Author Bill Bryson put it best when he said, “To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.”
A lot of us are stuck in the inertia of everyday life and refuse to see the simple travel opportunities around us. And even if we know these opportunities, the inertia dissuades us. “Hold on,” our brain says, “it’s a lot of work, you can’t afford it.”
That can’t be further from the truth. You can plan and enjoy easy-going travel with the right sites and apps, whether it’s finding a place to go within your budget or getting a readymade packing list. Here’s where to start.
1. Destigogo (Web): Set Your Budget and Likes, Get Destinations
Destigogo is one of the newest entrants in the travel space, but it has already made an impression. It has a simple approach to travel. Say where you are, how many days you want to travel, and your budget. Add preferences like sun or snow, roadtrip or adventure, flight/plane/car, and so on.
Destigogo will then use the best travel sites and engines to find the right destination for you. For example, plane prices are handled by Skyscanner, which gives you the cheapest airline tickets. Stay costs come from Booking.com, one of the best hotel search engines.
Browse all the suggestions, find what seems the best for you, and click the links to start booking your trip. It’s a lovely interface, to boot.
2. PackPoint (Android, iOS): Customized Packing Lists for You
Wherever you’re going, you’ll need to pack the right things with you. PackPoint is a packing list app with recommended items to take with you.
Tell it where you’re going, which dates you’ll be travelling, and what activities you plan to do. PackPoint will use weather information and its built-in smarts to generate a customized list of items to pack. It even adds numbers, like the number of casual shirts you should take. You can easily add or remove items at any point too.
PackPoint is far better than using a list-only app like Wunderlist or Any.Do, since its suggested lists will include items you might forget about.
3. The Base Trip (Web): Compare the Country to Your Own
When you’re travelling internationally, you need to do a little bit of research. For example, let’s say you don’t find out whether you need a visa or not, you might end up deported like our very own Riley. And it helps to know the basics of wherever you’re travelling to, right?
The Base Trip is a wonderful site that takes care of all the essential information. Choose where you are travelling from, and where you are going to. The site will create a cheat sheet of what you need to know, comparing the two countries. This includes weather, sockets and plugs used there, currency, tipping norms, internet and mobile communications, getting around, embassy information, and more.
The only fault, as of now, is that it concerns only the capital cities of both the countries. So, something like embassy information or weather might not be accurate if you’re travelling away from the capital. Still, it’s a wonderful resource full of the must-know essentials.
4. Google Trips (Android, iOS): The Best Trip Organizer Around
A few months ago, Google quietly launched a new app meant for travel. Anyone who has used it since is now swearing by it. Meet Google Trips, the last travel organizer app you’ll need.
Trips manages your flight details, hotel bookings, and travel itinerary, saving all that info in one place. It works offline too, so you aren’t dependent on getting Wi-Fi or data in a new country. The backend is handled by the Google Flights engine, travel tips from Google Maps, and other Google integrations.
Trips also offers recommendations for tourist spots to visit, restaurants and cafes, as well as useful places like pharmacies. It has everything you need.
5. Travelistly (Web): Get Inspired by The Best Travel Blogs
One of the best ways to figure out what you should see or eat during your trip is to check out a travel blog. Some bloggers even present detailed trails or guides. Travelistly is a community that collects awesome travel blogs to drool over.
Travelistly primarily targets the digital nomadic community, but it is just as useful for pure travel too. The site is an aggregator of the best travel blogs as well as travel-based articles by major publications. Put it all together and you get a large collection of fantastic travel reads in one place.
I wouldn’t recommend signing up for Travelistly unless you’re a digital nomad or if you travel at least once every month. Instead, use it as a resource to stay updated and be inspired.
What’s Your Favorite Travel Tool?
Obviously, this isn’t a comprehensive list of travel tools and apps, it is meant to be a collection that makes travel easy. But let’s expand the scope to find out everyone’s favorite travel software.
Which site or app can you not live without when you’re on the move?