Deciding where to go is the easy part. But once you’ve picked your destination, travel planning is the next and can be the most overwhelming step. Here’s how I plan for my travels.
Instagram/Social Media: I follow lots of travel bloggers and often get inspired about where to visit from their photographs. Whether it’s a cool new boutique hotel or unique site or restaurant they’ve found.
Guidebooks: I like using guidebooks to learn more about the history and culture of a place, not so much for where eat/sleep or what to do in a city/country.
Travel Blogs: Blogs are a great source for inspiration and up to date information. It’s great to see photos and hear stories about the actual places that guidebooks can only generally talk about.
Trip Advisor: Although this can be overwhelming to use for big cities like NYC I like using their app for smaller cities to find good places to eat and recommended things to do.
Friends/Family: Always ask around and see if your friends/family have been somewhere. Often they’ll be your most honest resource.
Facebook Groups: This is the newest thing I’ve started using a research tool and I’m not sure why it took me so long! There are tons of travel groups you can join, some more general or specific to countries/regions/types of travel. You can search the comments and see what people are asking about or post your own question asking for recommendations.
When it comes to planning I’m all about using Google web tools. I can download them offline onto my phone, make live changes from anywhere, share everything with friends and everything is always archived if I ever need to reference it in the future.
Google Calendar: This is the first thing I use to set up a loose itinerary. I’ll create a calendar just dedicated to a specific trip and as things become more planned I’ll add in specific flight or activity information with dates, times and locations.
Google Docs: I use Docs as a dumping ground for all the information I gathered in researching before organizing it into a more final chart.
Google Sheets: I use Sheets to organize my final day by day itinerary with all my travel specifics and the things I’m interested in seeing/doing listed by location.
Google MyMaps: I’ve only just starting using this but I love creating a travel map and pinning all the places I want to visit so I can get a visual idea of how far away things are from each other to plan a more efficient trip.
I’m pretty loyal for no particular reason but my go-tos are always Booking.com for places to stay Kayak.com for flights whether I’m pre-booking in advance or while I’m traveling and planning the night before using their mobile apps.