As exciting as new adventures are, planning them can often be a pain. For me, it gets to the point where I end up winging it then having no idea what to do when I get to my destination. I’m all for spur-of-the-moment adventures, but it’s hard to deny the benefits of doing your research and planning ahead. I preach spontaneity, but in reality, as soon as I find someone who’s done their research, I cling to them like a fly to honey.
My struggle with planning is that I don’t ever know where to start. I love looking up things to do in a destination. Writing them down and remembering them is another story. It takes me back to my college days of studying for a test. At best, I’ll open up the Notes app, type in 20 different places I want to visit and then completely forget I ever wrote it. I’m a mess, but you probably already knew that.
I just wrapped up a 3-month road trip and am in preparation to settle down in Mexico for the winter months. During the road trip, my sister and I would find ourselves driving to places and then sitting around like… “So, what do you want to do?”
“I don’t know.”
And then wasting the entire morning deciding what to do and losing half of the day. I discovered Wanderlog towards the tail end of my road trip, while looking through a list of the best vacation planning apps. Thankfully, I found it before taking off for Mexico. The differences in preparation for these two trips have been quite stark. With Wanderlog, a road trip planner, in hand, I hope to never lose a day of travel to lack of preparation or knowledge ever again.
My Favorite Features of Wanderlog
I’m discovering new things to love about Wanderlog each time I use it, but for now, these stand out the most to me. From aesthetic to functionality, it excels where similar apps falter.
Easy To Learn and Use
As tech-savvy as I am, I like simplicity. I’ve used travel apps before, only to find myself overwhelmed by unnecessary features or complex interfaces. Oh, your app needs a long and winding tutorial to tell me how to use it? Whoops, I’ve already exited out. Within seconds of signing up for Wanderlog, I was recording my trip to Moab and then crafting an itinerary for the few weeks I was about to spend in Denver.
Sure, you’ll need a bit of time experimenting and exploring the app to truly take advantage of all its neat features, but that’ll come naturally as you browse through and craft your own itineraries. Whether you are looking to get your trip organized by the hour or just scraping together a broad idea of what you want to do, Wanderlog is an incredibly helpful tool for how simple it is to figure out.
Auto-Generated and User-Created Itineraries
One of my favorite tools on flight websites is the “take me anywhere” option. I’m pretty indecisive, so sometimes, I’ll let the universe decide where I should go next. I often do the same thing when I’m browsing through Wanderlog. Without a destination or preference in mind, I’ll just scroll through and discover places that I’d never even heard of before. Sometimes, that’s how you end up on the greatest adventures. Like I said, I’m not a planner, but I am a dreamer. Wanderlog fulfills that aspect of travel for me, and I’ll find myself immersed in the adventures of fellow Wanderloggers through marvelous destinations that I’ve yet to discover.
And of course, when you actually need information on a specific destination you’ll be going to, no one does it better than Wanderlog. For off-the-beaten-path destinations, Wanderlog lets you skip the Google phase of trip planning and auto-generates itineraries and ideas for you. For example, I typed in Tulum, where I blindly decided to settle for a few months with little knowledge of the area or what to do here. Although a user-created itinerary had yet to be made on the app, Wanderlog scraped together four potential auto-generated itineraries. I browsed through what they found and walked away with a multitude of incredible things I wanted to do. It took about two minutes for something that would usually take me hours of Googling and reading travel blogs.
Functionality and App Integration
I was genuinely surprised just by how many useful tools were included in Wanderlog. From major things like itinerary planning to smaller things like showing the travel time between attractions, it really gives you a comprehensive tool for planning an adventure.
As an itinerary mapper, it is unmatched. Unlike other apps, it allows you to add an unlimited number of stops to your itinerary. This is crucial for road trips and long-term travels. It truly makes Wanderlog one of the most comprehensive trip planners out there.
Many of the features are well-integrated with other apps on your phone, like Google Maps. When planning your itinerary, you don’t just get to pick as many destinations as you want. Wanderlog will also tell you how far those destinations are from one another, incorporating travel time into your itinerary. Gone are the days of trying to squeeze too much into your travel days and ending up disappointed with half your day spent in taxis.
Collaborative Trip Planning
Another thing that Wanderlog excels at, and where many travel apps falter, is at collaborative trip planning. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve seen any app get this aspect right until Wanderlog. Although I love traveling solo, travel is often much more fun with friends. Grab your travel buddies and hop on Wanderlog and plan a trip together.
Wanderlog is Completely Free
I’m a budget traveler through and through. I mean, I just arrived in Tulum and instead of taking the direct bus from the airport, I took three different local buses to save like $3. Asking me to pay $10 for an app if I don’t even know if I’m going to like it? Nah. Even $.99 is a hard sell for me. I could get like three delicious tacos down here in Mexico for that price.
With Wanderlog, you can get the app and the tacos. You legit have nothing to lose. Download the app and try it out. At worst, you spent $0. At best, you’ve transformed the way you plan and execute your travels entirely.
How I Use Wanderlog
For Getting Trip Inspiration:
Wanderlog is an app for everybody. Whether you’re an active planner or a casual browser like me, it’s a great tool to pick up ideas and recommendations from fellow travelers. It’s an app for travelers, by travelers. And right now, with international travel being slowed to a halt, it’s important to explore and discover new places right in your backyard. Whether you’re planning an international trip to Japan for the future, or simply want to check out a new vegan restaurant in San Francisco, Wanderlog’s got something for you.
Browsing the Internet for travel blogs and guides can often be a task, one that rarely bears fruit. The top results are usually TripAdvisor pushing overpriced tours in your face, or Lonely Planet’s often outdated forums. Now, I love all of my fellow travelers, but you can probably imagine that “The Partying Traveler” won’t have the same interests as Karen or Jimbo on TripAdvisor. That’s where Wanderlog feels different, as many of the guides you’ll find will give a name, face, and personality to the content. That gives you a much better idea of whether a particular itinerary or recommendation is one that fits your interests or style of travel.
For Planning and Recording Trips:
Travel sticks with you forever. The best part of travel is that long after you’ve left a place, those memories and photos remain. A huge part of why I travel blog is for myself. I love trying to capture the essence of adventure at its purest, allowing me to relive some of my life’s most enchanting moments. Another big part of why I travel blog is for other people. If I can inspire others to get out there and show them how to do it, then I’ve done my part in helping bring the world a little closer together. Travel opens up your eyes and your heart to other people and cultures. I genuinely believe that if everyone traveled more, the world would be a better place.
Wanderlog offers a platform to give and take inspiration and easily digestible information as much as you’d like. And it really lets you go into detail. Whether you’re planning a trip for the future or recording a trip you’ve already completed, Wanderlog starts you off with a great structure. I’ll usually start with some local tips and important things to note about the destination, like the recommend way of getting around. I’ll add in places to stay, restaurants and bars to visit, and of course, the best things to do in the area. For longer trips with multiple destinations, you can even break down the itinerary day-by-day or destination by destination. Voila. You have your entire trip mapped out in a comprehensive, but easily digestible format.
How To Download Wanderlog
Wanderlog is available for free on the Apple Store and Google Play Store. You can also browse their website for itineraries, but since you’ll be on the go, the best way to experience Wanderlog is on your phone. It’s a perfect tool for adventuring on the move.