A Travel Expert’s Favorite Free Travel Planning Tools
I haven’t traveled far from home in the past few months, but I’m always on the lookout for where I might go in the future. The anticipation of the trip can be half the fun of a trip, right?
Best Free Travel Planning Sites
Here are a number of free travel planning sites that can help you save time and find inspiration.
Where do you start looking for a new and interesting place to explore just a short drive from your hometown?
In hours allows you to search in any direction based on travel time or driving distance to find places to go and things to do.
I chose a travel time of 4.5 hours from my home (approximately 240 miles) in Florida. Here are the results I got:
- Sainte Marie
- Amélie Island
- Fernandina Beach
- Port Saint-Joe
- Saint-Georges Island
- Wakulla springs
- Tallahassee Museum
- Florida State Capitol
When you click on a destination on the WithinHours site, you will land at Trippy, another community travel planning tool for road trips. Here you will find the answers to your travel questions.
Destination results include recommended activities, popular attractions, recommended restaurants, insider tips on links to area hotels, and more.
You can also explore travel ideas and itineraries with Trippy on Facebook.
Trips to discover
Another fun site for inspiration and / or just dreaming is Trips to discover. Lots of wonderful photos and captioned listings including:
- Top 14 pedestrian cities
- The best highest hotels
- The best sources in Florida
- The Best Lakeside Homes in Vermont
- Top of Bali’s coolest treehouses
- The best and most unusual Airbnbs in Europe
- The best romantic retreats in Tennessee
- The best Airbnb wedding venues in the United States
In addition, there are destination ideas and guides categorized such as “Budget”, “Bucket” and “Adventure”.
Click on a list to find travel tips and links to suggested accommodations.
I recommend this trip planning site just because of my recent discovery! I added a new Bucket List spot (for me, at least) to one of Europe’s best kept secrets that promises breathtaking mountains, crowded beaches, small villages with stone cottages for rent, castles and local specialties. No, I’m not saying it.
TO Google.com/Vols, enter your city of departure but leave the “Where to?” »Empty box and press SEARCH. A map will appear to show you the price of the plane ticket from your departure city to several cities in the United States. And if you take your cursor and move (or collapse) the map, you’ll see airfares for destinations all over the world.
It’s a great way to find cheap plane tickets as well as new vacation destinations! Craig of the Clark team details other travel planning tips on Google here.
If you’re like me, you have several tabs open when searching for hotels and private rentals. Once I have enough ideas, I begin the process of elimination.
What motivates most of us to choose a particular home is the cost. But one of the most frustrating parts of the booking process is finding out about all the extras that aren’t posted up front and may not appear until you get to the final booking page. These can include taxes, fees, host fees, cleaning fees, resort fees and more.
Corn Kayaking Stays displays the total cost of a stay. To view the all-inclusive cost, enter your destination and dates. Click under the blue price chart and choose “Total stay + taxes and fees”.
Here’s an example of why we need this pricing option for transparency:
I searched for a four night beach vacation in Florida and found what appeared to be a well located apartment at a great price of $ 99 a night. I clicked to book direct on Vrbo.com (Vacation Rentals by Owner) where the total price for four nights was $ 615: an average of $ 153.75 per night. But once I tried to complete the reservation with payment, the price dropped to $ 681, or $ 170 a night, a far cry from the $ 99 that initially caught my eye.
But from step 1, Kayak showed me straight away that my stay in a condo would be $ 681.
If you’ve ever wanted to research online how to get from A to B – easily – from two points on the globe, let Rome2Rio be your guide. Suppose you want to travel from London to Chester (near Liverpool). This site lists several different routes in the results.
Here is what he showed me for my search from London to Chester.
RECOMMENDED OPTION: Take the train from London Euston to Crewe, then take the train from Crewe to Chester $ 92- $ 323, 2h 20m
CHEAP OPTIONS: Take the night bus from London Victoria Coach Station to Chester National Express $ 13- $ 17, 5h 50m
Take the bus from London Finchley Road to Chester Bus Interchange $ 21- $ 31, 5h 58m
FLIGHTS: Flight from London Heathrow to Manchester (1h) then train from Manchester Airport to Chester (1h 20m) $ 106- $ 309
SELF-DRIVING: Approximate fuel cost: $ varies
On the site, you can click on your preferred option to book transport directly through the supplier.
Travelers also have the option of booking trains, buses, ferries and ferries almost anywhere in the world. Here are the results of my search for a ferry from Bodrum, Turkey to Kos, Greece:
The journey time by ferry from Bodrum to Kos is approximately 30 minutes and covers a distance of approximately 12 miles. The fastest ferry normally takes 30 min. Services are operated by Dodecanese Flying Dolphins, Ye? Il Marmaris Lines, Bodrum Ferryboat and others. Cheapest price: $ 45. Carbon emissions: 0 kg CO2
Rome2Rio also details up-to-date Covid-19 requirements and restrictions for your departure and arrival destinations.
Seat61 focuses almost exclusively on train travel within and between the UK, Europe, Asia, Africa, Indonesia, South America and other countries.
The site says it “aims to inspire people to do something more rewarding with their travel opportunities than going to an airport, boarding a soulless airliner and missing out on everything the world has got. to offer”.
Here’s how site founder Mark Smith describes the Caledonian Sleeper: “It’s the most civilized, romantic, speedy and eco-friendly way from central London to the heart of Scotland, for a week -end in the Highlands. “
The page also details train amenities, accommodation features, station updates, timetables, direct links to book, video clips and more.
Who doesn’t prefer a non-stop flight to a connecting flight?
FlightsFrom details all routes and scheduled flights from each airport! Explore destination opportunities with non-stop flight service from a specific airport, city or airline.
Did you know you can choose from 210 non-stop destinations departing from Hartsfield-Jackson International Atlanta?
This site is a particularly useful dashboard as airlines have recently added and / or removed flight routes at breakneck speed due to customer demand (or lack thereof).
I didn’t know that the airport in my hometown, for example, now has 36 non-stop lines. The last time I remember checking this number, it was 19!
Once you have planned your trip, Tripit keeps all the elements of your planned trip in one place.
You can create a personalized itinerary with your flights, hotel confirmations, car rentals, day trips, and restaurant reservations. You can access TripIt on the go, export to your calendar, or share trip details with fellow travelers and family.
If you’re not ready to travel due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, budget, or any other reason, the mere thought of planning a trip can improve your mood. Science suggests that just thinking or planning a trip can give your brain a boost. Fortunately, these free tools can help! And daydreaming costs $ 0.