Useful travel and holiday links from AA to YHA


Some links are only applicable to nationals/residents of particular countries.



Problems and emergencies


Emergency Services phone numbers worldwide (a PDF document from the US Bureau of Consular Affairs). Note: at the time of writing, 112 can be used in all European Union countries including the UK.

Visa | Mastercard US | Mastercard UK | Mastercard (Intl) reporting lost or stolen visa / mastercards (British? - see section below as well)
Moneygram | Western Union Emergency money transfer
Visa | Mastercard ATM cash machine finders


All Nationalities
Find an Embassy via our travel tools page. Note: we've included 2 widgets for this. The first provides full information for British embassies and consuls. The second widget is for ANY embassy - but provides only basic information. For US embassies use the link below.


US Citizens
U.S. Embassy finder.
Emergencies and Crises abroad (U.S. Department of State) useful links for U.S. citizens.
Lost and Stolen Passports


British Subjects
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 (site also offers online store for your personal details and 2 scans of important documents - free for first 6 weeks)

UK Embassy Locator on our Travel Dashboard. It uses official Foreign & Commonwealth Office data and includes maps and email addresses not shown via the FCO's own locator.
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



Passport (US & UK only)


For lost and stolen passports - see section above.

US Passport Information, applying and renewal: all the information you need including details on urgent renewal.

UK

Gov.uk passport information including details on urgent renewal.

Passport application forms can normally be obtained from main Post Offices.

Post Office Check and Send We recommend using the Check and Send service (£8 at time of writing) available at many Post Offices (see link). As well as a your application and supporting documents being checked for errors before they are posted, your application is normally processed more rapidly by the "Passport Office" than normal postal applications.



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. A few countries visa processes are complicated and paying for a service may be justified; but before spending money always check the sites below and with the appropriate embassy (UK and US residents can use the appropriate embassy links below).

All Nationalities
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). Quick tool for checking visa, entry and health information. Entry information seems quite detailed. Note customs and visa requirements can change with little notice you should double-check the information provided with your local Embassy or Consulate.

Travelling in Europe(EU) information and regulations

US Citizens
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.
Details of foreign "Embassies" in the U.S. provided by U.S. Department of State. (23 Aug 2010) appears to be under development we could not get it to work.

British Subjects
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.
Details of all foreign Embassies and High Commissions in the UK are also provided by the FCO.
Rules on bringing pets,food, and plants into the UK.
Taking your pets abroad



Driving abroad and International driving permits(IDP)


Driving abroad: laws, licences, and road safety has a useful widget providing info on many coutries. AA driving advice and details of local rules - links to general information, and country specific information for most European nations.
The RAC's guide to driving in Europe - by country
Note:The above are UK sites, but much of the information will be relevant to all nationalities.

US Links
Information on driving abroad form the US Govenment (includes information on where to obtain an International Driving Permit).
US Government advice by country pages often include information relevant to drivers.

UK Links
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.



European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)


Our article provides information on the EHIC and advice on travel insurance. Scam alert: Never pay for an EHIC, you cannot get it quicker than using the online link below.

EHIC (UK) | EHIC (Ireland) - official information and a link for applying online. You can also obtain an application form at many UK Post Offices.



Youth Hostel Association/Hostelling International Membership


If you are on a gap-year or backpacking using Hostels, then HI membership can be very useful.

HI membership (links to your country's YHA, through which you join.
UK YHA additional benefits include travel, tourist attraction, and shop discounts.
Our backpacking article provides information on the benefits of YHA membership and hostelling in general.
Our Review of, and links to, 7 well known hostel booking sites


International Student Identity Card (ISIC)

The ISIC card is an internationally recognised student ID card. You can buy the ISIC card at various UK outlets (see ISIC website). At the time of writing: STA travel were quoting a price of £9. Potentially you can make significant savings with the card examples of discounts as at 23/4/10 include 15% off many Amtrak fares.



Find Cash Machines, WIFI Hotspots, International Dialing Codes, Currency Converter and World Time


Visa | Mastercard ATM cash machine finders

International Telephone Dialing Codes on our travel tools page.
World Time and Currency converter on our travel tools page.
WIFI Hotspot locator (both free and paid) on our travel tools page.

Other Wifi Directories:
totalhotspots.com a WIFI directory with an interactive map.
Hotspot-Locations.com has filter to list free wifi
jiwire.com as above
wificafespots.com cafes and restaurants with free wifi



Airports, Flights, and Booking


FlightStats flight details and status, departure arrival information - enter flight number or airport
CAA 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

International Airport Wireless, Internet Guide
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. Typing in "Bristol Airport" provided a clearer listing than typing "Bristol" and then using the "airport" filter.
wififreespot.com/airport.html has a limited list of airports offering free wifi, mainly USA based.



Airline quality, safety, and seats:


airlinequality.com - airline reviews
airsafe.com - airline safety
Airlines banned within the EU do you want to avoid an airline that doesn't meet EU safety standards?
seatguru.com - pick the best seat



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):


Search 16 holiday package sites at once from our site (includes some listed below)
Thomas Cook Last Minute Holidays
Last-minute-deals from Firstchoice
Late deals from Thomson
Cosmos - late deals (see flights as well)
Jet2 Holidays sister site to budget airline - seems to have some good late deals
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.




Rail


Our links and information for rail tickets and passes worldwide
Seat 61 good information on rail travel



Land (Car Hire, coach, tunnel)




UK, European and World route planners:

AA | RAC | Michelin



Car Hire (n.b. see our comments on brokers and care hire pitfalls):

Car Rental Links for car hire companies, price comparison, agents and brokers.



Coach travel and holidays

National Express
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



Sea and River transport


See Eurotunnel, ferry, cruises, travel by freighter, and free travel as yacht crew links.



Accommodation



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.

HotelsCombined.com - Pack full of the best deals


Hostels

A review of the major hostel booking sites with our views on their good and bad points. (we recommend Hostelbookers)

In our Gap-Year and backpacking article: general information on hostelling; and Hostelling International, the advantages of membership, and where to get your membership card.



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

(USA & Canada) Better Business Bureau

travel-rants.com Consumer related travel blog. Opinionated and useful.




A few decent Travel Directories to which we have submitted links.



Last updated: Jan 2011