Our 11 Favourite Travel Tools of 2017

Our 11 Favourite Travel Tools of 2017
Road Tripping, house sitting and hiking pretty much sums up our 2017 story so far and we’ve travelled this way constantly for nearly 6 months. It’s a new type of travel for us where we stay in peoples homes, care for their pets, cosy up into bed and breakfast’s in the gaps…  and get to know the UK intimately. I mean, who does that in their own country?!
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This change of travel pace, having the freedom of a car and pushing ourselves to develop as hikers has allowed us to hone in on some fantastic products and ways that help us travel more ecologically and economically. So we’ve put our heads together to come up with some indispensable tools that we’ve needed this year on our Ultimate British Road Trip, things we can hardly live without. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
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Welcome to our 11 Favourite Travel Tools of 2017

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Lifestraw water bottle - Favourite Travel Tools of 2017

Favourite Eco Product: LifeStrawⓇ Go

We had ours mailed to us a few weeks ago for hiking adventures here in the UK and for when we head to Europe. Now we no longer have to carry 4L of water on every hike because if there’s a waterfall or creek en-route we just fill up as we go.
You cannot find a more Eco friendly product than this. The LifeStraw Go is by far the most handy item in our backpacks right now, allowing us to refill water from not only any tap in the world but any stream and puddle! It’s specially designed straw eradicates bacteria, decreases the presence of chemicals and makes water taste more pure. With one of these you’ll never have to buy a bottle of water again and you’ll be helping to keep the planet free of plastic. Plus you’ll be supporting a company that distributes and sustains its life saving product across the globe. Here’s their promise: For each LifeStrawⓇ you purchase, one school child in a developing community receives safe drinking water for an entire school year.
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Blah Blah Car - 11 Favourite Travel Tools of 2017Favourite Local Transport Method: Bla Bla Car

Enter the “trust age” with a site we wish we’d heard about long ago. This new car-pooling scheme is hoping to reduce loneliness and fumes while providing travellers with a cheap alternative to local transport. Alternatively, if you’re driving with some spare seats why not cover the fuel cost by taking on a passenger or two. To avoid any misunderstands the cost of travel is determined by Bla Bla Car plus drivers can opt in or out of making detours for their passengers before submitting their route.
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We’ve signed up to take 2 passengers from the Dieppe ferry port in France to Switzerland for 96 Euro’s in June.
Why?
a)We’re going anyway
b)96Euro’s is a massive fuel contribution
c) We’ll appreciate the company of fellow travellers
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 Webjet - 11 Favourite Travel Tools of 2017

Favourite Booking Website: Webjet

 This year we’ve started to look out of the box with booking websites in the hope of catching better deals, better interfaces and also just to see what we’re missing out there. Booking airfares and hotels can be irritating at the best of times but we’ve started using Webjet for its simplistic platform. Flights, accommodation and car hire, it’s got it all. But the feature that keep us coming back is it’s accommodation search engine, where we can compare all types of hotels based on their price and quality. There’s also an interpretative map and the booking process is all in-house (no redirecting or external links, woohoo).
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 .Black Leather Converse - Favourite Travel Tools of 2017

Favourite Piece of Travel Clothing: Converse Sneakers

First things first, nothing is more versatile and therefore useful than a sarong. It’s a skirt, beach towel, blanket, headscarf, bed sheet, side bag and can even be used as a curtain. We wouldn’t dream of leaving the house without one. But for the first time in 6 years it’s taken a backseat because of the unique way we are travelling at the moment. Instead, the simple black leather converse has taken top spot – I barely take them off. I know what your saying “a pair of sneakers is your favourite piece of travel clothing?” and my answer is “YES!!!” I wear them every day for any occasion. They dress up (the black leather helps there), they dress down, can be worn on a sporadic adventure and if they get muddy I simply wipe them down with a cloth. Basically my converse and my hiking boots are the only footwear I need.
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Pinterest - Favourite Travel Tools of 2017

Favourite Place for Travel Motivation: Pinterest

This was a tricky one, we rely on so many versions of media to help us find great destinations, such as Google Street View and other travel blogs. But Pinterest is still the platform that trumps all, a place we often see an image that gets our hearts pounding. Once we know where we want to go these other resources become our tools for scouting out those areas and providing us with the how-to of getting there.

 

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 .Map My Tracks - 11 Favourite Travel Tools of 2017

 

Favourite Travel Related App: XE Currency App and Map My Tracks

This might seem like a no-brainer but we honestly use these two apps all of the time. From scouting out the trends of our home currency (Australian Dollar versus British Pound) to seeking out the conversions for a packet of crisps in Norway, we love the XE currency App. It’s free, it’s does’t take up too much space on your phone and it’s really easy to use.

 

Map My Tracks is a free app that we’ve had for quite a few years now. Originally downloaded to measure Prue’s running distance it’s become our hiking pal. It doesn’t require a network to work and runs in standby mode so it doesn’t chomp through our battery life. A quick glimpse at the interface and we know how long we’ve been hiking, how far, our average speed and how much height gain we’ve done… its fabulous.

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 Hand sanitser - 11 Favourite Travel Tools of 2017

Favourite Travel Item: Hand sanitiser

Hand sanitiser never leaves our bag, as a matter of fact we have one in the car too. It’s sounds super germaphobic/paranoid but it really does come in handy especially when you’re stopping for lunch on a dog walk and can’t find a loo to wash your hands.
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Scotland - Favourite Travel Tools of 2017

Favourite House Sitting Website: Trusted Housesitters

When the idea of house sitting around the UK came about we signed onto two house sitting websites, Trusted house Sitters and House Carers. Trusted Houssitters has been a much better experience all round and heres why:
1. Previous house sitters and home owners can review each other. This method protects both parties ensuring the sit being offers is decent as well the sitters.
2. There are many more house sits available. Right now there are 830 sits available in the UK on Trusted Housesitters and 19 on House Carers.
3. House Carers often have house sit ads which are not technically housesitting. E.g. Run my lodge in Scotland.
4. Of the 10 house sits we did, 2 were from House Carers and weirdly both were very disappointing. We both feel that if there was a review system in place like the other website other sitters may have been able to warn us about these particular sits.
Trusted Housesitters is £89 per year
 House Carers is £38.80 per year
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Traveloris - Favourite Travel Tools of 2017

Favourite New Travel Tool: Traveloris and the AA 50 Walks series

This is one man’s endeavour to provide you with the cheapest and most effective way of exploring a city. Traveloris’ itinerary planner orders the places you visit in terms of their distance from one another and opening hours. You’ll also get the best prices on your tickets, extra freebies and transport routes. We haven’t tried it yet but we’re intrigued with where it’s going so watch this space.
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9/10 of the house sits we’ve arrived at leave us the AA 50 Walks book for their region, it has happened so often now that we’ve come to expect it. It’s a small book filled with detailed descriptions, pictures and maps of 50 walks in the region between 2 and 10miles. Hiking is an activity we love (it’s free, keeps us fit and gets us to the best parts of Britain) but we couldn’t do it without a guide.
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11 Favourite Travel Tools of 2017

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Disclaimer: Straight On Detour occasionally receives discounts in exchange for its honest review of products.  We have no affiliate links and as always, all opinions are our own.
Written by

Prue Sinclair is a twenty-eight year old Aussie who for the past seven years has been exploring the furthermost reaches of the World. Living anywhere but her homeland, she now resides somewhere in the UK where she writes about the adventures of her Ultimate British Road Trip. Her message is simple: You can get anywhere on any budget, you just need to think outside the box. You can trust she’s finding her way to somewhere lesser-known and writing a ‘How To’ guide.

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Hi we're Prue and Becks, travel writers and photographers who have been travelling the world together since 2012. Without taking ourselves too seriously, we divulge the lesser known, out of the way places and give you the tools to replicate it. Want to know more? Click on our pic.