As I've mentioned before, I am in the process of planning a European adventure for this May. I am even more excited because my boyfriend and I are going together! Since this will be his first trip across the pond I have gone a tad planning crazy. There is just so much I want to experience together and ideally I want everything to go absolutely perfect (don't laugh). As of now we have finalized our destinations, trying to mix where I want to go with where he wants to go, and have began the bookings. But, behind the pretty gold notebooks, and sparkly sticky notes are the growing excel spreadsheets, the looming budget and highlight stricken travel books. Here are a few things making the planning process painless and fun!
Travel AppsTrip It is seriously a life saver. Forward your confirmation emails to your account and a full itinerary, including maps, searchable activities and weather forecasts, is created. It is a must have when travelling. Be sure to print out a copy and stick it in each luggage in case things go astray (btw-it's free)!
Since hotel sites can be misleading, Trip Advisor has become a savour. So grateful for some of the reviews I have found, which have led to some deal scoring!
I know this isn't an app, but on AirBnB you can find some seriously amazing places at crazy affordable rates. Some of the places I have been looking into are actually more beautiful than the, so called, 5* hotels in some cities. I like that you can contact the homeowner and discuss details before booking. Their policies regarding payment look solid and I have heard some amazing reviews from friends. I am definitely excited to be using AirBnB for the first time, and having a whole apartment to ourselves some cities!
So easy to find and oh so helpful. I google or pinterest search "5 best things to do in _____" and the blogs materialize! It's great for discovering local restaurants and the reviews are genuine and sincere. Lately I've been addicted to Now What's the Plan. I reached out to the author, Jizelle, and she has been just the sweetest and so eager to help me plan! Not to mention she is a fellow Canadian that lives in Amsterdam, and has travelled to 28 countries!
Spreadsheets are seriously a planner's best friend! Since we are really focused on staying near-to budget, this Excel travel expense calculator has become so useful. Closer to the date I will be making a separate detailed itinerary for each city. I know this may seem crazy but it's so important to research what you want to do before you go. You don't want to miss out on key sights or let a yucky-tourist-trap restaurant change your perception of a city.
Are there any important planning tips you have that I am totally missing? Hope you guys stay tuned and follow me on my upcoming journey!