Tools to travel More

So you want to make travel a larger part of your life? I can completely empathize! The thing is, travel doesn’t mean traipsing across the globe every weekend. To reap the benefits of travel, you just need to foster curiosity and hone your listening skills. You can learn so much about the world, other cultures, and even about yourself if you open yourself up to the endless possibilities out there.

Here are some of my favorite ways to travel more often…

House and Pet Sit with TrustedHousesitters:

House and pet sitting with TrustedHousesitters is a wonderful exchange of time and love, where you care for someone’s home and fur-family while they’re away. You get free accommodations, which is a huge savings on travel!

Because of house and pet sitting, I have traveled to Southern France, rural Ireland, northern Spain, the Azores, and all across Scotland, England, and the US East Coast (so far!).

My favorite part of house and pet sitting (other than the furballs, of course) is the hyper-local experience it offers.

I’ve stayed in neighborhoods of London where tourists never bother to go; I’ve also stayed in gorgeous homes that I never could have afforded on house rental sites!

And in each of these experiences, I have met the homeowners, gotten their tips for the best places to eat and drink nearby, and I’ve been enveloped into the local community.

I cannot over-recommend this way of travel! If you absolutely adore animals (this is a must) AND you’re eager to meet new people, dive into local experiences, and be flexible in your destinations, then you can travel non-stop for a fraction of the typical cost of living in the US.

Note: I’m a very proud affiliate of TrustedHousesitters because I fully support the exchange economy they’ve built.

Amanda Walkins dog sitter

Tap Into the Wanderful Community Wherever You Land:

The Wanderful community is a global network of women and gender diverse folks who love to travel. Wherever you go, you can tap into the experience and expertise of others who live there or have recently been there.

I love that I have friends all around the world because of this community!

I know that I always have someone I can call on for advice — or help — if I ever need it.

And I love that I can genuinely be myself and talk about travel all day long with these wonderful people. For those for whom travel is an intrinsic part of their lives, Wanderful is the space where you can talk in detail about your recent or upcoming adventures without seeing someone’s eyes glaze over and without being accused of bragging or boasting.

It’s a space for likeminded, excited, supportive, and welcoming conversation and connection.

Note: I’m also a proud affiliate for Wanderful! And I’ve been a part of the team for years as their Managing Editor for the blog and as a Volunteer Manager for WITS. I’m a huge Wanderful fan!

Women in Travel Summit group photo in Portland Maine 2019

SafetyWing for Travel Insurance:

A boring but necessary topic, travel insurance is one thing you don’t want to skip if you’re traveling a lot.

While there are all sorts of coverage options for rental cars or lost luggage offered through credit card programs and the like, a set insurance policy for your specific trip offers true peace of mind.

What I love about SafetyWing is their understanding of the shifting nature of work and travel. They support long-time travelers, digital nomads, and location-independent folks who don’t live within the traditional confines of a house and a commute to work.

They’re forward-thinking and they’re building the tools necessary for this evolution of working from anywhere.

So whether you’re traveling internationally for an extended period or time or you just want to make sure your upcoming vacation is fully covered, check out their travel insurance options.

Note: I’m an affiliate because they speak my digital nomad language!

Travel When You're Not Traveling

Bookshop: Travel Through Books While Buying Local

Is there anything better than being whisked away to another place through the written word?

Well, sure, actually being whisked away would be ideal, but traveling through books is sometimes as close as we can get!

During the early days of the pandemic, it felt like the whole world woke up to the notion of shopping locally and supporting independent businesses. It was so refreshing!

Fast forward to lockdowns ending and “normalcy” returning, and that support has certainly diminished.

If you want to shop better and support independent bookstores, use Bookshop for all your book shopping (but definitely use your local library first). 

I created multiple book lists as inspiration for you travel lovers and for the next generation of travelers among us. I have lots of littles in my life, so books to broaden their horizons are pretty much the only gifts they ever get from me!

Note: I’m an affiliate for Bookshop because I love everything about their mission!

Amanda Walkins Abe Lincoln

SOL Foundation in Roatan

I lived on the island of Roatan for three years and it will forever have a place in my heart. I still support some of the organizations doing fantastic community work there, and the SOL Foundation is definitely up there as one of my favorites!

Their primary goal is to support kids’ education and wellbeing. I wrote all about my visit to their Havey Community and Learning Center in Sandy Bay if you want to learn more about what they’re doing and how they do it.

If you’re at home but wishing you could be on a tropical island somewhere, consider donating to a community-driven cause on the beautiful island of Roatan.

Your toes might not be in the sand right now, but you’ll be helping to ensure a brighter future for the kids who live there so your next visit will see happier, healthier communities.

West Bay Beach Roatan

Kiva Microloans

I’ve been a Kiva lender since 2009, supporting women around the world as they start and build their own businesses.

Women uplift their communities, so I love to uplift their efforts wherever I can!

When I’m not traveling, I love knowing that my loans are scattered around the world in countries where I’ve yet to step foot and in places where I’ve left a piece of my heart.

While I can’t physically be there, I’m still there supporting local communities and the women who are working hard for their families and neighbors. I get to read their stories and updates along the way, keeping me connected to that place and those people even if I’m sitting right at home.

That’s perhaps the most sustainable way to travel!

Invisible Cities Tours in the UK

Invisible Cities is one of the best tour companies I’ve ever come across. Lucky for me, I’ve known about them since they first launched back in 2016, so I’ve had a front-row seat to the exceptional growth they’ve enjoyed.

Invisible Cities helps folks who have experienced homelessness to become tour guides in their own cities, offering support in creating tours, public speaking lessons, and more so they can successfully share their unique perspectives.

I’ve taken tours in Edinburgh and Glasgow with Invisible Cities and cannot recommend them enough!

Not going to the UK anytime soon? No problem!

Take a virtual tour of Edinburgh or shop their store to learn about inspiring women of the UK, take Gaelic lessons, and more!

Edinburgh tours and tour guides

Articles to Help You Travel Better