Planning a trip is almost as exciting as taking one. Perhaps I just have a vivid imagination, but I swear I’m almost as satisfied researching and daydreaming as I am going on the actual adventure. Sometimes, it’s overwhelming how and where to start with the hundreds of tools available online. It’s great, because you’ve got variety. But, how do you choose which to use? I’ll share a few of my tips in hopes this will help you out.
By the by: This is my honest to God traveler’s toolbox, none of these resources have paid to be promoted.
Why I dig it: It gives you a list of actual places to go. The user reviews are extremely helpful. I’ll usually do this is a step 1, and then type in the places on Pinterest or Yelp if it’s a restaurant.
Why I dig it: Photos and personal experiences. TripAdvisor is great to find out the where’s, while Pinterest is awesome to paint a picture of the experience. I can click through an image and read the blogger’s post, which generally gives a really good idea on whether or not I’ll be into it (including photos, which I love). Most people think of Pinterest and associate it strictly with DIY, but it is actually a great travel planning resource.
Michelin ranking: Inspectors’ Favorites for Good Value list
Why I dig it: You can find a superb place that is reasonably priced. I always Yelp the restaurant as a step 2, but this is a new tool I’ve used to narrow down my Yelp search. Only drawback, not every city is ranked.
Why I dig it: User reviews for restaurants. Nothing says it better than the people that go there and have taken their time to review. I swear I have gone to places with bad Yelp reviews thinking they may be wrong. They’re not. This is a must for when you go dining.
Why I dig it: It’s less messy than going to most booking web sites. The comparison is cleaner and better to navigate. I’m all about user experience. Planning a trip and trying to get the best deal can get messy and stressful if you have 5 windows open. Ain’t nobody got time for that. This is usually my last step after I’ve visited TripAdvisor and Pinterest, which have given me an idea of what area is best to stay in.
Bed & Breakfast Web Sites
Why I dig it: Bed and Breakfasts are awesome. Period. They can be a bit of a splurge, but there’s usually a website dedicated to all bed and breakfasts in an area so you can easily navigate and see if any fall within your price range.
Why I dig it: Guaranteed to always find the cheapest flights here. If you’re not flying with miles, this is the way to search. You can filter the list by airline if you prefer one. Out of all the travel sites, this is the cleanest one with the lowest prices available.
Why I dig it: This app is my absolute last step as it’s a really helpful way to upload all your confirmations, reservations and flight info for a given trip. It puts it all into one handy dandy package, and even alerts you on the time of upcoming planned events. Trip Case let me know my flight got delayed up to 2 hours before my actual airline app did. True story.
I hope this helps you plan your next travel adventure. I’ll definitely do updated posts as I discover more travel tools. If you know of any that are great, please let us know below!
Keep travelin’ my friends,