It’s travel season, so let’s talk about some online tools to help with your family’s travel.

You have so much to do before you travel. Manage the work projects you need to take care of. Finalize any last minute things for kids. Figure out what to take. Pack. Get to the airport on time or leave at the perfect time for a road trip to avoid traffic.

How do you know what you want to see when you’re there? Did you get a guide book? Maybe you used Google? Did you hear about a place in an article or book you recently read and you’ll mimic whatever you read? Are Facebook friends where you go for advice?

So many places to find information and it’s often a lot to keep track of. Here are a few tools that might help with all the travel chaos.

Before you leave

First, Tripit can keep all your itineraries in order. A friend suggested it for keeping the usual work travel for her household (both she and her husband travel a lot for work). Even if it’s one trip a year, Tripit can help keep all the info in order – how you get there, where you’re staying and for how long, etc. When we’ve traveled internationally, we have all the info for everything we’ve purchased (e.g.,airline tickets, train tickets, hotel info, etc.). And I don’t have to bring pages of info or take time looking through email when you get to your destination. Yay!

What about those last minute questions about where you’re going? You can check something like Tripadvisor or Travelocity and ask a question. Or, there is a great tool called Trippy. You can ask your travel questions and the answers are actually vetted by the Trippy team, although there are some pretty knowledgeable travelers answering and giving information.

When you get there

What about when you’re there? The tool we use the most when we travel is GoogleMaps. And it’s not just to figure out where you are on a map or for driving somewhere. We use it to get from point A to point B, using Y kind of transportation, even when we travel internationally. You can figure out which bus or train to take, when it leaves, when it arrives, when to change buses or trains and how long you’ll wait between the two, etc. It’s truly made the travel experience so much easier for us and takes the stress out of not being uber familiar with the place we’re visiting. And helps us quickly make decisions when the kids have had enough or plan the night before to be more efficient the next day. So thankful for it. And chances are that it’s already loaded on your phone or, if not, it’s easy to load and you probably use it at home, so it might even already be loaded on your phone.

Here’s a bonus that is a suggestion from a friend. If you have time before you leave, consider putting together a Pinterest board with your kids. You can find info on places to eat, places you want to make sure to visit, and even ways to make the trip cheaper, etc. And it can help build excitement for your family and maybe help you figure out some off-the-beaten path options.  And our kids are definitely more interested and excited about travel when they’ve been engaged in the process before we leave.

Wondering if you really need a vacation, my blog on the benefits of vacation might sway you to take the trip (or staycation).

Do you have an online tool that you regularly use for travel? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.