In the early stages of planning a trip, everything is a decision. Planning one can become a big mess of “compare and contrast”. Many travel websites consist of the same things, but some do a better job than others at really giving you good and valuable information. In order to keep myself more organized but still do thorough research, there are three resources that I use religiously in order to make decisions when planning a trip.
Expedia: Although you may not end up booking a flight through the Expedia website, it’s a great tool to use when looking for flight and stay. Instead of searching for different airlines separately, Expedia generates flight options for almost all major airlines at once. (ex. Southwest is not included) It sorts them in order depending on your preference and allows you to compare airlines all on one screen. It does the same exact thing for hotel options. You can also find the rating of hotels and see how many rooms are left all within the same search. Amenities as well as nearby attractions are listed once you click on each individual hotel. Expedia is great for the beginning stage of planning, this is where I start every time!
TripAdvisor: This is the website I use for all things “reviews”. In the age of reviews running businesses, I find that the most reliable and accurate reviews come from Trip Advisor. Once I find a hotel that seems to check all my boxes, I head to Trip Advisor to see what people have to say. It does a great job of sorting the reviews by most recent. My favorite part about it is that it ranks each place with others in the same category within the same city or area. This is why I also use it for restaurants and bars! If I don’t have set plans for a meal or night out, I simply look on Trip Advisor the day of and see what's in my area. It’s also great for genuine photos of the places and/or dishes. Forget that professional photo with the over-dramatic filter and look at what you’re really going to be getting!
Previous Travelers: It might seem obvious and overdone but friends and family are one of the best resources when trying to plan a trip. Who better to ask for advice than someone you know well?! Even if you guys have different travel styles, it’s a safe place to start. I’ve recently joined some Facebook groups with people who also share a passion for travel. When I know I have a trip coming up, I often post and ask for the best recommendations and they have never failed me! You can even do something as simple as posting a status asking for some guidance. You’d be surprised how many people have visited the places you’re planning on going to.I have found that with these three resources, I can feel 100% confident about what decisions I make on every single trip! And remember, if decisions aren’t for you- TrvlMo is.