Top 5 Travel Planning Tools

Updated 17th August 2020

There are so many different travel planning apps out there but these are my Top 5 Travel Planning Tools. I’ve tried a number of them over the last couple of years, trying to find the ones that suited me and these are the ones I swear by:

Booking.com

This is one of my favourite accommodation sites and I have tried a number of different ones. They have consistently cheaper prices than a lot of the other sites and after being signed up with them and making a certain number of bookings through them you get upgraded to a “Genius” member.

Genius membership gives you a further 10% discount on all hotel bookings, early check in and late check out for free!

As a number of other travellers use this site, there are plenty of reviews for each hotel which I find really helpful. I tend to use this site alongside another one (Hotels.com) to find the lowest prices, plus the best thing – book now, pay later!

Hotels.com

This is a good site but I personally don’t use it very much anymore. I used to use it a lot but the user interface changed and I don’t really like it much, plus I usually find the hotels I want are cheaper on Booking.com.

It doesn’t always have the lowest prices but it does sometimes and if you sign up with them they have a loyalty programme like coffee cards – buy 9 nights and get your 10th night free! Though this doesn’t mean you then get a free night in a $5,000 night hotel (but how great would that be?!), it’s an average of the amount you spent on the 9 nights.

It also has “secret prices” where they pick one hotel in whatever area you’re searching and give it a bigger discount. They also do the book now, pay later but not on all hotels and it is often a higher fee for that option. It’s not a site I book through all the time, but I always compare it with Booking.com.

TripAdvisor

OK, so I LOVE this site! It is our go-to site while planning for finding the top attractions/hotels/restaurants in any area before we go on a trip.

Sometimes we use it to check hotel reviews alongside Booking.com or Hotels.com but usually the reviews on those sites are pretty good on their own.

We also use it to check out local restaurants when we want to go somewhere different for dinner! It has a huge user base so there are plenty of reviews to look through and it’s a great way of finding out “insider” information for different sites.

The forums are also really good places to get answers to any travel question, if you google your question you’ll find someone else has probably already asked it and it’ll already be in the forums.

Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet guides are AMAZING! They have loads of great information, personally I prefer the books for planning but the website has the same information so it’s ideal for planning on the road.

I have found though that not all their information is accurate especially around entrance prices for different attractions so if you take it as more of an estimate you should be fine.

They also have forums which are really useful to use when you have travel-related questions.

I’m addicted to buying the Lonely Planet Travel Guides so I have a number of these knocking around my house at any given time! I do use them a lot though and I take them with us when we travel to refer to when we’re on the road or at different sites.

Wanderlog

So I used to used Travefy but it has become a professional site now aimed at travel agents so there is a fee. I don’t use it often enough to warrant paying for it as I only tend to use the itineraries when I’m going on big trips that have a lot of moving parts to keep track of.

But never fear! I’ve found a new site! Wanderlog is great and shares many of the same features as Travefy did, which is handy, but it also has the ability to recommend sites to you for the place you’re planning to visit so you might find something you hadn’t thought of before.

It also has a map feature (which takes up half the page) with little pin bubbles showing where each of your itinerary items is located. You can then export the map to your phone so you don’t get lost!

I know lots of people swear by TripIt and while it’s good, it doesn’t have the features I like. I love building and planning  itineraries and I’ve tried to create my own ones from scratch but I can’t get them quite right so I had to find something else that comes close and this is the one!!

Your completed itinerary is easily accessible on your mobile/tablet or you can print out a copy if you’re like me and like to have hard-copies to hand!

Hopefully this helps you out with creating your own itineraries and if you have questions/comments please let me know! I’d be more than happy to chat about it with you!

Chel xx

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9 thoughts on “Top 5 Travel Planning Tools

  1. Stephanie | Adventures in Aussieland says:

    I’ve never heard of Travefy before but it sounds like an incredible site! When I start my searches, I tend to look at Google Flights first and then compare the prices there to other websites. Cheaptickets is also another go-to for me. They do really good flight+hotel+car bundles

    • walkingonforeignchels@gmail.com says:

      I’ve never used either of those but I’ll have to check them out for my next trip, thanks for telling me about them! Hope you find Travefy as useful as I did 🙂

  2. shan says:

    Thanks for these tools, Lonely Panet and Travefy are my favourites too! It’s so handy being able to have anything on a smartphone or tablet rather than worrying about losing one of your 50-page itinerary and wasting lots of time trying to rectify the issue! I’m not a massive fan of TripAdvisor, a lot of people just go there to complain (I’ve read some hilarious comments about natural wonders of the world where people have reviewed them and criticised them for things like the rocks being smaller than imagined or it having been a rainy day – but then again it does provide some amusement! xoxo

    Shan // http://www.cultureandcouture.co.uk

    • walkingonforeignchels@gmail.com says:

      I found the same thing with TripAdvisor and I love reading those posts for a giggle! 🙂

  3. Raghav says:

    A great list and some of the best travel planning sites/apps. I have been using Booking. com for the longest time now and TripAdvisor is great to get reviews. Travefy is something new to me, so shall check it out for sure.

  4. Arnav Mathur says:

    Thats actually a very helpful list. Am an active user of both booking.com and trip advisor, but never tried something like Travefy for itinerary planning. Maybe, because, I keep it flexible.

  5. Stephanie Tay says:

    I’ve never heard of Travefy but I’ll definitely be checking it out now. I love Sygic Travel because you can plan out your itinerary and it will generate a printable PDF! I still love printing out my itineraries and having a hard copy to refer to 🙂

    • walkingonforeignchels@gmail.com says:

      Me too! I find having a hard copy comforting haha. I haven’t heard of Sygic Travel, but I’m going to look into it now 🙂

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