Some links are only applicable to nationals/residents of particular countries.
On this page:
- Problems and emergencies (find Embassies, lost or stolen passports/bank cards/phones; and other crises)
- Passport stuff + Visas/entry requirements
- Useful Cards & Membership (EHIC, Hostelling, Students)
- Find Cash Machines, WIFI Hotspots, International Dialing Codes, Currency Converter and World Time
- Travel by Car or Coach
- Tour Operators/Travel Agents (may offer late flights as well as holidays) (UK only)
- Rail Rail
- Sea and Water
- Review of, and links to, 7 well known hostel booking sites (leaves this page)
- Links to hotel booking sites, complete with our comments on them (leaves this page)
- Where to stay for free – links for couch surfing, working for board etc (leaves this page)
- Consumer Protection, trade bodies, ratings etc
Problems and emergencies
Emergency Services telephone numbers: Most of US/Canada: 911. Most of Europe including the UK and all EU countries: 112.
Reporting lost or stolen cards Mastercard US | Mastercard UK | Mastercard(Intl) and_Visa (British? – see also FamilySafeHolidays below)
Emergency money transferMoneygram | Western Union
Visa | Mastercard ATM cash machine finders
Embassies, Lost Passports & other crises
All Nationalities:: Embassy Finder.
British Embassy & Consulate finder via Travelchimps travel tools dashboard.
FamilySafeHolidays.co.uk has contact numbers to report lost/stolen cards (by Bank), passports, phones, ABTA/ATOL numbers to ring if your tour operator has ceased trading
UK Embassy Locator on Travelchimps Travel Dashboard.
Emergency travel documents FCO Lost / Stolen Passports page.
Support for British nationals abroad what the FCO can and cannot do for you.
Renew UK passports overseas
Passports and Visas
Passports (US & UK only)
For lost and stolen passports – see section above.
Passport Information, applying and renewal: all the information you need including details on urgent renewal.
Passport Information (Gov.uk) including urgent renewal.
Post Office Check and Send Recommended, have your application and supporting documents checked for errors before they are posted, your application will also be processed more rapidly by the “Passport Office”.
Entry (“Visas”) and Exit Requirements + Customs Rules
Scam alert: there are websites offering tourist visa/ESTA services that do no more than provide information available on official sites or merely “forward” your application. Before spending money always check the sites below, and with the appropriate embassy (UK and US residents can use the appropriate embassy links below).
Customs and Visa requirements by country from our travel dashboard. It links to the relevant pages of data provided by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Travelling in Europe(EU) information and regulations
Travel Advice provided by the US Department of State country specific advice; including entry and visa requirements for US citizens. The Visa Tool on our dashboard may provide more information on entry requirements.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice by country includes entry and tourist visa advice for British passport holders. IATA probably provides more detailed information on entry requirements both are available via our tourist information dashboard.
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
Only for citizens of EEA/EU countries.
Information on the EHIC Scam alert: Never pay for an EHIC, you cannot get it quicker than using the online link below.
Youth Hostel Association/Hostelling International Membership
If you are on a gap-year and using Hostels, then HI membership can be useful.
Travelchimps backpacking article provides information on the benefits of YHA membership and hostelling in general.
International Student Identity Card (ISIC)
The ISIC card is an internationally recognised student ID card that gives you discount on certain products and services. At the time of writing it costs £12 in UK and $20 in the US.
Find Cash Machines, WIFI Hotspots, International Dialing Codes, Currency Converter and World Time
International Telephone Dialing Codes on our travel tools page.
World Time and Currency converter on our travel tools page.
totalhotspots.com a WIFI directory with an interactive map.
wififreespot free wifi hotspot locations
Hotspot-Locations.com has filter to list free wifi
jiwire.com as above
wificafespots.com cafes and restaurants with free wifi
Travel by Car, Coach and Tunnel
Driving abroad: laws, licences, and road safety has a useful widget providing info on many coutries.
Note:The AA and RAC are British organisations, but much of the information will be relevant to all nationalities.
Government information on International Driving Permits (IDP)
The AA – IDP requirements by country provides information on whether, and what type of IDP is required by country.
Post Office IDP service – you can apply for an IDP at many Post Offices.
UK, European and World route planners:
Coach travel and holidays
Eurolines (part of National Express) european coach travel, Euroline pass, 25% discount card, low fare finder
Megabus (Stagecoach) coach, bus, train from Stagecoach for UK (may also be able to book US and Canadian Coaches in $???)
Greyhound US coach travel
Airports, Flights, and Booking
FlightStats flight details and status, departure arrival information – enter flight number or airport
CAA Government Air Travel Information (includes UK rules on baggage)
US Transportation Security Administration (includes US rules on baggage)
UK CAA passenger news feed – select via the dropdown box under “News” on our travel tools page. Often empty, but very useful during periods of flight disruption, or bankruptcy of UK tour operators.
Airports: Information, WIFI, and sleeping!
sleeping in airports – includes airport reviews
totalhotspots.com For a WIFI directory with an interactive map. Type in a city, you can then refine your results by clicking on filters such as “free” or “cafe” or “airport”. N.B. The author found that typing in “Bristol Airport” provide a clearer listing than typing “Bristol” and then selecting the “airport” filter.
wififreespot.com/airport.html has a limited list of airports offering free wifi, mainly USA based.
Airline quality, safety, and seats:
Flights – where to book airline tickets:
How to obtain the best flight ticket price: identifies the major price comparison booking sites and their pros and cons. It also lists budget airlines, plus Tour Operator and Charter Flight websites selling surplus seats on package holiday planes.
Tour Operators/Travel Agents (may offer late flights as well as holidays):
Olympic Holidays late package and all inclusive deals
Travelsphere offers all types of vacation: from single resort holidays through tours by coach, rail, sea and air with destinations ranging from Europe to Antartica.
Seat 61 good information on rail travel
Ferries and Eurotunnel
Sea and River
We will be producing an article on sea travel. The following links have not been assesed for quality or usefulness.
Ocean and River Cruises:
Ocean Village Mediterranean and Caribbean cruises
Cayole Cruises US based Travel Agent specialising in cruises. Has an easy to use interface. No personal experience, but has write-ups on newsweek.com’s travel blog and nytimes.com travel section.
By Merchant Navy (container and freighter ships: not cheap):
seaplus.com information on freighter travel
Hitch Hike by Yacht – work your passage:
bpat crew wanted crewbay.com
See the following topics on this site Accomodation for Business, Holiday and Independent travel, where to stay for free and staying in Hostels.
Hotel, Guest House, B & B – Reviews, price search and Booking:
See our page with many links to price comparison and booking sites. Includes comments on the pros and cons of the websites listed and where to find hotel reviews.
Hostelling and booking
A review of the major hostel booking sites with our views on their good and bad points.
Homestay, Couch Surfing
Free accommodation for travellers – links. Also includes links on working for your board and lodging.
Consumer Protection, trade bodies, ratings etc
(UK) CAA information on what is protected by ATOL
(UK) ABTA – travel agent body
travel-rants.com Consumer related travel blog. Opinionated and useful.