Tools for Planning Your Next Vacation 15 Jun 12

Whether you’re simply dreaming about a vacation or making actual plans, there are many online resources to help. Here are seven of the most useful for finding deals, social recommendations, inspiration, and creating itineraries.

Trippy

Trippy’s travel planning site is designed around the notion that recommendations are always better when they come from friends. So, instead of just being a place to plan your vacations, it is also a social network which ties into other sites like Facebook.

Pinterest users will recognize the pinboard-style layout and comment feeds, and, even cooler, Trippy can take your chosen locations, create an itinerary, and plot the trip on a travel map.

Trip Twit

Those in the travel industry use Twitter to announce deals to their followers all the time. But, weeding through the posts from every airline, hotel, cruise, and car rental company is way too time consuming (especially, when many of those tweets are for places you aren’t going).

With Trip Twit, you can arrange to receive email alerts for destination-specific Twitter deals.

Wanderfly

Wanderfly recently revamped its site by adding some unique new features and a Pinterest-style design. This travel site is especially geared for those who like to explore the authentic side of a city as opposed to the sanitized, tourist version. Thus, most of the information you get is from locals, regular people, and folks you specifically choose to follow.

Hipmunk

Hipmunk’s goal is to take the “agony out of travel planning” by not bogging you down with irrelevant information.

On Hipmunk, you can view flights from all types of airlines in a visual timeline that lets you see at a glance details such as price, time, layovers, and more. Also, hotels are shown on a heat map where restaurant and entertainment hotspots are highlighted.

Hotel Tonight

Sometimes you don’t have the time or desire to plan, but with Hotel Tonight, you can still find some great same-day deals on hotel rooms throughout the US and Canada. The format is simple, you can do it all through your mobile device, and you’re not bogged down with other information like flights and entertainment — it’s just hotels.

Gtrot

Yes, this is another one that looks very similar to Pinterest, but unlike the other travel planning sites, Gtrot focuses more on a local audience and discovering your own city.  Use the site to stay up-to-date with events in your area, post pictures of your favorite places, or “add” other people’s photos to your “collections” for inspiration (kind of like adding a “pin” to your “board”).

Gogobot

Gogobot is a cross between Trippy, Yelp, and Facebook. Use the site to get travel advice, show off where you’ve been, ask users for recommendations, and, of course, plan your trip. And with 1 million members and growing, there are plenty of people available to give advice.

 

Have you used any of the sites above? If so, which is your favorite?