I was just looking through Pinterest and planning 100 different vacations (typical!) and thought that how I keep all these ideas organized might be a helpful thing to share. I hate it when you get a great recommendation of somewhere to go to, but once you’re at the location you forget what it was. People are always telling me about their trips and the favorite places they went to, I finally came up with a pretty good way of organizing it.
The first and most obvious: Pinterest. I keep a general travel board with all of the different ideas, but when I’m planning a more finalized trip I usually create a secret board with ideas specific to that location. Plus the more of that category/location you pin, the more specific pin recommendations get to your vacation, which can be helpful.
The bad thing about Pinterest, or what happens to me when I try and plan with it, is that things get lost in the shuffle and it’s hard to remember what were serious suggestions or what posts had great content. A lot of pins are beautiful, but don’t offer enough information or detail to be helpful while planning.
Evernote comes in clutch again. I created a notebook in Evernote for simply travel ideas, and have a note for each destination. In each note I have little lists in categories: Places to Go, Hotels, Restaurants, Shopping, Bars, etc.. Then, as people are telling me about a sandwich shop I have to go to in Colorado, I just pull out the app and make a quick note (Denver Biscuit Company was the recommendation, if you’re curious!). When I’m planning later I know that this are solid suggestions and not just something I though was pretty online. I also pull URL’s from helpful posts that I read too for reference.
Anything I need to add to my Portland list!?
Google My Maps
This is something that I started to do for our Boston trip and I’m using as well for when we hit Colorado this fall. Basically you can create your own map and pin locations or driving directions to it. Then you can categorize your pins with different icons, add layers for days/pin types, color code pins, share it with all of the people going.
It’s really helpful to organize your must-do’s so that you hit places that are close to each other at the same time, instead of running around back and forth. I learned it over at The College Prepster, but there are a lot of tutorial videos Youtube. You can start creating a map though your google drive by clicking the drop down for ‘new’ and selecting map, then feel free to organize away!
Another great resource if you’re planning a road trip that I recommend using is RoadTrippers. The site help you plan your trip by entering your start and end points, and finding attractions within the route. There’s filters for all different things you would want to look for, restaurants, scenic views, parks, abandon places, and you can adjust the distance off your path you’re willing to travel. Plus, you can save trips to reference for later, really helpful for those long summer road trips! Follow them on Social Media too, they’re always posting about unique and fun places to see around the country.
And the last one I want to mention: Instagram. Although it’s best for social media and making boomerangs, it’s also helpful in finding great insta-worthy spots at your destination. Search for the place of where ever you’re going, you can save photos of places that look picture perfect or restaurants you wanna check out when you visit to your collection to view when you’re ready to plan. Or you can always just screenshot the photo and save to a specific trip album on your phone, that’s how I used to do it!
How do you plan a vacation?!