5 great tips for planning your next travel getaway

5 great tips for planning your next travel getaway

Take the guesswork out of planning with these tech sites

by Kurt Knutsson

Are you gearing up for your next big adventure but dreading the daunting task of planning? Worry not—we’ve got the ultimate travel toolkit to make organizing your journey a total breeze.

From finding the best flight deals with Kayak to snagging that perfect window seat via ExpertFlyer, we’re diving into the top travel resources that savvy globetrotters swear by. So buckle up, and let’s explore how these 5 great tech tools can turn your travel woes into wows.

 

1. Best flight finder: Kayak

If flying either domestically or internationally, Kayak is an excellent site to search for the cheapest flight deals. With the exception of airlines such as Southwest, Kayak searches tons of airlines for the cheapest flight based on specific or flexible dates. This is especially helpful if you want to compare costs and amenities across multiple airlines, hotels, and rental car companies.

Additionally, they offer ‘hacker fares,’ which help you combine flights from different airlines to create your ideal journey. The only hitch is that you won’t make the final booking on their website. Kayak will guide you to a third-party website, such as Expedia or the airline itself, to book the flight, car, or hotel room.

Kayak Main Page

Credit: Kayak

 

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2. Seat selection savvy: ExpertFlyer

Flying? Any seasoned traveler knows that the seat you pick for your flight can determine how your vacation begins and ends. It can either be the most relaxing flight or a complete nightmare. If you want to beat other travelers on your flight for the best seat on the plane, check out ExpertFlyer. 

Whether you’ve booked online, offline with a travel agent, or directly through the airline, the free account lets you set an alert for a specific seat option (Window seat, anyone?). Once you receive the alert, you can change your seat assignment to your preferred seat.

ExpertFlyer Free Account

Credit: ExpertFlyer

 

MORE: HOW TO MAKE USE OF GOOGLE FLIGHTS’ NEWEST FEATURE

 

3. Best Road Trip Guide: Roadtrippers

If you’re more interested in taking your vacation via car, motorcycle, or RV, Roadtrippers can help you create the journey by populating fun stops between your departure and destination location. Compatible and accessible across multiple devices, you can plan your trip on your desktop and take it on the road with you on your phone or tablet.

For RV drivers, the Roadtrippers Premium account can give you RV-specific GPS navigation, which includes turn-by-turn directions appropriate for your RV. You get 3 stops for free or 150 stops with the Roadtrippers Premium. The app is available on iOS and Android.

Roadtripper journey example

Credit: Roadtrippers

 

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4. Best last-minute save: HotelTonight

Most travelers tend to book their accommodations as soon as their flights or train tickets are booked. However, even the best-laid plans go haywire in some situations, and you are left looking for a hotel room at the last minute.

Whether you’re dealing with an overbooked hotel or a misleading accommodation listing, HotelTonight can help you find discounted rooms the same day across 1,000 properties all over the world. The app is available on iOS and Android.

Hotel Tonight website

Credit: HotelTonight

 

MORE: FILTERING FLIGHTS BY AIRCRAFT TYPE UP 15X FOLLOWING 737 MAX 9 INCIDENT

 

5. Best navigation gets better: Google Maps

While used frequently by many users daily to navigate cross-city traffic, Google Maps boasts new updates that make travel planning and sharing easier. It is available on iOS and Android.

Discoverable lists: Now, you can aggregate lists from top travel and city sites such as Lonely Planet, Open Table, and the New York Times. Starting with select cities in the US and Canada, you can search for a curated list of recommendations from others who know the city well. There are also lists based on places other users are interested in or love on Maps. You can search for top, trending, and gem restaurant lists.

List customization: Go ahead and compile your recommendations from a variety of different sources, such as social media, so those you share your list with know why you picked a specific place. You can also choose how the list is ordered so you can arrange it by chronology or preference.

Understand better with AI: Ever wish you could get more details while browsing specific restaurant reviews or photos? Now you can with AI, which can do things like help you identify the name of a dish or price — making for a more immersive experience.

Google update screen capture

Credit: Google

 

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Kurt’s key takeaways

With so many options and so little time, summer vacation planning can feel like a full-time job. New tech, however, can truly take the guesswork out of the planning. In fact, it can be downright fun. Whether you are traveling by plane or car, summer vacation planning might be as fun as the trip itself.

What type of traveler are you? Do you like to plan months in advance or the week of the trip? How do you take the stress out of travel planning? Let us know by commenting below.

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