the Vopni family
the Vopni family

Wouldn’t it be cool if our trip inspired you to do the same? Here are some links to the websites that we found very helpful during the planning of our trip…

After checking out dozens of travel booking engines and working with a travel agent, we ended up booking all of our flights via Kayak. You can also create an account and keep all of your booking information and flight confirmations etc.


An oldy and a goody for info on places from sights, safety, tips etc etc is:


Researching what places/things to see and do.

For immunizations/vaccinations. They also sell travel stuff like needle kits, first aid kits etc:


For great insight on what to and not to pack. This site has tons of information on traveling from A to Z:


For visa information. This government of Canada site also has up to date information on the safety of an area as well as vaccinations, tips on what you can take on a plane, and you can even register to receive automatic updates from Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada that keeps you connected to Canada in case of an emergency abroad, such as an earthquake or civil unrest, or an emergency at home.


To book accommodation:


** The best Hotel Loyalty program we have come across hands down is the Starwood Program SPG for short. We have been with SPG for about 10 years now and love the program and hotels. On this trip, they have been fabulous. The program has afforded us a level of luxury and comfort we would not have been able to enjoy otherwise. We have stayed at some absolutely incredibly gorgeous properties around the world and been treated like Royalty. Our experience with the program, the benefits and affordability of it lead us to put a special note on this site about it and encourage you to become members of the program. We are not the only ones who feel this way as the program has received numerous industry awards. Check it out at


For the places that SPG does not have a property, try these booking engines...

  •  great to book accommodation in peoples flats/homes
  • probably the best site we have found for booking hotels
  •  great for standard accommodation deals if you don't care to know which hotel
  • great for standard accom if you want to know the hotel you are booking


To get an idea of the cost of living in each country - because exchange rate alone means very little


Travel insurance. We bought trip cancellation and medical. After much comparing this seemed to be the best value:


 Traveling with kids adds a whole new dimension. For some great tips on traveling with kids:


To upload and backup all of our images and videos while we are on the road, we are using:

  • yes this is more expensive than iCloud or Google, however you get what you pay for. I expect to be uploading large amounts of data while on the road and therefore want an online storage solution that permits fast uploads. 
  • Google Drive in addition to Justcloud, we have also been using Google Drive for storing and sharing documents online. Although redundant to the Justcloud service, this is a slick way of saving files/plans on our trip and being able to have them available on and off line on various devices.


There are a number of amazing iPod/iPhone apps available for the traveler. What a difference from our trip 13 years ago! Some of our top pics so far are listed below. We will update this list as we get more familiar with these apps:

  • "XE Currency" a slick currency exchange rate app
  • "Tripit" this app looks pretty cool after first inspection. We are just getting familiar with this one. Keeps all your reservations and trip info in one convenient location.
  • "Triposo" these are pretty cool guides to each city or country. They use info from freely available sites like Wikitravel, World66 OpenStreetMap and users. Seems to have a lot of info in one place that it took me much longer to search for on the web. Best part for a traveler is that it is all available offline.

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