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RESOURCES & RECOMMENDATIONS

This is a comprehensive list of all the resources I use for travel and blogging. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about anything you see here, please contact me. I’d love to hear from you.


Please note that some links are affiliate links. This means that when you use them to make bookings or purchases, I get a small commission with no added cost to you – and sometimes, even at a discount! Using these links helps to keep the site community-supported. Rest assured that all items on this page are products and brands that I personally use and highly recommend and that I’d be happy to provide you with more information and let you know about my experiences with them.

TRAVEL

Essentials

Packing Lists by Destination or Activity

ACCOMMODATIONS

Vacation Rentals

  • AirBNB – By far my favorite mode of accommodation, I’ve tried AirBNB across Europe and Asia and always had a great experience. Of course, you have to be discerning — use the filters to look for specific services (example: with WiFi / pets are allowed / with washing machine), read the reviews, discuss your concerns with the host, and double check if the location is good for you. You have to be your own quality control if you’re using AirBNB, but you’ll find that it’s really cheap and convenient! BONUS: Use my link to get USD 25 off your first stay!
  • Extra Bonus: I am an AirBNB host! If you’re a small group visiting Manila, Philippines, check my listing out. Mention “Lizzie Meets World” to receive friendly discounts!

Hotels

Staying in hotels still has its perks. I consider booking with them especially when: I’m only staying for a night; the location is a bit remote and AirBNB has not found its way there yet; I’m traveling with a big group; and when I’m craving the comforts of a hotel service, ie. shuttle, breakfast buffets, organized tours, etc.

  • Agoda – Perfect for bookings in Asia. Make sure to look for cheap hotel deals and make use of their book now, pay later scheme as fit!
  • Booking.com – This is what I use for bookings in Europe. Especially useful when I don’t speak the local language because I just show my confirmation receipt and the receptionist gives me the key!

GADGETS AND ELECTRONICS

Smartphone: iPhone 6 E-reader: Kindle Paperwhite Powerbank: Bavin iPower External hard drive: Seagate Backup Plus Slim 1TB Universal Adapter: Travelon 3-in-1 Adapter
Headphones: SoundPEATS Q2 Wireless Stereo Car charger: Moshi Revolt Duo

PHOTOGRAPHY

I love taking pictures and videos and I’m really passionate about the cameras that I use. As you can see, I’m a BIG Nikon fan girl. My recommendations here are not the usual travel bloggers’ cameras, but if you like my pictures and curious to know why I love my Nikon, send me a message and I’ll gladly answer all your questions. Yes, I’m that passionate about it!

Compact Camera: Nikon Coolpix P340 Waterproof Camera: Nikon Coolpix AW130 Action Camera: GoPro Hero4 Instant Film Camera: Fujifilm Instax Mini 90

PACKING LIST: BEACH

Sunscreen: Spectraban After-Sun Lotion: Avene After-Sun Repair Lotion Sunglasses: Oakley Aviator Swim Goggles: Speedo Vanquisher Flip flops: Volcom Sandals
Water shoes: Speedo Women’s Zipwalker Dry bags: Unigear Waterproof Camera: Nikon Coolpix AW130 Action Camera: GoPro Hero4

BLOGGING

ESSENTIALS

Hosting and Domain

  • SiteGround – I recently made the switch from Bluehost to SiteGround and I’ve been seeing massive improvements in my site’s performance and traffic. While Bluehost was a great host during my first year of blogging, as soon as I reached 10,000 views per month, I started having problems with their servers. SiteGround is the ideal “next step” if you’re starting to have similar problems with your host. If you’re still looking around for a host, SiteGround’s basic plan has competitive prices (signing up through my affiliate link gives you 45-60% discount!). If you’re starting to feel “stuck” with Bluehost, check out this guide on how to transfer your website from Bluehost to SiteGround – it’s much simpler than you think!

Content Management System

  • WordPress.org – Whether you want to build a personal blog, an online shop, or a high-profile website, WordPress is really the best option.

Theme

  • Divi by Elegant Themes – Seriously, the best theme ever. The website is currently running on this theme and believe me, I did not know a single CSS before I switched to this theme. Because Divi has a generally large following, there are also lots of support groups out there. I literally just Google whatever it is I want to do and someone always comes up with an answer for me. I also researched this theme for a long time before availing it, and also looked at other multi-purpose, drag-and-drop themes. This is by far the cheapest one, especially as I plan to launch multiple websites in the future.

 

Essentials

  • Akismet – Anti-spam plugin; seriously saves my time and keeps me sane
  • Jetpack – Does a lot of things: tracks traffic, adds to security, etc.
  • Tiny MCE Advanced – A WYSIWYG editor for WordPress; especially helpful for making tables
  • BackWPup – For back-ups

Optimization

These are plug-ins that help load your site faster:

  • WP Smush – Reduces image’s file size without reducing its quality.
  • W3 Total Cache – Caching plug-in
  • WP Optimize – Database cleanup and optimization tool — get rid of all those drafts and past revisions!

READ: Guides about optimizing your website – 1 | 2

Social Media

  • Monarch – All-around social media plug-in making it easy for your readers to follow you and share your content
  • Instagram Feed – Displays your Instagram feed as a widget
  • Revive Old Post – Automatically tweet about old posts — fully customizable so you don’t have to worry about spamming your audience or giving irrelevant or useless information
  • Bloom – For newsletter subscriptions

Newsletter

  • MailChimp – I absolutely love MailChimp! It’s so easy to use, the templates are gorgeous, and it’s free! Well, free for small lists sending less than 12,000 emails a month (which is a lot!)… So if you start paying, then that means, congrats!, you have made it in the blogging world. 🙂

Automation

  • Hoosuite – One of my best discoveries! Schedules posts across different social media platforms so you don’t feel too bad about sleeping and leaving your blog all alone.

Music

  • Jukedeck – Lets you create unique (and completely royalty-free!) tracks for videos and anything else. Free up to 5 tracks a month.

Print Materials

  • Moo – I’ve used their service for printing postcards. Amazing quality and user-friendly interface! They also print business cards and notepads for your branding needs.

FEEDBACK AND MORE INFORMATION

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LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!

Do you have any comments, suggestions, or questions about the resources listed here? I’d love to hear from you!

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