Travel Websites and Apps To Help You Plan Your Next Vacation

At last, you’re ready for a vacation. A break is good for you—and it’s good for your job, too. According to Harvard Business Review, people who take 11 or more vacation days are 30% more likely to receive a raise.

Before you pack, you have to plan. Whether you’re a traveler who loves to pin down the details ahead of time or you’re good to figure it out when you get there, you still need expert help and insider tips.

Travel websites and apps will lead you to the best places to visit, things to do, what to eat and more. Plus, they go with you on your smart devices, so you’ll have information all in one place and can keep all the details at your fingertips.

Explore these apps and websites and make your next vacation feel like, well, a vacation!

Plan your getaway

Airbnb Experiences and Adventures

If you’ve stayed at an Airbnb, you’ve experienced the excitement of immersing yourself in a local setting. Take that a step further with local experts who show you the places and activities they love. Want to cook pasta with a grandma in Italy? Maybe your latest vacation idea is to go eco-island-hopping in Indonesia.

Airbnb Experiences offers “one-of-a-kind activities hosted by experts.” These range from unique tours, like the culture and history of music tour in Havana, Cuba, with a local DJ, to cooking experiences, like this class on the cuisine of ancient Mexico.

Airbnb Adventures are fully curated outings that you aren’t likely to find on your own. Let a local guide you through a two-day musical getaway in the California desert. Or if you need an escape from the noise, take a three-day adventure in one of the world’s most silent places.

Viator

Viator, a subsidiary of Tripadvisor, is perfect for finding and booking sightseeing tours, attractions, nightlife and shows. This global tour and attraction site lets you filter for the kind of activities you want to experience while on vacation.

“Unique Experiences” and “Classes & Workshops” filters help you zero in on distinctive opportunities, like this kayak swamp tour near New Orleans.

GetYourGuide

Similar to Viator, GetYourGuide is another option for booking tours, activities and attractions anywhere in the world. This Berlin-based online travel agency helps you coordinate your own itinerary and save money. It essentially functions as a trip planner and middleman between you and the event company.

GetYourGuide features online customer service that can quickly get you out of a pickle if your plans change.

CityPASS

CityPASS lets you explore top tourist attractions in popular U.S. cities like Chicago, New York and Atlanta at discounted prices. You can save up to 50% off admission to museums, aquariums, building tours and more.

Prices vary by city, of course, and it’s worth the investment if you’re planning to visit three or more attractions. Plus, CityPASS holders get to skip long lines, which eliminates the stress of busy crowds on weekends and holidays.

TimeOut

If you’re looking for something to do with an extra day, TimeOut offers lists of the best things to do in hundreds of cities around the world. It’s a great place to turn for lists of the best coffee shops and bars as well.

TimeOut Markets have started popping up in cities like Miami and Lisbon. These food markets bring “the best of the city under one roof.” Save time by stopping by one of these markets and sampling the best cuisine the city has to offer.

Roadtrippers

If you love driving across the country and finding those unusual places only the locals know, make sure you download the Roadtrippers app. Finding corners of the U.S. you never knew existed makes a road trip worth every mile.

You can plan your next adventure in five minutes: 1) Create a free account on Roadtrippers. 2) Map your route. 3) Unlock attractions like presidential birthplaces, cheese castles and the world’s largest Czech egg.

Euan’s Guide

Euan’s Guide is a travel site “by disabled people for disabled people” that provides reviews and information on access to destinations and cultural attractions the world over. Learning helpful details ahead of time “reduces unnecessary hassle, inspires confidence and removes fear of the unknown.”

Google Travel

This is your one-stop site for all things travel planning. From booking flights and hotels to mapping out must-see attractions, Google has consolidated all of its travel resources into one website. Start creating a trip by choosing dates and a destination. Save your trip and begin researching places you want to visit.

The site uses Google Maps to plot out your stay, which can help you get your bearings even before you arrive at your destination.

Flights and hotels for any budget

Of course, the fun stuff all depends on getting there and staying there! For flights and hotels, use sites like Tripadvisor, Culture Trip, Expedia and Booking.com. Many of these sites also offer trip-planning services like guides and special excursions.

If you’re keen on luxury travel, consider booking through a luxury travel agency or an online luxury travel booking site like Virtuoso. These sites give you access to preferred rates and free travel upgrades for destinations around the world.

Make your trip last a lifetime

Don’t forget to document your dream vacation! Store your vacation photos and videos in shared albums online. Storing your photos in the cloud ensures you can keep reliving everything you swore you’d never forget.

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