You've researched your trip, decided where to go and are ready to book. With so many booking sites out there, it can be overwhelming knowing which ones to use. This page is a list of all the sites I use to book my solo trips and are my ‘go-to' resources and trusted sites. From booking flights, hotels, hostels and airport lounges to the more mundane such as insurance and currency, this list should cover everything you need for your solo travels.
All companies have been checked to be operating responsibly and by booking through this page you are helping to support this site. There is no extra cost to you and Girl about the Globe pledges to give 10% to charities such as War Child and Save The Children. Thanks for helping 🙂 (Click on the headings to go through to the websites).
Finding Cheap Flights
I always use this for my flights. Skyscanner is the first site I check because it not only gives me one of the best rates but it also allows me to search for flights with multiple airlines throughout the whole month. There’s even a function to search ‘everywhere’ for the cheapest deals to anywhere (which is brill if I'm somewhere and looking for the next cheapest destination). Once I've decided on the date that I want to fly, I can add a special alert to get notified when a flight price goes down, so I can book it at the right time and save some cash!
If you want to save money on accommodation consider Couchsurfing. I used this in Costa Rica, Paris and Switzerland and had good experiences. Look for reviews from other girls travelling solo if you're apprehensive about staying with strangers. It's a good way to meet a local, save money and have a ready-made friend when you arrive in a country for the first time. You do have to be sociable though so if you like your own company then maybe check into Airbnb or a hotel instead.
Hostels are a great way of meeting people and you don't have to stay in a dorm either. Most hostels often private rooms so you can still have your own space and then socialise in the common areas when you feel like it. Hostelz is the only hostel website which freely lists information on all the hostels so you can see where to get the lowest price. It also includes other hostels which you won't find on other booking websites, so you'll find all the hostels in one place. Easy!
Booking.com is so easy to use and I love this site. They have over 700,000 accommodation so you’re guaranteed to find a bed wherever you want to go. Each hotel is rated with reviews so you can read other’s opinions on location, facilities and check how good the Wifi is (an essential if you're a digital nomad). The ‘best value for your money’ option helps to narrow down your search, and you don’t pay anything until you check into your hotel. You can get some really good deals on this site, plus you can now find hostel beds on here too. This is my favourite site.
Airbnb connects travellers to unique travel experiences and it isn’t just restricted to spare rooms in local’s houses. You can now stay in villas, castles and even find penthouses within your budget. Plus you get the chance to stay away from the tourist areas with a local who can give you inside tips for their city or town, and in some cities, it works out cheaper than a hotel room for one. This was my preferred site when I was travelling in Caribbean as hotels were quite costly. Being solo I tend to stay away from the accommodation with no reviews and book the ones which have glowing reviews from other women. If you book through this link you'll save $20 off your first stay too!
Late Rooms is literally what it says it is. Although I don't use this site often, it is handy if you decide on a last minute getaway (but you can book months before if you are super organised). It doesn't have the volume of accommodation that Booking.com has but it does have more UK hotels than anyone else, as well as many across Europe and the rest of the world. With over 55,000 properties, special offers when you search, and a 24 hour contact centre, they are incredibly easy to use.
True Traveller is my favourite insurance, and one which is perfect for those who don’t know how long they will be on the road. You can create a tailored insurance policy with extras such as baggage, cancellations and all types of activities, or just opt for the medical insurance. Everything about these insurance policies are just fab but what I really love is the fact that they allow you to buy a ticket when you are already on the road or extend it if you decide to stay longer (which I've definitely made use of). Find out how to choose the right insurance for you.
Sometimes you just don't want to take a tour and may prefer to hire a car instead, especially if you're travelling to the Caribbean where airport transfers can be expensive. I hired a car which was cheaper than a transfer and a day tour, and had the freedom of driving myself around the islands.
Avis has more than 5000 locations worldwide so you’re pretty much guaranteed to find an Avis wherever you go. This makes it easy to collect a car at the airport and drop it off in another destination, or even take it one-way across a European border. Avis is ideal and many of their vehicles come with GPS too, perfect for those of us who are challenged in the map reading department.
I've never hired a campervan but during my time in the travel industry, Britz were the chosen company by our clients. They are popular in New Zealand and Australia where travelling solo is really safe but they are not just limited to Oceania. Britz now have campervans in South Africa and the U.S.A. The Venturer van is perfect for solos with a spacious bed big enough for two, a shower and a toilet and onboard and even a DVD player for those lonely nights.
Spending hours on a bus can get lonely so for those solos looking to meet like-minded others to share long journeys with, Busabout provides just that. I travelled through most of Europe with this company and it just made my trip so much easier than going it alone. They are a really sociable company and I met so many people during my bus journeys. Plus they drop you off and pick you up from a chosen hostel so you can stay with the friends that you just met on the bus.
The guides are great and give you information about your next destination on your journey and play movies relevant to where you're going (e.g The Sound of Music for Austria). I even went on a bar crawl in Prague which they arranged. For those who prefer to travel more independently, this is a stress-free way of getting around a country in safety and style. Originally with routes in Europe, they have now expanded to Asia and North Africa so you can get your Busabout experience globally.
Four years ago I booked my first airport lounge. Always thinking that they were more for business men I was so impressed with all the pre-flight treatments (not to mention all you can eat brownies). If you need some pampering before you fly you can get a pedicure, manicure or a massage to relieve the travelling stress. Awarded a four star bubble rating by the Good Spa Guide, and using skincare specialist Dermalogica, they can eliminate all your pre-flight nerves and get you boarding the plane feeling like a princess. N.b. At the moment the travel spas are only in some UK airports. (They also arrange limousine transfers too!)
You know the feeling, you arrive in a new country after a long flight with people shouting “taxi, taxi.” You’re told not to get into an illegal cab but you’re tired and don’t know what to do. That’s where pre-booking your airport transfer come in. Hoppa makes your experience so much easier and although it’s more expensive than a local bus, it will give you peace of mind especially if you're due to arrive after dark.