Six useful tools to plan your trip
Planning a trip can be a bit tricky sometimes. This is why there are travel agencies to do the job for you. But if you want to go off the beaten paths, you probably want to organize everything by yourself. Plus, you will save money.
In my experience, you should draw a general outline of your trip, book what needs to be booked and then go with the flow. This let some room for some activities you find on the spot. And if something goes not as planned, there is no problem!
The Internet is quite resourceful when it comes to planning. There are great websites that I often use while planning a trip. If you’re old school, you can always use the Lonely Planet!
Let’s get organized!
This will let you see the routes available from a point A to a point B. It will show you the kind of vehicles available and the average costs. This is quite useful when you do not want to fly.
This will compare the flights available on the Internet. What I like the most about it is that you can see the cheapest flights during an entire month, so you can find low rates if you are flexible (I paid 8 euros for Bucharest – Brussels for example). However, I recommend not to book directly on this site, it is better to book on the carrier’s to avoid extra costs. The website also compares hotels and car rentals but I have not used these features yet.
This will tell you all about trains in Europe. You might not be able to book your ticket online but at least you have the schedules so you can plan your trip. If you plan on using the train a lot it might be interesting to buy an interrail pass (eurail pass if you’re a non European citizen). This website also offer some tools to plan your trip.
This will find you the accommodation available in a city. There are other websites which do the job but I usually use this one. It will compare hostels, bed and breakfasts, hotels, apartments and campsites. Here, I also recommend not to book directly on this site. It is better to book directly on the accommodation website, it could be cheaper.
This useful app available for iOS and Android. You can download the map of the city you will travel to and even travel guides. The map can be used offline so it is convenient if you don’t want to carry dozen of paper maps!
This website is great if you want to find unusual places to visit. If you click search, you can enter the kind of places you’d like to see (example: ghost town) or the country you’re going to. Then you’ll have a map with every spots available with description.
So this is the non exhaustive list of websites or apps I use for planning or while travelling. If you have a favorite of yours that is not listed, feel free to add it on the comment section.
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