New year, new trips! Make sure you’re prepared for all of the adventures on deck with some great apps and websites that can help make your vacation go more smoothly and add some fun to the planning process. The best part? They’re all free!
An essential for any jet setter, you may have heard of this app even if you’re not a frequent traveler. TripIt stores all of the pertinent information for your journey — including boarding passes, hotel confirmations, and itineraries — in one convenient spot. Importing, syncing, and sharing capabilities make it easy to keep yourself, your traveling companions, and family at home in the know about your whereabouts and activities.
For those with a serious case of wanderlust, TouristEye is the app for you. It helps you build a travel bucket list of sorts, where you can keep track of all of the fabulous places you have yet to visit. In addition, you can search for trip and experience ideas, whether they’re in your area or across the world. Both a website and mobile app allow you to keep your dreams right in your pocket for easy access and inspiration.
This one doesn’t need much of an explanation, but if you’re still using this website and app exclusively for recipes and home decor ideas, you’re missing out! Pinterest is perfect for all of your travel planning needs. Not only can you daydream ’til your heart’s content with beautiful images of exotic locales and restaurants to add to your itinerary, but there are also a ton of practical tips that can help you with everything from packing to traveling with kids.
The Internet bible for vacation planning, TripAdvisor has become a standby for hotel, attraction, and restaurant reviews. With millions of users, it’s a truly trusted source when it comes to determining all aspects of your experience. Once you’ve decided on a destination or a particular spot to stay, you can use the site to search for the best deals as well. If you connect to Facebook, you’ll also see which of your friends have visited a given city, and if any of your common connections posted a review of somewhere you’re considering. While the site only displays the most relevant and credible reviews, it never hurts to hear it from someone you trust!