My Favorite Links
For Expats In Germany
Expats Blog: This website lists great blogs from all over the world and is great to check out if you're planning a trip somewhere. More than likely there will be a blog about the area you plan to visit!
Germany Ja! - Geared more toward the military community in Germany, but she has a lot of articles about traveling within Germany and Europe. A few of my articles have been featured on this site.
Speaking Denglish: Alex, another expat living in Munich, is a very talented blogger. She's funny, engaging, personable, and all this I can say through our few emails back and forth and by reading her blog. She's been in Germany for quite some time, and has great information on life as an expat and traveling your way through Europe and beyond.
Young Adventuress: Talented blogger and I love her candid approach to her travels.
The Russian Abroad: I only came across this blog recently and find myself referencing it often. Olga has a lot of great information about travel and has a very open and honest writing style.
Adventurous Kate: When I was visiting Croatia her site had some useful information.
Monkeys & Mountains: When I want to look for where to go/what to do in the Alps I usually go to Laurel's site.
Booking Websites I Use
Where to Sleep
Airbnb - I think by now everyone has heard of Airbnb. People rent out their homes, villas, apartments, flats, studios or even just a room. I like that you can review comments about each place from people that have stayed themselves. I used to use them frequently but after staying at many places I found that trying to get the keys from the owner and contacting them if there was a problem became an annoyance. It's still a great way to feel local when you travel and oftentimes you get a better deal than a hotel, but now I check other options too.
HomeAway - Similar to airbnb.com, you can rent out farms, homes, apartments and everything in between as well. I've only used them one time before and found they were a bit more expensive - either because they offer higher end places or people price their homes higher with them I'm not sure - but the place we stayed at was really nice. You can read about it here!
Hostel Bookers - It wasn't until a few years after living in Germany that I started staying in hostels. I didn't love the idea of rooming with a bunch of strangers and assumed that that's what all hostels are like. So I thought. Then some of our friends told us that we could book private rooms for 2, 4, or 6 people (or more). So far this is the most economical idea if you're traveling with a group. We can get private rooms for anywhere from 10-30 euro per person per night. Compared to a hotel this is a steal.
Transportation & Gettting Around Europe
German Wings - I love this website because they offer what is called 'Blind Booking'. Blind booking allows you to pick a package they create which has a select amount of cities, and then once you book your flight it tells you which city you are going to end up at. Another great feature is that you can uncheck places that you don't want to go to (up to a certain limit). If you find yourself in Germany and want to jump on a cheap flight, this is the way to go. These flights are extremely cheap and it's a fun way to travel.
Easy Jet - Easy Jet just expanded this year to Stuttgart. They operate out of quite a few major cities and have great deals. You can get round trip tickets for under $50 oftentimes. They don't pop up on most major flight search engines so you'll want to go directly to their website. From Stuttgart you can travel to Porto, Milan, Edinburgh, Venice, and London Gatwick.
Fluege.de: Sometimes you can find cheaper flights through local websites such as this one.
Meinfernbus/Flixbus: Cheap bus travel around Europe. It's not the fastest way to travel but it's definitely budget friendly.
Photography Websites I Frequent
Subscription Based Websites
Lynda - Lynda.com offers possibly the most comprehensive video training for everything ranging from photography and video, to marketing, web graphics, and much much more. If you want to learn Photoshop or Lightroom from the ground up they have 10+ hour training courses to teach you everything you need to know. Monthly or annual membership provides unlimited access to the videos and tutorials. There is a lot of information on here and you can easily get your money's worth each month.
www.kelbyone.com - I've used Kelby Training quite a bit to improve my photography skills and learn more. They have an extensive library of videos from a lot of the pros out there and it covers a lot of topics. Scott Kelby has a great segment on travel photography that helped me learn a few new tricks including how to properly pan a scene and which shots not to miss. There is a monthly fee but you can just purchase month to month as you please. It's well worth the cost in my opinion.
creativelive.com - Creative Live is a great resource for photographers. They offer free courses daily (live only) and have a huge catalog of courses for purchase.
Other Photography Websites
tv.adobe.com - For those out there that use any Adobe product i.e. Photoshop or Lightroom, Adobe has a lot of great free video tutorials that explain in detail how to use many areas of these powerful programs. If you're just starting out with Lightroom there is a great tutorial that explains everything on how to get started. Everything is in a methodical and organized manner. You may have to do some digging to find what you need but overall it's pretty straightforward.
ryanbrenizer.com - Ever heard of the Brenizer method? Ryan Brenizer is a wedding photographer and former photojournalist. He's photographed the Pope, the President, and hundreds of weddings. There is a lot to learn from this man!
digital-photography-school.com - This website is really useful to answer many questions and has a lot of information for beginners. I really like the creator of this website too. He started blogging in early 2000's and has made a living off of blogging. He has another website dedicated to helping out bloggers at problogger.net. If you are a blogger definitely check this out too!