Top Online Travel Tools: TripPlanner by AirTreksWe just got the inside scoop on the multi-destination trip planning tool from AirTreks, TripPlanner. Now here's our blog editor's look at the tool itself. The TripPlanner welcome screen presented me with two options I didn't quite comprehend yet (could I move pins around on the map to create my route?) but I was excited to find out and clicked "Start Planning Your Trip."
Is it possible to feel excited about booking a pretend trip? I was feeling the butterflies.Where should I pretend to go? TripPlanner helped me out by asking, "Which region do you want to travel to?" Okay, that's pretty non-committal. I can do region. Let's go with Asia - South East. I scrolled down, found The Philippines and clicked. A bunch of different cities appeared. For a split second I panicked about picking a city, but then I looked up and saw the red "Go Back" button, which I found very reassuring. I could easily go back and pick another region with which I was more familiar.
Then again, I'm feeling adventurous. Let's go with Cebu. That's one place I recognize.I clicked and lo and behold I was presented with info about my choice. So if I hadn't known anything about Cebu, I would still have an idea for whether or not that was a place to look into visiting. And who wouldn't want to go there? Tropical island hopping, a rich history and easy access to ferries to the beach is a pretty compelling description. I clicked on "Add to my route" and a cute little entry instantly appeared in "My Route." Ooh and if you look, there's now a little red dot on the map. Fun! Not being one to resist seeing what buttons do, I hovered over the yellow button. It said "Drag to Change Order." Wow. You mean I could add destinations and then just drag them around to change the order. Cool! I naturally clicked on the blue "View Details" button next. Aha! I could pick a departure date and make a note. What did the "Priority" mean? I wasn't sure, but maybe once I added another destination I would find out. TripPlanner had conveniently displayed a choice of regions once again. It reminded me of having a really great server at a restaurant. You know, the ones that seem to know what you need almost before you do. I decided to add Africa - North, West and Central. Then I realized I preferred to visit South Africa, so I easily changed my mind by clicking on the red "Go Back" button. I knew that button would come in handy! I navigated down to South Africa and picked Cape Town. I like melting pots. And yes Table Mountain was on my must-see-one-day list. Rock climbing sounded fun and maybe surfing but not so much shark diving. I practically have a phobia of sharks even in a swimming pool (long story involving a sitter who let 5-year-old me watch Jaws). To get a good sense for the tool, I should probably add another destination. This time I didn't hesitate. I knew exactly where I wanted to go - Marrakesh! Now I had three destinations which meant - yes I could play with the "Change Order" feature! Look at that! With a quick drag and drop I now had an inverted route. Imagine if I had a dozen destinations that I could re-order. My inner nerdy kid would have a ball! More importantly, if I were planning a multi-destination trip, the TripPlanner tool would take a task that would be a pain on any other site and make it really straightforward and (for some of us) even kind of fun. Our Top Online Travel Tools series is intended to be useful for travelers and the posts are not sponsored. The reviews are created by and are the opinion of our blog editor. If you have a site you would like considered for the series, write to contact (at) tripping (dot) com.