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Seven Tools To Make Your Next Vacation More Awesome

22/03/2017 13:18 GMT | Updated 22/03/2017 13:18 GMT

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Traveling is one of the best ways to break free from your draining daily routine and give yourself the much-needed rest and relaxation. It is a reward that every hard-working adult deserves, but it can also easily become a drag. Not only is it expensive, planning your vacation is a chore especially if you choose to plan your itinerary yourself.

One of the observed travel trends in 2017 is the growing independence of vacationers from travel agencies. According to one survey, only 6.25% of respondents are still willing to leave vacation planning in the hands of these firms. If you're part of the 93.75%, you need to have the right tools that will help you plan and make the most out of your vacation:

1. Jauntaroo

Jauntaroo is a unique vacation finder that automatically provides travel recommendations based on your preferences. The platform works by letting you specify your preferred airport, desired vacation activities, and your budget per person. After you click Find Matches, you will be presented with a list of popular destinations along with the estimated costs of airfare and hotels.

2. Facebook

Surprised? You probably are, but Facebook has become a popular platform for spotting your next destination. According to Adweek, 52% of Facebook users state that a friend's vacation photo inspired them to start plans of their own. Of course, you can also use Facebook to look for travel photos from popular social media influencers.

3. Uber

It shouldn't be a surprise to see Uber - a leading alternative transportation app - in a list of tools you can use for vacations. Take note that some vacationers take charge of their flights and hotel bookings, but would still rely on local companies for the actual tours. Rather than shelling out more cash and surrendering your control over your time and money, you can simply pull out your phone and request for a ride to the next location you have in mind.

4. Loc8NearMe

If you feel like going on city tours around the world, then finding key establishments such as gas stations, restaurants, ATMs, and shops can be a challenge. Loc8NearMe is a simple website that allows you to search for these establishments and facilities by entering your current location. The site also lists the store hours of popular brands so you can plan every detail of your trip by the hour.

5. KAYAK

Whether you need to look for hotels, cruises, flights, or anything else that would matter in your vacation plan, a quick search on KAYAK will help you find the best value for your money. The platform utilizes listings from websites like TripAdvisor, Booking.com, and Expedia so you can compare prices at half the time. It also offers itinerary management tools, flight trackers, and price alerts so you'll be 100% ready by the time you leave your doorstep.

6. TripIt

At this point, you now have all the tools for individual details such as your flight, hotel room, and desired destinations. The next step is to use a platform to put everything together into one, cohesive vacation plan. TripIt consolidates all your booking confirmation emails into a single master itinerary. Your schedule includes your reservations, key contact information, directions, and a bunch of other details that are relevant to your trip. In case you're unhappy with your itinerary or would like to modify a few things, you can always edit your plan manually using the app.

7. Trail Wallet

It's normal behavior to avoid checking your bank account balance for a few weeks right after a long vacation. That is, if you failed to keep track of your budget and went overboard. While this is usually an indication that you had a great time, you can use an app like Trail Wallet to stay ahead of your travel budget. It utilizes data visualizations like graphs, charts, and color-coded lists to help you keep track of everything.

Although there are numerous budgeting apps similar to Trail Wallet, those are not specifically tailored to vacation plans. It's only downside is that it's only available for Apple devices. This leaves Android users with traditional budgeting tools like Spending Tracker, Money Lover, and Mint.