I’ve noticed that I’ve become very habitual when it comes to planning my trips. Of course, in this digital age, it all happens online. I like the fact that there are websites for just about anything that can be planned and/or researched. I always use these websites if applicable:
- TripAdvisor. Seriously. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t use TripAdvisor. Well, there was that one time when we should’ve read reviews more carefully before booking a hotel in Vancouver, but that was just a sloppy mistake. It’s a must. Of course, not all reviews are necessary to take into consideration, it all depends on what you’re looking for. For me, it just isn’t a big deal if a hotel doesn’t have coffee makers in their rooms, and that is something I see a lot of complaints about. That’s why I like to look at the bad reviews first, to see what they’re actually about.
- SeatGuru. This is just something that I like to check out after booking a flight, just out of curiosity. I’m not sure why, I just like to know what to expect. While I haven’t exactly used this site for this, it could probably be helpful if you need to decide between two or more flights – you know, if you have certain preferences when it comes to seat configuration and whatnot.
- Google Flights. When it comes down to finding a flight for a good price, it’s really a jungle out there. So many third-party websites, and so many different airlines. It’s not always easy to know where to start. I like to start directly with the airline, and Google Flights is great for that. It gives you the airlines’ own quotes, and if you find something that suits you, you’re redirected to the airline website for direct booking.
- YouTube. I like YT as a travel planning tool because I love to see videos of hotel rooms and things like that. I think it gives a more accurate impression than photos do. Because I like this, I actually started my own channel with the purpose of posting that kind of content (the link is in the sidebar if you want to check it out – I only have two videos so far and the raw footage was old and unfortunately not of the greatest quality, but future videos will be much better I hope.)
In addition to using these websites, my husband and I usually set up a spreadsheet or two, containing a more or less full itinerary. We list activities, restaurants and pretty much everything else that we plan to do while away, and sometimes we even include which days we’ll do what. I know it may sound almost rigid. Not to worry, we rarely end up doing all the things. We usually do several things that aren’t listed, and we most definitely do not stick to a schedule. The spreadsheets are basically just ideas, and we mostly just use them to figure out our budget. Also, it helps us find out if we need to purchase tickets or make other arrangements for something. Good to know.
Do you have any particular planning habits?