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Dr Hayley Stainton’s Recommended Travel Resources

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In the dynamic world of travel, finding the right gear can make all the difference. As an academic and expert in tourism, I’ve had the unique opportunity to test and evaluate a wide range of travel products and services. These are not just items; they are trusted companions that have enhanced my journeys, both professionally and personally.

This selection spans from indispensable travel gear to innovative gadgets, each chosen for its exceptional blend of functionality and durability. Whether you’re embarking on a short business trip or a long-awaited holiday, these recommendations cater to a variety of travel needs, ensuring efficiency, comfort, and safety.

A quick note before we delve in: the links included in this post are affiliate links. Should you choose to make a purchase through these links, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. This arrangement supports the ongoing efforts of Tourism Teacher in providing informed, quality content in the travel sector.

Without further ado, let’s explore these expert-approved travel essentials that promise to elevate your travel experience.


Lets face it- we live in a world where a VPN is a necessity when we travel. I have been using one for years for everything from accessing social media in countries where it might be blocked, to streaming Disney movies outside of the UK to doing online banking whilst on potentially questionable wifi networks.

In the realm of digital security, especially for travellers, Nord VPN stands out as a paramount tool. During my extensive travels for both academic research and leisure, I’ve found Nord VPN to be an indispensable asset. It’s not just about securing your digital footprint; it’s about maintaining uninterrupted access to your essential online resources, irrespective of your geographical location.

With its robust encryption protocols, Nord VPN ensures that your sensitive information remains protected, particularly when using public Wi-Fi networks, which are often prone to security vulnerabilities. Additionally, its ability to bypass geo-restrictions is invaluable for a traveller, granting access to region-specific content and services, a necessity in today’s interconnected world.

I never travel without my VPN, and you shouldn’t either! Click here to get up to 72% discount on the 2 year annual plan- bargain!

Travel Insurance

When it comes to travel insurance, World Nomads consistently ranks as my top recommendation, especially for those seeking comprehensive coverage that adapts to the dynamic nature of travel. I’ve seen firsthand the importance of having reliable insurance, and World Nomads offers just that. Their policies are designed with the traveller in mind, offering flexibility and a wide range of coverage options, from trip cancellations to medical emergencies.

What sets World Nomads apart is their understanding of the traveller’s lifestyle, catering to a variety of travel activities and unforeseen circumstances. Their commitment to customer service and support, particularly in times of need, is commendable. In my professional opinion, World Nomads is not just an insurance provider; they are a travel partner that ensures your safety and well-being, allowing you to explore with confidence and peace of mind.

Click here to find the best policy for you.

Online Travel Agent

When it comes to travel essentials, the right online travel agency is just as crucial as your passport. That’s where comes into play, a platform I discovered while living in China. Originally known as CTrip, it has since evolved into a global travel facilitator that stands out for its user-friendliness and outstanding customer service. This hidden gem in the travel industry offers lightning-fast flight searches and bookings, ensuring that only confirmed flights are shown, thus saving you from the potential disappointment of cancellations. really proved its mettle during the unpredictable waves of COVID, with its prompt refunds for cancelled flights and unparalleled customer support for any grievances, like unsatisfactory hotel experiences. Their proactive updates keep you in the loop about your journey’s status, often informing you of boarding times and delays ahead of the airlines themselves (which is one of my favourite features!). As a frequent traveler, I’ve found their reliability and efficiency make an indispensable travel essential, worthy of being placed next to the most trusted names in the travel toolkit.

Try it out for yourself here.