Planning a trip can easily be just as overwhelming as it is exciting. It requires much attention to detail and time dedicated to creating the perfect itinerary. Although planning for a trip is one of my favorite parts of traveling, it can be difficult to dedicate the necessary amount of time and attention to it, which is why these resources always help me out tremendously.
Tracking flight prices is the safest way to find the best deal on your airfare. I use Google Flight Tracker as my first step when planning to go on a trip. It’s useful for when you roughly know the dates you can get away, and it shows you what difference a day or 2 can make in your airfare cost. You can also choose to be notified when the price for the flight you’re tracking changes, which encourages you to book a flight you’re hesitant about as soon as the price drops, saving you money along the way. Hopper is another favorite app that finds the best deals for you and tells you when it’s the best time to book. This one is great if you don’t have a limit on when you can travel!
Finding the right accommodations is a crucial part of planning your trip. Everyone has their preferences, whether you want to stay in a fancy hotel, a charming apartment, or an affordable hostel. It all depends on the kind of trip you’re taking and where. For example, when I studied abroad and traveled with large groups of friends – hostels were usually the best option for us. When I travel within the U.S. and visit a new city with a girlfriend, we might choose to stay at a nicer hotel. When traveling internationally, I prefer Airbnb. As I researched different options for accommodations in a foreign country, I discovered most hotels were overpriced, and some hostels were not exactly what I was looking for. Renting an apartment through Airbnb was the best option in most European cities I visited because it was affordable, always in a good location, and made me feel like a local for the few days I stayed there.
It’s hard to miss this one when talking about the best travel resources. From restaurant reviews to the must-see attractions to the hidden local gems, you can find almost everything you need for the perfect itinerary in hundreds of popular destinations. The app is super helpful when traveling as you have all the information right at your finger tips. The best feature, in my opinion, is the option to download maps and saved locations for the cities you are visiting so that you can access them offline, which comes in handy when you find yourself with no internet connection. Although pretty much everywhere you go now has WiFi, when traveling it’s better to be safe than sorry. There are countless other apps that offer downloadable maps that can be accessed offline, but with TripAdvisor you have a plethora of other cool features all in one spot.
When it comes to actually deciding what’s worth seeing/doing in the city you’re visiting, travel blogs are a great resource. For my trips to Budapest and Vienna last summer, I relied heavily on some of my favorite travel blogs, both the well-known ones and some hidden gems, when putting together my itinerary. Travel blogs offer valuable advice on where to go, what’s worth seeing, and all the specific details that come only from people who have gone through the experience themselves. At the same time, they offer tips on what to avoid – whether that’s certain areas, food, or attractions that don’t live up to their hype. All this information is great to know before setting off on your trip.
People You Know
If you don’t want to put all your trust in travel blogs, a more personal approach is to ask people you know who have visited the place where you are traveling. Like travel blogs, your friends, coworkers, and acquaintances are great resources when it comes to your filling up your itinerary. Personal recommendations are super valuable for deciding on restaurants and accommodations. Another great personal resource can be your Airbnb host. A lot of times, your host will be there to welcome you and offer you their personal recommendations on the best their city has to offer, and what could be better than tips from a local themselves?
Be sure to check out these resources when planning your next getaway, and check out this post if you need some inspiration to travel!
A working professional and a lifelong dreamer, Bohdana strives to merge her passions with her everyday reality. She is a proud Ukrainian and a loyal Chicagoan (despite the winters). She loves traveling, reading, pursuing self-improvement, and sharing her stories. Allow this blog to bring you motivation and inspiration on your own journey to rise beyond.