Lisa Owen

You might think booking your next overseas adventure independently is a mammoth task – but it doesn’t have to be.

If you have a computer or smartphone, an internet connection and some spare time, you have all you need to book flights, accommodation and tours for your next trip – as well as research how to get around, what to see and even where to eat.

Check out my handy guide to find out what you need to know to plan and book your next trip independently.

beach in mexico


There’s lots of online search engines available to search and book flights. Among the most popular search engines are Google Flights, Skyscanner and Kayak.

To search for a flight simply check one way or return trip, enter your departure location and your desired destination, select what date you want to fly and see what fares and connections come up.

If you’re flexible, you can even simply choose the continent you want to fly to rather than a specific city. For example, instead of typing in Rome, you can choose Europe and it will show you a map with an assortment of cities that you can fly into. Each city will have a price marked on them. This is a good way to find cheap flights.

Once you narrow down where you want to fly into, you can also be flexible on dates if you don’t mind what day you fly out on. Just click on the date tab and you’ll have prices listed under each date.

Once you’ve found the flight you want, you can then select to book the flight directly on the search engine or be taken to the airline website. From here, you’ll need your credit card and passport details to book the flight – all from the comfort of your own home.

glacier in argentina


Booking accommodation is probably the easiest task you can do independently.

It’s simple to book accommodation in advance or on the road using one of the many handy mobile apps.

Everyone has a personal preference on their preferred booking site. I predominantly use as I find their app is very easy to use and most of their properties offer free cancellation. They also offer both hotels, hostels and guesthouses.

You simply enter the location you want to find accommodation for and then a range of options will come up with the price listed next to it. You can even read reviews from people who stayed before to help your decision-making process.

You can filter the results in by accommodation type, price and review score.

If you’re after hotels, Expedia and are also popular websites. If you’re a budget traveller, you may find HostelWorld useful to find backpacker accommodation.

looking out of window in ecuador


Want to go on an overseas adventure, but don’t want to go alone? You can also book tours independently. Most tour companies have an online presence where you can book your spot.

There’s hundreds of tour companies and your choice will be dependent on your travel style.

Some tour companies such as Contiki and Topdeck generally cater for a younger crowd, while G Adventures has a variety of options ranging from budget tours for 18-30 somethings to more expensive offerings for travellers wanting a little more comfort in their accommodation.

Other popular tour companies include Intrepid and Dragoman.

Tour companies such as G Adventures also give you an opportunity to order their brochure, so you can flick through all your options in your own time before making a decision.

beach in africa

Getting from A to B

A handy resource to plan how to get to and from destinations on your itinerary is a website called Rome2Rio.

You can type in where you want to go, and it will give you a range of options on how to get there by car, train, bus or plane - and the time it will take for each mode of transport.

For example, if I type in that I want to go to Krakow, Poland from Berlin, Germany, Rome2Rio shows that I could take an 8-hour train, 8-hour bus, drive in six hours or fly into one of Berlin’s two airports from Krakow or nearby Warsaw.

Rome2Rio also shoes approximate costs to help your decision on the best mode of transport for you.


There are thousands of travel bloggers out there documenting their overseas adventures. Bloggers range from budget backpackers, to couples and even luxury travel experts. Go online and you’ll can easily find helpful blogs telling you what to see in your chosen destination, how to get there and how to get around, and even where to eat and stay.

When looking for relevant blogs, be specific in your search. For example, if you’re visiting Munich, Germany – type in “best places to eat in Munich blog”, “free things to do in Munich blog” or “best day hikes from Munich blog”.

You can also get lots of handy information from travel guides such as Lonely Planet

sunset in japan

Travel Insurance

Once you start locking in your flights and accommodation, don’t forget to buy travel insurance.

You can buy travel insurance online or over the phone. You’ll need to decide what level of cover you need and you can do this by researching online.

When you buy travel insurance, you’ll need your travel dates and the region you’re travelling to. If you’re going to a number of regions such as Asia and Europe, you might want to look into worldwide cover.

Remember to buy your travel insurance before you leave the country.


Lisa Owen is a pint-sized Australian following her dreams to travel to as many places as she can, and loves to share her photography, travel hacks, hiking adventures, and food discoveries along the way. At last count, she has travelled to more than 80 countries in between working in public relations and discovering hidden gems in Australia's great outdoors. Instagram: @thelittleadventurer. Facebook: The Little Adventurer Australia.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and are meant as travel inspiration only. They do not reflect the opinions of Cover-More Insurance. You should always read the Policy Documents available from your travel insurance provider to understand the limits, exclusions and conditions of your policy and to ensure any activities you undertake are covered by your policy.