I Do Not Receive Any Compensation For These Recommendations!

During the past 15 years, I have visited 25 countries on five continents. I created the following list from personal experience and recommendations. I use a lot of the following sites to prepare for traveling. Remember, you are responsible for the decisions you make. So do your homework before you travel.

When you see

(Recommended) In a description, this means that it is a resource I use and recommend to friends.

(Not Recommended) I have used them and had a bad experience, and I don’t use them anymore.

Here are some websites, and Apps, that will help you plan your next adventure.

General Information and Planning For U.S. Citizens

  • U.S. Department of State – Travel.State.Gov: (Recommended) This is the first website I visited before I decided to visit a new country for the first time. For American travelers, they offer advice about passports, visas, travel advisories, and safety tips.

  • ***(Recommended)Visit individual U.S Embassy sites for every country you plan to visit. This may provide you with up-to-date information about each country.***

  • VisaGuide.World– Visa Requirements worldwide. You need to know what documents or applications to submit at the border of any country you visit. And this site will help you navigate the world. Www.VisaGuide.World

  • Visa requirements for Schengen Area.– The Schengen area consists of 29 countries that have an open border policy in Europe. They only allow visitors to spend 90 days out of every 180 days in the area. If you are planning a long-term trip to Europe, then you can use this website to find out what requirements you need and how long you can

  • European Union Webpage– This site gives information that travelers to Europe will find useful.

  • AARP Travel: Offers travel advice, tips, and discounts for people over 50.

Health and Safety

Having safe water and food is essential to having a great trip. Some places have fine water, and others can land you in the hospital. So do your homework. I never got sick during my first five and a half months of travel. I only needed antacids when I returned to the U.S.

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Travelers’ Health: (Recommended) Provides health information for travelers, including vaccine recommendations and health advisories by destination.

  • TravelSafe-Abroad – (Recommended) I like this site. For a quick, easy to read and understand, place to find the most common risks a travel may encounter. Along with safety ratings of city’s around the world.

  • Numbeo – ( Recommended) This website has more information than you need. They rank countries regarding safety, crime, pollution, healthcare, cost of living, etc.

  • World Population Review –If you want to dig a little deeper into the makeup of a country’s population, you will enjoy this site.

  • Our World in Data– This site is for you if you’re into information overload.

Transportation Around the World


Train transportation is not as reliable as buses in many parts of the world. For example, trains in Bulgaria are known for their unreliable schedules, departures, and arrivals. So do your homework. 


You can only buy bus tickets online in some parts of the world. That’s because many businesses in rural areas don’t yet have an online presence. You only have to buy tickets at the bus stations.

You usually have more options in person than you find online. I discovered this while traveling in Albania, Vietnam, Bulgaria, and Montenegro.

For my first trip, I only went to places where I could buy online tickets. On this trip, I didn’t buy one bus ticket online. Instead, I went to the local bus stations and bought tickets. They were cheaper in person than buying online.

That said, during peak travel periods, buy tickets either online or at bus stations before the day you want to travel.

  • This site provides various ways to find transportation from point A to Point B almost anywhere in the world. It’s a great place to start when you want to find out if buses, trains, planes, or boats run between two cities. However, just because they don’t list a method of transportation from point A to point B doesn’t mean one doesn’t exist.

  • FlixBus:(Recommended)I have booked through Flixbus and have been happy with their service. They offer buses throughout Europe.

  • GetByBus:(Recommended) I have used GetByBus and have been happy with their

  • Indian National Railway:(Recommended) I booked train tickets in India through this site and have had great success. Trains run on time and are relatively easy to find. That said, riding a train in India can be an experience. You want to avoid getting the cheapest ticket for anything in India. Buy a first—or second-class ticket in a train car with air conditioning. You will thank me later.

  • Eurorail:(Recommended) Booking on Eurorail is easy. They offer tickets throughout Europe, and the trains run on time. I have used them to book day trips to Cologne, Germany, and Bratislava, Slovakia.


I have no problems with the following airlines and would recommend them from my personal experience.

  • Turkish Airlines

  • Iberia

  • Lufthansa

  • Air India

  • Korean Air

  • Vietjet

  • AirAsia

  • Southwest

  • Swiss International Airlines: (Not recommended). Booked once, never again.

Health and Insurance

  • – Traveling Abroad: Travelers over 65 need to understand how their health insurance covers them outside the U.S.

  • InsureMyTrip: A comparison site for travel insurance that offers plans catering to older travelers.

Housing and Accommodations

  • (Recommended) I use Expedia for about 80% of my bookings. I’ve had a few problems, but nothing too major. They are reliable, and most listings are accurate.

  • Flatio: (Recommended) This is an excellent site for long-term rentals. I rented a furnished apartment in Split, Croatia, for an entire month and loved it. You get one bill that usually includes electricity, water, Wi-fi, etc. But every listing can be different. You have to submit a request for a room to the landlord, and then they will approve it or deny your request. Unfortunately, most landlords are looking for long-term rentals, so booking for just a few weeks may be difficult. That said, I was thrilled dealing with Flatio.

  • Airbnb: I have yet to use this service, but a few landlords have recommended it. They offer various long-term rental options for older travelers seeking comfortable and accessible accommodations.

  • Vrbo: (Not recommended). I booked two rooms within 30 days, only to get an email within 24 hours from both landlords that the rooms were unavailable.  As of this writing, I am still waiting for a refund for the second booking, even though the landlord said the room wasn’t available.

Long-Term Travel Advice

  • Expat Exchange: Useful for understanding the nuances of living in a foreign country, including insights from people who have moved permanently.

Apps I’ve found Useful

Besides Apps for the companies I recommended above, I have found the following apps helpful during my travels.

Google Maps – you will need an app to find directions to your hotel. I found that most of Bulgaria does not have street signs. And streets in hillside towns are often hard to navigate.

Whatsapp – is a free phone service that works with an internet connection. So, if you have an Esim on your phone, you can keep in touch with family and friends. Plus, most businesses in foreign countries have WhatsApp numbers. Even Facebook uses WhatsApp to verify your logins.

Tripadvisor –I don’t use Tripadvisor to book many rooms. However, I do use their “Things To Do” section. Because it provides great ideas for places to visit almost anywhere in the world. To prove my point, look up “Things to Do” in your hometown; you might be surprised by what you find.

ATM Fee Saver—This app lists the locations of local ATMs and gives you the fees each ATM charges when you withdraw money. I found it helpful when I needed to find an ATM.

Uber—Uber isn’t available in all countries, but it is used in many countries. I used Uber in India with great success. In India, you can pay the driver in cash.

Remember, while these resources are a good starting point, the most successful long-term travel experiences come from thorough preparation. Always check for the most current information on the official websites, and consider contacting professionals for advice on your health, financial, and travel needs.