How to use tech tools to plan a vacation

If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you’re ready for a vacation, but you don’t want to pay a travel agent, you’re not sure where to start, and / or you’re a DIY kind of person who’s willing to put in some elbow grease for more control over costs and trip structures. Travel planning can actually be one of the more fulfilling parts of taking a vacation, as the anticipation often builds excitement ahead of your getaway. Here are some excellent resources for travel deals, activity guides, finding places to stay, and how to put it all together.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on July 28th, 2017 and has been updated to include more tools, apps, and a featured video.

Determine budget / time constraints

The natural first step in planning a trip is figuring out where to go. Some people already have a destination in mind, others are more flexible depending on when they’re able to take time off work or how much money they’re comfortable spending. My personal rule of thumb is if you have paid time off, a vacation for yourself should cost roughly about the same as you make in one paycheck. This way, you have the option of splurging on a weekend trip or a longer vacation on a budget.

But if you have family members to factor in, a tool on BeFrugal.com can help you estimate whether it’s better to fly or drive somewhere. It can factor in costs like gas and tolls or taxis to and from the airport to help weigh the pros and cons. Obviously, the act of getting to and from a place isn’t the only cost factors (think hotels, activities, food, and potential gifts to bring home) so plan ahead.

Where to find flight deals

Airfare deals work out best when you’re flexible, and one of the best ways to find them is by exploring flight maps on sites like Kayak or Skyscanner. My personal favorite is Google Flights’ Discover Destinations search. You can narrow search results from your home airport down to length of travel, time of year, and / or continent and see a map of how much it’ll cost to get there. You can even specify destinations by interests, such as “beaches,” “ecotourism,” or “honeymoon” to get some popular recommendations. From there, you can narrow results even further by setting a max price limit or choosing only nonstop flights.


If you need even more ideas, sites like Booking.com’s Destination Finder can also help you figure out where to go depending on your interests. Once you know where you’re going, you can use tools from Kayak and Hopper to check whether a flight price is a good value.

If you’re extremely flexible on time and place but not so much on cash, your best bet is to follow flight deal sites and newsletters. There are countless sites like Airfarewatchdog or The Flight Deal, but one of the web’s most raved-about services is Scott’s Cheap Flights. You can sign up for a free newsletter or get a paid subscription for insider alerts to ridiculously cheap fares. Sometimes you might even end up with something called a mistake fare — a ticket that was sold at the wrong price due to a technical or human error — so if you do find these rare tickets, make sure you have a confirmed ticket before booking accommodations.

It’s important to keep in mind that the flight is not the only thing to consider in your overall budget. A flight to Thailand might be on the pricier end, but things even out once you arrive since the cost of living is lower there. (The opposite may be true about a trip to Iceland.) So weigh these out carefully before committing to your destination. Don’t forget to think about visa entry requirements, too, depending on your country of citizenship.

Book your flights

Now that you’ve determined where you’re going, it’s time to book. If you followed the recommendations above, you should hopefully get a fairly decent deal on your flight.

There’s really no right way to do this. You might want to book directly from an airline’s website so you’re guaranteed to pick seats (assuming basic economy rules don’t apply) or if you want to use accumulated flyer miles to pay. You might also want to book via aggregators like Orbitz and Expedia to earn points, or use points from your credit card to book. The general advice is booking directly with the airline generally garner you more leverage when flight cancellations or other irregularities happen so you don’t have to contact a third party to rebook. But depending on your credit card, you may also have good travel protection policies. Check with your local bank to determine your eligibilities before making the final decision on where to book.

Book your stay

Determining where to stay can be quite overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time traveling there and you don’t know anyone who can give you personal advice. Guides on sites like Airbnb and Foursquare make it helpful for travelers to learn more about various neighborhoods and businesses around there. It’s also helpful to browse city forums on TripAdvisor to get a sense of what locals / other travelers recommend. I recommend this for hotel travelers who prefer room service or housekeeping. If you’d rather stay somewhere with a more local flare, then Airbnb or HomeAway may be better options for you.


Once you know where you’d like to stay, be sure to specify needs like free in-room Wi-Fi or late check-ins to ensure you’re looking at the right options. When booking on sites like home rental sites, carefully read through the description to determine whether there’s a cleaning fee or an extra person fee associated. Some hosts charge varying amounts extra, which means a room costing $89 / night with no additional fees will end up being cheaper for three days than a room that’s $59 / night plus a $150 cleaning fee.

If you’re on a budget, sites like HostelBookers, HostelWorld, or CouchSurfing are alternative options for finding somewhere to stay for cheap (or in some cases, for free). Don’t let the word “hostel” throw you off. Some places offer amenities like swimming pools, game rooms, and rooftop bars, making them nearly indistinguishable from most hotels.

Things to do

I like to mix up my resources when it comes to filling out the itinerary. Generally, I’ll start with TripAdvisor forums and published guides from Lonely Planet, Fodor’s, and The New York Times’ travel section. For more off-the-beaten-path ideas, Atlas Obscura can also offer local attractions and unique things to check out.


Other places you can draw inspiration from include searching through YouTube for travel blogs, or sifting through an Instagram location tag of a particular city. If there’s an activity you’d like to do (paragliding, brewery tours, or supper clubs, for example), be sure to check if there’s an active subreddit of a city you’re visiting to poll the locals. You can also use it to look for upcoming events or even attempt meet-ups.

When traveling internationally, remember that sites you may be accustomed with for looking up restaurants and businesses in the US are unlikely to be widely used elsewhere. When I traveled to Japan, for example, Yelp was seldom used; the community has their own version called Tabelog for restaurant reviews and photos. In Croatia, it was easier to find places to eat on Google Maps or even Facebook.

Useful apps

The rule of thumb for apps is you want to maximize the ability to use these apps offline in case you are in a remote, unserviced area or don’t want to splurge on an international SIM card / roaming plan. Before you go, here are some handy apps to keep in a travel folder.

When heading to a foreign country, Google Translate is a must. Ideally, you should download the language you want ahead of time so you can use it offline. Same goes for Google Maps. You can select an area you want to save and navigate without internet connectivity.


google word lens-news-google

While you can opt to buy a local SIM card, assuming you have an unlocked phone, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Viber have made it easy to make international calls for free. Just remember to add your contacts in before leaving and hope your hotel’s Wi-Fi is strong enough to support a quick chat.

When you’re ready to pull it all together, apps like Google Trips can collect all your travel information in one place, including train tickets, maps, and booking confirmation numbers.

Many cities around the world offer local ride-sharing or taxi-hailing apps, so it’s worth checking to see if that’s something you’re willing to splurge on and download in advance. Having this tied to your credit card will eliminate the need to have cash handy first thing when you’re leaving the airport. If you want to have some cash handy, however, you are more likely to get better rates exchanging it in advance at your local bank than doing so at airports.

Major credit card companies like Visa, Mastercard, and American Express offer apps that can help you find local ATMs, prepare a mobile wallet, or convert currencies. Just be sure to notify your banks if you plan on using the cards abroad so you’re not unexpectedly locked out.

In my opinion, these apps are the bare minimum you should have before taking off, but for specific interests like food spotting or finding locals to hang out with, BonAppetour has a great list for a variety of needs.

Set your OOO!

Personally, this is one of the most satisfying things about going away. Turn off online accessibility and just enjoy yourself. You’ve earned it!

When you’re home, check back with Google Timeline to relive the trip all over again.

https://www.theverge.com/2017/7/28/15921842/how-to-plan-a-vacation-travel-apps-flight-deals-abroad

Please follow and like us:
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Privacy Policy

OnAppShop.com is committed to safeguarding your privacy. Contact us at if you have any questions or problems regarding the use of your Personal Data and we will gladly assist you.

By using this site or/and our services, you consent to the Processing of your Personal Data as described in this Privacy Policy.

Table of Contents

  1. Definitions used in this Policy
  2. Data protection principles we follow
  3. What rights do you have regarding your Personal Data
  4. What Personal Data we gather about you
  5. How we use your Personal Data
  6. Who else has access to your Personal Data
  7. How we secure your data
  8. Information about cookies
  9. Contact information

1.Definitions

Personal Data – any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person.
Processing – any operation or set of operations which is performed on Personal Data or on sets of Personal Data.
Data subject – a natural person whose Personal Data is being Processed.
Child – a natural person under 16 years of age.
We/us (either capitalized or not)

2.Data Protection Principles

We promise to follow the following data protection principles:

  • Processing is lawful, fair, transparent. Our Processing activities have lawful grounds. We always consider your rights before Processing Personal Data. We will provide you information regarding Processing upon request.
  • Processing is limited to the purpose. Our Processing activities fit the purpose for which Personal Data was gathered.
  • Processing is done with minimal data. We only gather and Process the minimal amount of Personal Data required for any purpose.
  • Processing is limited with a time period. We will not store your personal data for longer than needed.
  • We will do our best to ensure the accuracy of data.
  • We will do our best to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of data.

3.Data Subject’s rights

The Data Subject has the following rights:

  1. Right to information – meaning you have to right to know whether your Personal Data is being processed; what data is gathered, from where it is obtained and why and by whom it is processed.
  2. Right to access – meaning you have the right to access the data collected from/about you. This includes your right to request and obtain a copy of your Personal Data gathered.
  3. Right to rectification – meaning you have the right to request rectification or erasure of your Personal Data that is inaccurate or incomplete.
  4. Right to erasure – meaning in certain circumstances you can request for your Personal Data to be erased from our records.
  5. Right to restrict processing – meaning where certain conditions apply, you have the right to restrict the Processing of your Personal Data.
  6. Right to object to processing – meaning in certain cases you have the right to object to Processing of your Personal Data, for example in the case of direct marketing.
  7. Right to object to automated Processing – meaning you have the right to object to automated Processing, including profiling; and not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated Processing. This right you can exercise whenever there is an outcome of the profiling that produces legal effects concerning or significantly affecting you.
  8. Right to data portability – you have the right to obtain your Personal Data in a machine-readable format or if it is feasible, as a direct transfer from one Processor to another.
  9. Right to lodge a complaint – in the event that we refuse your request under the Rights of Access, we will provide you with a reason as to why. If you are not satisfied with the way your request has been handled please contact us.
  10. Right for the help of supervisory authority – meaning you have the right for the help of a supervisory authority and the right for other legal remedies such as claiming damages.
  11. Right to withdraw consent – you have the right withdraw any given consent for Processing of your Personal Data.

4.Data we gather

Information you have provided us with
This might be your e-mail address, name, billing address, home address etc – mainly information that is necessary for delivering you a product/service or to enhance your customer experience with us. We save the information you provide us with in order for you to comment or perform other activities on the website. This information includes, for example, your name and e-mail address.

Information automatically collected about you
This includes information that is automatically stored by cookies and other session tools. For example, your shopping cart information, your IP address, your shopping history (if there is any) etc. This information is used to improve your customer experience. When you use our services or look at the contents of our website, your activities may be logged.

Information from our partners
We gather information from our trusted partners with confirmation that they have legal grounds to share that information with us. This is either information you have provided them directly with or that they have gathered about you on other legal grounds. See the list of our partners here.

Publicly available information
We might gather information about you that is publicly available.

5.How we use your Personal Data

We use your Personal Data in order to:

  • provide our service to you. This includes for example registering your account; providing you with other products and services that you have requested; providing you with promotional items at your request and communicating with you in relation to those products and services; communicating and interacting with you; and notifying you of changes to any services.
  • enhance your customer experience;
  • fulfil an obligation under law or contract;

We use your Personal Data on legitimate grounds and/or with your Consent.

On the grounds of entering into a contract or fulfilling contractual obligations, we Process your Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • to identify you;
  • to provide you a service or to send/offer you a product;
  • to communicate either for sales or invoicing;

On the ground of legitimate interest, we Process your Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • to send you personalized offers* (from us and/or our carefully selected partners);
  • to administer and analyse our client base (purchasing behaviour and history) in order to improve the quality, variety, and availability of products/ services offered/provided;
  • to conduct questionnaires concerning client satisfaction;

As long as you have not informed us otherwise, we consider offering you products/services that are similar or same to your purchasing history/browsing behaviour to be our legitimate interest.

With your consent we Process your Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • to send you newsletters and campaign offers (from us and/or our carefully selected partners);
  • for other purposes we have asked your consent for;

We Process your Personal Data in order to fulfil obligation rising from law and/or use your Personal Data for options provided by law. We reserve the right to anonymise Personal Data gathered and to use any such data. We will use data outside the scope of this Policy only when it is anonymised. We save your billing information and other information gathered about you for as long as needed for accounting purposes or other obligations deriving from law, but not longer than 1 year.

We might process your Personal Data for additional purposes that are not mentioned here, but are compatible with the original purpose for which the data was gathered. To do this, we will ensure that:

  • the link between purposes, context and nature of Personal Data is suitable for further Processing;
  • the further Processing would not harm your interests and
  • there would be appropriate safeguard for Processing.

We will inform you of any further Processing and purposes.

6.Who else can access your Personal Data

We do not share your Personal Data with strangers. Personal Data about you is in some cases provided to our trusted partners in order to either make providing the service to you possible or to enhance your customer experience. We share your data with:

Our processing partners:

  • facebook.com
  • google.com
  • bing.com
  • twitter.com
  • pinterest.com

Our business partners:

  • facebook.com
  • google.com
  • bing.com
  • twitter.com
  • pinterest.com

Connected third parties:

  • facebook.com
  • google.com
  • bing.com
  • twitter.com
  • pinterest.com

We only work with Processing partners who are able to ensure adequate level of protection to your Personal Data. We disclose your Personal Data to third parties or public officials when we are legally obliged to do so. We might disclose your Personal Data to third parties if you have consented to it or if there are other legal grounds for it.

7.How we secure your data

We do our best to keep your Personal Data safe. We use safe protocols for communication and transferring data (such as HTTPS). We use anonymising and pseudonymising where suitable. We monitor our systems for possible vulnerabilities and attacks.

Even though we try our best we can not guarantee the security of information. However, we promise to notify suitable authorities of data breaches. We will also notify you if there is a threat to your rights or interests. We will do everything we reasonably can to prevent security breaches and to assist authorities should any breaches occur.

If you have an account with us, note that you have to keep your username and password secret.

Children

We do not intend to collect or knowingly collect information from children. We do not target children with our services.

8.Cookies and other technologies we use

We use cookies and/or similar technologies to analyse customer behaviour, administer the website, track users’ movements, and to collect information about users. This is done in order to personalise and enhance your experience with us.

A cookie is a tiny text file stored on your computer. Cookies store information that is used to help make sites work. Only we can access the cookies created by our website. You can control your cookies at the browser level. Choosing to disable cookies may hinder your use of certain functions.

We use cookies for the following purposes:

  • Necessary cookies – these cookies are required for you to be able to use some important features on our website, such as logging in. These cookies don’t collect any personal information.
  • Functionality cookies – these cookies provide functionality that makes using our service more convenient and makes providing more personalised features possible. For example, they might remember your name and e-mail in comment forms so you don’t have to re-enter this information next time when commenting.
  • Analytics cookies – these cookies are used to track the use and performance of our website and services
  • Advertising cookies – these cookies are used to deliver advertisements that are relevant to you and to your interests. In addition, they are used to limit the number of times you see an advertisement. They are usually placed to the website by advertising networks with the website operator’s permission. These cookies remember that you have visited a website and this information is shared with other organisations such as advertisers. Often targeting or advertising cookies will be linked to site functionality provided by the other organisation.

You can remove cookies stored in your computer via your browser settings. Alternatively, you can control some 3rd party cookies by using a privacy enhancement platform such as optout.aboutads.info or youronlinechoices.com. For more information about cookies, visit allaboutcookies.org.

We use Google Analytics to measure traffic on our website. Google has their own Privacy Policy which you can review here. If you’d like to opt out of tracking by Google Analytics, visit the Google Analytics opt-out page.

Read more about cookies on our Cookie Policy

Contact Information

Micro Entreprise
20 B Rue Jéan Jaurès
59227 SAULZOIR, France

Reg.Nr; R.C.S Douai FR Siret : 539 961 276

email: contact@onappshop.com

Read More About Us

Changes to this Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to make change to this Privacy Policy.

You can configure your Internet browser, by changing its options, to stop accepting cookies completely or to prompt you before accepting a cookie from the website you visit. If you do not accept cookies, however, you may not be able to use all portions of the OnappShop Websites or all functionality of the Services.

Please note that disabling these technologies may interfere with the performance and features of the Services.

You may also disable cookies on the OnAppShop Sites by modifying your settings here:

Visitor comments may be checked through an automated spam detection service.

Last Update: May 25, 2018

Please follow and like us: