Hotels: I seldom use hotels, but on the rare occasion I do so I use sites like Hotels.com to search and book online.
Airbnb is a great option in many places – once you’ve had your fill of dormitories and an incident or two like this, private apartments become very attractive (especially if you’re working on the go). I mostly stay in Airbnbs these days.
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I was amazed when readers started asking how they could make a donation to thank me for the information they’d found useful on this site. But it does happen from time to time so if that’s you, you can do so here:
World Nomads travel insurance has been designed by travelers for travelers. If you leave home without travel insurance or your policy runs out, you can buy or extend while on the road.
JR Pass: if you’re heading to Japan, the JR Pass is an absolutely brilliant way to see the country. For a flat fare paid up front, you get a pass to ride Japan’s awesome rail system as much as you like for 7, 14, or 21 days. Train fares are quite high in Japan, and although the JR passes have recently had a steep price increase the JR Pass can still save you money if you want to cover a lot of ground in a short time. For less ambitious itineraries, it’s better to buy individual train tickets (which you can do here with a 10 USD discount). For more on whether you should get a JR Pass see my post here, or click the banner to dive in and order:
China train tickets: buying train tickets in China used to be a complete pain in the ass, but thankfully it’s become easier in recent years. You still have to line up to show your ID and collect your tickets, but at least now you can search, book, and pay for the tickets online; you’re given a booking code which you just need to show at the ticket widow (along with all passengers’ IDs) in order to collect your tickets. Obviously it’s a good idea (if you know your dates) to book a bunch of journeys in advance and collect all the tickets at once. Without a Chinese ID you can’t use the official booking site, but 12go Asia is a foreigner-friendly alternative.
Korea train tickets: 12go Asia is also the easiest way for visitors to book tickets online in Korea. It’s actually super-easy to buy train tickets in person in Korea – there’s no messing about with ID checks etc – but booking online guarantees you a seat on the train you want/saves you a trip to the station to make an advance booking in person.
India train tickets: overland travel through India can be hard work, but these days you can take some of the hassle out of it by booking online. The official Indian Railways site is here, but notorious for being difficult for overseas users; again, 12go is easy to use, fully international, and probably worth the small markup (you can also use them for buses & flights)
SE Asia tickets: you can easily book tickets online through 12go (also good for some ferries & buses, and domestic & regional flights)