World Nomads Travel Insurance. When backpacking I get insurance and used this top ranked company mainly because it’s recommended as a Lonely Planet partner. It was $211 USD for just under 3 months the first time I got it. Quotes now for me are at $80 USD per month. Here is a post on exactly what is covered on World Nomads insurance.
iVisa. You can use this site to find out what visa you need for anywhere in the world. If you’re coming in India less than 60 days you can get an e-visa from the government, but I have had readers e-mail that it has declined their cards or had other errors. iVisa charges an admin fee, but does all the work for you and allows you to submit it way ahead of time, which the government one doesn’t allow. It’s your buffer so you don’t deal directly with the government site and they assure your documents are all sorted.
Hippie in Heels’ Guide to India. This is a massive 100,000-word ebook that plans your entire trip to India (put together after 6 years of traveling here). I’m positive you’ll have a killer trip if you use my “no BS” guide. Click through to see more details on what is included in each chapter as well as all the bonuses like activity and itinerary maps.
Insider’s Guide to Goa. I wrote this 170-page ebook with ALL my tips on Goa. This is the real deal; a local telling you all the best and secret places that never make it into blogs or Lonely Planet guides. If you’re coming to Goa, it’s a must.
G Adventures. This is the only international company I recommend to readers who email with questions about joining group tours. They do tours all over the world, and the ones in India are great for people not ready to travel alone. Here are the exact tours I recommend in India through G Adventures.
Trabug. Trabug is a travel phone that you can have shipped to your hotel in India. This phone has the internet and all kinds of India travel apps on it. It’s more expensive than a SIM, but SIM cards are sometimes a huge hassle for foreigners in India. You don’t want to be in India without access to the internet. Go for the Power plan.
Yoga Retreats. I get asked the most about taking yoga retreats in India. The link goes to the most respected site for comparing yoga classes, filtered by the most recommended. It’s important to do your research and read other yogi’s reviews. If you want yoga teacher training courses, check out these reviews.
India Travel Tips Hippie in Heels Facebook Group. This group is run by me and is a great place to ask questions about India travel and have a community of other people who love India travel, help you with advice! You can also meet other travelers here and I engage with most of the posts.
Priority Pass. This lets me into a lounge in nearly every airport in the world. Some have sleeping pods, free gel manicures, and showers. You can eat, drink, and stream Netflix in a comfy chair or bed. I live for this pass and it has changed everything about how I travel! It’s getting first-class treatment but paying economy.
NordVPN. I have used a VPN when I travel for 6 years. I do this partly to protect my information online when I use public WiFi and partly because I turn on a VPN before booking flights so I can get a cheaper deal. It also allows me to watch USA Netflix, Hulu, USA cable TV, Amazon Prime and everything else that would otherwise be blocked while out of the USA.
Skype. Even though I buy a SIM card when I travel to swap out, I don’t call from it and use up my talktime. I connect to 3g and call via Skype. It’s so cheap, nothing compares, plus these days most people have skype so you can call direct for free.
Couchsurfing. I have used this all over the US and Europe, and even India. I used to host a lot in the USA as well. You need to build a profile and be safe in choosing a host for this free service. Here are some tips to stay safe on Couchsurfing.
Megabus. For the US. When I was in University at OSU, I took Megabus to Chicago and other nearby cities. If you book seats early, you can easily get a ride for under 10 USD.
Lonely Planet. When travel planning, I do use Lonely Planet along with reading other travel blogs to help. I download the PDF and save it on my phone on a reader, which was perfect while backpacking in India. You don’t need the internet to read it and maps are in the PDF and a great lifesaver in a pinch.
Blogging Recommendations: If you are a new blogger, you should start with Bluehost because it’s very affordable and great for your first year. It’s just $2.95/mo with this special discount link. If you have hundreds of thousands of page views, then I recommend my current host Performance Foundry; they include a free development hour each month. The theme of my blog is called Avada from ThemeForest and it’s highly customizable. Nomadic Matt has a course I recommend if you want to be a travel blogger or up your game. For email, I use Mailerlite. You can sign up with my link and get $20 off Mailerlite.
Omni Curated. I have a second website which is a lifestyle blog. On Omni Curated, I talk more about my life outside travel in case you are interested: fashion, beauty, books, TV, movies, cooking, and just my life here in Mexico in our new home with the dogs.