What I use, and recommend
All of the products and services listed below are products I personally use and highly recommend. I will NEVER promote any product or service on this site I do not wholeheartedly endorse and use myself. You may be wondering why I give such detailed descriptions. It’s because I feel strongly about these companies, and have first-hand positive experience to share. I’m here to help, not just flood you with a bunch of links without telling you “why” I’m promoting them. When I see someone doing that, I wonder if they really even have any experience with these brands.
Yes, full disclosure, these are affiliate links
These links are affiliate links, and I will earn a small commission if you purchase something. There is absolutely NO cost to you. ALL proceeds from my affiliate marketing efforts are strictly used to support this blog, so that I can continue to provide weekly content to help readers for many years to come! And as I mentioned before, I NEVER promote any brand I do not personally use and endorse. Thank you to everyone for their support so I can keep the blog going!
Places to stay
Airbnb is an excellent option for long-term stays, budget travel, and digital nomads. With Airbnb, longer-term stays are often far more affordable than traditional hotels, and there’s a huge selection in a variety of price ranges and amenities. Frankly, the digital nomad lifestyle would be impossible for me if it weren’t for Airbnb! It’s a very popular means of securing accommodations for digital nomads. And with each property listing reviews from others who’ve stayed there before you, you can rest assured your accommodations will meet your expectations!
I’ve stayed in several Radisson hotels, and never been disappointed. The decor has always been trendy and modern, and the service attentive and courteous. The rooms have always been comfortable. Of course, seeing is believing. I posted a review and tour of the Radisson Blu in Hamburg, Germany you can watch and get a better idea of what to expect:
Sandals offers a luxurious all-inclusive travel experience, and I really appreciate how stress-free it can be to pre-pay everything, enjoy the amenities, and not worry about getting billed at my destination. The resorts are beautiful and offer a vast variety of restaurants and activities to choose from. Who doesn’t love choices?
Viator saves me time and money. With Viator, I can stay in one “home base” city, and venture out to more distant attractions without having to worry about transportation between multiple attractions. I’ve also received the benefit of discounted prices over buying a ticket for each attraction separately. To give you an example, I had a wonderful time taking three Viator tours during my stay in Munich, Germany. The first day I went to Neuschwanstein Castle. The second day I went to both Rothenburg and Harburg Castle on one day trip. And the third day I got a double-decker bus tour for exploring Munich. I did all this with my Munich hotel as my home base, and no rental car.
City Pass is a great way to see multiple attractions in a city at one bulk discount, instead of paying for each attraction separately. They usually include transportation options like double decker bus tours and water taxis. For example, when I purchased one for New York City, I used it on Big Bus, New York Water Taxi, the Empire State Building Observatory, American Museum of Natural History, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 911 Memorial, and the Guggenheim Museum. I saved 42% over what I would have paid buying each ticket separately. The City Pass is available for many major cities. Added bonus – it offers a skip-the-line option in many cases! If you’re anything like I am, you don’t have time (or the patience) for standing in lines!
Instant Travel Tier Upgrades
NO this is NOT a credit card! There’s no credit check, and it doesn’t extend credit. It’s a VIP card primarily for, but not exclusively for, entrepreneurs. Getting this card has been the single most worthwhile thing I’ve done in improving my travel experiences and saving money in the process. With the Founders Card I receive an automatic tier level upgrade with many premium travel companies. I’ll give you two examples. I get an automatic tier level upgrade to Diamond with Caesar’s Entertainment every year, regardless of how much I play in their casinos. Ordinarily, it takes 15,000 tier points to reach that level. It takes a tremendous amount of money through the machines or at the tables to achieve that. Another example – I get Hilton Honor’s Gold automatically every year. Ordinarily this requires 50 nights stayed. That’s a lot of nights – and impractical for most people who don’t travel for business. There are also other hotel companies, airlines, car rental companies, and more that offer tier bonuses. The card also gives you great discounts with other reputable companies like Apple and Adobe! And special hotel deals only for Founders Card members. This card has been the best investment I’ve ever made from a travel standpoint.
iTalki is unique in that you receive one-on-one instruction from a native speaker over a service like Skype. If you’re shy, you can sign in to your lessons with audio only, or you can enjoy a video interaction with your instructor. iTalki has instructors all over the world, teaching even the most obscure of languages. Lessons are tailored to YOUR needs. You tell your instructor what topics you want to cover, and you set the pace. Considering the highly personalized experience you’re getting, iTalki is an extraordinary value. Trial lessons are available for $5 or less! There’s no substitute for interacting with a native in the target language when you’re learning! I’ve studied Korean and Mandarin Chinese on iTalki, AND in college. And, frankly, the iTalki lessons have been far more effective and efficient (not to mention much cheaper!) than college coursework. I recommend using iTalki simultaneously with an online program and/or textbook.
Shopping for travel gear
This one needs no introduction, I’m sure. Amazon is the one-stop-shop for everything under the sun, shipped in two days (with Prime), at very competitive prices. I’ve found particularly good values on luggage, photography gear, travel gadgets, and language and travel books. Of course, when I order these things, I usually end up ordering other stuff I couldn’t find anywhere else…!
Rakuten gives you cash back for shopping at the stores you already shop at. I love this program because I don’t believe in credit cards, and don’t have any “rewards” credit cards. Rakuten makes up for that. When I visit stores like Best Buy, Old Navy, Sephora, and more (take a peek – your favorite stores are probably on there!) I get cash back. No catch. I just have to remember to enter the store through the Rakuten dashboard. I’ve received hundreds of dollars in cash back already, buying stuff I was already going to buy anyway.
Way offers discounted parking for airports, cruise ports, and more. They have an app you can download and conveniently scan your reservation when you arrive. All locations offer free shuttle service to and from the airport or cruise port. I’ve saved hundreds of dollars using Way parking instead of parking at airports and cruise ports. I’d rather save up that money and take an extra flight or cruise! Added bonus – I don’t need to deal with the chaos of traffic at the airport and cruise port!
Planning and Scheduling
Finally a planning and scheduling system that can handle my busy travel, language learning, and work schedule! Additionally, it’s a joy to use, it’s colorful and full of other eye candy. I can’t wait to log in each morning to keep track of my upcoming tasks – daily, monthly, and more! I can keep detailed task lists for all my trips, and log big goals for the future. I was totally disorganized and stressed before ClickUp put my life in order!
Helping the Planet
I believe that as a world traveler, it’s also important to be a good citizen of the world. So I use environmentally friendly, sustainable products around the house whenever I can. Grove has a wide selection of cleaning and self-care products that are organic and environmentally friendly, conveniently delivered to your door at whatever frequency you choose. I often get freebies from them, and I’ve been pleased with the prices. The Mrs. Myers products are a definite favorite – the scents are intoxicating! So I advocate preserving the world while you’re traveling the world, and make it a beautiful place to visit for a long time to come!