Planing a trip is hard work, especially if it's to a place you've never been before. To take some of the work out of it, here are 5 apps that will help you get that dream vacation planned sooner rather than later, and hopefully save you some money while you're at it.
Billed as the ultimate travel planner and destination guide, Google Trips leans heavily on the rest of Google family of apps to create an all-in-one intuitive interface for your travel planning needs. You can organize all your trip information in one place and with its "Things To Do" section, find new experiences in your destination before you leave home. You'll have to login with a Gmail account, but the app does allow for multiple accounts to help keep work and play separate. Available for iOS and Android, you can learn more and download Google Trips here.
Sick of checking on flights to your dream destination daily? Well why not let Hopper do all the work for you. A simple app that can end up saving you lots of money on flight bookings, Hopper asks you where you want to go and then lays out a convenient price calendar for you to see average prices. Most fare prediction apps use historical pricing data but Hopper goes one step further, analyzing current price trends to map out the best time to buy. It's available on iOS and Android here.
Only have two days in Venice and no time to plan? For as little as $25 per day, Journy's travel concierges will plan a tailored itinerary complete with hotel recommendations and special rates, restaurant reservations, activity booking and two rounds of revisions. Journy is great for weekend getaways or short stays, just make sure your in the US, Europe or Asia Pacific as it's light on destination in the Middle East, Africa and Australia and currently has no South American offerings. Right now Journy is available online and as an iOS app.
ItsEasy Passport Renewal
No one likes to wait in lines for anything, let alone to get your passport renewed. Earlier this year I discovered the ItsEasy Passport Renewal app that allowed me to take my passport photo right on my phone, fill out the app and pay for the whole process with my credit card. It was about as painless a process as I could imagine. ItsEasy charges $29.95 for processing forms, printing photos and shipping and it was well worth it. I even had a problem with my application and dealt with some really nice customer service people to get it resolved very quickly. ItsEasy is available on IOS here and on Android here.
While not exactly a native app, The Basetrip was just too cool to leave off the list. Head over to thebasetrip.com, tell them what city or country your heading to and you'll be treated to travel info like visa requirements, what type of electrical plugs, average cost of living, weather data, currency conversion rates and even tipping instructions. If you've never been to your destination before, it's a great place to start for packing, planning and getting in the right mindset. It's a web app so just bookmark it in your browser.
Have other travel planning app suggestions? Tell us about them in the comments below.