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Roam the World without Spending a King’s Ransom -- Here's How

June 13, 2009 | 64,235 views

travelTraveling doesn't have to break your budget, and there are plenty of Web sites that can help you find the best vacation for your budget. Get discounts and the insider scoop with these great resources.

Cheap Flights and Accommodations

CouchSurfing -- Save hundreds of dollars on hotel costs! CouchSurfing is a worldwide community of amazing hosts and adventurous travelers seeing the world on the cheap.

Farecast -- Farecast gathers data from all over the Web so you can find out if airfare for a trip is rising or dropping over the next seven days, or if there's a better travel offer on another site.

Home Exchange -- You list your house on the site, find another house where you'd like to stay, and contact the member to see if they want to trade homes for a bit. This exchange system lets you live like a local in a comfortable house or apartment instead of a tiny and expensive hotel room.

Hostel Bookers -- The easiest way to book hostels all over the world. You can find prices, amenities, and customer reviews of each location so you know what you're getting before you land. You can also book directly from the site.

Hotwire -- Hotwire not only offers some of the best travel deals available, but includes planning tools and tips for a smooth trip. Hotwire's partners offer unsold inventory at big savings.

iStopOver -- Connects people who want to rent out extra rooms in their homes to travelers who want to save on costly hotel bills. iStopOver currently has listings in the United States, Canada, London, France, South Africa, and Brazil, but they are expanding as hosts from more countries are adding their listings each day.

Kayak -- The only place you need to search for discounted airfare. Kayak searches 140+ airlines and travel agencies (including Orbitz.com, Travelocity.com, Hotwire.com, and other big airfare search engines) to aggregate the best flight deals all in one place.

Last Minute -- All last-minute airfare, hotel, attractions, and packages in one database. If you want to book a vacation for this weekend or grab a flight for tomorrow, start your search here.

Orbitz -- With Orbitz Price Assurance, you are guaranteed the lowest rate offered by Orbitz. If another customer books the same flight on Orbitz at a lower price, you'll automatically be issued a refund for the difference.

Priceline -- Priceline allows you to name your own price for hotels and pay no booking fees for flights, cars, or vacation packages. The site also offers reviews by travelers to help you make the best travel decision.

Roomorama -- Roomorama is a peer-to-peer short term rental marketplace. As a host, you'll know that your guest has paid in advance of the stay. As a guest, Roomorama will keep your money secure until you check in and hand over the payment code.

SeatGuru -- Database of airplane seat configurations by airline. You can get diagrams with notes on where the good (and bad) seats are on the plane. You can see a layout of where the galley is (get your food faster) and where the bathrooms are (stay far away).

Travelocity -- The Travelocity Guarantee is the most proactive and comprehensive in the industry.

TripAdvisor -- The biggest online community of travelers. This is the first (and often, last) stop for vacation planners.

Virtual Tourist -- As the single largest source of user-generated travel content in the world, Virtual Tourist is a great resource for travelers seeking an insider’s perspective.

Wegolo -- Wegolo shows you the "all-in" fares, which includes the total cost for all passengers together as charged by the airlines, so you get no surprise taxes and fees tacked on at the last minute.

Yapta - Yapta stands for Your Amazing Personal Travel Assistant. Yapta notifies you when prices for flights drop.  It can do it even after you purchase your tickets, giving you a chance to get a refund of the difference from the airline.  If you prefer, Yapta will haggle with the airline on your behalf for a $15 fee.

Destination Guides and Travel Communities

The Backpacker -- The community reviews local bars, restaurants, accommodations, attractions, and tours.  All reviews are user-submitted, and many places have multiple reviews. 

BootsnAll Travel -- BootsnAll seeks to cultivate an organic community that encourages independent travel. It does this through thousands of travel stories and travel blogs written by travelers to destinations all over the world.

Frommer's -- Whether you're venturing close to home or across the globe, Frommer's strives to deliver the most candid and reliable information.

IgoUgo -- With more than 500,000 travelers on IgoUgo sharing trip stories and pictures, they've built a library of honest opinions, tips, and experiences that you won’t find in any guidebook.

Lonely Planet -- Lonely Planet is renowned for its first-hand approach, up-to-date maps and commitment to providing the best information for travelers.

Timeout City Guides -- Time Out is an international multimedia publisher of cultural experiences for urban adventurers. They provide up-to-date and accurate information to help readers remain at the cutting edge of culture.

UpTake -- Aggregates information and travelers' opinions from 5,000 Web sites -- some 20 million opinions -- and boils them down to a single rating along with the most telling traveler comments.

Viator -- Viator is the easiest way to plan your days in-country. You can book tours, plan daytrips, buy tickets, and discover other things to do and attractions to see.

WikiTravel -- Like Wikipedia.org for locales. Free, complete, and reliable worldwide travel guide written by actual travelers.

Budget Traveler Magazines and Blogs

About.com Budget Travel -- About.com Guide to Budget Travel posts weekly deals, has tips on finding the cheapest vacation packages and airfare, and has a fantastic series of step-by-step articles on maximizing your travel budget.

The Art of Nonconformity -- Chris Guillebeau writes about travel hacking in general and his journeys to more than 25 countries every year. So far he has visited more than 100 countries, and over the next four years intends to visit every country in the world.

Budget Travel -- Web magazine by Frommer's (the guide book publisher) focused on budget travel. Writers post stories on destinations, budget itineraries, tips for finding cheap flights or accommodations, and more.

Cool Travel Guide -- Perpetual globetrotter and travel writer Lara Dunston has traveled to over 60 countries, authored and updated over 40 guidebooks, and has had scores of articles published by top travel magazines and sites.

Frugal Traveler -- Follow Matt Gross’ journey as he uncovers affordable hotels, cheap eats and other budget tips.

Hobo Traveler -- Andy is a perpetual traveler without a permanent residence who has visited over 79 countries over 10 years.

Perceptive Travel -- Perceptive Travel is an online travel magazine filled with unique perspectives from around the globe, written by some of the best travel writers on the planet.

The Professional Hobo -- Nora Dunn sold her lucrative financial planning business, sold all her stuff, and embarked on a round-the-world vagabonding life.  She shares her adventures on this fun site.

Song of the Open Road -- Currently on year 9 of his global journey, Wade has ventured through over 30 countries on 5 continents, sometimes moving slow, sometimes moving fast.

Travelvice -- In December 2005, Craig Heimburger sold most of his possessions and took off for an extended travel adventure around the world. Join the journey by reading his travelogue.

Trek Hound -- A web site for independent travelers. Here you will find information on travel literature, movies, travel tips, budget saving ideas, chronicles of past trips, food and lodging reviews, information on pet travel and much more.

Viator Travel Blog -- The staff at Viator are passionate travelers. When they’re not busy talking about their last trip, they're busy planning their next adventure.

Wanderlust and Lipstick -- Wanderlust and Lipstick provides both the nervous newbie and the well-seasoned Wanderluster with all the tools needed to set out on a dream journey.

Working Your Way Around the World -- Between telecommuting, work visas and networking, it's perfectly possible to pick up and move to different parts of the world on a regular basis, and work along the way.

Write Away! -- Lauren Carter is an award-winning writer whose articles have appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, the Toronto Star, and many more.

[+] Sources and References

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