One of my favourite past times is planning trips. I spend way too much time longingly looking up destinations on my bucket list on Google Flights, just to see what tickets are like, or making mental notes of places to visit while browsing other travel blogs.
My control issues have resulted in me planning perhaps all of the trips I’ve been on. As I like to stay organised I make a list of ‘must do’s’ and then slot them in smartly, creating an itinerary. I’d like to be able to just hop a plane and figure everything out when I arrive but I don’t think my planning genes would allow this. I also don’t believe in overspending on trips, mostly because I don’t have the money for overspending to be an option. Travel planners help me create and stick to a budget.
Over the years I’ve come across two really great online travel planners – Travefy and Inspirock. I know there are many more out there but I like these two because they’re user friendly, easy to share with your travel buddies and also have a host of features which make trip planning exciting. If you have an upcoming trip – especially if it’s group travel, a good way to plan the trip and ensure you make the most of your time is to use one of these.
- build an itinerary alongside everyone else on the trip
- insert flight and accommodation info
- create polls and take votes on different activities
- insert times and costs for the activities
- map your trip to help figure out the best transport options to get from point A to B.
Travefy lets travellers comment on different activities so this way you get feedback and ensure everyone is happy with the itinerary. This can avoid some of the issues I spoke about in my blog on Girls Trips.
If you’re looking for things to do during your trip, Travefy also has a discover section where you can browse hotels, restaurants and activities which are already rated and insert these into your itinerary.
It allows you to download the entire itinerary to your phone, save as a PDF and print or just insert activities into your phone’s calendar. There’s also an app but it only allows you to view an already created plan – no editing. That, I would say, is my only grievance.
I used Inspirock while planning my trip to Barbados. It is similar to Travefy but is a better resource when it comes to suggestions of things to do. My favourite thing about Inspirock is that it’s great for a lazy traveller – someone who doesn’t have the time or desire to design a whole itinerary but needs one to guide the trip.
Inspirock lets you put in your destination, dates and the number of people on the trip. You then select the type of trip you’d like to have: fast paced, slow paced or a balance? Do you want to go to popular places or see hidden gems? Are you travelling to relax, go to the beach or for a baecation?
After you select your preferences, it creates an itinerary for you. This itinerary is smart – it won’t send you to a museum after closing time or to a restaurant that isn’t open on a particular day. It will also group activities which are in close proximity to ensure you maximize time. You can feel free to follow this itinerary or edit it to suit. It’s great!
If you’re travelling to different cities or countries in the same trip, it also accounts for this and shows you the best way to relax, explore, eat or see the country in the time you have there.
You can of course share this itinerary with your co-travellers who can edit. Unlike Travefy however, your travel buddies can’t provide feedback and vote on activities through Inspirock. It does allow you to download to your phone’s calendar, print a PDF or even email your plan to your parents or partner so they have an idea what you’re up to in the event anything happens.
Inspirock also uses AirBnb and TripAdvisor to suggest places for you to stay and will give you suggestions on the best neighbourhoods to stay in. You also have the option to look up flights on the same platform – this service is powered by Skyscanner. What more could you want?
I get so excited talking about these travel planners because I think they’re such a foolproof way to maximize your time in a country. Of course don’t pack every single day with activities. You should leave some time to just wander aimlessly, sleep off a hangover, discover hidden gems and relax with your travel buddies.
If you’re planning an end of year lah hay or looking for places to travel in 2018, try out one of the travel planners and let me know how it goes!
Happy lah hay-ing!