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The trick to a great trip is a little bit of planning. You don’t need every second of your schedule to be filled with activities. But you don’t want to come back from your trip and find out that you missed a must-see attraction. Nor do you want to miss your flight.
Between sites that make the whole itinerary for you to apps that let you plan your trip like Trello, these smart travel planning tools are a great help. Use them wisely and you’ll have a whale of a time.
1. Sygic Travel (Web, Android, iOS): Automated Itinerary for Your Trip
Sygic Travel is the equivalent of having a tour guide make a personalized itinerary for you. It’s a fantastic app that you need to use once to believe how easy and fun it makes your trip.
Tell Sygic where you’re going and for how many days. Based on that, the app will create a custom itinerary of the top attractions in that place, along with where you should go on which day. By clubbing nearby attractions together, along with timings of museums and such, the “Daily Plan” takes away the stress of choosing where to go, and in what order. Install a couple of public transit tracker apps on your phone and you’ll make it to your chosen destinations on time!
Sygic uses GPS giant TomTom for its mapping and points of interest, so you can rest assured that the information is up to date. The mobile apps also let you download your entire itinerary and map offline, making it that much more convenient in a foreign country.
2. Blink (Android, iOS): Tinder for Sightseeing Spots
The Tinder-like mechanism of swiping left and right to like or dislike places is a cool way to browse options when you’re feeling a bit flippant. It works well for sightseeing options, as you can check with Blink.
Choose the city you’re traveling to and Blink will start loading tourist attractions, one after the other. If you like what you see, tap the heart to save it; otherwise, swipe to send it away. Any card can also be opened to read more about it.
Blink doesn’t have a whole lot of information, it’s meant to pique your interest visually and is perfect for the casual traveler. After all, that’s what tourism often is, right?
3. TripTrip (Web): Create a Trello-Like Itinerary
Trello’s boards are an excellent way to visualize your plans. You can use Trello for travel and other things, but you’d be better off with TripTrip, which is made for that.
TripTrip gets the simple things right. Your entire trip is visualized as a series of boards, broken down by day. Add a hotel to the first day, and it will automatically update as the hotel for all days, saving you the trouble of adding it each time.
Through TripTrip’s search and recommendations, you can add items like restaurants, landmarks, museums, nightlife, and so on. The items can be moved up and down, or between days, to change your plan.
The app is still new so its list of recommendations isn’t great. But don’t worry, you can add a custom item as well. The only real hindrance is that TripTrip is a web app only.
4. Check and Pack (Web): Recommended Packing Checklists
It’s good advice to make a checklist of all your travel needs so you know what you need to pack. But what if you miss putting an item on the checklist itself? Check and Pack ensures that won’t happen by auto-generating the list for you.
Tell the site where you are going, what type of trip it is, mode of transport, and some other details like if you’re traveling with children. Based on your input, Check and Pack makes a list of packing essentials across categories like clothing, toiletries, food and drink, journey supplies, entertainment, health and safety, electronics, travel gear, and so on. The full packing list can be printed out.
Check and Pack also adds a to-do list of things you should do before you leave. It is a list of myriad tasks like setting a vacation auto-responder for work or switching off the gas and taking out the garbage at home.
You might also consider packing up one of these smart luggage trackers for your next trip.
5. BingeClock and Reading Length: Plan Your Journey’s Entertainment
If you’re going to be traveling for hours, you need a good book or something to binge-watch. So here are two neat sites to find something for the right amount of time. Unfortunately, neither of them are reverse-engineered, so you’ll need to put in a little effort yourself.
BingeClock is all about TV shows and movies. Key in a show or a few movies you planned on watching, get the total run-time and see if that fits within your travel hours. You can even rely on curations like the Marvel cinematic marathon or the Harry Potter movie marathon.
Similarly, at Reading Length, key in the name of a book you planned on reading (or re-reading). You’ll instantly get how long a reader takes based on the average 250 words per minute (WPM). Reading Length also has a test to check your WPM, just in case you think you’re a slow or fast reader.
No Matter What, Use Google Trips Too
Apart from these apps, make sure you also check out Google Trips. It’s a good add-on app for any of the above, and is one of the best apps for coming up with summer vacation ideas!
If installing an app is too much bother, you can also plan your trip using Google Maps. Don’t know where to go yet? Maybe one of these Airbnbs will inspire you. If you end up traveling during the winter months or heading to a destination with a cold climate, be sure to arm yourself with these apps and websites to prepare for winter storms.