When it comes to taking a trip, half the fun is in the planning — the top sites you’ll see, the local foods you’ll munch on, and all the incredible things you’ll experience. If you’re used to taking the analog approach (piles of books, handfuls of pamphlets, phone calls across time zones), you know that it can all get to be a bit much. But it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience. Read on for six easy ways to tap (or click) your way to vacation bliss.
1. Make (and share) bucket lists
Nothing beats a post-vacation high like a pre-vacation planning sesh. Once you’ve decided where you want to go, start researching! Jot down all the places you’d like to see and the things you want to do in a digital must-do list. Lists are the best place to rank and share your ideas with your travel partners. They’re also the place for tradeoffs — should you take a street food tour through Rome before you head to the Colosseum or should you head underground to the crypts and catacombs?
2. Reschedule when you need to
We can’t control a lot of things — air travel, the weather, croissants not being carb-free. You can control which companies you plan your trip with. Pro tip: pick ones that let you cancel last-minute so you can stay flexible. So if something comes up that knocks a cruise down the Seine off the day’s agenda, it’ll be more c’est la vie and less merde.
3. Scroll through ratings and reviews
There’s nothing worse than missing out on the right experiences — or choosing the wrong ones. If you love reading reviews and comparing activities based on ratings, whip out your smartphone or laptop (maybe even your smartwatch if you’re feeling bold) and get booking. Not only does scrolling through glowing reviews hype you up for the trip ahead, it’s also a great way to narrow down the things you want to do.
4. Find local experiences you’ll love
You could spend hours of your trip walking from place to place, trying to figure out which activity is the one for you. It’s way easier to search for things to do on a site that sorts experiences for you. This means that outdoor adventurers and history buffs — even self-proclaimed foodies — will find exactly what they’re looking for.
5. Skip the lines (all of them)
No one wants to spend precious time off waiting in line at must-see sights like the Empire State Building, the Colosseum, or the Eiffel Tower. If you use a site that lets you book in advance (on your sofa) or on the go (post-breakfast, camera in hand), you won’t have to!
6. Get connected with a public transport app
If you’re going digital, you might do it all the way. Once you’ve booked the experiences for your trip online, consider downloading an app like Citymapper, a public transport app that lets users look up and save meeting points. Even better — it syncs with public transport and ridesharing services.