lauren standing in front of the love wall in prague - a colourful wall covered with graffiti - czech republic - wildlovelyworld

Travel Resources

This page is dedicated to my favourite travel resources and stuff I love. From trip planning to booking flights and accommodation to gear and travel activities to working abroad and travel blogging – it’s all here!

Over the last 10 years of my travels around the world I have used a lot of different companies to help me travel. The companies on this page are the ones that I continue to use time and time again because they continually offer the best deals and they make my traveling better.

I highly recommend this list of companies to help you have the most incredible experience while traveling. I use all of these websites, services, tools and apps while traveling and I think that you should use them too!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below may be affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase through one of these links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. I use all of the companies listed here and I recommend them because they are awesome and help make my travels better. If you are ready to book and would like to support Wild Lovely World, using these links is one way to do that. If you have any questions about any of these companies, please contact me.

Recommended Travel Resources

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lauren holding cat house pet sitting new zealand
Lauren holding cute cat Twinkle at a house sit in Auckland, New Zealand - Ⓒ Wild Lovely World

House-sitting is an amazing way you can get FREE accommodation while traveling all over the world. You can save heaps of money on accommodation by house-sitting. 

Most house-sitting jobs require you to look after people’s pets while they’re away on holiday. I think it’s so much fun taking care of animals!

You can house sit for a few days to months at a time. If you’re looking for a weekend getaway or accommodation for an extended time, there is something to suit everyone.

Me and Fiachra have been using Kiwi Housesitters, Aussie Housesitters and House Sitters UK for 4 years during our travels and completed 20+ housesits so far. It has been a great experience. We have loved taking care of loads of cute pets, plus getting accommodation for FREE! 🙂 We really enjoy it!

Get $10 off your Kiwi Housesitters membership with my referral code: 6SLUJC

Get $10 off your Aussie Housesitters membership with my referral code: XRU523

Get £5 off your House Sitters UK membership with my referral code: P2CG36

How To Find Housesitting Jobs

I recommend the sites listed below to find housesitting jobs. The websites are easy to use and feature hundreds of housesitting jobs. There are sites for housesitting jobs websites Worldwide and specifically in New ZealandUKAustraliaUSA and Canada so you can find house sits in specific regions depending on where you are and/or planning to travel. You can search and view available housesits without being a member, so take a look and see if there’s anything you’re interested in.



  • 🌏 Trusted Housesitters – Worldwide

To apply for house sits, you need to become a member. All you need to do is sign up, pay a small joining fee and create your profile.The sign up fee will pay for itself once you start doing house sits and getting free accommodation. It’s a great way to travel and I highly recommend it.

The longer you are a member, the cheaper your membership fee will be each year because you will get a discount upon renewal. is my go-to site for booking all types of accommodation. If I’m looking for a place to stay, I always search on Booking first.

The reason why Booking is my favourite accommodation website is because they have a really easy platform for searching, loads of photos and information about the properties and tons of user-generated reviews.

They have options available for all price points – budget to luxury. You can book hostels, hotels, resorts, villas, bed & breakfasts, guesthouses and apartments through Booking.

The best thing of all is that Booking guarantee the best price for your stay – I haven’t found prices cheaper anywhere else. Their booking and confirmation process is so easy and smooth. Plus, many offer FREE cancellation, so if your plans change you don’t need to worry!

Couchsurfing is a global community and there are members all over the world who offer space in their home for travelers to stay for FREE during their journey. It is a great way to stay with locals. 

I’ve used Couchsurfing many times – as a surfer and as a host! I have always loved welcoming travelers into my home and sharing stories. Couchsurfing is a great way to meet new people and discover a new place from the perspective of a local. Also it is completely FREE! The focus is on connection and sharing. By staying with someone, you will enrich their lives by sharing skills or helping out in the home, for example cooking them dinner. I have had couchsurfers who cleaned my fish tank, showed me how to play a song on the guitar and gave me photography tips. Whatever you can contribute in exchange for a bed for the night is most welcome!

Another cool service Couchsurfing has is an events page where you can meet other travelers during your trip. Whenever you visit a new city, check out if there are any Couchsurfing members who can show you around. Couchsurfing is especially nice if you are a solo traveler and would like to meet new people.

I know that Couchsurfing can be daunting if you have never done it before and the idea of staying with a stranger can understandably freak some people out! However, it is very safe and I have only ever had positive experiences with it. If you want some tips on safety, check out their advice.

loch ossian hostel hostelling scotland corrour
Hostelling Scotland's Loch Ossian Hostel in Corrour - Ⓒ Wild Lovely World

Hostelling International (HI) is a network of hostels in amazing locations all over the world. In the UK in particular, YHA & Hostelling Scotland have hostels in remote locations such as the Highlands and the Lake District so they are really good while on a hiking or country road trip. 

The facilities at HI have to meet a certain standard so they are always excellent and well maintained. HI hostels usually have a guest review rating of 4.5-5 stars! I’ve always had a great experience at every HI hostel I’ve stayed at so I highly recommend them.

I’ve been a member of HI (through Hostelling Scotland) for a couple of years. By becoming a member of HI you get access to heaps of discounts on hostels and activities worldwide. It doesn’t cost much to become a member (around £20/year) but you can save money every night you stay at a HI hostel with a 10% discount – usually around £3/night saved. You can become a member online or join at the hostel when you’re checking in. If you’re planning on doing a lot of traveling and staying in hostels then it is definitely worth getting your membership!

ani haakien hostel rotterdam holland netherlands
The beautiful Ani & Haakien Hostel in Rotterdam, The Netherlands - Ⓒ Wild Lovely World

When I first started solo traveling way back in 2009, I booked my very first hostel through Hostelworld. More than 10 years later, I am still booking hostels through Hostelworld! I’ve stayed at more than 50 hostels that I have found through Hostelworld, so the fact that I keep coming back tells you how much I rate this website!

Hostelworld have 36,000 properties in 178 countries listed on their booking platform. What I love about Hostelworld is that I can find amazing places to stay that are independently run. The cutest and most charming hostels I have ever stayed in I found through Hostelworld.

The platform is really easy to navigate and with the filter system I can find great places to stay that I trust will be good. Reviews are left by millions of other backpackers so you can get a good sense of what a hostel will be like before you decide to book.

Flights ✈️

sunrise airplane view flight
Beautiful sunrise viewed from an airplane in Japan - Ⓒ Wild Lovely World

Are you looking for great flight deals direct to your mailbox? Jack’s Flight Club is a FREE email newsletter that focuses on helping subscribers find cheap flights. There are over 1 million members in the UK and Europe!

I enjoy Jack’s Flight Club because I can get flight deal alerts without having to do the work to find them. With the FREE subscription you get 1-2 emails per week. If you want more deals you can sign up to a premium subscription and get 7-10 emails per week.

Try it out for free and see what amazing deals you get. If you like it you can sign up for more!

Google Flights is now my favourite tool for checking flight prices! It is really easy to use and I love how simple the platform looks.

Put in the dates and location you want to fly to and Google will collate all the flight prices and tell you the cheapest. You can track flights and set alerts to let you know if the prices change.

I love Google Flights map feature. You can use this to visually see how much it would cost to fly to locations all over the world based on where you are flying from.

If I’m planning to book flights, I always go to Google Flights first to check prices and schedules.

Hopper is a really handy app that can help you find the cheapest prices on flights.

All you need to do is put in the dates you want to travel and the location. The app will predict when the cheapest time to book is so you can book at the right time and save money. It will tell you if you should book now or wait as they predict prices will drop. You can ‘watch’ flights and set an alert to notify you when the flights become cheaper.

I used this app to find the cheapest prices on flights to New Zealand and managed to save a few hundred £s! Hopper‘s predictions are pretty accurate so it’s worth giving it a go if you are thinking of booking flights to a particular location.


United Kingdom

glenfinnan viaduct train scotland
Glenfinnan Viaduct, Scotland - Ⓒ Wild Lovely World

Trainline is a great website for researching train journeys in the UK. You can also book tickets in Europe with Trainline. The platform has a really easy to view format so you can easily find the cheapest price for your rail journey.

I tend to use Trainline to search for journeys and book my tickets through National Rail. This is because Trainline charge a booking fee if you book through them (that is how they make their money!). I like to search for journeys on Trainline because it is easier to view than the National Rail journey planner. Then I go over to National Rail to find my journey again and book my tickets through the official train company. If you find it easier to book all your tickets in one place then Trainline is a good way to do that and keep organised, especially if you’re making multiple trips!

National Rail is the best place to go to book tickets if you’re planning a train journey in the UK.

Use the journey planner to find schedules and prices. From there you will be redirected to the train company’s official website to book your tickets so you pay NO BOOKING FEES! I almost always book my train tickets in the UK with this method because it is the cheapest way.

National Rail also keep a track of every train journey in the UK, so you can check for updates, changes and delays to your journey.

Calmac is a ferry company in Scotland. They offer ferry journeys to all the islands in Scotland. Whenever I am planning a trip to the islands in Scotland, I will always come here to check prices, schedules and book my tickets

They have an awesome selection of island hopping tickets. These allow you to plan your own island hopping adventure in Scotland and visit multiple islands on your holiday. The website has some awesome travel inspiration for island hopping. I’d definitely check it out and see all the amazing places in Scotland you can visit by ferry.

If you’re traveling in Edinburgh then you’ll likely want to use Lothian Bus. They run buses and trams all over Edinburgh and the wider Midlothian region.

Tickets are cheap and there are multi-buy options so you can get good discounts. Their services are really frequent and the network is comprehensive so you can go anywhere!

I highly recommend you utilise the public transport system during your trip to Edinburgh. It’s one of the best in the world!

Travelling to Edinburgh? Check out these posts:

If you’re planning on taking a lot of train trips in the UK then I highly recommend you get a Railcard. For just £30/year, you can save 1/3 off rail travel. These discounts really stack up even with just a few trips. It’s absolutely worth getting a Railcard because you can save hundreds in rail fares.

You need to purchase a Railcard from one of the categories. Railcards I have had in the past are the 16-25 Railcard and the 26-30 Railcard. If you’re traveling with another person a lot, you can get the Two Together Railcard. Check out the options and see what works for you. 

Oyster Card is a great way to pay for public transport in London. You can use the Oyster Card on almost all Transport for London services, including the Tube and Buses.

You can purchase a card for £5 and then load the card with pay as you go credit that you can use for your journeys. The Oyster Card system calculates the cheapest fare for your journey. All you need to do is tap on at the beginning and tap off at the end. It makes traveling around London super easy as you don’t need to mess around buying individual tickets and it makes your journey faster as you just need to tap at the gates. You can change tube trains as many times as required to get to where you want to go. Transport for London will also cap your fare so you if you make a lot of journeys in one day/week you will only pay up to a certain amount.

If you have a Railcard you can add your discount to your Oyster Card to save even more. 

Megabus is a low cost coach service that connects cities across the UK. If you’re looking to save even more then traveling by Megabus could be a good way to go. Tickets can go for as little as £1 per journey!

It can be notoriously expensive to travel to London so I’ve used Megabus a few times to get to the capital. It takes longer but it is a lot cheaper.

Many buses now have free wifi, charging points, toilets and air conditioning.


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Bikes and boats in Amsterdam, The Netherlands - Ⓒ Wild Lovely World

FlixBus offer low-cost bus travel to 2,500 destinations in 34 countries throughout Europe.

You can get tickets for super cheap with FlixBus. I found tickets for just 5 Euros!

On a trip to Germany, I used FlixBus to travel between Berlin and Leipzig and thought it was great.

FlixBus also operates worldwide, including in the US.

In 2017, I went on a 3 week Interrailing trip around Eastern Europe. It was incredible! Using the Interrail Global Pass, I traveled on 7 days (and nights!) from Prague in the Czech Republic to Crete in Greece over 3 weeks! I traveled through 10 countries using ferries, buses and overnight trains. It was an incredible, whirlwind adventure and I would love to do it all over again!

Interrailing is a great way to see a lot of Europe in one trip. It’s really easy to travel around Europe by train. The trains are modern, comfortable and fast. Europe has a well connected rail network. You can get to all the major cities in Europe by train. You can also sleep on trains overnight to save time and money on travel and accommodation. Wake up in your next destination!

How To Use Your Interrail Global Pass

The Interrail Global Pass allows you flexible travel to 33 countries in Europe. There are different Interrail Global Pass options depending on how long you want to travel for and how many traveling days you need. I got the Interrail Global Pass with 7 traveling days within 1 month. With this Pass you can travel as much as you want on 7 different days (24 hour periods) to get to your destinations. The days don’t have to be consecutive.

You can travel on ferries and trains (including overnight trains) with the Interrail Global Pass. You can even use the pass to travel to and from the airport/railway station in your starting country. For example, I used the Pass to get from my flat in Edinburgh to Manchester Airport by train and from there I flew to the Czech Republic.

How To Choose Which Interrail Global Pass To Get

You can get 1st or 2nd Class tickets. I chose 2nd Class and it was absolutely fine! There’s no need to spend more on 1st Class in my opinion, unless you can afford it (around 100 Euros more) and you’re used to the luxury!

Depending on your age group (there are discounts for those under 27), the pass costs about 250-330 Euros (for a Second Class Interrail Global Pass with 7 traveling days within 1 month) and allows you to travel to 33 countries. It’s really good value.

Check out all the different Interrail options and plan your adventure today!

Not from Europe? You can still have an amazing European rail adventure with the Eurail Pass. It’s exactly the same, just with a different name! Check it out here.


boarding jr train yoichi hokkaido japan
My sister boarding the JR train in Yoichi, Hokkaido - Ⓒ Wild Lovely World

The Seishun Juhachi Kippu, which translates as something like ‘Youthful 18 Ticket’ is an amazing, low-cost way to travel Japan by train. A lot of people don’t know about this ticket which just makes it even more special!

This ticket is released 3 times per year during summer, winter and spring and is valid for a short seasonal time only (around 1-2 months). It allows 5 days of unlimited travel on nationwide JR local and rapid trains. The travel days don’t have to be consecutive.

Despite the name, the Seishun 18 Kippu can be used by people of any age. It is available to people of any nationality (including residents of Japan).

I traveled all the way from Tokyo to Hiroshima on this ticket. It cost just 11,000 yen which was around £65 at the time. I took 3 weeks to travel over the winter season and used the the 5 traveling days with this ticket to complete my journey. It was a great trip and I enjoyed seeing so much of the country by train!

Check Japan Guide to see seasonal availability and current prices.

Suica Card is a pre-paid smart card that you can use to pay for most public transport in Japan. It’s really handy to get one so you can use metro, trains, buses and monorail quickly and easily.

There are different pre-paid smart cards you can get depending on the region of Japan you are visiting. However, the Suica Card can be used all over Japan. In Tokyo, they are really useful for using the Tokyo Metro system. During my visits to Tokyo I used the Suica card to travel around the city using the Metro. You simply load the card with credit and tap on/off at your stops.

You can also use the Suica Card to pay for small items from kiosks, convenience stores, vending machines and luggage storage lockers in train stations.

It’s really easy to get a Suica Card from ticket vending machines and top them up there too. It costs 500 Yen (about £3.50) to get the card. At the end of your trip you can return it and get your money back!

Japan has an amazing train network. You can get nearly everywhere by train! It really is the best way to travel this beautiful country. To make your journey to Japan even easier, get the JR Pass.

The JR Pass is a rail ticket that allows you to make unlimited journeys all across Japan on JR trains. That even includes the Shinkansen (bullet train)!

The Shinkansen is a super fast train that travels at 320 km/h. This means with the JR Pass you can visit many cities during your trip. For example, you can travel on the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto in 2.5 hrs. With the JR Pass you’ll spend more time sightseeing rather than sitting on a train (although it is an experience in itself!).

If you want to visit many different places in Japan, then the JR Pass is well worth it. If you make a lot of trips then you will save money using the JR Pass than buying individual tickets. For example, the cost of a 7 day JR Pass* is about the same as a round trip ticket between Tokyo and Kyoto. So by paying a little bit more for the JR Pass*, you will have 7 days of travel all over Japan rather than just that one trip.

You can get a 7, 14 or 21 day JR Pass. It is only available to travellers to Japan on a visitor visa. It is better to order your JR Pass before you depart your home country because it is cheaper. When you arrive in Japan, go to an Exchange Office to pick up your JR Pass and begin travelling!

If you live in Japan you cannot take advantage of the JR Pass, however you can most certainly use the Seishun 18 Kippu above to travel cheaply on the trains in Japan!

For more information on the JR Pass and to order yours, visit their website here.

South East Asia

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Long-tail boat in Koh Lipe, Thailand - Ⓒ Wild Lovely World

12Go Asia is an amazing website where you can plan and book all your public transport in South East Asia. It’s super easy to use and you get instant confirmation on all your bookings.

I used 12Go Asia when I was backpacking through Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. I booked all my buses, ferries, flights and railway tickets through 12Go Asia.

I highly recommend this website to book all your tickets if you’re travelling through SE Asia! Give it a try in the search box!

Powered by 12Go system

Grab is a great app to get if you’re traveling in South East Asia. It’s a ride-hailing/on-demand mobility company. Basically a taxi app to help you get from A to B. It’s very similar to Uber, Lyft, Ola and Gett – but everyone in SE Asia uses Grab!

While traveling in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, we used Grab to get around cities like Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. It’s very easy to use, the reviews are helpful and rides are good value!


The Man In Seat 61 is an awesome train travel website. You can find information on train travel worldwide. If I’m booking a train travel trip, I will always go here for advice.

There’s loads of photos of trains and stations, schedules, advice on creating an itinerary and changing trains and how to book tickets.

I used The Man In Seat 61 when I was organising a month long interrailing trip in eastern Europe, riding the West Highland Line in Scotland and traveling by public transport from Singapore to Bangkok. If you’re booking a train trip, go here first!

Travel Activities

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Exploring the Cloud Forest in Singapore - Ⓒ Wild Lovely World

If you’re traveling in Asia and are looking for great deals on activities, then check out Voyagin.

Voyagin can offer the best prices on top activities in many countries in Asia. Some of their most popular destinations are Tokyo, Singapore, Bangkok and Seoul. I used Voyagin while traveling in Singapore. I got a really great price to the Conservatories at Gardens By The Bay.

Voyagin also has deals in other destinations worldwide. For example, you can buy tickets to  Disneyland Paris and the Warner Bros Studio Tour in London.

Check it out and see what great deals you can find!

Klook is an awesome site where you can book travel activities for a cheaper price. If you’re considering an activity, it’s always worth having a look on Klook first to see if they have it cheaper!

From day trips and tours to attractions and theme park ticketsKlook has got you covered. You can even book airport transfers, rail passes and get WiFi and SIM cards through Klook as well. 

Through Klook you can get the best rates on over 100,000 activities in more than 350 destinations worldwide.

Get Your Guide is a great website where you can find things to do and book tickets for tours and activities. You can find fun and exciting activities in cities all over the world.

It’s so easy to search and book online. In many cases Get Your Guide will get you faster access so you can skip the queue! If your plans change there’s no need to worry with FREE cancellation.

Bookme is a cool website where you can find awesome travel deals in New Zealand, Australia and Fiji.

You can save a HEAP of money booking through Bookme.

There are offers for activities, restaurants and attractions.

I booked a lot of tours through Bookme when I was traveling in New Zealand. I got some great discounts, like at the Lake Tekapo Hot Pools, Whale Watching In Kaikoura and a Milford Sound Cruise.

You need to check Bookme a few days before you want to do the activity as deals are released just a few days in advance (so not good for advance planning!).

If there is an activity you have in mind you want to do then it is definitely worth checking out Bookme for money-saving deals.

Viator is part of the Trip Advisor family, and is an awesome website to book travel activities!

It’s so easy to search for activities where ever you are travelling to. There are tours, day trips, things to do and more.

Book online, get skip the line tickets and cancellation with a full refund up to 24 hours before with Viator

Groupon is a UK deals website where you can find travel activities for cheaper! I love their travel category where you can find deals on thousands of activities.

Many times I have used Groupon to get a great price on travel activities I would have done anyway! I got an awesome deal on a tour in Northern Ireland, cheap entry tickets to a wildlife park in Scotland and bargain entrance to a historic house in Edinburgh.

Groupon is great when you’re traveling but it is also an awesome place to get ideas of things to do in your local area. You never know what you might find on Groupon!

Itison is a Scottish deals and events website. While living in Scotland I loved checking out Itison’s daily deals as they have great offers on hotels, spas, food and drink and more with around 50% off.

They have an awesome getaway deals section where you can find bargain mini breaks. Last year, I booked a weekend away for me and my partner to a really cute B&B in Arrochar with 3 course dinner, breakfast and a bottle of processco for just £79!

Itison also have great deals on activities. I booked a lovely cruise and afternoon tea on Loch Katrine for me and a friend for just £29.

Deals are in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Dundee, Edinburgh and they have now have branched out to Manchester and Newcastle too. If you’re visiting any of these cities, I highly recommend you check out Itison

GrabOne is a great deals website for New Zealand.

Find great offers on getaways, restaurants, activities and more.

Deals are available all over New Zealand. It’s worth checking if GrabOne has a better price on an activity you want to do anyway!

In 2019 I traveled to Iceland in the winter and I had the most incredible experience!

I took a tour with Arctic Adventures and over 3 days I explored the Golden Circle and South Coast. I hiked glaciers, went deep into ice caves, walked along Diamond Beach and was awed by geysers.

I did a lot of research before choosing this company but the 5 star reviews did not lie!

The small group tour was great and our guide was excellent. I wouldn’t hesitate to book with this company again.

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Glacier hiking at Vatnajökull, Iceland - Ⓒ Wild Lovely World

Money & Insurance

Halifax Clarity - Fee-Free Spending & Withdrawls Abroad (UK)

I’ve been using the Halifax Clarity Card for many years now. It is one of the best travel credit cards available. With Mastercard, it gives near perfect exchange rates and charges NO FEES on exchanges, cash withdrawals or spending abroad. 

My partner has been using Revolut for about 3 years and he thinks it’s really useful. It’s an online banking app that allows you to spend and transfer money in 29 currencies without paying fees. We used it to transfer money to pay for our campervan in New Zealand. When traveling in SE Asia we used it to withdraw money and spend in stores without paying fees. You can sign up on your phone for free in the UK and Ireland, and more countries soon. If you’re interested in joining, contact me and I can send you a referral link. 

MoneySavingExpert - Money Saving Tips (UK)

MoneySavingExpert is my favourite website for money saving tips! They have a great travel section to help you save money and cut costs. It is UK based and there’s heaps of advice for travel insurance, money and credit cards.

Before heading away for a year backpacking, I got travel insurance with Allianz Assistance. They have really good policies for backpackers going on long term trips. The prices were really reasonable, a low excess and good coverage. When the COVID-19 Pandemic hit, they even updated their policy to cover it and contacted me to let me know. During my trip, I had to make a claim and they handled it really well. The process was easy and straightforward. I’d definitely get travel insurance with them again.

If you need to send money between different countries, then using Wise is a great way to do this for minimal cost.

Banks often charge fees to send or receive money going to or coming from another bank abroad. This is where Wise comes in.

You can send and receive money between different countries without those pesky bank fees. Just pay one fee through Wise, which is around 0.4% of what you want to send (changes depending on the currency, but not by much).

As they transfer money from local bank accounts, it essentially tricks your bank into believing it is receiving a local transaction, rather than from abroad.

Sending money is so simple through Wise. I have been using it for years to send money between the UK and New Zealand for example, it has always worked perfectly and I’ve never had to worry. The transfers are so quick, and you can keep track of everything in your Wise account.

To ensure you always get the best rate, you can set up exchange rate alerts to your email inbox and also there is the option to set up automatic transfers when it meets a certain rate that you choose.

Wise offers more than just international money transfers. You can also get a Wise debit card so that you can spend and withdraw money abroad fee-free.

I highly recommend Wise as it has made my life so much easier with sending money between different countries. If you want to join (it is free), then with my referral link you will receive a fee-free transfer up to NZ$900 or equivalent when you sign up with my link.

Meet New People & Other Travelers


Couchsurfing is an awesome global community where you can meet new people and other travelers.

The Couchsurfing events page is where you can meet up with new people during your trip. Whenever you visit a new city, check out if there are any Couchsurfing members who can show you around.

If you’re a solo traveler and want to meet new people then Couchsurfing is a great global community to become a member of. You’ll make new friends wherever you go!


Meetup is a fun online service where you can find groups to hang out with who have similar interests.

Create an account for free and search all the events happening in your local area. Events are created by the members themselves so there is a real sense of community about it. 

There are Meetups for all sorts of interests and categories so you are bound to find something that suits you. If you don’t, then start your own group!

I have used Meetup to play board games, have afternoon tea and take walks. It’s a great way to meet others and do something fun together!

Wild Lovely Wanderers Travel Community

Join my new travel community! I’ve set up a new Facebook group called Wild Lovely Wanderers. This travel community is for all travel lovers and is inclusive for all. This group is to help you to meet like-minded people, share travel tips, ask questions, and get advice. To say hello to the group, let us know about your favourite travel destination and your top sightseeing activity in that location… I hope you join and enjoy becoming a member of my travel community! Click the banner below to be taken to the Facebook group now!

International Volunteering 💚

International Voluntary Service (IVS) is the UK’s oldest international volunteering organisation. Since 1931, IVS has been sending volunteers abroad to work on life-changing short and long term volunteer projects!

I worked for IVS for 12 months in Edinburgh so I can vouch for how awesome this organisation is!

IVS is a not-for-profit so all of their volunteering programs are low cost or FREE. That’s right, you can volunteer abroad for FREE! Don’t pay extortionate volunteer abroad program fees – check out IVS’ projects.

I joined a short-term IVS volunteering project in Scotland. I volunteered for one week at a farm in the gorgeous highlands. It was so much fun and I learned a lot of new skills.

As an accredited sending organisation for the European Solidarity Corps (ESC), IVS can help you to get on a fully-funded volunteering project in Europe – see below to find out more. 

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Volunteering at Leckmelm Farm in Scotland - Ⓒ Wild Lovely World

European Solidarity Corps (ESC) is a European Union initiative to give opportunities to 18-30 year olds to volunteer abroad. Many of my friends have done ESC and have told me how awesome it is. 

It is absolutely FREE to join an ESC project and all expenses are paid, including flight, accommodation and food costs. Volunteers also receive a monthly ‘pocket money’ allowance. So you can even earn while volunteering! Use this money to travel and explore on your days off or save up for something bigger.

Projects are from 2-12 months and cover a variety of topics and causes. Register online and search their database for your next adventure.

I’ve recently joined Workaway and I am really excited to get started! Workaway is an international community of hosts and travelers. Travelers volunteer to help out hosts with projects for a few hours each day in exchange for food and accommodation. There are more than 50,000 projects in 170 countries worldwide on Workaway doing all sorts of activities. The focus is on cultural exchange, learning new skills and meeting new people.

To become a Workawayer, there is a membership fee of USD $44/year (approx £34). If you sign up as a couple, you can save a little bit of money (USD $56/year [approx £43]). Then, create your profile and apply for projects!

WWOOF – Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms or Willing Workers on Organic Farms – is a worldwide movement connecting volunteers with organic farmers and growers. The movement aims to promote cultural and educational experiences thereby creating global, sustainable communities. I think this is a really cool thing to do while traveling!

There are organic farms all over the world looking for WWOOFers! As a WWOOFers you help out with daily tasks and experience life as an organic farmer. In exchange for working on the farm, you’ll get food and accommodation. Plus, you’ll learn new skills and meet new people!

To join, choose your WWOOF destination and pay a small membership fee of around £20/year. You can save a little bit of money if you sign up as a couple (£30/year).

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Herding sheep while volunteering on a farm - Ⓒ Wild Lovely World

HelpX is a platform for hosts offering opportunities to connect with travelers who want to volunteer in exchange for food and accommodation.

The website looks pretty old school but it does the job! Hosts list their opportunities and travelers can apply. There are opportunities all over the world. The service is particularly popular in Australia and New Zealand.

The reason HelpX is a favourite for a lot of travelers because it is simple and cheap. The membership fee is just 20 Euros for 2 years for both single and joint memberships.

Peace Boat is a Japan-based international NGO working to promote peace, human rights and sustainability. They are guided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their global voyages offer a unique program of activities centered on experiential learning and intercultural communication.

You can join Peace Boat‘s voyages around the world as a volunteer. Volunteer as an English or Spanish teacher on the Global English/Espanol Training (GET) Programme. GET is Peace Boat‘s English and Spanish school. On the voyages, the programme is run by volunteer teachers who inspire students to use language to make connections with people around the world. If you are good with languages, you can also volunteer as an Interpreter if you speak two or more of: Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Spanish and English.

Two of my friends have volunteered on Peace Boat and had an amazing experience teaching/interpreting while traveling around the world. I would definitely consider it!

Festival Volunteering In The UK (Attend Music Festivals For FREE!)

I love the UK festival scene! There are hundreds of awesome festivals every summer in the UK. The best way to experience festivals is to volunteer! You get to go to as many festivals as you want for FREEI’ve volunteered at Leeds, Bestival, Glastonbury, Boomtown and Shambala just to name a few! I’ve always had an awesome experience volunteering.

Oxfam Festivals is the best way to volunteer at festivals. I volunteered with them for 3 years and got to go to the best festivals across the UK for FREEYou can volunteer as a Campaigner or as a Steward. Both roles are cool but Campaigning takes a little more work (work everyday from 8am-4pm). As a Steward, you work 3 shifts of 8 hours during the festival. One of those shifts is a night shift and two day shifts. In exchange for volunteering you get entrance to the festival for free. So for 24 hours total work, the rest of the time is yours to do as you please!

The Oxfam team is super friendly and provide the best facilities for crew with heaps of perks. You get a private campsite with 24/7 gate security, hot showers, hot water, free charging for your devices, free hot drinks and food. Since volunteering at festivals I have honestly never wanted to pay for a ticket again!

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Lauren volunteering with Oxfam Festivals Team at Bestival - Ⓒ Wild Lovely World

Another way to go to music festivals for free in the UK is to work or volunteer with Hotbox events. They are a company that works with festivals and events across the UK to provide volunteers and paid event staff.

Very similar to Oxfam, you apply for the festivals you want to go to and if you are accepted you pay a deposit. The deposit is the cost of the ticket fee and will be refunded after the festival once you complete all your shifts.

By attending the festival as ‘staff’ you will have the luxury of free phone charging and hot drinks, secure camping, parking and facilities and discounted food vouchers.

I’ve never gone to a festival with Hotbox myself however I have always considered it and I am on their mailing list. Especially now that they are offering PAID festival jobs, it is definitely a more tempting offer!

Hotbox events have gigs at Download, Latitude, Bestival, Reading and Leeds some of the biggest music festivals in the UK. Sign up to their newsletter and apply to join events online through their website.

Work & Training

Erasmus+ - Free Training Opportunities In Europe

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Erasmus+ Training in Bulgaria

Erasmus+ is the European Union’s program to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe. There are hundreds of opportunities available for people and organisations all around the world.

Erasmus+ is managed by the European Commission and all of their programmes are fully-funded. This means there are no participation fees and all participant expenses are reimbursed.

There’s so much on offer that I cannot list it all here, but check out the website. I also can recommend these websites to find Erasmus+ opportunities for work and training abroad:

  • SALTO-YOUTH Find training opportunities across Europe. Activities call for participants from particular countries to ensure an international group. There is a quota so, if you see something you like, get your application in early. SALTO-YOUTH is primarily for youth workers, but anyone can join. It’s an amazing way to meet new people, learn new skills, gain perspective and cultural exchange opportunities.
  • Eurodesk Opportunity Finder – Find volunteering, internships, participation opportunities as well as fun competitions to win travel related prizes.

In 2019, I joined an Erasmus+ training programme in the beautiful mountains in Bulgaria for one week. I got to travel to an amazing new place, meet incredible people and learn new skills for FREE. All my travel costs were reimbursed by the EU and I had a wonderful, life-changing experience. I highly recommend you to check out what programs you are eligible for!

Duolingo - Language Learning App

Duolingo is a really fun language learning service. You can do it online or download the app. I have been keeping up my Japanese and Spanish learning with Duolingo and I think it’s really neat. The interface is really simple and cute and you can complete a lesson in a few minutes! 

Teach English Online & Abroad

I’ve been teaching English online for over 1 year now and I love it! It gives me the opportunity to earn while I travel. I can work anywhere with an internet connection!

If you’re thinking about teaching online but aren’t sure where to start, or you want to earn extra money online, or work from home and set your own schedule, then getting your TEFL Cert is a great way to achieve these goals!

I even got my TEFL certification online! I did a 120-hr TEFL course from the comfort of my own home.

If you want the flexibility to work when you want and where you want, I highly recommend giving online English teaching a go! There’s a huge demand for online English teachers right now, as more people are staying at home. So it’s a great time to start.

I’ve done it and honestly it was one of the best choices I ever made! I love having the freedom to work when I want and where I want – it’s amazing! I also get a lot of joy out of teaching and find it very rewarding to see my students enjoying English.

How To Get TEFL Certified

I got my TEFL certification from International TEFL and TESOL Training (ITTT). I thought that the content was really useful and it was easy to do in my own time. There was even online tutor support if I ever needed it. The combination of example scenarios, lesson plans, quizzes and videos gave me the knowledge and skills I needed to teach. After I completed my course they sent me a proper certificate in the mail. They also helped me to find a TEFL job afterwards.

ITTT are offering readers of Wild Lovely World a huge discount on their TEFL courses. Get a massive 20% discount on your course. This big discount means you can get your 120-hr TEFL certification for just USD $191/£147. Once complete you can start teaching right away!

Most online teaching jobs will start paying from around £10/hr minimum, so it will only take you about 15 hours work to cover the cost of the course! ITTT can help you to find a job too.

The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme is a Japanese government program that aims to promote grass-roots cultural exchange between Japan and other nations. It is a prestigious program with a long history and a great international reputation. Since JET started in 1987, there have been thousands of participants from many countries around the world.

I was a JET Programme participant from 2013-2015 (2 years). I worked as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) in a small, rural seaside town in the northern prefecture of Hokkaido. I helped to promote internationalisation in my local community by helping schools with their foreign language (English) education and providing opportunities for cultural exchangeIt was a really interesting and life-changing experience. I have amazing memories from my JET experience.

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Lauren working as an ALT on the JET Programme - Ⓒ Wild Lovely World

How To Apply To The JET Programme

If you’re looking to work abroad and are interested in discovering all that Japan has to offer, I would highly recommend checking out the JET Programme.

To apply, you need to have a Bachelors degree in any discipline and be a national of the country where the recruitment procedures take place (see full eligibility criteria here).

Intakes are annual, with applications submitted in October/November for departure to Japan the following August/September.

Since leaving Japan, I am still involved with the JET Programme and help future JETs to prepare for their adventure. So if you have any questions about JET, please get in touch!

Blogging Resources 💻

If you want to start your own self-hosted travel blog, then look no further than Bluehost. I recently switched web-hosting from Siteground to Bluehost and I’m so glad I did. I saved so much money switching to Bluehost!

From just £2.95/month, you can have your own space on the internet with 24/7 awesome customer service (trust me, they are great!), FREE SSL certificate, high storage capacity (more than I was getting at Siteground) and unmetered bandwidth. You can also use WordPress to manage your site.

Bluehost have the cheapest hosting prices on the web – you won’t get any cheaper than Bluehost! I’m really impressed with Bluehost so far and I highly recommend them.

Namecheap is the cheapest place on the internet to register your domain name.

You can get domain names insanely cheaply – like from 99 cent! They all include WhoisGuard domain privacy protection for FREE. Their customer service is also excellent.

I recently transferred my domain name registration to Namecheap. The process was easy and well worth it.

WPBeginner - WordPress Guides

WPBeginner is an amazing website which teaches beginners how to use WordPress.

They have tons of guides and amazing tutorials on all things WordPress – plugins, SEO, performance, security…

If you are starting your own self-hosted blog with WordPress, get all your questions answered by WPBeginner.