Travel Resource Series: Part 3 – Organizing Your Trip – Apps & Websites [2017]

Hey Y’all! Welcome back to our UP Series – An Extensive Guide to Travel Resources! For our third installment, we’ll be discussing some great resources to help you out with organization.

Now, while some of you may already consider trip planning an exercise in organization, there’s a whole other post coming up in the near future for those kinds of resources (so stay tuned)!

Here we’ll talk about resources that help you pack, sort through your itinerary, and keep track of reservations, tickets, and schedules. If we’ve missed one of your favorite organizing hacks, let us know!

 

(FREE)

aggregated travel information

Let’s just get this out of the way right now – The Basetrip is an absolute GEM of a travel resource, and can be your one-stop shop for TONS of pertinent travel information on over 230 countries around the world.

This site has answers to so many of your questions, including those you didn’t even think to ask!

First, there are basics like exact geographic location, official language, time zone, travel advice by the U.S. Department of State, and weather averages by month.

What about financial information? You got it: local currency, exchange rates, cost of living (think meals out, bottled water, groceries, apartment rent, gym memberships, etc. compared to your home country), credit and debit card information, ATMs, and tipping recommendations.

What about communicating? The Basetrip has details on internet speeds, mobile phones and data plans, as well as dialing codes. Worried about health and safety? Learn everything you need to know about necessary vaccinations, travel advisories, crime rates, emergency numbers, and embassy locations.

How will you get around? Check here to learn about transportation options including getting a driver’s license or renting a car.

The Basetrip also provides “traveler tips” from the local community, and this section is growing with the website’s popularity.

While only available as a website at this time, we can only hope an app is in the works! Simply stated, you’ve GOT to add The Basetrip to your resource arsenal.

Hot Tip: The Basetrip has just added “Cities” to its arsenal.  Search over 650 cities for more precise information on where you’re headed!   Plus, if you’re not sure when to travel, Flight & Accommodation cards can help by providing average prices over the next 12 months! 


(FREE; Evernote Plus $34.99, Evernote Premium $69.99, Evernote Business $12 per user/month)

productivity/organization app

While Evernote isn’t technically travel oriented, it can sure be a big help!

Think of Evernote as one big inbox for your life… with great filters. Evernote is basically a place to store any type of information from almost anywhere and then organize it.

Users can “take notes” from a variety of sources including: typed notes, handwritten notes, photos, sketches, PDFs, websites, audio clips, videos… the list goes on and on. Those notes are then organized into categories or “notebooks.” Users can make to-do lists, organize bills, scratch down random thoughts, or finally make that list of the best happy hour spots and attach their respective menus. The possibilities are really endless!

With Evernote, users can sync their notes across all devices, making it easy to keep track of lists and collections. Evernote also enables sharing notes with others. Need reminders? No problem, you can set alerts in Evernote to keep you on top of your game. It’s true, Evernote organizes everything!

Hot Tip: Evernote Plus gets users 1GB of new uploads per month, plus access to notebooks offline, forwarding emails into Evernote, and customer support via email. Evernote Premium adds 10GB of new uploads per month, customer support via live chat, search capability within PDFs/MS Office docs, PDF annotation, scanning and digitizing business cards, browsing the history of your notes, and more.


(FREE)

travel organization/itinerary management/travel inspiration app

Admit it, you saw this one coming.

Launched in September of last year, Google Trips has been a long time in the making.

Like TripIt and Tripcase, Google Trips aims to help you organize all of your travel plans in one place, but it also offers so much more. It provides opportunities for travel inspiration, traveler reviews, dining/drink options, and encyclopedic information on several hundred top cities around the globe plus thousands of more attractions. Importantly, Google wants you to know that when you download your trip, everything is available offline in case you’re stuck without wifi or data.

In a nutshell, Google Trips seamlessly integrates reservations (flights, hotels, rental cars, etc.) from your Gmail and creates a specific “trip” in the app. These trips are like folders of information including some basic categories like: Reservations, Things to Do, Saved Places, Day Plans, Food & Drink, Getting Around, and Need to Know.

Reservations are pretty self-explanatory, and this is where the main organization part takes place. Organization comes into play again in the Need to Know section, which is available for a large number of cities (and growing). This section usually discusses important information related to: Health & Emergencies, Money (including currency and tipping info), and Shopping, among others.

Hot Tip: To save you a bit of brainpower for the rest of this post, we’ve decided to elaborate on the Things to Do, Saved Places, Day Plans, and Food & Drink categories in our series post on activity planning and exploring. We also delve into Getting Around in our post on transportation.

Word to the Wise: If you’re not a Gmail user or don’t have a Google Account, this app isn’t for you. It is pretty good for making you wonder why you still haven’t hopped on the bandwagon, though!


(FREE; Kayak Pro $0.99)

travel organization/itinerary management app

Part of Kayak’s main app includes a platform called Trips, which acts much like the other itinerary management apps out there to keep all your pertinent travel information together.

With Trips, you can forward your booking confirmations to trips@kayak.com, where your itinerary is managed for you in a nice timeline format with maps and important info all on one screen. Trips can give other people access to your travel plans through sharing options, link to your calendar app for consistency in planning, and send SMS and email flight alerts.

Since Trips is already incorporated into the Kayak app, some users opt for this route. This lets you search for flights and hotels, save results, track pricing, get price alerts, review a pricing forecast, and manage your itinerary all in one place.

Hot Tip: Kayak Pro is ad-free if you’re into that kind of thing.


(Cost: $2.99)

mobile packing assistance/list builder app

This app is pretty much everything you ever wanted if you’re a list maker. It’s also everything you didn’t know you needed if you’re a consistent forgetter!

Packing Pro helps travelers get organized by making lists of what they need to pack.

From templates and suggestions to customizable designs, Packing Pro has options for every type of traveler. Users are allowed an unlimited number of packing lists of an unlimited length (this could get dangerous!). You can even add images, alerts, and mark “need to buy” items. It also has iCloud support and the ability to share your lists via email, AirDrop, Dropbox, etc. You can even export and edit your lists with Excel, Numbers, or Google Docs.

If you’re the type that physically needs to cross things off, you can send directly to a printer to get that list on paper. Need more? If you aren’t picky, the Packing List Assistant will take your parameters (number of people, destination, weather, etc.) and automatically create lists for you. You can also add to-do lists for pre-, mid-, and post-trip.

With Packing Pro, we’re pretty sure you won’t forget anything ever again!

Hot Tip:  If you’re overwhelmed with this app, QuinScape (the company behind it) has a great YouTube video tutorial explaining how it works!


(FREE; PackPoint Premium $2.99)

mobile packing assistance and list builder app

PackPoint’s purpose is to really take the guesswork out of packing.

The app pretty much tells you what to pack based on how long you’re traveling, where you’re going, the weather when you get there, and any activities you have planned (which you choose from a pre-defined list in the free app).

With PackPoint Premium, users can connect to TripIt, share your lists across devices with Evernote, and add customizable packing items/activities. If you don’t want to pay for premium, the basic app is likely a bit better for those who don’t want too much detail.


(FREE)

mobile packing assistance app

Yet another app to help you pack, Travel List seems to have fewer bells and whistles.

You can do many of the same things as with Packing Pro and PackPoint: create customizable packing lists, sync across your devices, share with other people, and create alerts/reminders. One nice component is their calendar view, which gives a different type of visualization that some people really prefer.

And hey, this one’s compatible with Apple Watch, which is a must for some users.


(FREE)

itinerary management app

Tripcase is a fantastic little app for frequent fliers and business travelers that gives users one single place to manage and organize all their trips.

Users download the app and start compiling their itineraries via 3 options.

1) If you’ve booked with an integrated affiliate (including over 40 airlines), congrats! Your work is already done, and the confirmation info instantly appears in the app.

2) Forward any confirmation emails about flights, hotels, and rental cars to trips@tripcase.com. TripCase automatically adds these details to your itinerary.

3) Add your own trip details within the app or website.

Other cool features?

You can share your trip with family/friends and TripCase will keep them updated for you, including when flights land. TripCase also sends alerts when flight information changes, helps you find alternate flights if needed, reminds you of hotel check-out times, and allows you to quickly access maps to your destinations or request an Uber.

There’s also a Tripfeed with useful travel messages to advise users on certain aspects of their trip, including maps of airports, photos of your hotel, or even little nudges to post to your favorite social media outlets.

TripCase also reportedly integrates well with corporate travel systems like Sabre. What’s not to love?

Hot Tip: We’re hearing Tripcase now includes Alexa skills!

Hot Tip: For an extra $5.99, users can download Business Travel Expense, an add-on that allows for integration of a receipt feature. Users can organize receipts, rest easy knowing they’re stored on the cloud, and even send receipts in PDF form via email.


(FREE; TripIt Pro $48.99)

travel organization/itinerary management

Chances are if you travel a lot you’ve heard of TripIt by now.

It’s likely the most popular app on the market for travel organization.

When users sign up and allow TripIt access to their email, TripIt automatically imports information related to flights, hotels, rental cars, and other booking companies (think concert tickets from StubHub, dinner reservations from OpenTable, etc.).

Alternatively, if you don’t want TripIt to scan your email, you can always forward your emails to plans@tripit.com or manually input all the information into the system. TripIt then creates an itinerary in an easy-to-read format, including items like directions between airports, rental car pickup, and hotel details.

TripIt also allows for calendar syncing and makes it easy to send your travel info to family/friends by sharing via text, Evernote, LinkedIn, Slack, or WhatsApp.

With TripIt Pro, users get real-time flight alerts, help to find alternative flights, fare refund notifications, seat tracker, integration with LoungeBuddy, reward program points tracking, and the ability to save money with VIP benefits.

Hot Tip: TripIt also offers 2 other products: TripIt for Teams and TripIt for TMCs.

Hot Tip: TripIt produces a great little blog full of travel tips, posts on news and culture, etc. You can find it here.


(FREE app; $25 planning fee per itinerary – includes 24/7 support)

itinerary management after assisted booking

Travefy pairs travelers with top travel agents from around the world to develop and manage your perfect itinerary.

These “Destination Specialists” are prepared to assist in real time during all stages of planning with virtually whatever you need. They can help with not only flights and hotel bookings, but also provide advice on things to do and recommendations for restaurants, etc.

This app falls into the organization category because once complete, itineraries are available on the app.

Travefy stores all reservations and applicable travel documents, plus includes a presentation of the itineraries on a month and daily timeline view.

The app also gives details such as airline seat maps, geotagged city maps, and your recommendations/guides for activities and dining.

Possibly most reassuring for some, the app provides a 24/7 message center allowing you to converse with a specialist if there are any travel glitches. Often the agent is the first to discover a delayed/cancelled flight or missed connection, and is likely to begin re-working the issue immediately. This basically means you can sit back, relax, and drink that tasty margarita while your agent deals with those pesky call center people.


(FREE)

itinerary management, social trip planner

TripSee claims to be “the easiest way to plan your next adventure.”

While we love the predictive planning aspect (just input your destination and TripSee provides you a list of popular things to see and do), this app falls under organization for its itinerary management capabilities.

TripSee is another app that incorporates email parsing into the mix, allowing users to email their reservations for flights and hotels to trips@tripsee.travel. For the activities portion, users choose a suggested or customized activity, then simply click “Add To Trip” and watch their days fill up.

Users can view their full itinerary in a list format, or use the more exciting map format! The map has enumerated pins corresponding to the time order in which your activities will take place, allowing you to “connect-the-dots” between them. You can easily swap activities to different days to cluster them for maximum efficiency.

The social aspect comes into play with the ability to add more than one planner to a trip, essentially allowing a family or group of friends to plan a trip together while viewing all itinerary pieces in one place. Itineraries can also be posted to social media, and users can peruse popular trips compiled by other TripSee travelers.


This app is no longer available.

(FREE; Worldmate Gold $3.99)

itinerary management, social trip planner

We’re listing Worldmate here because previously, you couldn’t find a “Top Travel Apps” list that didn’t include this one.

However, this is what Worldmate Customer Care currently has to say: “As of January 1st, we no longer offer new Gold memberships, hotel and car bookings in the app. On March 31st, WorldMate will be removed from the stores. Thank you for sharing this journey with us. We wish you successful travels ahead.”

Sad news, as we know many travelers truly valued this app!


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