Travellers Point: The Best Website for Planning Travel
Just like everyone has a different way of travelling in their own little way- whether that be jumping on an organised tour, staying in nice hotels or backpacking through hostels, everyone also has different ways they organise for a trip. Some people are planners- organising almost every day of their itinerary, booking all their accommodation and transport (sometimes even 6 months in advance) and even having a careful list of activities to do, places to see and places to eat. On the other side of the spectrum are those that go with the flow or spur of the moment travellers- the most they will do is book a flight. They’ll rock up in some country with no settled plans and not even a hostel booked for their first night.
I sit somewhere in the middle- I’m a planner in the sense I already have 15 months planned to the day and the general direction I want to take on my Round the World Trip but I’m spur of the moment in the sense that I won’t book many things until last minute as I like to leave my plans open to adjustment. You never know what’s going to happen- you might fall sick and need to slow down- you might meet amazing people that you want to follow to the next city in Europe even though you had planned to go in another direction. My detailed 10 page word document with dates, places, countries, potential accommodation and transport options was created more for budgetary reasons than anything else- I wanted to have a rough idea of how much I would need to save. I’m not going to freak out if I spend longer in places than expected- or never make it to places on my list- but it’s a nice safety blanket to have a general plan. It has also helped me book some flights over Christmas that I know would be so expensive if I didn’t book them in advance- like my flight to Liverpool to visit my Auntie and Uncle for Christmas this year.
Recently I happened across a website called Travellers Point and it’s completely changed the way I plan for my trip. It’s full of useful tools and information that makes planning or organising a million times easier and accessible.
Here are some of the reasons why I love it so much:
Putting your plans on a map
A huge part of the site is the map and it’s actually how I found it in the first place. A lot of map websites allow you to mark destinations off by country rather than the smaller places within a country you might have gone or might be going. Whether you are planning a trip or want to log a trip you have done the fact that you can input small towns, small landmarks and even national parks into the Map is incredibly useful.
You can see the full version of my trip in more detail here.
Working out which direction you want to go
I find when you are first thinking about a trip you might have a list of places you want to see or countries you want to visit but don’t actually know which direction will work best. With travellers point you can put all the countries/places you want into the map and then just drag and drop those places around until you find the easiest and best route. This stops you from backtracking or going out of the way to see something that might have actually been on the way to another interesting destination you wanted to visit.
Let your Friends and Family know your plans
Telling your friends and family about your plans can be tiring especially when you are planning to go to some out of the way obscure town. Being able to link them to this map makes it easier for them to work out where you actually plan to go. You can add dates to your destinations too so they will know exactly where you are going to be and when. This is a great benefit safety wise as it’s important to share your plans with people so they can check in with you and know where you are if something bad happens.
Add Bookmarks to particular places and destinations
This is definitely the best thing about travellers point. I often casually find myself browsing trip related stuff- it might be hostels in Munich , or bus tickets between certain places or more often than not food related articles detailing dishes that must be eaten in certain places. It’s hard to keep track of all this useful information and I have tried lots of things- screenshooting, copying and pasting links or writing down information in a booklet but this made it difficult to keep track of which link belonged to which destination etc etc. This is where the travellers point bookmark tool comes in. You add a bookmark to your bookmarks bar that says ‘add to travel plan’ and whenever you come along any link or article that could be handy for your trip you can click this tool and then select the trip and the destination/city. If you haven’t quite sorted everything out yet you can just add it to your pre-planning section of your trip planner. I’ve used it to add couchsurfing profiles for particular destinations, articles about restaurants in certain places that have come up on my favourite blogs and even stuff like health warnings that have popped up.
Searching for transport options between destinations
If you have ever heard of Rome2Rio you know that its one of the best travel planning tools for working out the fastest and/or cheapest way to get between destinations. The planner section of travellers point is linked to Rome2Rio and allows you to automatically search for transport options. You can then select the best option and it will be added to your plans. There is also no need to input everything in twice- once you have filled in your map with destinations they will be automatically added to the ‘Planner’ section of the website. This is where you will find those bookmarks you’ve added using the bookmark tools.
The other planning tools
You can click on any destination on your map through the planning tools and not only see your bookmarks but also add notes about the trip. This is a handy spot to put budget ideas and the amount you want to spend (you can also update the notes once you have left said destination to make sure you are on track). Here you can also search for accommodation and tours but these aren’t the best way to book as they don’t offer much budget range or backpacker style options so I don’t really use it. The website takes a bit of commission for accommodation booked this way but this is how they keep the site going- so if you book through them you will be helping them out. There is also a handy link to the forex exchange rates and they will automatically input your currency (as selected in your preferences) and the currency of the country of your destination.
Collaboration with friends/travel buddies
You can share your plans with your friends but also give them access to your planner to view any notes/bookmarks you might have added but also to add their own ideas/make changes. This is awesome where you aren’t travelling alone and need an easy way to communicate ideas you might have for certain destinations or any bookings made. Adding booking numbers and costs into this section for your travel buddy to see will also help you to stay on top of costs so there aren’t any awkward arguments about who owes who and how much.
Access to travel guides
Travellers point has a range of travel guides that are great for a good overview of not just travel specifics for a country but also a bit of culture to help introduce you to the history of the country. I particular like the sections on events and festivals which might help you make sure you aren’t missing a big event by only a couple of days- I myself like to plan things around being there for really fun festivals. You’ll see travel guides for particular cities pop up whenever you click on your destination on the map (but do bare in mind that the smaller cities probably won’t have guides).
There are other tools and apps I use for travel planning and when I’m travelling and I hope to write a more in depth article once I’ve tried out some of the new ones recommended to me by friends and other bloggers. For now travellers point definitely tops my list as a tool not only to map and plan future travels but also as a way to log trips and travel in very detailed ways. It offers pretty much everything you’ll need to organise your upcoming trip and allows you to keep all your information in one handy place without the hassle of word/excel documents (especially if you aren’t planning on carting a laptop around).