Traveling and going on a vacation with the whole family requires a lot of planning. One of the most tedious tasks is making an itinerary or “to-do list.” Say, for example, you’re staying for a week with the kids in Tokyo, the biggest city in the world. How would you fill the days? Where do you even start? For busy moms who barely have time to look through all those “Top 10 Things to Do in…” lists, we’ve got you covered. Here are apps which can build your itinerary for you in a cinch:
1. Google Trips
Google Trips is exactly what you’ve been looking for. We know it was for us. Download it on your phone and it would be like having your own personal tour guide. Input your destination and it will give you options to see all the things you can do in your chosen city; from top spots, historical places, kid-friendly spots, park hangouts and more. These come complete with opening hours, user reviews, maps, fees, etc. The app can also get you info on transportation, great dining spots and much more.
Our favorite feature has to be Google Trips “Day plans” (available for the world’s top 200 cities) where it will suggest itineraries already mapped out for you. You also have the option to not follow everything on the list and the app can adjust to your schedule and suggest new spots.
Plus, get this, there are also ready-made itineraries for those traveling with kids! For Tokyo, one a whole day itinerary suggested we start at the interactive science museum Miraikan, then it’s off to the Fukagawa Edo Museum, and to spend the rest of the day at the Tokyo Sea Life Park. Save your itinerary on your phone and the app works offline.
TripAdvisor can do more than just find you a hotel. Pull it up via the app or on desktop, and it can show you suggested spots and things to do to help you plan your itinerary. It also has ready-made travel guides but unlike Google Trips, these are created by users and there is no option to customize them. The interface also has you going back and forth to the main menu for details like attraction info.
Where TripAdvisor gets a leg up though is you can buy and book a tour right within the app for some attractions. Another advantage the app is its huge TripAdvisor community who take the time to leave reviews. Generous reviewers even leave suggestions on what you can do at the tourist spots like tea tasting or pot making. TripAdvisor also provides you all the usual info like a map of the place, opening hours and fees. And of course, you can book a hotel in-app. Available for free on iOS and Andriod
3. Airbnb Trips
Though not out until 2017, we’re already excited for what accommodation innovator Airbnb is calling their “next chapter”: Airbnb Trips. This new addition to their service will supposedly allow users to book cars, order groceries, and make hotel reservations. Importantly, it also has what Airbnb is calling “Experiences,” which will offer paid tours and outings for users. It’s essentially Airbnb except instead of renting homes, you’re chartering people to take you on adventures and experiences. Choose from single-day or multi-day experiences that can include food tours, classes, camping trips and more with your Airbnb host (and possibe potential friend). Exciting, right?