Links to pages and things I like to use to plan, or navigate or whatever. Airfare: I mainly use the ITA Matrix anymore to price out flights and figure out who to actually book my flights through, you can find some good deals on there. I mainly like to use Kayak to price out flights and go from there. Sometimes you get better rates if you go direct to the airline website, but I like to use Kayak to get an idea of how much I gotta blow to get somewhere. Another site I like to do to price out flights is Adioso. It is especially great if you have a flexible schedule, or if you're looking into when is the best time (cost wise) to go. The next site I frequent is Air Fare Watchdog. It's good for those, oh looky here, I have a week off work coming up in 3 weeks and I don't know where to go. You just punch in your home airport, and a date and it lists rt prices and destinations. Researching destinations: I really like to use Wikitravel to start looking into a destination. I like the layout, it's easy to figure out and anyone can get onto it and add or edit it (which can be good or bad). I also like Wikitravel's 'stay safe' sections. It's more realistic safety advice than oh, say, Travel.state.gov. The American government will have you fearing for your life if you even think about visiting the outside world. Another good site to check out when in the researching phase is Virtual Tourist, you can look up destinations on there and it's all user contributed to. There are forums where you can ask questions. I like the forum for finding out things like "how long does the bus take from point A to point B?" or "is it realistic to go country A and country B on my 3 week trip, or should I really just focus on one?" Just be aware that you get those condescending-I-know-everything-and-you're-a-fucking-idiot-for-asking contributors on that forum. If I knew everything already I wouldn't be on a damn forum asking questions. But, I find that most responses are pretty useful. Guidebooks: I've used Lonely Planet and Fodor's guides. I like them both. I do however, use them as a basic guideline and a go-to once I'm on the road. I don't treat it like it's the know-all, be-all, end-all. Visa Information: I like to use Wikitravel, you usually can find this in the 'get in' section. If you are an American passport holder Travel.state.gov can be handy here. Another good resource is if your country has an embassy website for the country you plan to visit. Gear: I love the items PacSafe comes out with. I've had a purse, one of their ExoMesh bags and a wallet. They are very handy to have while traveling. My backpacking pack is made by Osprey. The pack has traveled in about 49 countries so far and is about worn out, but I definitely have gotten my money worth out of it. I use a a Katadyn Mini water filter. It comes in handy if you like to go trekking or bush camp and don't wanna get any funk from the pond water. Tours: I used to be anti-tour group until I was forced to, and actually it is quite nice just having to show up with your clothes and have everything else planned out and handled for you. My first tour was when I went to Yemen and Socotra. Given the security situation at the time I went to Yemen (right now it is a definite no-go as of April 2015) the Yemeni govt won't issue travel visas unless a tour company books it for you. I wound up going through Socotra Eco Tours. I can't speak highly enough of them. They handled everything for me and quickly answered any questions I had. My next tour I booked was the Africa Travel Co. that I did the Cape Town to Zanzibar tour through. I felt like it was a good tour for how inexpensive the price was. European Rails: I have always booked a Eurail pass prior to any of my European adventures. I'm a big fan of the Global Pass because I never know where I'm going to end up. Although, I did once use a 5 days in 1 month pass, and it worked great for what my plans were on that trip. I've found that for planning and finding out train times Deutsche Bahn is just wonderful no matter where in Europe you are looking to go. You can book some of your seat reservations even on this website (mostly in Germany). Another trick I found over time is that if you're trying to book a really long route, sometimes it will say its not available, so it it does, look it up in segments.