Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
There are plenty of travel apps and websites on the internet, but they all assume that you’re an expert who wants to maximize travel efficiency. But not everyone is a wanderer. Check out these best apps for casual and infrequent travelers.
If you aren’t a seasoned traveler, apps like TripIt doesn’t make it easier to plan a trip. In fact, you might find the filters and choices overwhelming. What you need instead are apps whose interface makes it easy to find what you want or those that explain what you need to do.
1. Direct Flights (Web): Find Non-Stop Flights From Any Airport
A lot of people love traveling but hate flying. Also, who wants the hassle of a connecting flight, and the risk of luggage being lost in transit? If that sounds like you, Direct Flights will show you all the non-stop flights available from any airport in the world.
First, select the airport you want to travel from. You’ll get a map of all the direct flights originating from that place, which you can sort by price, weekly frequency, distance, or duration. You can also group results by country or airline.
Filtering by country is the really cool option. Let’s say you want to travel from the USA to Australia. This way, you can find out all the direct flights that take you from your local airport to any airport in Australia, from Perth to Sydney. Change your origin to find more options.
You could even browse through all airports or choose by the airline, in case you want to redeem miles or points. Direct Flights is a convenient way to travel while minimizing flight inconveniences.
2. Top Rated Online (Web): Best Places From Google Maps, in a List
It has become a habit for all of us to look up places on Google Maps. And more and more people are rating and reviewing points of interest (POIs) on the app. Top Rated Online takes all that Google Maps information and turns it into an easier list-like interface to browse.
It currently has over 5,600 cities and 1.1 million places. Choose a city to get four sections: hotels, restaurants, bars and pubs, and tourist attractions. Each section has a ranked list showing the rating, the number of reviews, and its brief description. You also get a map that plots all the POIs.
The list can be sorted by top-rated and most reviewed, or you can dive into two other options: hidden gems, and worst rated. These are cool ways to discover something worth checking out and also avoiding the worst money-gouging tourist traps. Before you visit any city, it’s a good idea to check out Top Rated Online for insights.
3. Cluey (Web): Easy Questionnaire for Inexperienced Travelers
Cluey is a feature-packed travel app with plenty to check out. But for the casual traveler, check out the simple questionnaire that will help figure out what you want without getting overwhelmed with choices.
Cluey asks a series of questions about your preferences. Not everything is a yes or no either, and you can often say “I don’t mind” so that you don’t eliminate options. The questions make you figure out things like weather preferences, safety and LGBT friendliness, popularity, language preferences, and more.
Slowly, you’ll build a profile of the types of destinations that best suit your travel needs. Finally, you will choose the activities that you want to do on your trip. Cluey will then put it all together to suggest places to visit.
Once you have the list, feel free to use Cluey’s main Destination Explorer app. But if that’s what you want, it might be better to check the next app in our list, Escape.
4. Escape 2 (Web): Wide Range of Filters to Find Flights and Destinations
Great Escape was one of our favorite unique travel planning apps to find your next trip, and it has got a big update to become Escape 2.0. Pick your point of origin and start fiddling with the filters to find exactly where you want to go.
Here’s a brief list of what you can do:
- Set a budget in your local currency.
- Choose direct flights or not.
- Filter destinations by visa requirements.
- Choose cities based on their weather (temperature, rain, and snow).
- Rank by worldwide popularity.
- Check safety level as judged by the US Department of State travel advisories.
- Filter destinations based on things to do there, such as beaches, architecture, etc.
Once you set your filters, Great Escape will find the best flight prices by searching several popular airline aggregators, like Kiwi, Skyscanner, Kayak, Expedia, etc.
5. Travels’ Checklist (Web): Recommended Checklists for Packing and Prep
Travels’ Checklist is an app every casual traveler should run before your next trip. It will generate a custom checklist that ensures you are perfectly planned, prepped, and packed. Heck, even if you are a seasoned traveler, you might still gain something from this.
You’ll start with seven quick questions for details like weather, accommodation, and so on. The app will generate a new checklist based on your answers, dividing it into sections. Travel preparations tells you what you need to do in the planning stages of the trip. Documents, money, and tickets list all the paperwork needed. The packing list has a recommended list based on your input, but you can change it to best fit your needs.
Plus, you can check out lists made by other users. Go to Featured Travels’ Checklists to find various cool trip lists, like a softball tournament checklist, a district convention packing list, and the “overpacker” list.
Make Travelling a Priority
We get too caught up in the minutiae of our daily lives, and traveling takes a back seat. But your life won’t broaden and grow without travel, so remember to make it a priority. Even the Dalai Lama says, “Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.”
One great travel tip is to find out which countries you can go to without a visa, based on your passport. There’s a simple web app to look it up, which is among our other best decision-making travel tools to find a destination.