7 useful holiday planning tools

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Brought to you by Qantas Cash

Holiday planning and organising can be a fun yet sometimes arduous experience.

However, you can take comfort in the knowledge that the digital world has heralded countless solutions to the plastic sleeve folders/ print-outs debacle.

We’ve found our favourites and listed them here for you.

travel planning tools

1. Skyscanner

Skyscanner’s customisability and range of options makes it a winner amongst the flight search platforms. Skyscanner checks for fares on not just full-service carriers, but also on budget airlines including Jetstar; making it a great option for budget travellers.

Using geo-location data, the mobile experience locates your nearest airport and if you’re in need of some inspiration, Skyscanner serves you a selection of economy flights, domestic and international.

And if you have a flexible schedule Skyscanner provides information on pricing per month, day or destination. This way you can customise your trip according to the best price available.

2. Trip Advisor

Said to be the world’s largest travel site, TripAdvisor contains more than 125 million reviews covering over 3.7 million global accommodations, restaurants and attractions.

While that may seem like a lot to mine through, it is TripAdvisor’s user experience and social integration (both online and via an app) that makes the platform user-friendly and valuable.

Akin to listening to your well-travelled friend on whether you should cruise the Mediterranean on a yacht, TripAdvisor contains peer reviews that are unbiased and honest.

For example, TripAdvisor will show you if a hotel you’re considering has the amenities you need or if previous patrons have complained of cockroaches or leaky taps. Additionally, the platform aggregates user reviews to provide you with a rating out of five and a rank amongst similar hotels in the area.

3. Booking.com

Unlike TripAdvisor, Booking.com focuses purely on accommodation, containing information and access to over 420,000 hotels of all levels from across the globe. What’s similar between the two platforms is the value of social proof: user reviews and ratings that help us decide where we would prefer to stay.

The platform isn’t as popular as TripAdvisor, meaning that there aren’t as many options or opinions available. However as a booking tool, it’s a one-stop shop, enabling the user to book everything within the site or from its mobile app.

4. TouristEye

Where Skyscanner allows you book your flights and TripAdvisor and Booking.com help you find the best prices and choices for your trip, TouristEye allows you to build a ‘wishlist’ of travel destinations and experiences.

With this iOS and Android app, you can build out ideas for you quick three-day retreat or you’re ultimate 6-month European getaway.

You can share your bucket list with friends and family or collaborate with your travel partner. Recently purchased by Lonely Planet, the service has some clout behind it so start dreaming!

5. TripIt

TripIt is the ultimate organising and archiving app, allowing you to move your travel confirmations, tickets, bookings, reservations, itineraries and budgets from the abyss of an email inbox to one central hub.

And rather than having to enter the details by hand, you can forward confirmation emails from virtually any travel site to [email protected] The platform will then sort through the data, generating your itinerary through unique content types such as images or calendars.

6. Qantas Travel Money Card with Qantas Cash

Long gone are travellers’ cheques. Today, consumers are savvy enough to know that you can avoid monstrous international transaction fees with a travel money card before the trip.

An example is the Qantas Cash®. You can use this card both domestically and internationally, earning Qantas Points on purchases. You can also load funds online making it easy to top-up while at home or abroad.

For use overseas, the card supports up to 11 foreign currencies including Australian, US, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Canadian dollar, Great British Pound, Thai Baht, Japanese Yen and UAE Dirham.

Qantas Cash doesn’t charge load fees and locks in the exchange rate at the time you load currencies making it a money-saving travel companion.

7. Packing Pro

Possibly the most arduous step in the whole pre-travel process is packing the suitcase. The Packing Pro app makes it less painful by allowing you to create multiple lists on-the-go, based on the travellers, days you’ll be away, destination and even clothes-washing preferences.

It has a very simple interface and from toothbrushes to hiking boots, there are over 800 items in the app’s database to choose from.

What are some of your favourite travel planning tools?

13 thoughts on “7 useful holiday planning tools”

  1. Packing Pro looks like a gem. I’m a planner and I relish the packing and planning part of a trip – it’s like travel foreplay where the excitement builds! But when you travel as much as I do it gets a bit repetitive remembering all the cables and leads and other bits necessary for traveling these day. I love the template process of this app – and can’t wait to set up some sample packing lists … that’s for the info. Jay

  2. shere @shereypaul.com

    For flights I use sky scanner and matrix, depending on the country the results are better in one or the other

  3. I have to say Trip advisor is one of my favourites, though you have to take some of the reviews with a grain of salt.
    There are always the reviews that include “mini bar prices are expensive compared to outside shops” and currently we are staying at Hard Rock Penang and some had complained about the size of the ensuits whilst they are not huge it is bigger than my bathroom at home. Sometimes peoples expectations are just too big.
    But I find weeding through the reviews on Trip Advisor helps to get a real view of a hotel rather than the gloss of the actual hotel website.

    1. Definitely! Great tip. We always make sure we read a lot of the reviews to get a broader perspective because some people’s expectations are way higher than ours!

  4. A really nice selection!

    I find Booking.com really useful, especially since it gives users the chance to provide feedback and alert future travelers of possible issues with accommodation. Besides, it’s really easy to use, it has good search filters and you can get your hands on some pretty sweet deals.

    Qantas Cash sounds great, I should give it a try soon! 🙂

  5. Marcia @ CuracaoVacationAccomodation

    My favorite one is Trip Advisor. I really like it and use it a lot when it comes to trips and not only. I find it useful when I want to search for various information about hotels and restaurants also.

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