plan your trip online

You'll never travel without our trip planner again

Build, organize, and map your itineraries in a free travel app designed for vacations & road trips.

plan your trip online

Your itinerary and your map in one view

No more switching between different apps, tabs, and tools to keep track of your travel plans.

What travelers are raving about

Features to replace all your other tools, add places from guides with 1 click, collaborate with friends in real time, import flight and hotel reservations, expense tracking and splitting, checklists for anything, get personalized suggestions, plan like a pro.

Unlock premium features like offline access, unlimited attachments, flight deals, export to Google maps, and much more

Offline access

Unlimited attachments, optimize your route.

4.9 on App Store, 4.7 on Google Play

Discover your next favorite destination

Get inspired from guides around the world — with expert tips and recommendations from the Wanderlog community. See all Wanderlog travel guides.

Have tips of your own? Write a guide to share with other travelers like you!

Ready to plan your trip in half the time?

For every kind of trip and every destination, the best road trip planner, the best vacation planner, the best group itinerary planner.

  • Trip Planner

Trip Planner | Travel Itinerary Planner | Plan a Trip

Are you looking for an itinerary planner to plan your next trip? We know creating a customized travel itinerary manually is an overwhelming task. You have to put a lot of time into selecting destinations, booking hotels, flights, and comparing prices. On top of that calculating budgets & booking hotels and flights is another challenge that makes itinerary planning tough.

But what if all of this is done within a few minutes for you? Yes with TripHobo trip planner you can do this smartly. We have observed that many travelers end up spending more time in researching information than enjoying the actual trip. Not only first-time travelers but also experienced travelers struggle in creating perfect travel plans.

Even though it is a tedious task to create a customized itinerary, everyone agrees on the importance of itinerary for an enjoyable holiday. So Triphobo came up with this easy to use automatic itinerary planner.

How Trip Planner Works / Steps to Plan a Trip

Do you want to create your travel itinerary quickly & easily? Are you ready to use this tool now? TripHobo's trip planner plays a major role to ease the itinerary creation process and helps you overcome the pain in the trip planning .  Follow these 4 simple steps to plan a trip & let us know your experience.

1) Choose Your Destination & Dates when you want to travel

Visual algorithmic trip planner lets you choose destinations you want to travel to. You have the freedom to choose the real dates from the calendar. After selecting travel dates, planner runs algorithms to optimize a trip. It starts suggesting activities, sightseeing spots, tours and transport options with the details. For every attraction, it suggests open/close timings, time to spend, and nearby restaurants.

You can drag & drop activities and complete your itinerary within a matter of minutes. You can book yourself a nice vacation once you are sure of all the details, making you plan your trip very easily.

2) Refer to User Created Itineraries

If you have a lot of travel ideas but confused about where to start? Don't worry. Thousands of other people have visited the same destination before and created itineraries with us. Choose from a pool of more than 1 million user-generated itineraries around the globe. You can view other travelers’ itineraries for any location and duration to inspire yourself and then customize them to suit your own preferences.

3) Book Hotels and Flights

TripHobo always tries to offer the best from the travel industry to our valued planners. It has formed alliances with Expedia , Skyscanner, Zomato and Booking.com. Its ratings and reviews come courtesy of TripAdvisor whereas Google (as well as other partners) powers its location data.

TripHobo aims to cater to travelers at every stage of the travel planning process. It provides one platform to create personalized itineraries and hassle-free bookings .

4) Get Ready with a Perfect Itinerary

Once you’ve created your customized itinerary, you can print it. Save your plan for future reference or share it with your friends. When you’re ready, you can finalize and have a perfect travel itinerary ready.

Why Is TripHobo a Smart Trip planner?

There are few things included in the Triphobo planner algorithm & app which builds itinerary within minutes.

  • A free virtual map-based trip planner with a smart algorithm
  • International trip planner with about 1,50,000 popular destinations
  • The largest repository of user-generated itineraries
  • Hassle-free booking options for hotels, tours & flights
  • Provides local transit options like metro, rail, bus, and car
  • Calculates an estimated budget
  • Provides options to save, print and share itinerary
  • Strategic Partnerships with leading travel companies

TripHobo: Around the Web

  • Trip of Your Own
  • Traveling made easier with TripHobo
  • Making The Southeast Asian Travel Connection
  • Ex-HCL employee’s led ‘TripHobo’ is on a mission to become a global brand – a goto place for travel planning!
  • Interview: Praveen Kumar, Founder & CEO of TripHobo
  • TripHobo inks partnership with Zomato
  • How a trip planning startup can succeed
  • Karthik Ramachandram Co-Founder COO, TripHobo - Phocuswright Conference

Here's what travelers have to say about our travel planner

  • Excellent 238

user-avatar

Great and genuinely wonderful website that makes a proper vacation plan simple, like it should. All reviews are 5 stars. The only suggestion I have to enhance this fantastic website is to include a mobile application. Even paying for a version without ads wouldn't bother me.

Every traveller should use this!

So much easier & more helpful than a travel agency, given lots of fantastic ideas, and was extremely helpful for planning the trip. Would strongly advise my family and friends to use this!

Great tool for trip planning. Impportantly it's free and automatically tailors travel plans to your preferences and is completely customisable. The integration with skyscanner and booking.com, and other OTA like priceline and expedia makes it very easy to plan the whole trip along with the bookings in one place.

plan your trip online

  • KAYAK for Business NEW

Trip Planner AI Logo

Trip Planner AI

  • Start Planning
  • Community Trips

Your Next Journey, Optimized

Build, personalize, and optimize your itineraries with our free AI trip planner. Designed for vacations, workations, and everyday adventures.

Trip Planner Hero

Your AI-Powered Trip

The most optimal way of travel.

Craft your perfect itinerary with Trip Planner AI. Our advanced algorithms take into account your selected explore-sights, dining, and lodging preferences to create the optimal travel plan tailored just for you.

The most optimal way of travel

Get Inspired by Others' Journeys

Extract valuable travel insights from Instagram reels and TikToks, explore the mentioned explore-sights, and effortlessly include them in your own adventure with Trip Planner AI.

TRIP PLANNER AI

The only tool youll ever need.

Say goodbye to the stress of planning and hello to personalized recommendations, efficient itineraries, and seamless dining experiences.

Optimal Route Planning

Personalize Your Adventure

Travel Reel Insights

Local Cuisine Recommendations

Dont take our word for it

See what our users have to say about revolutionizing their travel experiences with Trip Planner AI.

Review by David Jordan

Trip Planner AI is a great tool that helps you save time and also headaches when you are planning to go somewhere, it is like a relief of the stress that usually comes at the time of travel either by not being decisive or not knowing where to go in the first place.

Review by Tushar

Trip Planner AI has provided me with so many amazing options on how to plan a trips completely. Right from the arrival to the destination till departure of that country. So much detailed information in such an amazing user friendly interface. Thats just WOW. Loved the way these guys are making the burden of travel freak like me so easy.

Review by Steve J

I love to travel, but hate planning and often book last minute. This app helps me quickly put together an agenda for my trips, removing a lot of the decision-fatigue that plagues trips planning. I've used it for weekend trips with friends, or even when I have free time on a work trips.

Our Trusted Partners

Journey inspirations from travelers.

Dive into unique trip itineraries crafted by our global travelers. Find your next adventure and share your own journey with fellow explorers.

Public Trip Image

A Week in the Big Apple: Your Ultimate New York Adventure

Pablo Guzmán

A Whirlwind Adventure in London, Canada

Nicolas Atuesta Carrillo

Dubai Delights: A 10-Day Adventure in the UAE

German Quesada

Amsterdam Adventure: 5 Days of Culture and Fun

Thinkernj

Tokyo Adventure: 10 Days of Food, Culture, and Fun

CRAZYPSYCHO303

Exploring the Best of Chicago: A 5-Day Adventure

Gabriela Ancheita

Customized Itineraries for Every Travel Dream

Trip Planner AI is your ultimate companion for any travel scenario. Whether it's a solo adventure, a family vacation, or a group expedition, our app tailors every aspect of your journey. Experience the convenience of:

AI-Powered Route Optimization

Utilize AI for optimal travel routes. Our app ensures a seamless journey, calculating the best paths, travel times, and distances for city tours or cross-country road trips.

All-in-One Travel Organizer

Simplify travel planning with our all-in-one platform. Trip Planner AI consolidates hotel and flight details, manages bookings, and imports tips and guides. Organize all trip details in one place.

Collaborative Group Planning Made Easy

Collaborate on itineraries with companions. Our real-time feature makes group travel planning effortless, ensuring everyone stays informed and involved in the process.

Expedia Rewards is now One Key™

Simplify your travel plans with trip planner.

Get started now

Plan with ease

Save and compare travel plans in a seamless experience.

Stay organized

Keep all of your bookings and saved travel plans in one place.

Decide together

Collaborate with family and friends to plan your dream trip together.

Easily save, collaborate and book - all your travel plans in one place

Make your travel plans easier with Expedia's Trip Planner. From saving favorites and organizing, to deciding with your group and booking your ideal trip, everything is together all in one place. You can select your favorite stays and activities while you search, and then find them later in your account. Avoid the hassle of sending multiple links to a group chat by inviting your family and friends to collaborate on a group trip where they can share ideas and see everything at once. After you've settled on your itinerary, you can make the bookings you need and keep them organized all in one place. Its ease of use makes it one of the best trip planning tools around.

plan your trip online

How Trip Planner works

Sign into your Expedia account to save and compare your favorites to a new trip, work together with your friends and family on your group vacation, and keep all of your bookings in one itinerary planner. It just takes a few clicks to get the ball rolling.

plan your trip online

Create a trip and save your favorites to plan your itinerary

Go to the Trips tab on the homepage, click on "Create a trip", and type in a new trip name. Start trip planning by searching for stays or things to do at your destination. Tap the heart icon to save your favorites to the right trip.

plan your trip online

Invite friends and family to create a group trip

Open your trip and invite your fellow travelers to collaborate in the Trip Planner. As soon as they accept the invite sent to their email, they'll be able to view the itinerary planner, save more items, and even book the options you've decided on.

plan your trip online

Book and manage your trip itinerary in the same place

Make all the bookings you need by tapping the three dots on your saved options. You can also change and cancel bookings in the same place.

Scan the QR code and download our app

QR code

Scan the QR code

FAQ: Learn more about Trip Planner

What should I do to plan my trip?

Get started with our Trip Planner in one of two easy ways:

1. Sign into your account, search for places to stay or things to do, and tap the heart icon on the image of a listing that you want to save. You'll be asked to create a new trip by giving it a name and saving it to your trip planner.

2. Head to the Expedia homepage, click on Trips in the top right corner (on desktop) or in the bottom menu bar (in the app), and then select "Create a trip".

How do I create a trip plan?

Once you've signed into your account and created your trip, you can save accommodations and activities to your trip. Soon you will also be able to save your preferred flights in our Trip Planner.

Why is trip planning important?

Saving items in a travel planner online helps you stay organized by keeping all your favorite stays and activities saved in one place. Instead of switching between multiple browser tabs, just open our Trip Planner.

When you're ready to book, it's easy to compare options , see all your locations on a map, and book directly from your saved items.

When should you start planning a trip?

Any time is a good time to start planning travels, and our Trip Planner can be used for everything from last-minute weekend getaways to a summer vacation planned over the winter. Just click on Trips on our homepage to get started.

How to plan a successful trip?

Saving your stay and activities to a trip helps Expedia better understand your preferences, so we can recommend more places to go and things to do to fill out your travel plans and make your trip unforgettable. Take advantage of our vast inventory and useful filters to make sure you get the accommodations and activities for your ideal trip.

Where can I find the items that I saved to a trip?

Head to the Expedia homepage and click on Trips in the top right (on desktop) or in the bottom menu bar (in the app). Select the trip that you want to view and look for "Saved items" to see all the items you've selected for that trip that haven't been booked yet.

With our trip planner, your booked and saved items are all in one place, which makes it easier to book your trip piece by piece.

Where can I find my booked items?

On the Expedia homepage, click on Trips in the top right (on desktop) or in the bottom menu bar (in the app). Select the trip that you want to view and head to "Bookings" to see all the items booked for that trip.

When you plan a trip online with us, you can keep your booked and saved items all in one place, making it easier to manage and build your trip.

Can I move a booked or saved item to a different trip?

Yes, we've made it easy to move items, because we know that planning your trip can mean adding more places to see or splitting favorite destinations up into multiple trips.

First, select the trip that already has the items you want to move. For booked items, tap the three dots on the top right corner of the item and select "move to another trip". For saved items, follow the same process and select "save to another trip" instead.

How can my friends and family help me plan a trip online?

Friends and family invited to collaborate on a trip with you will be able to view, save, and book items in your trip planner itinerary. All they need to do to start collaborating is accept the trip invite sent to their email.

Additional information about Expedia Group

plan your trip online

Plan Your Perfect Trip!

Planapple helps you create , organize , access and share all your vacation plans, what's planapple (watch this short video & see).

Play Video

How Planapple Simplifies Travel Planning

Organize ideas.

(Jotting a list of vacation ideas)

Collect your vacation ideas in an online trip notebook, and keep everything organized in one place.

Planapple is like a travel binder that organizes your vacation plans, with sections for where to stay, eat, play, and more.

That's where Planapple comes in. A web travel binder of sorts, Planapple helps you collect your ideas, possibilities, and plans — and saves them all in one place, organized and manageable.

Save things into your Planapple travel binder directly from sites like TripAdvisor, HomeAway, VRBO, Yahoo Travel, Yelp, and even email.

Planapple even creates a custom map tailored to your plans, so you can actually see which hotel is closest to your daily destinations!

Plan Together

(Friends giving the thumbs-up sign)

Discuss and decide your ideal itinerary with your tripmates.

Planapple helps you discuss things like which hotel to book

Planapple eliminates the communication challenges and email negotiations, making group planning far simpler.

Planapple's itinerary includes a day-by-day calendar, showing where you're staying, what you're doing, and even a countdown to your departure

And, as your burgeoning itinerary comes together, it's all captured in your Planapple binder for you and your tripmates to see, so no one misses out on one juicy detail.

Carry Your Plans

(Planapple smartphone app with your current trip to Hawaii)

Carry your plans on your mobile device —  or access them anywhere.

The Planapple mobile app, running on an iPhone, shows your travel plans grouped into categories like Lodging, Dining, Attractions, and Transportation

Planapple's mobile app puts your plans right in your pocket. Access your entire trip: itinerary, bookmarks, addresses, phone numbers, emails, even discussions with your co-travelers. (And Planapple can download it all to your phone before you go, avoiding scary international data charges.)

A woman lounging at a beach resort is checking her Planapple plans on her iPad

And, if you're a paper person, you can print your plans just as easily and take them anywhere you go. We get it.

Share With Friends

(Family and friends excited about your travels)

Create recommendations to share on Pinterest and Facebook.

A Planapple user's favorite places in San Francisco, complete with photos and a map

Planapple makes it easy to share what you did, where you went, and what you liked (or didn't!). Offer up your entire itinerary or just a few highlights — either way your friends will marvel at your travel-planning prowess. After all, what good is finding something wonderful if you can't scream it from the tippy top of the World Wide Web?

For family vacations, holidays abroad, or group trips of any sort… from a weekend getaway to an adventure across countries and continents… it's easy to plan your perfect trip with Planapple.

Ready to get going?

What is planapple.

  • English (UK)
  • Español (Latinoamérica)
  • Español (España)

An easier trip, each time

Imagine checking one place for your travel details and getting a heads up as things happen throughout your trip. See why life without TripIt is a distant memory for millions of travelers.

mobile phone in hand

You handle the booking, we'll take it from there

Unlike other travel apps, TripIt can organize your travel plans no matter where you book. Simply forward your confirmation emails to [email protected] and in a matter of seconds, TripIt will create a comprehensive itinerary for every trip.

“I’m on the road 100 days a year and TripIt is my go-to-app. It’s such a powerful tool in the hands of a traveler. There’s simply nothing like it on the planet.”

Helpful reminders and alerts so you don't miss a beat

Packed with features that give you a leg up on changes and help you make the most of all your trips, TripIt Pro is where the magic happens.

“I love knowing exactly when my flights are, when they are delayed, what gate to leave from, and all the other amazing TripIt Pro features.”

person using mobile app

Know where to be and when

Need a reminder when it's time to leave for the airport? Not sure where to eat in the airport or near your hotel? TripIt has you covered.

“My favorite business travel app so far is TripIt. Carrying all of my itineraries, it saves me during my ‘Where am I, what do I do next?’ panic attacks.”

More from our blog

plan your trip online

Take a closer look

Experience what it's like to travel with the TripIt app.

As featured on

Try the travel app that keeps up with you.

So many trips, so little time. Let TripIt worry about the details, so you don't have to.

Download Pebblar APP Now

plan your trip online

Collaborative map-based itinerary planner

From idea mapping to detailed itinerary planning, have everything on one map. collaborate with your trip buddies in real time.

plan your trip online

Build your list of cities

plan your trip online

Save ideas under each city

plan your trip online

Create daily itinerary

plan your trip online

Road-trip mapping

The easiest way to map and track your next road-trip with unlimited stops; travel distances automatically calculated and fully integrated mobile apps for on-the-road access

plan your trip online

European holidays

From putting together your list of cities and travel ideas to creating a detailed itinerary; from pre-trip planning to on-trip access – all done in one place

plan your trip online

Professional quality PDF

Professional quality PDF (with your own logo) or access via our iOS / Andriod apps

plan your trip online

Saving travel ideas

One centralised place to store all your travel ideas even if you don't have a clear travel date

Other cool features

plan your trip online

Real-time collaboration and team coordination

plan your trip online

Access anywhere with our fully integrated mobile apps

plan your trip online

Automatic travel time and distance display

plan your trip online

Integrated with 3 leading navigation apps: Google Maps, Waze and Apple Maps, as well as Ford vehicle integration

As featured in

plan your trip online

Testimonials

“You seriously cannot find a more effective travel planning tool than Pebblar. Gone are the days of screenshots of maps and messy collages of travel notes on maps. Forget about typing up collective itineraries on word, Pebblar is the exciting new tool for effective multi-destination travel planning. It syncs all the useful information internet has to offer perfectly into an easy simple to use App. Brilliant.”

"Throughout my day, I am constantly fantasizing about travel in my head. Whether for an upcoming or far-future trip, I use Pebblar to keep track of the cities I want to visit, sites I want to see, restaurants I want to try; and to plan the possible path between location. Pebblar is amazing for helping me organize my ideas in easy, virtual form." Chloe Skye
"The Google Maps integration is excellent and we can easily print off a whole itinerary before we leave, or use the app when we get there to help us get around and have a smooth journey. I would recommend Pebblar to anyone planning an upcoming trip." Rufus Holmes
  • © Roadtrippers
  • © Mapbox
  • © OpenStreetMap
  • Improve this map

The Ultimate Trip Planner

Plan & book your dream trip, routeperfect. with you every step of the way.

Free travel perks only for RoutePerfect members who booked flights, hotels and services through the RoutePerfect site.

Hotels recommendations

How it works

Popular itineraries.

EOTA

Testimonials

Christiane's testimonial

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There's an easier way to plan and organize your trips—here's how

May 14, 2019

Richard Holden

Travel planning is complicated. The number of tools and amount of information you need to sift through when deciding where to go, where to stay and what flight to take can be time consuming and overwhelming. That’s why today, we’re simplifying the way we help travelers plan trips with Google across devices.

When you’re planning a trip—whether you’re on desktop or mobile—we want to help you find the information you need, fast. Last year , we simplified trip planning by making navigation between Google Flights, Hotels, and Trips easier on smartphones. We’re now rolling this out on desktop as well. You can either go to google.com/travel or search for something like “hotels in Tokyo” or “Vancouver” to find travel information from a variety of sources in one place.

As you plan a trip, your research and reservations will be organized for you in Trips. As we continue to evolve Google Trips, we’re making this information more accessible at google.com/travel, and in Google Search and Google Maps. We’re also adding a few new features to make planning and organizing your trips easier.

One place for all of your trip details

Last year , we started adding your trip reservations for things like hotels and flights to a trip timeline for your upcoming trips, when you’re signed into your Google account and you’ve received a confirmation in Gmail. When you go to google.com/travel, you can now make edits directly to your trips timeline, and in a few weeks you’ll be able to manually add new reservations as well.

Whether you’re packing your bags or finalizing your travel dates, the weather is an important part of every trip. You’ll now see the weather for any upcoming or potential trips at google.com/travel—so you can make sure you’re prepared, rain or shine.

Keep track of research and keep planning

It often takes days or weeks to plan a trip. When you need to pick up planning again, we’ll keep track of your trip research across Google. Recent searches, saved places and flights you’re tracking are added automatically to your trips when you’re signed into your Google Account. Soon, we’ll add viewed things to do and saved and viewed hotels to your trips. When you want to continue planning, all of your research will be waiting for you at google.com/travel. If you don’t want to see private results, you can opt out by adjusting your results and web & app activity settings.

When you’re ready to continue researching other parts of your trip, scroll down to see travel articles and find out more about a destination like suggested day plans, popular restaurants around your hotel and events happening during your dates.

Continue planning on-the-go  

When you’re on-the-go or visiting a new place, we’ll do more to highlight things to do, restaurants and more with Google Maps. For instance, last year we made it easier to find the best places to see and things to do when using Google Maps to explore a new place. Now, we’ll also help you get the lay of the land when you’re traveling by pointing out popular neighborhoods nearby and what they’re known for.

And in the next few months, your trips—including reservations for things like hotels and restaurants—will be accessible in Google Maps, too.

Our goal is to simplify trip planning by helping you quickly find the most useful information and pick up where you left off on any device. We’ll continue to make planning and taking trips easier with Google Maps, Google Search and google.com/travel —so you can get out and enjoy the world.

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Let’s stay in touch. Get the latest news from Google in your inbox.

plan your trip online

  • Expedia.com
  • Booking.com
  • Tripavisor.com
  • Trivago.com
  • Aviasales.com
  • Rentalcars.com
  • Ticketmaster.com
  • Raileurope.com
  • BikesBooking.com
  • Track Travel Expenses
  • 8 /26 Checklist

Creating a trip has never been easier! Tripety is a travel planning platform that makes your trips convenient and hassle-free. Simply enter your travel details and places to visit into our  itinerary planner  to get a clear overview of your journey. Organize each day, use checklists to ensure nothing is forgotten, and keep essential documents all in one place. Also, you can manage and track your spending during your travel. Check out the itinerary maker to see how simple it is!

Want to coordinate travel plans with family, friends, or colleagues? Invite your friends or trip companions to Tripety for an easy way to discuss the details of your journey. Generate ideas or arrangements, track your spending, and use our group travel itinerary planner to explore new places together.

Is the process of planning your favorite part of the trip? Are you a detailed-oriented person who wants to use the  best business travel planner  or organize your family vacation tour? Then Tripety, an online trip management platform, is perfect for you! Dream, organize, share, manage your business and personal trips within our easy-to-use,  intuitive travel itinerary manager as your planner . It will keep all the needed information in one place and track everything, as it’s a flight tracker, road trip planner both in one.

Tripety helps manage and keep track of your finances before and during your journey. Monitor spending with the help of our convenient budget tool. See and manage your expenses ‘as you go’ to stay on top of your budget.

Planning a trip or vacation shouldn’t be tiresome and complicated. Easy to use, an intuitive and neat Travel Planning Platform that we created is for travelers like YOU! Tripety helps you compile, organize, and share your travel arrangements. Keep an eye on your travel budget while on vacation or business trip. We are trying to make your world a bit more colorful and a lot more relaxed. Tripety, add travel to your life!

Planning a trip can become quite challenging, especially when you have to go over many big and small details. The last thing you want is to run into problems while you’re away. This is why you must always plan all the details of your trip beforehand.

Thankfully, now you can use Tripety, a travel planner and itinerary maker, to plan each and every detail of your trip. From budgeting to group collaboration, we ensure that you have a smooth planning process. We also have an online road trip planner that’s sure to give you the hassle-free trip of your dreams.

  • --> Trip Wallet Manage Your Travel Expenses
  • Your Notifications
  • Dream Inspiration for Your Next Travel Experience
  • Plan Create & Manage Your Trip Plan and Budget for It
  • Travel Find Your Past and Upcoming Trips View and Share Travel Itineraries with Fellow Travelers
  • Blog Explore Our Travel Blogs or Create Your Own

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'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

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The best trip planner apps to make your travels easier

gabriela-headshot

Booking a trip can be an exciting yet daunting task. As if booking airfare, hotel, and transportation weren't enough, you also need to consider food, sights, and attractions. As a travel lover myself, I often dread planning and preparing for a trip. Not only do I never have the time, but I often get oversaturated by the vast amount of information found online and the fear of getting scammed. 

Also:  The best travel credit cards

Over the years, I've found the best websites and apps to help smooth out the planning process. These apps help me keep track of all my reservations, send me booking reminders, and guarantee I always find the best prices -- because there is nothing worse than falling for tourist traps or overpriced offerings. 

Whether you are a spontaneous or a nitty-gritty planner traveler, ZDNET has tested and reviewed the best trip planner apps on the market. Our top pick for the best trip planner site and app is Booking.com due to its easy-to-use user interface, extensive booking capabilities, and pricing. However, since not every trip or traveler is the same, we've included several options to help you plan and stay organized during your travels. 

Keep reading to learn more about ZDNET's expert-tested and reviewed trip planner apps. 

Also: The best travel gadgets

The best trip planner apps of 2023

Booking.com, best overall trip planner.

 width=

  • Multiple bookings
  • Great deals
  • Can earn points from bookings and reservations
  • Easy to use
  • No group planning
  • Can't organize bookings per trip

Booking.com features:   Platform: App and website |  Compatibility:  iOS and Android |  Pricing:  Free |  Booking:  Yes |  Group planning:  No

When planning my trips, I always make a stop at the Booking.com app, especially when reserving hotels. I find their user interface visually appealing and easy to use, and that it provides just the right amount of information I need when scrolling through hotel suggestions. Personally, I enjoy that I can add my top picks to my favorites with a quick tap of a heart, glance through reviews, look at cancellation policies, and even find out how far away hotels are from key spots. Through Booking.com, you can also book flights, car rentals, taxis, and city attractions, making it a great all-in-one place to plan and book upcoming weekend getaways or longer vacations. While I have personally never used the car rentals, taxis, or city attractions components of the app, I enjoy knowing that if I ever needed to, I can quickly hop on my phone and glance at the latest offerings. 

My favorite feature when using Booking.com to plan trips is the offers and promotions it displays for users. In the app, when you click your profile, you can see your "Genius" loyalty program status as well as discover the best deals around the world for your specific chosen dates. My only critique of Booking.com is that it does not enable group trip planning or let you organize your bookings per trip. This means if you are planning a trip with a friend, only one person can book and have access to reservations. 

Also: The best luggage

Best trip planner for organization

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  • Synced with e-mail inbox
  • Organizes reservations no matter where you book
  • Works offline
  • Can't make any bookings
  • Need to pay for advanced features
  • UI could use an upgrade

TripIt features:   Platform:  App and website |  Compatibility: iOS and Android | Pricing: Free or $49 per year | Booking: No | Group planning: Yes

In terms of planning a trip, creating an itinerary, and keeping all your information in one place, TripIt is one of the best travel apps to keep yourself organized. When you first create an account, TripIt will sync with your inbox and automatically add all of your upcoming flights and reservations to your account. You can then modify each trip to include as little or as much information as you'd like. As someone who likes to be spontaneous when traveling, I usually only add the essentials: flight information, hotel reservations, and important documents. However, if you like to plan your trips down by the hour, you can also include activities, restaurant reservations, transportation, and more in your trip plan to share with fellow travelers.

As your trip approaches, TripIt will also send you packing reminders, give you COVID-19 travel guidance, and show transportation options. While you can get most of the essential features within the free version of the app (this is the one I use), you can also pay $49 a year to get advanced features such as check-in reminders, real-time flight alerts, point tracking, and even notifications for drops in airfare prices. 

Keep in mind that while TripIt gives you transportation options and finds places near your hotel, you cannot book or make any reservations directly from the app. The app is solely used to organize and keep track of all of your travel plans in one place, no matter where you book them. 

Best AI trip planner

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  • Personalized travel itinerary
  • Hotel booking
  • Can modify recommendations
  • Group planning enabled
  • Only available as a website
  • No flight or restaurant booking

Guide features:   Platform: Website  Compatibility: all major browsers |  Pricing:  Free | Booking: Yes, but hotels only | Group Planning: Yes  Generative AI is everyone's favorite buzzword this year, and slowly but surely, it has been making its way across all industries -- including the travel industry. Guide is an innovative AI travel planning tool that creates personalized travel itineraries based on your preferences. (Full disclosure, it's also owned by ZDNET's sister company. It's currently in private beta, but you can join a wait list.) All you need to do is select your destination, the dates, whether you are traveling alone or in a group, your budget, and the types of activities you are looking for, and Guide will do the planning. 

After generating a trip itinerary for you based on your prompt, Guide then lets you modify and customize the itinerary to your liking. I recently used Guide to plan a six-day trip to Austin, Texas, and this was the feature I enjoyed the most, since I had specific restaurants and activities I wanted to incorporate into my trip, but I also needed some additional recommendations. While you can't book flights or restaurant reservations through Guide, you can book and find great hotel deals powered by Expedia on the platform. 

Guide will also give you an overall budget for your trip, a packing list, and a comprehensive list of things to know about your destination -- which may be helpful for some more than others. While my trip to Austin was a solo trip, Guide has a feature where you can invite other fellow travelers to collaborate in planning your trip through Guide's chatbot, GuideBot. This chatbot also works sort of like ChatGPT, where you can ask GuideBot questions about your trip, your destination, or recommendations. Keep in mind you can not ask GuideBot to directly modify your trip for you, and instead need to manually do it yourself -- believe me, I tried. 

Tripadvisor

Best trip planner app for reviews.

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  • Countless reviews
  • Used by travelers worldwide
  • Variety of information
  • Booking capabilities
  • Great for local spots
  • Booking is not its strongest feature and you may not always find the best deals
  • Doesn't vet reviews

Tripadvisor  features: Platform:  App and website |  Compatibility:  iOS and Android |  Pricing:  Free |  Booking:  Yes |  Group planning:  No

Reading customer reviews is one of the most important steps when planning a trip. While you shouldn't base all of your decisions on reviews, you should consider past customer experiences to get a feel for the brand and company you are about to trust, or the experience you are going to pay for.  When it comes to travel reviews, Tripadvisor is the best trip planner app to rely on. Since the platform has so many reviews for restaurants, activities, accommodations, and locations all over the world, it is always easy and convenient to log onto the app or website to help you make an educated decision. (However, remember that not all Tripadvisor reviews are legit, since the platform does not independently verify customer postings.) Beyond reviews, TripAdvisor also lets you book hotels, restaurants, things to do, and more while also providing detailed insights into their offerings -- including cancellation policies, ratings, and features. 

Tripadvisor's "Travelers' Choice" best-of list is also a popular part of its platform, allowing visitors to see top-rated destinations, hotels, restaurants, and things to do around the world. With Tripadvisor, you can plan a trip yourself from scratch, hire a trip designer, or get a custom itinerary built by AI. 

Best trip planner app for transportation

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  • Great multi-mode travel comparison
  • convenient and seamless transportation booking
  • Multiple currency and language availability
  • Flight deals and suggestions are not the strongest
  • Limited offers depending on the country or city of travel
  • Not the most reliable customer service

Omio features:  Platform:  App and website |  Compatibility:  iOS and Android |  Pricing:  Free |  Booking:  Yes, transportation only |  Group planning:  No

I first discovered Omio when a friend recommended it to me while I was studying abroad in Spain, and ever since I downloaded it, it has become my go-to app for booking the best deals and fares on transportation within Europe. The concept behind Omio is simple: You plug in your departure and arrival location, including the number of people you are traveling with, and add whether you are looking for a one-way or round-trip journey. Omio will then show you the best deals by train, bus, or plane to and from your desired destination, including how much time each option will take you and the number of stops. 

The German-based travel booking site is great at aggregating travel information from multiple sites, allowing you to view all of your transportation options in one place. This is incredibly beneficial when planning trips within Europe since there are several ways you can cross each border and often various languages and regulations to keep in mind. Omio is set in English but has multiple additional languages available, as well as currency options. During my time abroad, I solely used Omio to book all of my transportation, including planning a 17-day trip across seven different European countries. Overall, using Omio was not only convenient and seamless but also helped me save hundreds of dollars by helping me maximize my travel time by switching between flights, trains, and buses. 

However, since returning from Europe, I have not used Omio as much as I thought I would -- maybe because I have a car and take most of my trips by plane. And Omio's flight deals and suggestions are not the strongest compared to Booking.com or Skyscanner's, which heavily focus on flight deals. I have also found they have some limitations depending on the country or city you are traveling in. Be mindful of the deals and tickets you buy through Omio since some tickets are non-refundable, and some customers complain their customer service is not the best -- although I have yet to have any issues with them. 

What is the best trip planner app?

Booking.com gets our vote for the best trip planner app due to its wide selection of accommodations, its points and promotions offerings, and its easy-to-use user interface. Not only does Booking.com help you find the best deals throughout your trip, but it will also help you stay organized throughout your trip by keeping all of your reservations in one place. To determine which trip planner app or combination of trip planners is best for you, check out this comparison chart below. 

Which is the right trip planner app for you?

The best trip planner app ultimately depends on your travel and planning style. If you like booking and planning everything in one place while also earning points and getting great deals, then Booking.com is your top app. However, if you are looking for a place to keep all of your accommodations, reservations, and activity details organized, then TripIt is a better app for you. Check out the following chart to help you find the best trip planner app or a combination of apps for you to plan your next adventure. 

How did we choose these trip planner apps?

To find the best trip planner apps, we drew upon real-life experiences and tested their performance and capabilities during our latest trips. Ultimately, we weighted the following factors when choosing which trip planners to include on our list: 

  • Features: Each app can vary significantly with the features it offers, whether it is solely to book flights and hotels, help you plan your next trip using AI, or help you find the best deals and booking information, each app on this list can help you address several common inconveniences that present themselves while planning that next adventure.  
  • Compatibility: An app is of little use if it does not work with your devices, so we look to see what compatibility each trip-planning app offers and which platforms you can access it from. Personally, I enjoy apps that combine an app and website component since this quickly helps me switch between my wide computer screen and my tiny yet portable iPhone screen. 
  • Customer reviews: We study real customer reviews and ratings to evaluate customer satisfaction and service. This is incredibly important since most times when you travel, you visit an unknown city or country, and you should be mindful of past experiences others have had. 
  • Cost : Most trip planner apps are free, but you may have to upgrade to receive special access to exclusive features or deals. If your app is already free, it means you only have to pay a small amount (often unnoticeable) when you book your accommodations. 

What is a trip planner app?

A trip planner app is an app that provides organizational features for your upcoming trip. It is often free and incorporates trip planning tools, whether you are traveling by ground, water or air.   

How does a trip planner app work?

A trip planner app can incorporate special features, like an itinerary, calendar, reservation and booking hub, and map assistance. Depending on the app you choose, there is even trip-sharing with friends and family to simplify the entire trip planning process.  

How much does a trip planner app cost?

Most trip planner apps are free, but some may offer in-app purchases to upgrade or enhance your experience. Within this list, only Tripit costs money, but only for their advanced features version, which costs $49 a year. However, you can get access to most if not all, trip-planning features, through their free version. 

Are there alternative trip planner apps worth considering?

As I mentioned earlier, trip planning heavily depends on your personal style of travel and preferences. However, whether you like to plan your trips down by the minute or prefer to just have the basics, there are several apps that can optimize your planning. Here are a few apps worth considering that almost made it onto our list: 

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Here’s some inspiration to get you started.

(falling into the rabbit hole is entirely up to you!)

At Geovea, we have a world of travel options to discover for your next Road Trip Plan or Vacation Travel itinerary. We've divided up travel ideas and destinations into different sections to make your trip planning easier. Visit as many times as you want, and as often as you'd like to plan your special trip. Then customize your road trip or vacation itinerary here to your heart's content.

  • HAWAII & ALASKA
  • NATIONAL PARKS

U.S. Route 1, Boston to Bar Harbor, Maine - Massachusetts, United States - Geovea

U.S. Route 1, Boston to Bar Harbor, Maine

Gulf Coast Beaches - Alabama to Florida - Alabama, United States - Geovea

Gulf Coast Beaches - Alabama to Florida

Nashville - Tennessee - Tennessee, United States - Geovea

Nashville - Tennessee

Las Vegas - Nevada - Nevada, United States - Geovea

Las Vegas - Nevada

Best Cross-Country U.S. Road Trip: Southern Route - Virginia, United States - Geovea

Best Cross-Country U.S. Road Trip: Southern Route

Marco Island - Florida - Florida, United States - Geovea

Marco Island - Florida

Florida Keys Scenic Highway US 1 - Florida, United States - Geovea

Florida Keys Scenic Highway US 1

Route 1 - Big Sur Coast Highway Southbound - California, United States - Geovea

Route 1 - Big Sur Coast Highway Southbound

Charleston, South Carolina - South Carolina, United States - Geovea

Charleston, South Carolina

Best Cross-Country U.S. Road Trip: Northern Route - New York, United States - Geovea

Best Cross-Country U.S. Road Trip: Northern Route

Red Rocks Scenic Byway - Arizona - Arizona, United States - Geovea

Red Rocks Scenic Byway - Arizona

Scottsdale - Arizona - Arizona, United States - Geovea

Scottsdale - Arizona

Phoenix - Sedona - Grand Canyon - Flagstaff - Arizona, United States - Geovea

Phoenix - Sedona - Grand Canyon - Flagstaff

Route 1 - San Luis Obispo North Coast Byway - California, United States - Geovea

Route 1 - San Luis Obispo North Coast Byway

Breckenridge - Colorado - Colorado, United States - Geovea

Breckenridge - Colorado

Epic Colorado Adventure: Ultimate Road Trip Guide - Colorado, United States - Geovea

Epic Colorado Adventure: Ultimate Road Trip Guide

Vegas and Southwest National Parks - Nevada, United States - Geovea

Vegas and Southwest National Parks

Southwest USA Four Corners - New Mexico, United States - Geovea

Southwest USA Four Corners

High Road from Santa Fe to Taos - New Mexico - New Mexico, United States - Geovea

High Road from Santa Fe to Taos - New Mexico

Olympic Peninsula Loop – Washington - Washington, United States - Geovea

Olympic Peninsula Loop – Washington

Route 12 - Utah - Utah, United States - Geovea

Route 12 - Utah

17-Mile Drive Pebble Beach - California - California, United States - Geovea

17-Mile Drive Pebble Beach - California

San Juan Skyway - Colorado - Colorado, United States - Geovea

San Juan Skyway - Colorado

Denver to Breckenridge - Colorado - Colorado, United States - Geovea

Denver to Breckenridge - Colorado

Florida Coast to Coast - Florida, United States - Geovea

Florida Coast to Coast

Oregon Highway 101 Costal Trip - Oregon, United States - Geovea

Oregon Highway 101 Costal Trip

Key West - Florida - Florida, United States - Geovea

Key West - Florida

Million Dollar Highway - Colorado - Colorado, United States - Geovea

Million Dollar Highway - Colorado

Seattle - Washington - Washington, United States - Geovea

Seattle - Washington

Chicago - Illinois - Illinois, United States - Geovea

Chicago - Illinois

New York City - New York - New York, United States - Geovea

New York City - New York

Los Angeles - California - California, United States - Geovea

Los Angeles - California

Sedona - Arizona - Arizona, United States - Geovea

Sedona - Arizona

Santa Fe - New Mexico - New Mexico, United States - Geovea

Santa Fe - New Mexico

Memphis - Tennessee - Tennessee, United States - Geovea

Memphis - Tennessee

Asheville - North Carolina - North Carolina, United States - Geovea

Asheville - North Carolina

Kancamagus Scenic Byway - New Hampshire - New Hampshire, United States - Geovea

Kancamagus Scenic Byway - New Hampshire

Northern California Mountain Loop - California, United States - Geovea

Northern California Mountain Loop

Loreto - Baja California Sur - Baja California Sur, Mexico - Geovea

Loreto - Baja California Sur

Highway 93 - Alberta - Alberta, Canada - Geovea

Highway 93 - Alberta

Mt. Desert Island - Acadia National Park - Maine, United States - Geovea

Mt. Desert Island - Acadia National Park

Badlands Loop State Scenic Byway - South Dakota - South Dakota, United States - Geovea

Badlands Loop State Scenic Byway - South Dakota

Lake Champlain Scenic Loop - New York and Vermont - New York, United States - Geovea

Lake Champlain Scenic Loop - New York and Vermont

Mountain Escape - Georgia and South Carolina - South Carolina, United States - Geovea

Mountain Escape - Georgia and South Carolina

North Shore Scenic Drive - Duluth, MN to Canada - Minnesota, United States - Geovea

North Shore Scenic Drive - Duluth, MN to Canada

Skyline Drive - Shenandoah National Park - Virginia, United States - Geovea

Skyline Drive - Shenandoah National Park

Texas Hill Country - Texas - Texas, United States - Geovea

Texas Hill Country - Texas

Denver, Colorado Springs & Summit County - Colorado, United States - Geovea

Denver, Colorado Springs & Summit County

Beartooth Highway - Montana & Wyoming - Montana, United States - Geovea

Beartooth Highway - Montana & Wyoming

Peak-to-Peak Scenic Byway - Colorado - Colorado, United States - Geovea

Peak-to-Peak Scenic Byway - Colorado

Trail Ridge Road - Rocky Mountain NP - Colorado - Colorado, United States - Geovea

Trail Ridge Road - Rocky Mountain NP - Colorado

Going To The Sun Road - Glacier NP - Montana - Montana, United States - Geovea

Going To The Sun Road - Glacier NP - Montana

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15 Travel Planning Websites For The Savvy Traveler

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I have been a solo woman traveling for 10 + years now! And when I first started to adventure around the world, travel planning websites were pretty basic. The internet has come a long way since 2010. And all this technology has been game-changing for women traveling independently! Use these 15 travel planning websites to create the trip of your dreams !

Why use a travel planning website? The answer to this question could be endless. But narrowing it down to why it is most beneficial, we can start with finding the best deals and travel recommendations!

Often the travel budget is almost everyone’s major factor when booking a trip.

Using a site to help you find a flight or hotel can be so helpful when it comes to saving money.

Also, more inclusive sites provide suggestions for the best routes, restaurants, and attractions in the area.

When booking my trips, I use these 15 travel planning websites consistently. Once I have arrived at my destination, there is also 13 must-have travel app for solo females I use every trip.

I will start to break down each travel planning site and why these are vital in helping me in crafting my travel itinerary.

9 Travel Planning Websites

A trick to save money on travel is by getting a travel credit card and using those points or miles.

15 Travel Planning Websites

Of all the sites I find online planners, these are the ones I find most useful.

The best trip planning website will help you book any trip, whether a road trip, vacation rental, or just a little getaway off the beaten path! Some of these sites have membership reward programs!

Want me to plan your trip?

👩🏻‍💻 Need Help Planning Your Trip? Get a customized itinerary !

This travel planning website is gold! When using Skyscanner, I love getting inspired to choose where to go by setting my destination to “ Explore Anywhere .” A good starting point is to just put your departure city and the dates you want to travel, then add anywhere to your destination choice. Click search, and BOOM, a list of destinations will appear sorted by cheapest option first.

Who doesn’t love finding the best deals and discovering new cities? Using this feature, I have discovered a couple of “off-the-beaten-path” destinations. I can credit my trip to Bari, Italy , and Valletta, Malta, to using Skyscanner .

Kayak for Travel Planning

Booking.com

I love booking.com for so many reasons! It is not just a site to find cheap flights and hotel rooms, but vacation rentals booking site too!

You can also use this traveling planning website to book airport taxis! Your next travel adventure can all be booked within this platform. I feel like I am always finding the best deals on booking.com !

This site has a nifty loyalty program that saves you money the more you book with them. Genius level one, which is achieved with any two stays within two years, gets you 10% off your account’s life. And, when you complete 5 stays within 2 years, you are upgraded to Genius level 2. In level 2, you are bumped up to a 15% discount and complimentary breakfast and upgrades at some select hotels.

I should also mention the travel community forum on this site. It’s perfect if you plan to visit somewhere in the offseason and want to know if it’s worth it. This sort of travel forum is beneficial for solo females traveling and interested in safety advice . 

Booking.com for Travel Planning

Get Your Guide

As far as trip-planning websites go, Get Your Guide is highly rated and user-friendly! This site is wonderful for getting an overview of the city’s best tourist attractions and tours. The ease of using this site and helpful traveler reviews make it a winner.

Many people often don’t think of a traveler hack using a day tour to get from point A to point B. BUT LET ME BE CLEAR, you can only do this if you travel with a backpack . Showing up for your day tour to another city with your suitcase will not work. I would often travel with a small backpack to the destination city and stay after the tour.

Get Your Guide as a travel planning site has been really terrific. I recommend it over any other travel sites offering similar services.

Get Your Guide for Travel Planning

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance!

Travel insurance is so important in today’s travel environment. Safety Wing provides the best rates for the most coverage. Get a quote in Seconds !

Discover Cars

Would I call a car rental company trip planner website? Probably not exactly, BUT, if you are planning to do driving on your trip its important.

I use Discover Cars for rental cars. What I also really love about Discover Cars is the customer service.

Find the best rates in your destinations by using the search feature. I really love being able to find all the information I need when renting a car abroad on their site!

plan your trip online

Ferry Scanner

There is something magical about traveling from island to island. For my trips via the open sea, no better site to use than Ferry Scanner . This travel planning website is a great tool to help shape your travel itinerary.

Search in your home currency and it will display search results for the cheapest and shortest duration. This way, you are finding the best deals with the optimal travel time.

Ferry Scanner has friendly customer service. I have used them most recently and had to make some changes to the travel dates.

I was able to do this easily on their site without hassle or fees. For ferry transportation options, you can’t go wrong!

Direct Ferries for Ferry Travel

A NEW and exciting travel planning app out there is Wanderlog. Wanderlog is especially cool if you are planning a road trip. Use this highly integrated app easily to keep all your travel plans organized.

Use Wanderlog on your desktop or on your phone with the ISO/ Android App. In addition to keeping all your travel plans organized, you can find loads of travel guides created by locals.

Easily export all your saved points of interest into Google Maps! I am very impressed with the overall ease of use and functionality of Wanderlog.

Travel Planning Apps. A castle edited to look like it's coming out of a phone screen.

United Vacations

One of the best vacation planning websites is United Vacations ! If you are someone planning to travel a lot in your life, do yourself a favor and align yourself with an airline.

For me, that airline is United Airlines. I have taken advantage of all the programs that United has to offer and racked up enough points to always fly business or first class !

United Vacations is a great site for travel planning and growing your mileage account while planning your trip effortlessly!

To get started building your mileage you need to set yourself up for free with an account. Then to take advantage of all the programs to grow your miles, get the United Credit Card!

This offer will start you off with THOUSANDS of miles! Possibly enough to actually fly business class to Europe!

✈️ How to Fly Business Class for Less than Economy

United Vacations for best travel planning app

Tours By Locals

Booking tour activities with Tours By Locals is a great way to support the city you are visiting. I just love their travel planning website! The platform is really easy to use, with many helpful filters.

You can just put in your travel days and choose the type of tour you would like to filter by. They have Multi-Day, Half-Day, and Full-Day. The reviews of the tour are also very helpful in making a choice on what to do.

Road Trip Planner- Roadtrippers

Roadtrippers is a fantastic travel planning site with some extra helpful features! It’s not just a road trip planner that gives directions. Roadtrippers is an app and a travel planning site that allows you multiple ways to organize trips.

Special features included with Premium Membership – Trip Guides, Voices, Trips Planner, and more! They are always adding partnerships and offering the best deals!

Speaking of Deals, use my promo code and save $5 on your next vacation! Code: BTR5QTP Visit the site HERE!

Multi-City Trip Planning

A new website has emerged for the best trip planner for a multi-city trip, and I am impressed! The company is called Inspirock . The inspiration to see the planet is their slogan.

I’ve had a lot of fun with this travel planning site! You can build multi-destination trips with a few clicks! How it works is you first put in your travel dates and then choose a few activities.

The site then plugs in tour activities and hotel booking recommendations. It will produce a whole itinerary with transportation options, etc.

Viator has some of the best-organized activities for traveling! For planning the best day trips and private tours I would highly recommend having a look,.

I find the platform so easy to use, and I love the customer service. It has been my experience that Viator offers the most options in some of the more remote locations!

When I am traveling in Europe , I always put in my destination city to see what they have to offer!

Check out the reviews from travelers and compare them to other sites, Viator will come out on top!

Google Flights

First, there was Google Maps, now there is Google Flights! Like Google Maps, Google Flights can be used as a multi-city travel planner website. I often start getting ideas for my travels with their search features.

Much like with Google Maps you put in a destination and it suggests several different routes to get there.

What I love most about trip planning websites like Google Flights is you can let it suggest places for you! I just put in my dates and where I am starting from and the trip planning starts to take shape from there.

I save money searching for future trips using Google Flights. The cheap flights stand out if you search with no destination set. I look to see what city comes up as the cheapest and then I research destinations from there. It’s free, it’s easy, and I just love it!

Triptile is an essential tool as a digital trip planner! It does all the trip planning work in minutes.

The homepage has a screen full of popular travel destination tiles to get the inspiration flowing. Then, you choose cities to add to your trip, and start the creation of the next adventure begins!

Get around from city to city by bus! Sometimes it is the fastest way to travel.

I like Flix Bus for the customer service and great website ideal for trip planning!

Google Maps (My Favorite Travel Planning Site)

Chances are you are very familiar with Google Maps. Used by travelers more often than not Google Maps is great when on vacation.

The off-line maps feature is very helpful if you are traveling abroad and don’t have WIFI. You can create your own custom map and save your itinerary-based attractions such as hotels, restaurants, etc.

It might not be an actual travel planner, but it will help you find the best route to your destination.

Looking for the Best Airport Transfer Service?

AirportTransfer.com has the best rates for arranging transportation to your destination!

More Travel Planning Websites for Dining Reservations

These days there are so many sites to use for travel planning. Now when it comes to dinner reservations I use many. Here is a list of the sites/apps I use for making dining reservations.

  • Open Table – A one-stop shop to use for making restaurant reservations
  • Happy Cow (find vegan restaurants)

Plan a Multi-City Trip to Europe

Planning a multi-city trip to Europe can be tricky. Luckily I made a bunch of mistakes and took notes! Learn all about how to plan a multi-city trip to Europe the right way!

This post talks about the importance of airport transfers and considering the time it will actually take from your day. I will give you pointers on what are the best travel planning do’s and don’t’s!

Free 12 Page

Solo travel digital planner, faq’s.

Google Trips (Google Travel) : This all-in-one travel planning tool allows you to explore flights, hotels, and things to do in a wide range of destinations. It integrates with other Google services, providing personalized recommendations based on your search history and saved places.

Stay In Touch

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Melissa Byron, a seasoned solo traveler since 2009, is the founder & visionary behind A Solo Woman Traveling. Drawing from her extensive personal experience globetrotting solo to over 40 countries, she has dedicated herself to a mission: crafting invaluable guides and itineraries for women who embark on solo adventures.

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This post may have affiliate links. When you click on a link we receive a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you. See Our Affiliate Policy for more info. Are you a first-time solo traveler and need to know what to bring on your trip? Here are the solo travel essentials and…

Travel Savvy Tips For Planning A Multi-City Trip To Europe

Travel Savvy Tips For Planning A Multi-City Trip To Europe

This post may have affiliate links. When you click on a link we receive a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you. See Our Affiliate Policy for more info. Are you looking for the best way to plan a multi-city trip to Europe? Well, you have come to the right place! I…

13 Must-Have Travel Apps for Solo Females

13 Must-Have Travel Apps for Solo Females

This post may have affiliate links. When you click on a link we receive a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you. See Our Affiliate Policy for more info. Planning the P-E-R-F-E-C-T solo trip is only half the battle. How well you prepared yourself while on the trip is a major factor….

How to Manifest Travel & The Vacation of Your Dreams 

How to Manifest Travel & The Vacation of Your Dreams 

This post may have affiliate links. When you click on a link we receive a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you. See Our Affiliate Policy for more info. Manifestation is definitely a buzzword right now! Could manifestation be real? Can you manifest travel or is it all a hoax?  I am someone…

151 Best Affirmations For Travel: Manifest Traveling

151 Best Affirmations For Travel: Manifest Traveling

This post may have affiliate links. When you click on a link we receive a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you. See Our Affiliate Policy for more info. Using the power of affirmations for travel to get me out the door, I am a full-blown expert traveler.  When I was first…

I like the idea of checking on a website that has restaurants and attractions laid out for me to read about. Vacations are a way for me to escape my boring hometown. To try new food and experiences that I can’t get anywhere else.

It’s exactly why I travel! I love trying new places to eat.

Thank you for your comments, I’ve been looking for something that seems to be what you describe as Wanderlog, I’m going to check it out.

Also, only slightly off topic, I travel a lot on business and have been using Expedia but have never really been happy with the service. I see you recommend Booking and I just might move to their service but what I really need is a site that will allow me to organize various bookings into expense reports. With Expedia, preparing a travel expense report is miserable.

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  • Travel Guide

How To Plan A Trip Online

Published: December 5, 2023

Modified: December 28, 2023

by Rozella Cerna

  • Hotel Reviews
  • Plan Your Trip
  • Travel Tips

how-to-plan-a-trip-online

Introduction

Planning a trip can be an exciting and invigorating experience. Whether you’re embarking on a solo adventure, planning a romantic getaway, or organizing a family vacation, the process of planning your trip online can be both convenient and enjoyable. With the wealth of information available at your fingertips, you can easily research destinations, compare prices, and make all the necessary arrangements from the comfort of your own home.

However, with so much information and so many options available, it’s essential to approach the trip planning process strategically. In this guide, we will walk you through the key steps to plan your trip online effectively. From deciding on your destination to making necessary reservations, we will provide you with expert tips and insights to make your trip planning experience seamless and stress-free.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-timer, this guide will help you navigate the online travel planning landscape with ease. So, let’s dive in and discover how to plan a trip online!

Step 1: Decide on Your Destination

The first step in planning your trip online is to decide on the destination you want to visit. This decision sets the tone for the rest of your planning process, so it’s important to choose a location that aligns with your interests, preferences, and budget.

Start by considering what type of experience you’re looking for. Do you want to relax on a beach, explore a bustling city, immerse yourself in nature, or indulge in a cultural adventure? Think about your desired activities, climate, and overall atmosphere.

Next, do some research to narrow down your options. Look for travel blogs, online forums, and social media platforms dedicated to travel to gather inspiration and recommendations. Read about other travelers’ experiences and take note of destinations that resonate with you.

Consider factors such as the time of year you plan to travel, any visa requirements, and the local cost of living. Take into account your available vacation time and how far you’re willing to travel. Remember to check if there are any travel advisories or safety concerns for your chosen destination.

It’s also important to have a realistic understanding of your budget. Some destinations might require a higher budget in terms of flights, accommodation, and daily expenses. Research the average costs of transportation, accommodations, food, activities, and attractions in your potential destinations to ensure they align with your budget.

Once you have narrowed down your options, weigh the pros and cons of each destination. Assess how well each location fits your interests, budget, and travel goals. Consider the accessibility of the destination and the feasibility of reaching it within your desired timeframe.

By taking the time to carefully select your destination, you can ensure that your trip will be tailored to your preferences and expectations. Once you’ve made your decision, you can move on to the next step of the trip planning process.

Step 2: Set Your Budget

Setting a budget is a crucial step in planning your trip. It helps you determine how much you can afford to spend on transportation, accommodation, activities, meals, and other expenses. By establishing a budget from the outset, you can make informed decisions and avoid overspending.

Start by evaluating your overall financial situation and determining how much you are willing and able to allocate for your trip. Take into account your income, savings, and any other financial obligations you may have.

Next, consider the cost of transportation to and from your chosen destination. Research flight prices, train tickets, or any other mode of transportation that you may need. Keep in mind that prices can vary depending on the time of year, so be flexible with your travel dates if possible.

Once you have an idea of your transportation costs, move on to researching accommodation options. Look into various types of accommodation such as hotels, hostels, vacation rentals, or bed and breakfasts. Take note of the prices and amenities offered by each option, and determine which ones fit within your budget while meeting your comfort requirements.

It’s also essential to allocate funds for daily expenses such as meals, transportation within the destination, activities, and souvenirs. Research the average cost of meals and attractions in your chosen destination to get a better understanding of how much you should set aside.

Remember to account for any additional expenses such as travel insurance, visa fees, and emergency funds. It’s always better to be prepared for unexpected situations.

Once you have determined your budget, track your expenses as you continue planning your trip. This will help you stay on track and make adjustments if necessary. Keep in mind that it’s always a good idea to leave some room in your budget for unforeseen expenses or spontaneous activities that you may come across during your trip.

By setting your budget early on, you can plan your trip accordingly and make the most of your available funds. It allows you to have a clear understanding of your financial constraints and make informed decisions throughout the planning process.

Step 3: Research Your Accommodation Options

Choosing the right accommodation is an essential part of planning your trip. It can greatly impact your overall travel experience, comfort, and budget. By conducting thorough research on accommodation options, you can find the perfect place to stay that meets your needs and preferences.

Start by considering the type of accommodation that aligns with your travel style and budget. There are various options available, such as hotels, hostels, vacation rentals, bed and breakfasts, and even camping sites. Each option has its benefits and drawbacks, so weigh them carefully.

Online travel platforms, such as Booking.com, Airbnb, and Expedia, provide a wide range of options and user reviews to help you make an informed decision. Look for accommodation options in your chosen destination, filtering them based on price range, location, and user ratings.

Read reviews and ratings from previous guests to get a sense of the quality, cleanliness, and overall experience of the accommodation. Pay attention to the specific amenities offered, such as Wi-Fi, breakfast, parking, and any additional facilities that are important to you.

Consider the location of the accommodation in relation to the attractions and areas you want to visit. Look for accommodations that are conveniently located near public transportation or within walking distance of popular sights.

Another important factor to consider is the safety and security of the accommodation. Look for information on the safety measures implemented by the property and read guest reviews to gauge the overall security of the area.

Additionally, take note of any special offers, discounts, or package deals that may be available for your desired dates. Booking in advance or during off-peak seasons can often result in significant savings.

Keep in mind that flexibility is essential when researching accommodation options. Consider alternative dates or locations if you’re having trouble finding affordable or suitable options. Remember that the more flexible you are, the more options you’ll have.

Once you have narrowed down your options, make a shortlist of your preferred accommodations. Compare prices, amenities, locations, and user reviews before making your final decision. Booking directly through the property’s website or contacting them directly can sometimes result in better deals or added perks.

Researching your accommodation options thoroughly ensures that you find the best place to stay that fits your needs, budget, and travel preferences. It allows you to have a comfortable and enjoyable stay throughout your trip.

Step 4: Plan Your Transportation

Planning your transportation is a crucial step in the trip planning process. It ensures that you have a well-organized and efficient way of getting to your destination and moving around once you’re there. By considering various transportation options, you can find the most convenient and cost-effective way to travel.

If you’re traveling internationally, the first thing to consider is booking your flights. Use online travel search engines, such as Skyscanner or Google Flights, to compare prices from different airlines. Be flexible with your travel dates where possible, as this may result in lower fares.

Consider factors such as the flight duration, layovers, and luggage allowances when choosing your flights. It’s also worth checking if there are any airline loyalty programs or credit card benefits that you can take advantage of to earn discounts or upgrades.

If you’re planning a road trip or need transportation within your destination, consider renting a car. Research different car rental companies and compare prices, terms, and conditions. Be sure to factor in additional costs such as fuel, parking fees, and tolls.

Alternatively, you can explore public transportation options, such as trains, buses, or trams, depending on the availability and efficiency of the local transportation system. Research the routes, schedules, and fares to determine the best mode of transportation for your needs.

If you prefer a more flexible and convenient option, ride-sharing services or taxi apps like Uber or Lyft can be a viable choice, especially for shorter distances or when public transportation is not readily available.

Consider purchasing a transportation pass or card that provides unlimited travel within a certain period or offers discounted fares. These passes can save you money and make it easier to navigate the public transportation system.

When planning your transportation, take into account any extra fees or charges that may apply, such as baggage fees, seat selection fees, or additional transportation to and from airports or train stations.

It’s important to research and plan your transportation in advance to secure the best deals and ensure a smooth journey. Keep all your travel documents, including flight or train tickets, rental car confirmations, and transportation passes, organized and easily accessible.

Remember to consider the location and accessibility of your accommodation when planning your transportation. Opt for accommodations that are conveniently located near public transportation hubs or within walking distance of popular attractions if possible.

By carefully planning your transportation, you can save time, money, and minimize any travel-related stress during your trip. It allows for a seamless and efficient travel experience, so you can focus on enjoying your destination to the fullest.

Step 5: Create an Itinerary

Creating an itinerary is a crucial step in planning your trip. It provides structure to your travel plans, ensures that you make the most of your time in your chosen destination, and helps you prioritize the activities and attractions you want to experience.

Start by researching the top attractions, landmarks, and activities in your destination. Make a list of the must-visit places and experiences that align with your interests. Consider both popular tourist spots and hidden gems that offer a more authentic and unique experience.

Take into account the duration of your trip and divide it into days or time slots. Assign specific activities or attractions to each day, keeping in mind their proximity to one another and any time constraints, such as opening hours or seasonal availability.

Be realistic with your daily schedule and allow for some flexibility. Avoid overpacking your itinerary, as this can lead to rushing from one place to another and not fully enjoying the destinations or experiences.

Consider specific interests or themes that you want to explore during your trip. For example, if you’re a food lover, include local food markets, restaurants, or cooking classes in your itinerary. If you enjoy outdoor activities, plan hikes, water sports, or nature tours.

Make sure to factor in breaks and downtime to relax and explore at your own pace. Leaving some free time allows for spontaneous discoveries or simply enjoying the local ambiance without feeling rushed to stick to a strict itinerary.

Research the transportation options and durations between the different attractions or activities in your itinerary. This will ensure that you allocate sufficient time for travel and avoid any logistical challenges.

Consider the opening hours and days of operation for the attractions you plan to visit. Some sites may have limited opening hours or be closed on specific days of the week. Adjust your itinerary accordingly to ensure you don’t miss out on any experiences.

Utilize online trip planner tools or apps to help organize and visualize your itinerary. These tools often allow you to input your planned activities, addresses, and dates, making it easier to keep everything organized and accessible.

Share your itinerary with your travel companions or loved ones, especially if you’re traveling with others. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and can provide input or make adjustments as needed.

Remember that while having an itinerary is helpful, it’s also essential to stay open to unexpected opportunities or changes. Be adaptable and willing to adjust your plans as you discover new information or receive local recommendations.

By creating a well-thought-out itinerary, you can make the most of your time in your chosen destination, ensuring that you have a memorable and enjoyable travel experience.

Step 6: Arrange for Travel Insurance

Arranging travel insurance is a vital step in planning your trip. It provides financial protection and peace of mind in case of unexpected events or emergencies that may occur during your travels. Whether it’s a medical emergency, trip cancellation, or lost luggage, travel insurance can help mitigate the financial burden and ensure that you have proper assistance when needed.

Start by researching different travel insurance providers and compare their coverage options, policies, and prices. Look for insurance plans that offer comprehensive coverage for medical expenses, trip cancellation or interruption, baggage loss or delay, and emergency assistance.

Consider your specific needs and travel circumstances when choosing the right insurance plan. If you have preexisting medical conditions, make sure that they are covered by the insurance policy. If you’re engaging in activities such as extreme sports or adventure activities, ensure that they are included in the coverage.

Read through the policy documents carefully to understand the terms and conditions, coverage limits, deductible amounts, and any exclusions or limitations. If you have any questions or concerns, reach out to the insurance provider for clarification.

Decide on the duration of coverage based on the length of your trip. Some insurance providers offer single-trip coverage, while others offer annual coverage for multiple trips within a specific period.

When calculating the coverage amount, consider the total cost of your trip, including transportation, accommodation, activities, and any prepaid expenses. It’s better to be over-insured than under-insured, as unexpected circumstances can result in additional expenses.

Before purchasing travel insurance, check if you already have coverage through your credit card or existing insurance policies. Some credit card companies offer travel insurance as a benefit for cardholders. However, make sure you understand the limitations and coverage provided by these existing policies.

Once you have chosen the right travel insurance plan, complete the application process and make the necessary payment. Ensure that you receive the policy documents, including the policy number and emergency contact information.

Keep a copy of your travel insurance policy and contact information in a safe and easily accessible place, such as on your mobile device or in a printed document. Share the details with your travel companions and loved ones, so they are aware of the coverage and can assist in case of emergencies.

Remember to carry your travel insurance documentation, along with other important travel documents, such as your passport, ID, and visas, during your trip.

Arranging travel insurance is a crucial step to protect yourself and your investment during your travels. It ensures that you can navigate unexpected situations with ease and focus on enjoying your trip.

Step 7: Make Necessary Reservations

Making necessary reservations is an important step in planning your trip as it ensures that you have secured essential bookings in advance. From flights and accommodations to attraction tickets and restaurant reservations, making reservations in advance saves you time, effort, and potential disappointment during your trip.

Start with booking your flights if you haven’t done so already. Use online travel platforms or airline websites to compare prices and find the best deals. Consider factors such as flight duration, layovers, and baggage allowance when making your reservations.

Next, make sure to book your accommodations. Refer back to your research from Step 3 and confirm your preferred accommodation option. Check availability for your chosen dates and book directly through the property’s website or reputable online booking platforms.

If you have specific activities, tours, or attractions in mind that require reservations, book them in advance as well. Popular attractions, shows, or guided tours often have limited availability and may require advance bookings to secure a spot.

Consider purchasing tickets for public transportation, such as train or bus passes, if applicable. These passes can offer convenience and cost savings, allowing you to explore your destination more easily.

If you have any dining preferences or specific restaurants you want to try, make reservations beforehand. This is particularly important for in-demand or Michelin-starred restaurants that may have limited seating.

If you’re planning on renting a car, make the necessary car rental reservations in advance. This ensures that you have a vehicle reserved and ready for you upon your arrival at your destination.

While it’s essential to make necessary reservations in advance, don’t forget to leave some room in your schedule for flexibility and spontaneity. You may discover new activities, attractions, or restaurants during your trip that you want to include.

Ensure that you receive confirmation emails or booking vouchers for all your reservations. Keep them organized and easily accessible, either in printed form or saved on your mobile device.

Double-check your reservations a few days before your departure to confirm any updates or changes. If possible, reconfirm your flight and accommodation bookings to avoid any last-minute surprises.

By making necessary reservations in advance, you can ensure that you have secured the key aspects of your trip. This provides peace of mind and allows you to focus on enjoying your journey without worrying about availability or logistics.

Step 8: Pack Your Bags

Packing your bags is a crucial step in preparing for your trip. It ensures that you have everything you need while keeping your luggage organized and manageable. By packing strategically, you can maximize your travel experience and minimize any potential stress or inconvenience.

Start by making a list of essential items that you’ll need during your trip. Consider the weather, activities, and cultural norms of your chosen destination. Include clothing, toiletries, electronics, travel documents, and any necessary medications.

Organize your clothes based on the duration of your trip and the activities you have planned. Pack versatile items that can be mixed and matched to create different outfits. Consider packing layers for unpredictable weather conditions.

Roll or fold your clothes compactly to optimize space in your luggage and minimize wrinkles. Use packing cubes or compression bags to further organize and maximize space.

When it comes to toiletries, remember to comply with liquid restrictions if you’re traveling with carry-on luggage. Transfer liquids into travel-sized containers and pack them in a clear, resealable bag.

Don’t forget to pack any necessary electronics, such as chargers, adapters, and portable power banks. Consider bringing a travel-sized first aid kit, insect repellent, and any other personal items you may require.

Keep your travel documents, such as your passport, ID, visas, and travel insurance policy, in a secure and easily accessible location. Make copies of these documents and keep them separately, in case of loss or theft.

Consider the weight and size restrictions of your chosen airline or mode of transportation when packing your luggage. Avoid overpacking to prevent additional fees or inconvenience during your journey.

If you plan to bring souvenirs or extra items back with you, leave some space in your luggage or consider packing a collapsible bag to accommodate the extra items.

Lastly, pack a small bag or purse with essentials that you’ll need during your journey, such as your wallet, phone, travel documents, and any medication. This will allow for easy access without having to rummage through your main luggage.

Remember to pack a positive and flexible mindset. Be prepared for unexpected situations, and embrace the adventure that comes with traveling.

By packing your bags thoughtfully and efficiently, you can have a hassle-free and enjoyable travel experience. It ensures that you have everything you need while keeping your luggage organized and manageable throughout your journey.

Step 9: Stay Connected During Your Trip

In today’s interconnected world, staying connected during your trip is essential for various reasons, such as communication, navigation, and accessing important information. By taking steps to ensure connectivity, you can navigate your destination with ease and stay connected with your loved ones back home.

Before your trip, check with your mobile service provider about international roaming options and charges. Determine if your current plan includes international data and calling, or if you need to purchase a temporary international plan or local SIM card.

Consider downloading useful travel apps that can assist you during your trip. These could include navigation apps, translation apps, currency converters, and travel guide apps. Make sure to download them before you leave, as access to reliable Wi-Fi connections may be limited once you’re on the go.

Research the availability and reliability of Wi-Fi connections at your destination. Many hotels, cafes, and public spaces offer free or paid Wi-Fi access. Make a note of these locations in case you need to connect to the internet during your trip.

Invest in a portable Wi-Fi device or a SIM card specifically designed for travelers. These devices provide a dedicated internet connection and can be especially helpful in areas with limited Wi-Fi access. Check with your service provider or local retailers for options available in your destination.

If you’re traveling with a group or want to stay connected with your travel companions, consider using messaging apps or group chat platforms. These apps allow for easy communication and coordination, even if you’re in different locations.

Ensure that your electronic devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, are fully charged and pack the necessary charging cables or adapters to keep them powered throughout your trip. Consider carrying a power bank for emergencies when you don’t have access to a power source.

Keep important contact numbers saved on your phone for emergencies or in case you need to reach out for assistance. This can include the contact information for your accommodations, local emergency services, and your travel insurance provider.

Be mindful of potential data security risks when using public Wi-Fi networks. Avoid accessing sensitive information, such as online banking or personal accounts, on unsecured networks. Consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for added security when connecting to public Wi-Fi.

Finally, don’t forget to take breaks from technology and enjoy the present moment. While staying connected is important, remember to disconnect and fully immerse yourself in the experiences and beauty of your destination.

By taking the necessary steps to stay connected during your trip, you can navigate your destination, ensure communication with loved ones, and access important information efficiently. It allows you to stay informed, connected, and safe throughout your journey.

Step 10: Enjoy Your Trip!

After all the planning and preparations, it’s finally time to embark on your trip and enjoy every moment of it! This final step is all about embracing the experiences, immersing yourself in the culture, and creating lasting memories. Here are some tips on how to make the most of your journey:

Stay present: Fully immerse yourself in the destination and embrace the unique experiences it offers. Be open to trying new foods, exploring hidden gems, and interacting with locals. Keep your senses open to the sights, sounds, and tastes of your surroundings.

Be flexible: While it’s important to have a general plan, allow for spontaneity and unexpected discoveries along the way. Don’t be afraid to deviate from your itinerary if an exciting opportunity arises or if locals recommend something off the beaten path.

Embrace the local culture: Learn a few basic phrases in the local language, try local customs or traditions, and respect local etiquette. This will enhance your interactions with locals and make your experience more authentic.

Capture memories: Take photos, write a travel journal, or record videos to document your journey. These keepsakes will allow you to relive the moments and share your experiences with others.

Take care of yourself: Prioritize self-care during your trip. Get enough rest, stay hydrated, and eat nourishing meals. Pace yourself to avoid exhaustion and make sure to listen to your body’s needs.

Try new activities: Be adventurous and try activities or experiences that you’ve never done before. Whether it’s snorkeling, hiking, cooking classes, or cultural performances, these experiences will enrich your trip and create unique memories.

Connect with fellow travelers: Strike up conversations with other travelers you meet along the way. They may have valuable insights, recommendations, or interesting stories to share. Traveling is an opportunity to make new connections and create friendships.

Stay safe: Keep your personal belongings secure and be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded or unfamiliar areas. Follow local safety guidelines and take necessary precautions to ensure your well-being.

Savor the local cuisine: Explore the local food scene and try traditional dishes. Food is an integral part of the culture, and indulging in local flavors will provide a deeper understanding of the destination.

Keep an open mind: Embrace the differences you encounter and be receptive to new perspectives. Traveling allows for personal growth and broadens your horizons by exposing you to different cultures, traditions, and ways of life.

Remember, this journey is your opportunity to create cherished memories, learn, and expand your horizons. Embrace every moment, embrace the unexpected, and immerse yourself in the beauty of your chosen destination. Have a wonderful trip!

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Caroline Makepeace

How to Plan Your Dream USA Trip of a Lifetime

Have you been dreaming about a USA trip but don’t know where to start when it comes to planning? Then you’re in the right place.

We know just how hard it is to plan a trip to the USA, especially if you’ve never been before. We have visited the United States many times, including completed a 12-month USA road trip, and have now lived here for several years.

We learned so many things over the years about travelling in the USA that we wish we had known in the planning stage of our trips. Things like how to get around, how to save money, and what attractions not to miss.

We know first-hand that it can be overwhelming planning a trip to one of the largest countries in the world, and so to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes we did, we’re sharing our expert tips on how to plan a trip to USA below…

How many days are enough to visit USA?

Esta visas – the american visa waiver program, other us visas, 2. check your passport validity, write down the number of days you have, research other activities & things to do in the usa, how to find things to do, get sightseeing passes, 4. booking accommodation in the usa, plan plenty of time between connections, parents, a heads up, searching flights to the usa, look for package deals, train travel in the usa, bus travel in the usa, important information about rental car excess, bus tours and group tours, pocket wi-fi service & data providers.

  • Using ATM's

Accommodation

Sightseeing costs, two things to be aware of for your usa trip budget, 10. travel insurance for the usa, 11. what to pack for your usa trip, tips for visiting the usa, pin to save on pinterest.

Before you can get stuck into the planning stage, you need to ask yourself how much time you need to spend in the USA.

America is a huge country with incredible diversity, and with so many things to do and places to visit , so you’re going to need to make a list of those bucket list attractions before you can start planning a USA trip .

Knowing what attractions you want to see will help you narrow down how many days you need to spend.

If you want to see The White House , the Statue of Liberty , The Grand Canyon , Vegas and Death Valley – well, my friend, those attractions are scattered across the country and are not going to be easy to fit into one trip, unless you have a lot of time.

So we recommend you split a trip into the East Coast and West Coast, and either do each trip separately or allow yourself a lot of time.

If you do it this way, we recommend 2-3 weeks to explore either the East Coast or West Coast. If you want to see all the main attractions and then some, set aside at least 2-3 months.

We spent a whole year traveling around USA and we still haven’t seen everything. It’s really impossible to say how much time you should spend in America, as it depends on what you want to see and how much you want to see.

How do I plan a trip to USA?

After you’ve thought about how much time you have at your disposal and what attractions you want to see, it’s time to start the bulk of your planning.

In this guide, we’ve taken steps from our  tips for planning any trip and broken it down so it’s specific to planning a trip to America.

1. Getting Tourists Visas for the USA

There are many different visa options for the USA and the one you pick will largely depend on where you are traveling from and how long you are planning on staying for.

They also have different visa requirements for different countries, so it’s best to check the official consulate website to see what applies to you.

Here is a brief overview of each one.

The ESTA is the most commonly used visa for foreigners. For Australians and those living in the UK and other European countries, getting a tourist visa to visit the USA is pretty simple. You can get your 90-day visa waiver, now known as the ESTA , online.

This US visa for Australian citizens, and other qualified countries, is not a visa as such but a travel authorization. That means you can ONLY travel on it – do not use it for any other type of purpose such as working remotely.

The ESTA US visa is easy to obtain, fill in a simple application form , and wait for documentation to appear in your email.

You can apply for ETSA any time before boarding your flight, but it’s best to do it at least 72 hours before.

It’s very important that you have the ESTA and a record of your approval number. Have the paperwork with you (just in case) when you go to depart.

You will be asked if you have your ESTA during check in and won’t be allowed on the plane without it.

We’ve been caught out before and they were not letting us past the check in counter until we found our ESTA approval number.

If you want to stay in the USA longer than 90 days, or if you plan on also visiting neighbouring countries, the US visa situation is a little complicated.

IMPORTANT: Once you hit USA soil, your 90 days starts ticking, and it does NOT reset if you cross the border to Canada , Mexico or the Caribbean.

And remember, if you stop off in Hawaii on the way to mainland USA, your 90 days starts ticking in Hawaii.

It’s so important you plan your trip around this or you could get deported for overstaying your visa!

The ESTA is valid for two years, which means you get multiple entries on the one visa, but you must leave reasonable time between your 90-day visits so it doesn’t look like you are trying to live in America.

Be sure you keep a record of your ESTA number. You can always check it online to see how current it is.

If you want to stay longer in the United States, you will have to look at other US tourist visas or non-immigrant visas.

We have previously lived the USA on J1 and J2 work visas when I was a school teacher in North Carolina . We also lived in the US on an 01 Business Visa, but now we are permanent residents with a green card.

You can get more information on those visas here , or read more about the process of getting our O-1 business visa here and getting our green card.

But my guess is you are preparing for your trip to the US purely as a tourist, so the ESTA visa is sufficient.

If you are applying for visas other than the ESTA that require passport photos, read the photo guidelines carefully and talk to the photographer beforehand to ensure they take them correctly.

They are very different and specific and will not be accepted if not exact.

Want someone to help you apply for your US Visa? Check here…

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Don’t forget to check your passport now to make sure it has at least six months validity left on it at time of travel, or you won’t be able to travel to the US.

You also need to have two empty pages in your passport for your entry stamp.

3. Planning Your USA Itinerary

America is almost the same land size as Australia, but, unlike Australia, the interior is also filled in with many things to do.

Careful research and planning will help you create your dream USA travel experience.

Consider what it is you really want to see and do. Are you focused on:

  • National Parks (like Yosemite National Park , or the Grand Canyon )
  • Theme parks (like Disneyland or Universal Studios Orlando )
  • Major USA cities
  • Road trips (like Southern California or East Coast road trip )
  • Beaches or mountains
  • Food or drink
  • Festivals and Events
  • Diverse cultures
  • History or music scene (like in Nashville or Memphis )

One reason we explored the USA deeply is to help future travellers to see that there is much more to America than Los Angeles and  Vegas  or  Disneyland.

To be honest, those three places are at the bottom of my list of reasons to travel to the US. More kitsch and tourist traps than soul.

That is just my opinion (formed after living here for over 5 years and lots of US travel experiences) so take what you want from that.

I can understand why you may have always dreamed of going to LA and Vegas, and by all means plan them into your itinerary, but there are so many interesting places to see in the USA!

Consider unique and exciting destinations like Nashville ,  New York , New Orleans , Washington DC , and gorgeous East Coast Southern cities rich in history and culture like Charleston and Savannah. 

My favorite states to explore for natural beauty would be Utah (for Monument Valley ) and Colorado.

Make sure you have a list of bucket list attractions you absolutely have to see first. Some bucket list USA things to do are…

  • See a Broadway Show when you  visit New York
  • Take a scenic flight over  The Grand Canyon
  • Visit Disney World in  Orlando
  • Explore a famous USA National Park like the Grand Canyon with kids
  • Golden Gate Bridge
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Driving the Pacific Coast Highway
  • The Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon
  • Olympic National Park in Washington State (you know, the place where Twilight was filmed)
  • Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans
  • Eating a deep dish pizza in Chicago
  • See a sporting event or concert

Once you have a list of attractions you really want to see, it’s time to map out your USA itinerary – here is how you go about putting your itinerary together…

To help you put your itinerary together, here are some great family vacation ideas for the USA.

As you know, the visa waiver program offers you a maximum of 90 days (12 weeks), but we are not all blessed with 3 months off work!

Are you like most people who get a standard 4 weeks of annual leave? Or only 2 weeks?

Whatever the amount of time you have, start by writing down the number of days you have in a list, and then you can start ordering your attractions by proximity.

You can usually fly internally to different major cities, and then rent a car to drive to the spots you want to visit. Factor in a travel day between key attractions as traveling around takes a lot of time in America.

To help you out, here is are example 2-4 week itineraries :

  • You could follow the country and blues trail by flying into Nashville and driving down to Memphis and along the Mississippi Delta to New Orleans.
  • Fly into LA, do Disneyland , Orange County ,  San Diego , Las Vegas and then drive up to San Francisco .
  • If you want to visit New England in the Fall (spectacular idea, by the way) you could fly into  New York City and spend a week there, then hire a car to drive into New England, stopping at Boston along the way.
  • If you want to do the theme parks, you could fly into Orlando and spend time there, then visit some Florida beaches (our fave so far is Clearwater Bay and Manasota Key) and maybe drive to the Florida Keys . Or even drive up to Charleston and Savannah.
  • This mountains to music East Coast road trip will take you through  North Carolina  and  Tennessee  taking in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Lake Lure,  Nashville , and Memphis.
  • We love this Southeast Coast road trip with our top suggestions on places to visit between  North Carolina  and  Florida .

Once you have your bucket list attractions on your itinerary, you can start mapping out the rest of your itinerary with other attractions and things to do.

Remember, The United States of America is the third most populous country in the world, and the popularity of the USA as a travel destination can mean long lines and booked out tours.

So, it’s important that once you have planned your USA itinerary and found some other attractions and things to do, you research the best way to book these activities and attractions you do not want to miss!

Make a list of:

  • Free things to do
  • Parks and playgrounds
  • Day tours / City tours 

Most of the time, you can book them in advance using Get Your Guide or Viator.

It is wise to book ahead, especially if you are travelling in peak season. Some attractions like Alcatraz can take a few days to get on a tour.

Craig’s sister booked her accommodation for the Grand Canyon a year in advance to ensure she got the dream cabin stay.

I would absolutely recommend Fast Passes at theme parks for places like Disneyland and Universal Orlando Resort (you will be spending a lot of time in queues otherwise).

For ideas on things to do in your destination, use these resources:

  • Tourism board websites
  • Ask family & friends who have been there
  • Travel blogs like ours (see our USA destinations  section)
  • Facebook (put out an update asking for tips)
  • Twitter (hashtags)
  • Guide books (we use Lonely Planet Guide Books)
  • Instagram (hashtags)
  • TripAdvisor
  • Hotel receptionist/bell boy (once in location they are invaluable)

Doing careful research on things to do in the USA and popular US attractions will save you time AND money and help you find amazing spots like this rooftop bar in Downtown LA.

For most people, winging it on a trip to the USA is not a great idea.

We tend to go with the flow a lot, but we have time on our side and we live in the country. We have way more flexibility.

You can also factor in some free things to do on your trip, such as visiting Times Square or Central Park in New York City.

My parents visited in May and we planned a 4-week road trip itinerary from Dallas to Boston including booking accommodation and activities and put it all into a Google Drive Spreadsheet so we could collaborate and plan together.

For places like New York City that have a lot of attractions, so a New York sightseeing pass will save you a lot of money – especially those that have fast passes . WE also saved money using the New Orleans Sightseeing pass and on these top attractions in San Francisco.

Check for other City Passes here . 

There are also USA Sightseeing Passes, which gives you access to attractions in multiple destinations. It could save you a lot of money. Click here to see more.

Now you have your itinerary mapped out, it’s time to start booking places to stay. You’ve got endless options for accommodation in the USA.

From hotels to motels, resorts and apartments, vacation homes, lodges, campgrounds, vacation rentals and more!

But mostly, the US is a corporate hotel chain experience.

If we are staying in a destination for an extended period, we like apartments or suites for their kitchen facilities to save on eating out, and for separate bedrooms! We book our apartment stays on VRBO or Booking.com

If it’s just one or two nights, hotels are fine.

Those traveling on a budget will find budget hotels, motels, resorts and bed and breakfasts are the best option, and these can be easily booked online through sites such as Booking.com , Expedia.com or Hotels.com. Hostels are not a huge thing in America – there are some, but not many. Check HostelWorld.com for options

Low-cost hotels and motel chains are Days Inn and Super 8, which are usually located on the outskirts of cities and near the interstates.

They aren’t glamorous and will have basic amenities, but they usually come with free parking, free Wi-Fi and breakfast, mostly consisting of bagels, toast, and sugary cereals.

Craig and I used to stay at these all the time and will if we just need a place to stay on a long road trip.

Don’t forget vacation rentals, which are becoming a bit of a painful experience now in the US due to excess cleaning fees being added as well as state and bed taxes.

We’ve found vacation rentals to be the better deal if you are staying for several nights. Cleaning fees are too high to justify one-night stays. It’s probably cheaper to find a hotel.

Be sure to do your research to accurately compare costs.

As mentioned before, due to high population and tourist numbers it is wise to book your accommodation in advance, particularly if you are travelling in peak season or popular cities.

If you decide to camp, stay in hostels , or do an RV then you will possibly be okay with winging it.

Campsites can book out in peak season though, especially in popular National Parks! KOA campgrounds are popular with families.

Read more of our tips on saving money on accommodation and here are our favorite booking sites .

5. Flying To and Around the USA

When travelling to America from Australia, we prefer to fly into Dallas International Airport (DFW).

Dallas is best if you are traveling to the East Coast as it gets you closer and often means less plane changes to get to your East Coast destination.

If you are exploring the West Coast, it’s better to fly into Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO).

Flying can be exhausting if you are flying direct from Australia with no stopovers to recover from jet lag .

Travelling to USA from Australia takes approximately 13 hours (to LA) and 16 hours (to Dallas).

Plan plenty of time in between your flights so you can make your connections.

NO, two hours is not enough time to get off an international flight in LA or San Francisco and catch your domestic connection!

I cannot tell you how many times I have sprinted through various airports in the US, especially challenging with kids!

When you clear immigration you must pick up your luggage and go through security again for your connecting flight, even though you are in the same airport.

In the US, they don’t have separate airports for domestic and international. They are housed in the same section, so it means no water bottles (with water) coming through, and long and chaotic security lines.

Be prepared to get undressed – lose your shoes, belts and jackets.

When flying between major cities, you can usually get direct flights. Outside of that, there is higher possibility you will have to change planes.

Factor this into your itinerary and travelling time.

Immigration coming into the US has mostly been slow.

LAX has improved somewhat with my recent entries, but most of the international flights coming into LA seem to land at the same time early in the morning!

If you have young kids, make sure they have been to the toilet on the plane and fed, as you’ll be standing in long lines clearing customs!

We know what’s it like to get off a long flight with a tired, grump and hungry kid who always needs to go to the toilet at the most inappropriate times! (check our tips for flying with kids )

For us, Dallas by far has been the best. Less flights landing at once, and quicker through immigration.

Be friendly and polite to the custom officers. Even though you have your ESTA or tourist visas final entry permission is up to the custom officers.

Check Skyscanner , Kayak , or Momondo to find great deals on flights to the USA. Then go direct to the airlines own website.

And don’t forget to pop into your local travel agent. They can have great deals.

My parents saved $900 on their flights to the US by popping into Flight Centre just to check and there was a surprise sale on.

Domestic flights within the US are frequent, and you can fly almost anywhere. They are competitively priced, although I find quite expensive to what they used to be.

But they are notorious for charging you with extra fees – like baggage.

You’ll have to pay $25 to check in any luggage – you don’t get any luggage allowance unless you have status.

Some airlines, like United Airlines, will now charge you for overhead baggage on the plane.

Unlike Australia, however, they do not weigh your check in luggage. Now I understand how so many travellers in the US can travel carry-on luggage only.

Major airlines include:

  • American Airlines
  • United Airlines

You can book via their websites, or compare fares and book using sites like  Skyscanner.com

When booking a trip to the USA, package deals can be a low-stress option for travellers who don’t want to organise their flights, accommodation and on-the-ground transport separately.

For package deals that include flights, hotel and car rental, check a site like  Expedia.com  and travel agents.

If you book your ticket from Australia, including domestic transfers in the one reservation, you will not have to pay extra for your luggage on the domestic flights.

Read more of our tips on finding cheap flights.

6. Getting Around the USA (apart from flying)

Flying domestically can be such a nightmare. With long lines and delays, sometimes it can be better to get to your different destinations in other ways.

I understand the importance of security but dealing with ever growing security measures and chaotic airports due to a large population has taken the fun out of flying.

We prefer a USA road trip as much a possible.

Our general rule is if the destination is less than four – six hours away we’ll drive.

We recently drove from Raleigh, North Carolina to New York City (8-hour drive) as it was cheaper for our family of four than flying, even with the expensive parking tickets and tolls!

The classic American road trip is always fun as there are so many quirky roadside attractions and cool places visit in America.

Rent a car via DiscoverCars.com (our preferred booking site), see these top tips for saving on car rental, and check out all our USA road trip ideas.

Train travel is not the most common way to get around USA but it’s a good option if you plan to visit mostly cities on your trip.

Trains connecting US cities are operated by  Amtrak . You can buy Amtrak train tickets online or at stations. The earlier you book the better deal you’ll get. You can book up to 11 months in advance.

Amtrak also offers  USA Rail Passes  for 15, 30 or 45 days.

If you have the time, it’s possible to cross the country by train travel, seeing a lot more than you would from a plane.

Buses and coaches run between major cities and serve some rural areas.

Greyhound  is the largest provider, covering all 48 states as well as Canada and Mexico.

Tickets can be bought online, at bus stations, over the phone or at some convenience stores. You can get deals sometimes booking online. I’ve ridden the Greyhound once and that was enough.

Megabus , is a cheap bus service that is often raved about, mostly for the incredible deals you can pick up.

Totally worth it when you can snag a deal like that. They serve more than 100 cities.

USA Road Trips and Car Rental

America really is a driving destination, except if you are visiting major cities like New York or Chicago.

But to be honest, when you visit the USA you will have a better experience in most places when you road trip USA with your own vehicle.

We have always found the best car rental deals in the US with DiscoverCars.com (using them since 2007).

Though car rentals can be pricey, the good news is fuel is cheap!

  • Be sure to check with the rental company on collection what the fuel costs are – sometimes you can get an excellent rate if you buy a tank of fuel upon collection. That way you can return it empty and secure yourself against running late and not being able to top up the fuel and so pay premium price.
  • GPS may be a good ad on service if you have limited WiFi on your phone and can’t access Google Maps. (Um, what did we do before Google Maps – oh that’s right, paper maps!)
  • Put all drivers on the rental agreement (you may have to pay per additional driver)
  • Although you may pay extra, sometimes one way drop offs may work in your favour.
  • Be sure to thoroughly inspect your car and record any defects you see before you leave with your rental car. Capture photos with your phone.

Look out for toll costs – we paid nearly $60 in tolls driving from North Carolina to New England on Interstate 95. We were not expecting that at all, so you’ve been warned.

The I-95 between DC and New England is dreadful.

Check the law in the state you are visiting to see if you’ll need an international drivers licence.

We’ve never needed one, but we have mostly always driven in our own vehicle or had a US driver’s licence. Best to know for sure.

  • 19 ways to save money on rental cars
  • The ultimate guide to planning a road trip with kids
  • South East road trip from North Carolina to Florida

You may snag an unbelievably cheap rental car deal on the internet for your USA road trip, but when you arrive to pick up the car, you learn that it has minimal insurance coverage and huge excess fees.

You’ll be offered collision damage waiver policies which can double your daily rate. Not such a great deal after all.

We’ve been caught out with this before, arriving after a long flight, tired and flustered and just saying yes (with a grunt) without realising we could get it way cheaper elsewhere.

Rental car companies know this will happen and it’s how they lure you in with cheaper daily rental rates.

You can get cheaper collision damage waiver (or excess waivers) through other insurance providers.

Read More: Best travel insurance for Aussies travelling overseas

If a bus tour is more your thing, or small group independent USA tours, check out these companies:

  • Insight Vacations – every part of the USA, from east to west, and north to south.
  • Trafalgar  – bus tours for the 35 to 65-year-old demographic.
  • G Adventures – small-group tours in a responsible and sustainable manner.

The Globus Family of Brands have great tours across the USA visiting all the bucket list destinations. We have traveled with them on numerous occasions and love them. We have an exclusive discount for you in the blue box below! See USA tours:

  • See all USA tours on Cosmos (adventure on a budget tours)
  • See all USA tours on Globus Journeys

GLOBUS DISCOUNT JUST FOR YOU!

We’ve secured an exclusive yTravel discoun t: Save $100 per person on select 2023 and 2024 Globus and Avalon Waterway Vacations. Use the code: YTRAVEL when booking online at the Globus , Cosmos , and Avalon Waterways websites, by calling Globus and Avalon Waterways directly, or booking with a preferred Travel Advisor. Terms & Conditions .

7. Sim Cards and Data Plans

You’re going to want to stay connected on your trip, but before you buy the first data plan you see at the airport, the biggest question you want to ask yourself is; how much do you want to be connected to the internet and for what purposes?

If you only need to be connected to stay updated with family and friends and the odd social update, you’ll get plenty of opportunities in the US with the plethora of FREE Wi-Fi available.

In fact, you could probably get away with using that for your whole trip, even if you wanted to be connected a little more.

Almost all hotels and accommodation rentals offer free Wi-Fi now.

Plenty of cafes and restaurants will have it, and even grocery stories and movie theatres and ometimes even whole cities!!

Popular attractions will as well, because they want you to share your photos of their attractions (with their hashtags of course).

However, remember that the more visitors in an area using the same Wi-Fi, the harder it will be for you to get decent speeds.

And for Netflix binge watchers, your downloads will often be limited with free Wi-Fi.

Although we’ve stayed in plenty of hotels that offer Netflix as part of their service and many Airbnb’s will have that all hooked up to their in-home entertainment systems.

If you are using free Wi-Fi, we recommend using a VPN service to keep your data private and secure. We have a review of this service here.

If you want a sim for your phone, don’t even bother trying to get one in the USA, just use an eSim provider like Airalo. They offer incredible rates and data packages, and as soon as you land you’ll be connected. You do need an unlocked phone though. See all plans for the USA here.

If you want to get a data plan, pop into a Verizon store in the US (the best service connection) or AT&T and by a local sim card with a short-term plan.

When we visited Denver on a short trip, we got a $60 plan which gave us unlimited Wi-Fi, and local calls and texts for the month. This was back in 2016 though, and is likely more expensive now.

Data in the USA is ridiculously expensive. Compared to the United Kingdom, Asia and Europe, data prices are more than double what you would pay in your home county – and honestly, the service isn’t always that good.

Data plans are usually around $60-$80 per month, so if you are an intense internet user, you might be better off getting a pocket Wi-Fi connection, over a sim card. There are a couple of options:

Roaming devices like SkyRoam will give you that, although I feel they can be expensive for travellers on a holiday for a long period of time.

Double check when you sign up to any plan, but the plan may include free texts to international numbers.

Our plans with Verizon do, which is great for when I quickly want to tell my Mum something.

8. Accessing Your Money on Your USA Trip

Accessing your money in the States will be, in part, dependent on what kind of cards you have back home.

Getting accessing to your money in America is easy as there are ATMs everywhere and, unlike Australia, everyone takes credit cards and debit cards.

I’ve rarely come across cash only establishments. That can be good news as you won’t have to carry around lots of cash, and you may be able to rack up some reward points.

However, it might not be good news if your card issuer charges you a lot of fees.

Using ATM’s

Withdrawing money from an ATM in the USA, that is not your banks ATM, can have hefty fees.

Average is $3 (on top of what your card issuer charges) but I have paid up to $6 before on a cruise. I know. Outrageous!

Check if your card issuer has a relationship with a bank in the US, so you can withdraw money from the ATM without being charged a fee.

HOWEVER, some banks charge an international conversion fee on any money you withdraw, which is outrageous. Most will charge it only on card purchases.

As Australians, our favourite method of accessing money in America is the Qantas Cash Card , (or even the Virgin Global Wallet ). Both of these are the best when it comes to fees.

You won’t be charged any fees when using the card like a credit card AND you’ll earn points.

You also have low fees when withdrawing money from an ATM. Be sure to withdraw large amounts at a time, so you don’t get stung with too many fees.

You will need some cash on hand when you travel in the United States to pay for all those tips!

Hot Tip : If you can access a bank account in the USA, the best way to access your money is to transfer money using OFX . They are by far my preferred way and have saved me hundreds of dollars in fees and good conversion rates.

You may be able to pay for accommodation and tours using OFX and pay via direct deposits.

9. Cost of Travel in America

It’s a clever idea to know what the costs of travel in America will be before you leave so that you save and bring enough spending money. A word of warning, the USA is no longer the cheap destination of a decade ago.

As of 2023, the prices are outrageous. I realized just how bad after traveling this year to Greece , Italy, and France and our Avalon Waterways river cruise . I had a glass of excellent chardonnay on the Eiffiel Tower in Paris for $9 – I’d be lucky to find a glass of low-grade cat’s p**s at my local dive bar for that price. And I got half a liter of incredible Greek white wine for $5 in stunning Old Town Nafplio !

Then when you add on tipping and sales tax, it’s even more dismal – plus many other foreign travelers have to account for a strong USD so your money is worth less. I say still visit here, but plan carefully, and don’t expect any great bargains. It’s definitely high on the list of most expensive countries to travel to right now, which is sad, because they need the tourism!

Budgeting is no easy task, but don’t worry, here’s a quick overview of how much each aspect of travel is likely to cost you…

  • Low budget: $50 – $100 a night
  • Mid-range: $100- $300 a night
  • High: $300+
  • Airbnb: $80 + (varies widely depending on type of property)

This can vary widely depending on where you are visiting. Popular destinations will be much higher.

  • Fast food: < $ 10
  • $2.50 for drip
  • $4.50+ for espresso
  • $5+ pint of beer (look for happy hour prices and local bars to reduce it)
  • $8-16 glass of wine
  • Healthy takeout meals: $ 12 – $15
  • Appetizers, wings and burgers: $ 8-$15
  • Entrée (main meals): $15-$20 ($30+ for classier restaurants)
  • Fuel : Will vary state by state. In Arizona, it’s only $3.9 a gallon, but in California, it’s up to $5.4 per gallon. The  GasBuddy  app can help you find good fuel prices.
  • Flights: avg around $120 a leg (what we have experienced so far, but can vary widely)
  • Buses : as mentioned with Megabus you can get as little as $1, but also fares around $10. My greyhound trip from Huntsville to Nashville (2.5 hours) was $30
  • Budget : approx $200 per week (good for 2 people + luggage). We’ve had to upgrade before when arriving to see our budget car and realising we couldn’t fit us all in with our luggage. If you plan ahead, you can get a rental deal for as little as $15 per day.
  • Mid-range: approx   $250 – $300 (good for 4 people + luggage)
  • High-end: approx   $350 – $500
  • Train:  Our 7 day unlimited pass to ride the New York Subway cost $34 p/p

This is hard to give you a budget for as it does depend on your preferences, family size, type of activity, and city.

Take advantage of the free activities (of which there are a lot of), free museum days and attraction days, and use sightseeing passes and check Groupon for any local deals.

But your careful research from step 3 above will give you a good understanding of these costs before you leave for your dream USA trip.

Sales taxes are added onto the purchase price once you pay.

It’s super annoying and still catches me by surprise. Tax varies by state, but you can expect to add on anything from 0% to over 8% of the purchase price.

Again, this is a cost to add on to your bill.

As an Australian, you are going to hate tipping and it can become costly. We’ll have a entire post on it with plenty of tips to help you as it can get confusing.

Basically, you are looking at 15-20% extra for any services you receive.

It’s one reason I prefer to stay in Airbnb’s and will prepare my own food or eat at take outs rather than restaurants. It can seriously eat up your travel money.

Check out our guide for tipping in the USA .

Don’t travel to America without travel insurance. Just don’t.

A friend’s son here in North Carolina recently broke his arm. Hospital costs were $30,000. Even with their health insurance they still had to pay several thousand dollars.

It’s insane.

Anything can happen on your travels and the last thing you want is your dream USA trip to turn into a bankruptcy nightmare.

For a small investment, you get a ton of security and peace of mind.

We always say,

“If you can’t afford travel insurance, then you can’t afford to travel”

The US is the only country in the world where my luggage has been lost or delayed on a flight and multiple times at that.

Flights can also be delayed due to weather (especially in snow storms) and it’s very easy to miss a connecting flight, especially when travelling to America from Australia.

Be sure to include any extra adventurous activities you may be doing so you can ensure your coverage is adequate e.g. Skiing.

And nominate any pre-existing conditions so you can include a waiver for them should you require help when traveling in the USA.

Hot Tip: Get your travel insurance as soon as you book your flights and/or accommodation so that you are covered in case of any trip cancellation emergencies.

And what happens if:

  • You need to cancel your trip unexpectedly
  • A hurricane damages your destination
  • You get sick or injured on your trip
  • Your luggage is lost or stolen
  • You lose your passport

All travel insurance policies will have specific ones for the US and the cost of them will be higher than travelling in other countries.

We were a customer of Allianz Travel Insurance before we became ambassadors and have been impressed with the customer service.

We have experienced a very smooth claims procedure for our cruise trip interruption thanks to Hurricane Irma.

I also spent time with the Allianz team in New York last month, learning more about the products and the emergency medical assistance.

I was very impressed with the quality of care and the focus that is given to the customers safety and health. It is Allianz’s number one priority.

We recommend the following travel insurance companies for Aussies:

  • Safety Wing :  is travel medical insurance for nomads. They cover people from all over the world, while outside their home country.
  • Etka :  Travel Insurance for worldwide travel. Easy to use with comparable rates and instant polices. Great for those longer term, nomadic, and work abroad travelers. We believe its an essential travel purchase.
  • Cover-More Insurance  is a great travel insurance option for Australians.
  • Visitors Coverage:   which provides travel insurance for millions of global travelers in over 175 countries. They are the largest provider of visitor’s insurance for inbound travel to the U.S.
  • Allianz Travel Insurance . We have  annual travel insurance polices  with Allianz. Really worth getting an annual policy if you travel frequently.
  • World Nomads  travel insurance has been designed by travelers for travelers, with coverage for more than 150 activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation and more. 

This will depend on what season it is when you visit the United States, and for how long.

But generally, you don’t need to pack a lot for your trip to the US.

North America can be cheap for many travel related items, so you can always pick up anything you forget.

Leave room in your suitcase for shopping as you can find some great shopping deals at US outlet stores. And then there is Amazon !

However, depending on the Aussie dollar rates at your time of travel, the shopping might not be so good.

You’ll know the basics of what you normally pack when you travel, so I won’t go too in-depth here.

Now you know how to plan your USA trip, here are some helpful tips to make the most of your experience…

  • Bring any medical prescriptions you may need. You do not want to refill them in the US.  We have a medical packing checklist here. 
  • Ladies, in the US, tampons are usually only of the applicator kind. Bring your own if you don’t like them. Otherwise, you can get them at Whole Foods stores and Trader Joes.
  • Electrical adaptors and voltage. This  international travel plug adaptor lets you plug in your charger, phone, and laptop. USA operates on a 120V supply voltage and 60Hz. It can be dangerous to use an electrical appliance that is rated at a voltage different from the supply and it may affect the performance of your appliances. Your laptops, for example, will be much slower to charge. You may need to use a voltage converter or transformer whilst in USA.
  • Even if you are traveling in the summer, be sure to pack a cardigan or sweater. Americans are crazy on air conditioning so you will freeze whenever you step indoors.
  • Pack a comfortable pair of walking shoes and hiking shoes (more tips on finding the right travel shoes here ). America is full of great cities and exceptional outdoor activities. You’ll be using those feet quite a bit – at least I hope you will.

Final Thoughts on Planning a USA Trip

So there you have it, those are 11 things you need to consider when planning your USA trip.

I know it can be overwhelming at first, but planning can be fun once you start researching all the places you can see.

My last bit of advice to you is to make sure you do this research as far in advance as possible, to allow yourself time to make changes and get all your ducks in a row.

And of course, if you have any further questions, reach out to us in the comments – we’re always happy to help!

We hope you found our USA trip planner post useful? Any questions or travel tips you having for visiting the USA please leave them in the comments section down below!

Have you been dreaming about a USA trip but don’t know where to start when it comes to planning? Then you’re in the right place. We know just how hard it is to plan a …   How to Plan Your Dream USA Trip of a Lifetime Read More »

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Practical information

Plan your trip, find advice on how to prepare, and get all the information you need before your Dubai holiday.

Quick tips Follow these essentials

Arriving in dubai, the weather, wi-fi in dubai, embassies & consulates, emergency numbers.

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The currency in Dubai is the dirham, which is shortened to AED (United Arab Emirates Dirham). One dirham is divided into 100 fils. The dirham has been pegged to the US dollar since 1997, meaning the exchange rate never changes. One US dollar is worth AED3.67.

Small bottle of water: AED1.5 (50 cents) Big Mac: AED16.75 (USD4.5) Biryani: AED13 (USD3.5) Shawarma wrap: AED5 (USD1.4) Short taxi ride: AED12 (USD3.3) Dubai Metro (3 zones): AED5.8 (USD1.6) Cinema ticket (standard): AED35 (USD9.6) Abra ride across Dubai Creek: AED1 (USD27 cents)

where-to-exchange-money-in-dubai-getty-header

With a coastal location on the Arabian Peninsula, Dubai enjoys a warm climate all year. The ‘winter’ months last from October to May with warm temperatures ranging from 20–35°C (68–95°F).

The summer season lasts from June to September with hotter temperatures reaching the mid-40s (~110° F) – and the city’s wide range of indoor and outdoor facilities and attractions ensure Dubai is a year-round destination.

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In case of emergencies while on holiday in the UAE, call:

  • 911 for Police
  • 998 for Ambulance
  • 997 for Fire Department
  • 996 for Coastguard 

Visitors may also find these numbers helpful:

  • +971 800 4438 for tourist security issues
  • +971 800 342 for the Dubai Health Authority
  • +971 600 545 555 for consumer-related concerns

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Frequently asked questions

Where can I take the metro in Dubai?

When is it cold in Dubai?

What is the official language in Dubai?

Can I drink alcohol in Dubai?

Are public displays of affection allowed in Dubai?

Is there anything prohibited in Dubai?

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What you need to know your questions, answered, greetings & etiquette.

Dubai is a cosmopolitan city and a diverse melting pot where almost all attires and cultural expressions are accepted. Swimwear is permissible at beaches, waterparks, public pools and spa areas but is not considered appropriate in areas such as business districts and shopping malls.

Dressing conservatively is appreciated in Dubai's historic neighbourhoods and places of worship. There are specific requirements for entering a mosque, like wearing clothing that covers shoulders, arms and legs – and headscarves for women.

local-culture-and-heritage-dress-3

Marhaba! Dubai is a warm and friendly city and you will come across many people who will greet you with a smile and wish you well. A handshake is customary, but do note it is typically accepted that this should be initiated by women.

Public displays of affection are best kept to a minimum. Holding hands is acceptable, but kissing and hugging in public areas is not permitted.

Alcohol is served in licensed establishments such as hotels, bars and specialised shops to those over 21 years of age. However, drunk and disorderly conduct and drunk driving are not acceptable. Use or possession of illegal drugs is also strictly prohibited.

essential arabic phrases

Dubai is home to hundreds of nationalities and both Arabic and English are spoken across the city. Learning a few Arabic words can certainly make the trip more memorable! As you explore the city you're very likely to hear Russian, Tagalog, Hindi, Urdu, Portuguese and many other languages. Follow our detailed guide for a list of handy phrases.

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Many medicines used worldwide are readily available in pharmacies and hospitals across Dubai, but as in most countries, there are some medications which are restricted or prohibited for use in the UAE.

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) has full details of controlled or prohibited medications, plus information on what documents you need to carry with you if you need to bring a controlled medication into Dubai. MOHAP also issues a permit to import medicines into the UAE, which you can apply for on their website .

While the permit is optional, it is strongly recommended to obtain it prior to your trip as it will help ensure you have all the correct information and documents. You must also bring your official prescription from the issuing authority of where you are receiving treatment. Please note you can carry medicines for a maximum period of three months. If you have any questions, or want to check the status of a particular medication, contact your local UAE embassy, or get in touch with MOHAP .

practical-information-medication

To tip or not to tip? The short answer is, there are no rules when it comes to tipping in Dubai. How much you tip varies from profession to profession, and is also largely down to personal preference. It is customary to offer a little extra in most cases, but it certainly isn’t compulsory. Everyone arrives in Dubai with their own customs and expectations, but one thing that's always consistent is the high level of service.

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Multigen Family at Stromalong Bay; Grandparents; mother; daughters; father;

Planning a family trip for 12 in October. How far ahead should we buy tickets. Looking at 2 adults for 3 park days, 6 adults for 4 parks, 3 children for 4 parks, and one child under 2. I hate to buy too far ahead in case some folks drop out. Thanks ”

Hello, Miriam! Thank you for coming to planDisney with your Walt DIsney World Resort vacation planning question! A family trip to Walt Disney World is such a fun experience and one that your family will remember forever. On one of our recent visits, we were fortunate to have both sets of our children’s grandparents join us, and watching my children enjoy the parks and rides with them like I did when I was their age, is a memory I will never forget! Choosing when to purchase tickets for your upcoming vacation depends on your planning style and comfortability. When theme park reservations were required, it was important to plan as early as possible, but since park reservations are no longer required for date-based tickets, this is less of a necessity. Please know that parks are still subject to capacity limits, so I suggest keeping an eye on the Theme Park Reservation Availability calendar (which is used by those with ticket types that need a reservation) to get a good idea of what parks may be busy and potentially reaching capacity, just for your awareness and expectations. Historically, the parks don’t reach capacity unless it’s a holiday/holiday weekend or the week leading up to Christmas and between Christmas and New Year’s Day. I like to monitor the Special Offers, Deals & Discount page of the Walt Disney World website to see if any specials pertain to my visit, before purchasing my tickets. I also like to purchase my tickets as early as Disney allows so that I can check that off my planning list and prepare for the next planning stage, typically booking our dining reservations and Enchanting Extras . Another reason why I purchase my tickets well ahead of time is that it allows me time to link the tickets to each member of my party in the My Disney Experience app so that when we arrive, we can head straight to the Mickey tap-in at our favorite park. Speaking of linking tickets to each family member in the My Disney Experience app , before buying your tickets, you should ensure all your family members are added to your Friends & Family List . When you are ready to purchase your tickets through the Walt Disney World website, you will be able to select the number of theme park days needed for each Guest and link it to the member on your Friends & Family List who will be using the ticket. Children under the age of three (3) do not require a theme park ticket, as they are special Guests of Mickey! Miraim, you can find comfort in knowing that Disney understands that things can happen that are beyond your control, and while tickets can’t be transferred or reimbursed, completely unused tickets can have the dates changed for future use! So, if you or your family were to purchase tickets now and the plans change, there are two different ways to go about moving the dates of your tickets to a future visit, either through the My Disney Experience app or My Disney Experience on your computer. If this is the case and you need help walking through this process, please visit planDIsney again and you can submit your question to me directly , I will be happy to help.

I hope this answers your question Miriam, if you have any additional questions, please come back to visit us at planDisney! I hope that your upcoming visit to Walt Disney World with your family is truly memorable! Brent

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Similar Questions

  • On 1/30/2024 Sharon from KY Asked: I'm writing you because you are from KY and also mention that you were on a solo trip to Disney. I will also be solo and can travel any dates. Which are least crowded? I can't seem to get...
  • On 1/12/2024 Ian from AL Asked: Good morning, could you please tell me the best way to search rates and make a reservation for a military family wanting to stay on Disney property? Thank you!
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  27. Planning a family trip for 12 in October. Ho...

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