Can anyone recommend a good trip itinerary planning service or app? Ideally, I’d want both – a web site that has a mobile app to access its services on the go. This service would keep track of a trip itinerary, showing what’s planned for each day. Gotta be able to add places, attractions, events, lodging, etc by name but also show these locations on a map. Need to share this itinerary with others going on the trip. These other travelers should be able to add other locations they’re interested in seeing. They can also leave comments on locations. Sounds basic right? Sadly, I haven’t found anything that works completely.
I started with TripAdvisor that covers most of my needs. The reviews and data behind TripAdvisor make it a great place to start. But I’m running into problems adding small attractions to a TripAdvisor saved trip. It’s easy to add the mainstream attractions, but say you wanted to visit a specific 7-Eleven in Kyoto (for whatever reason), you’d probably have a hard time in TripAdvisor since this mundane location won’t have an entry. So how do you add that spot to your saved trip itinerary?
TripAdvisor uses Google Maps to visually depict my trip locations, but it doesn’t fully integrate with Google Maps. I can’t pull up my TA-saved locations using the Google Maps app. I manually re-enter them into Google Maps.
Google Maps and Trips
So a search for “trip planning itinerary” reminded me of Google’s recent Trips mobile app. It’s mobile only and kinda useful if you have no real itinerary set while on your trip since the app will give you suggestions. Too basic for what I need, but it does integrate with my saved locations in Google Maps.
Google Maps is just that, maps. This is useful in and of itself, but you can’t build an itinerary solely off of a map. It does help plan your trip since you can easily see locations in a region and get approximate travel times. I tried adding multiple layers in the My Maps area where one layer corresponded to one day. But there’s a (small) limit to how many layers your map can have, so that was a no go.
Sadly, Google Docs seems like the eventual winner for my predicament although I don’t like it. Sure, it can sorta do the job but isn’t the most elegant match for what I ideally want. I can add links to all the places that we’re going to or plan to go to. I can share and collaborate on Docs, and I can add the link to my shared Google Maps. But it’s so not what I want.
There has to be something! Sound off below.