Dreaming up a trip is the easiest part of every journey. All you need is a working imagination. The other bits before you go? You’ve got to book tickets, worry about accommodation, work out budgets, apply for visas…then you’ve got to plan your itinerary. And what about recording memories for sharing during the trip itself? It can be hard to keep track of the many aspects of a holiday via scraps of paper and a jumble of emails.
Over the last three weeks I have been planning out my upcoming trip to Japan and need to find the easiest way with limited time! I have used different apps before and started to see which ones work best for me, and if there are any new ones that have come onto the travel market…
Here are my 5 favourite trip planning apps. They help me plan, track, record and share your holiday in an easier and more organised way.
TripIt is a life saver. I just forward my confirmation emails (car hire, hotel bookings, airline tickets, restaurant reservations, etc) to firstname.lastname@example.org and voila, you have an instant itinerary- this app compiles all your bookings into one seamless place. I don’t need to keep looking through my inbox for the different emails to see flight times, connections, accommodation etc.. It is absolutely brilliant, plus the basic app is free. By paying $49/year, it gives you real-time flight alerts, seat tracking, frequent flier tracking and other goodies.
iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone apps available.
Mygola is a slick-looking ‘curated’ list of itineraries which I use sometimes as a base for planning my own trips. You type in a destination and suggested itineraries pop up. These can be customised, or you can create your own trip from scratch. You can then access and tweak the trip on a calendar page: add or remove elements such as sights or restaurants. Add notes, view the trip on the map and share the itinerary with people. When you’re done, there’s even a ‘book’ function that lets you book accommodation and buy tickets.
Other similar itinerary planning apps include the easy-to-use and ‘does it all for you’ Plnnr, which has a handy ‘print itinerary’ function, and Tripomatic, which creates a pretty nifty infographic of your trip). The latter has iOS and Android apps that also double as (paid) city guides with offline maps.
My friend, if you are like me and like simple and quick guides, this is a page for you.
OnePageTrip combines travel community with trip planning tools.
The concept revolves around the itinerary. They have been specialising in Australia with 50 itineraries shared by locals and travelers, varying in destination, length and interests. The community shares unique, off the beaten track travel experiences and the trip planner allows users to tap into other travelers itineraries, customize them, plan and book trips. All in the same place.
They are definitely a great page to check out if you want to travel to Australia, but we can now start to see other destinations too.
I was happy to see a guide to Tokyo. I tapped into this itinerary and picked the things I liked, add some more and created my own customised itenery based on another traveller experience.. The outcome is a neat itinerary organised in one page per day.
Gogobot is like Tripadvisor in that it has reviews and recommendations (hotels, sights, restaurants). The difference is on the ability to plan trips, connect with friends who have been to destinations (to get their advice), and find like-minded recommendations by similar ‘tribes’.
iOS and Android apps available.
Tripoto brings together travellers from around the world to share and discover real, and actionable crowd-sourced travel stories. All the itineraries are by real travellers. A travel itinerary tied to a traveller profile provides additional information, such as the nature and interest of the traveller, adding to the authenticity of the content. Further, people can connect with these travellers and ask questions related to their trips.