’s daypack is inside his black bag

Luggage

Osprey_Porter
This is the bag Matt used for our 10 months of travel. I liked it so much, I bought it in green so we wouldn't be all matchy matchy. This is our travel bag of choice for a few reasons:
1. You don't have to take everything out to find what you are looking for like you do in a top loading bag
2. It is the perfect size- small enough to  carry on and large enough to fit everything you need in it
Heather's_Daypack
This little daypack is perfect for carrying the camera, a warm sweater (Heather is ALWAYS cold) and whatever else you might need during the day. The hydration sleeve on the inside fits an ipad or a good book perfectly.
Matt's_DaypackI bought this for Matt for Christmas about a million years ago and it is still going strong. It goes everywhere with us because it is super lightweight and ultra durable. When we were on the Camino Matt carried his raingear, waterbottle, extra clothes and whatever else he forgot to take out of it. While it needs a wash I don't see this little gem ever falling apart on us.
Stuff you put on your body
Clothes
Heather doesn't have any one brand or style that works. MEC or REI have a lot of excellent outdoor and travel clothes (and gear) to choose from. We always always always look for plastic (synthetic) and low cotton % (dries quicker). Matt has an easier time buying clothes online and has just recently discovered Rail Riders. These clothes are designed to be super lightweight and they are supposed to be ultra durable. We will update after we put them through their paces on a backcountry trip this summer.
Matt's_Hiking_ShoesGood sturdy low hiking shoes. Excellent traction and relatively light. He always adds in a pair of Superfeet because factory insoles are never good enough.
Matt's_Spare_ShoesIt is uncommon for Matt to wear real shoes (he's worried about his delicate toes) but when he does Crocs are his extra footwear of choice. He would likely be still wearing his original pair he bought in 2007 except it is somewhere in the mud or an alligators stomach in the Florida Everglades.
Heather's_SandalsExcellent hiking sandals for everyday wear. This style is slightly lighter than some of the other versions so it makes packing them a little easier. I prefer the no toe thingy so that I can wear socks (I know I know) when needed. These sandals are almost impossible to wear out and they don't get as stinky as Teva's or Birkenstocks.
Self Care
Diva_CupLadies - if there is any piece of advice I can offer it is this: don't leave home without one of these things. The liberation of using a Diva Cup is similar to paying someone to clean your house or outsourcing your laundry.
Lush_Shampoo Avoid those liquid shampoos that may gush all over your luggage. This solid shampoo bar solves a major problem and there are many different smells and colours to choose from. Pick up a hard case to carry it in as well.
PacktowelNot all hostels are created equal and sometimes you need to bring your own towel. These are light, dry quickly and a great way to dry your face when you get out of the shower
Scrubba_LaundryWhen you only travel with a few pair of underwear it is necessary to do a little laundry on the road. This handy bag is perfect for a few items AND it also doubles as a dry bag to carry your electronics when you need to make sure they are dry!
Organization
Packing_Cubes
These are a great way to get more stuff into your bag. You will also find you are rummaging through all of your worldly possessions less if you use different cubes for different items of your wardrobe.There are tonnes of sizes and styles to choose from.
Wash_BagI like the hook because you hang it from your bunk bed or in the bathroom and always know where your toothbrush is.
Cord_Wraps
If there is anything that drives me crazy it is a snake pit of cords. These organizers do double duty: keep your cords from mating and by colour coding each cord I can do a quick visiual check for what I need first.
Subway_Wallet
I don't carry a wallet with me when I am out and about but this is a great way to stash cash in your luggage. It looks like a folded map but keeps your money in a safe place. Hide it with your dirty underwear and you are as secure as the best hotel safe!

Back to Top

Blogging Tools and Resources

These are some of the key tools that we use to keep our blog running and some extra money flowing into our bank accounts.

ATM
If your bank account works like this ATM then you need these blogging resources

Blue HostThis is our hosting provider. We had no issues setting up the blog and maintaining it and our page loads relatively fast (you would tell us if it didn't right? )
MailChimpWhen we send out fancy email "campaigns" the monkey behind the scenes powering that is Mail Chimp. Easy to use and the FREE account seems to do what we need (for now anyway).
BufferThis is a social media scheduling tool we use so we can stay front and centre without staying online all the time.
Travel Blog SuccessThis is a great course that we are currently using to learn how this blogging game works. The best part is the community of fellow bloggers that provide great advice and tips/tricks.
HotjarThis is a tool that helps you know how people are using the site. It is also what powers the little question pop up on the bottom of the page.
SmugmugThis is where we store our photos. We chose Smugmug because it allows us to store AND sell photos in one spot. You can see them here.

Back to Top

This list will continue to be updated as we discover new “must haves” so check back often.  If there is something you use that you don’t see here please tell us about it! Maybe you have a question about a piece of equipment that you are thinking of buying or are looking for a solution to a problem – if so, tell us about it in the comments below. You can always drop us an email at: heather@reason2roam.com OR matt@reason2roam.com

Thanks!

Comments

3 Comments
  1. posted by
    Heather Cowie
    Jun 29, 2016 Reply

    nicely done!

    • posted by
      Heather
      Jun 29, 2016 Reply

      Why thank you miss Heather.

      • posted by
        Heather Cowie
        Jul 3, 2016 Reply

        what about a link or info about what to do while away.. should you book before hand or while in country how do you know if you are paying to much??

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join to Instagram