A great vacation can be just the thing you need to recharge your batteries after months of work & stress. Making the time to take a vacation is important for everyone’s mental health but as great as the actual journey can be there are plenty of hassles to overcome. Trip planning can be extremely time consuming and involves finding the best flights, choosing the right destinations, determining the best way to get around once there, what to pack, and on and on. Not to mention all this travel planning needs to fall within your budget. The wave of relaxation felt when thinking of an exciting trip can start to fade away and be replaced with the stress and anxiety you’re hoping to escape from when research and planning looms ahead. Thanks to the ever advancing technology and internet there are now many tools available to use online make planning your next trip easier, faster, and more organized. Below are just a few recommendations of websites and tools to streamline & expedite your trip planning. In fact, they can make the whole process fun and exciting.
TripAdvisor is the most visited travel site on the internet and for good reason. It holds a goldmine of honest travel reviews for hotels, restaurants, travel guides, vacation rentals, flights, and more. Just type the city you want to visit and a list of recommended hotels, activities, retaurants, etc is at your fingertips. The reason TripAdvisor is so popular is because of its huge, active community. Most of the recommendations made are based on first hand experience of everyday travelers making their database trustworthy and reliable. Even many of the pictures for hotels, restaurants, & attractions are posted by the users while on vacation.
Tripit is a huge timesaver when it comes to travel planning. This free travel planner allows you to print out all the components of your itinerary or view them on your smart phone. They say it best: “Tripit turns all your flights, hotel, and rental car confirmation emails into simple mobile travel itineraries just by hitting forward.” This tool not only brings all your reservations and travel plans from separate sites and emails into one organized place but can add maps, weather, directions and more. You can then access the itinerary online, share it with fellow travelers, print it out, or save it for offline use.
Hipmunk is for the practical side of planning out your trip. There are things everyone needs when going on vacation. A way to get there and a place to stay is just the start. Hipmunk is a search engine for the best hotel and flight deals across the web. They scour the internet for you, saving tons of time, then organize flights and hotels based on the best possible experience and ratings. Hipmunk is also integrated with Trip Advisor reviews so you can get honest feedback without leaving the site. Their Google Maps integration also makes it easy to see how close the hotels are to points of interest in a given destination. This online travel tool is definitely worth taking advantage of.
Using all 3 of these trip planning tools will help take the headache away from creating an awesome and stress free vacation. You’ll be glad you did when you’re relaxing in paradise or trekking to Machu Picchu, knowing that you saved as much money as possible and picked the perfect hotels & activities. Of course you can always skip all of this, let us do the work, and explore the world with our travel club in ways you never could on your own!