Planning a trip is definitely exciting, but more often than not there’s too much stress mixed with that excitement.
Is there a way to plan trips easily and quickly without wasting so much time?
Every time I sit down to plan my next trip, I’m overwhelmed by amount of information online and by how long it takes to make a trip plan.
Too many decisions to make, too many sites to check, too much responsibility and so many details to pay attention to.
It’s not an easy task. No wonder so many people book vacation packages instead of planning a trip themselves.
Trip planning, especially if you’re going to multiple destinations, is always time consuming. You need to gather all the information, compare prices, calculate distances etc etc….and time is money, isn’t it?
Ironically I find myself spending a lot of time online trying to save money on my trips. That’s why I’m always looking for new ways to simplify the process.
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The easiest way I have found so far to make an itinerary for a trip is using a site called RoutePerfect. It’s a free online trip planning tool that lets you make a trip plan in minutes, taking into account your personal preferences and budget. The tool plans an itinerary for you and then you can tweak it to make it exactly what you want.
It’s offering itineraries in Europe at the moment, but I suppose they may expand in future.
RoutePerfect has a user-friendly interface that simplifies the entire trip planning process.
The planning stage on RoutePerfect is entirely free. If you then choose to book hotels through the site, you will get a nice discount. This video will give you a general idea of how it works, and I’ll go into more detail below.
How to use RoutePerfect to plan your trip around Europe
To start planning your trip, you enter your starting point and ending point (which can be the same place) and the number of days you want to travel.
You can enter a start date or leave it blank if you don’t know it yet.
At this stage you also select what type of trip it is: romantic, friends, family or solo.
You can also change any of these details later.
Then on the next page you’ll see a map in the centre with a list of destinations on the right and a list of preferences on the left.
Preferences to match your travel style
The preferences are one of the coolest features. You can slide up or down to design your trip and choose to have more or fewer beaches, small towns, culture, food, nightlife, nature, activities (such as hiking) and historic places.
This feature is brilliant if you, like me, often get seriously bored with standard recommendations when you travel. I mean, why do travel guides always tell you to go see another church that looks just like any other church? You may have experienced that same disappointment with boring museums or even ugly cities.
You really don’t have to stick to any ordinary route or itinerary. Choose what actually interests you.
Discover new destinations
When you slide up or down according to your preferences, say, more beaches and less historical places, or more nightlife and less nature, you will see that your list of destinations on the right is automatically updated.
This is another great feature – you can actually discover places you didn’t know about. For example, I used RoutePerfect to plan a trip from London to Edinburgh, and although I thought I knew England quite well, there were new and surprising names on the list of destinations that the site suggested that I’ve never heard of.
The site won’t just show you the capital cities or big cities in each country, but it will also display smaller towns and less familiar destinations that may be worth checking out.
It will also suggest how many nights you should stay at each place, so if it’s a big city it will automatically suggest more nights. You can change the number of nights manually if you like.
When you scroll down under the map, you’ll see some info and photos of your destinations, with suggestions of things to do in each. If you’re not entirely sure about a certain destination, just scroll down and read about it.
This feature saves you time reading guides, as it brings all the info to you and you don’t have to go searching for it. I really like the layout of the site and how everything you need for you trip plan is on one page.
You can then keep or remove any destinations from the list if you like, by hovering over it to display two options: lock and remove.
All in all, although it’s an automatic tool, you have total control over the final itinerary generated.
Book hotels at your chosen destinations with a 20% discount
After you design your ideal itinerary, you can also book hotels for all the nights at all the destinations you picked.
That’s another great feature. It saves you both time and money.
It saves you a lot of time you’d otherwise have to spend searching for hotels at each destination, entering your dates and number of guests again and again, reading reviews, comparing prices, entering your credit card details for each booking etc. Here you do it all by clicking one button.
When you click “Price your trip” you’ll be asked to enter your budget and how many people are travelling. Then the search engine will do its thing and search across over a hundred suppliers for you. The process is very simple and user-friendly.
The search results will show you hotels, with their TripAdvisor ratings embedded in the search results. Again – everything is on one single page, no need to search any other sites or open 28 different browser tabs, and it is really very convenient.
Here too you have control over the final plan. You can read more details about each hotel and change room if you like. You can also change to a different hotel, and you do it all from the same screen. Click “change hotel” and you will get a list that you can filter by rating, price, etc.
The final price you get is for the entire booking of all the hotels together, after a 20% discount. The option to order everything at once makes life so much easier and the discount makes it ever better.
The explanation for the 20% discount is that RoutePerfect gets access to hotels’ hidden rates that are not publicly available. These are the rooms that each hotel can offer at a discount. Of course, if you have doubts about the discounts, you can always check the rates at each hotel individually, as you have all the names and details.
Why you should use RoutePerfect
I love it when clever technology saves me time, and love it even more when it saves me money. I’m sure you do too 😉
The user experience is smooth and convenient, and makes the whole planning process so much faster and more focused. You see enough information to help you decide where to travel to without spending hours and hours searching for it online.
If you don’t know where to start planning your European trip, then the suggestions will definitely make it very easy for you. If you’re a savvy traveller like me, and you want to be introduced to new places you’ve never heard of – this tool will discover them for you.
The custom preferences are fun to use and you can make your own personal trip plan that actually matches your interests. And finally, you will save a lot of time and a lot of money by booking your accommodation for the entire trip through RoutePerfect.