Tech for Today

Digital Travel Planning

[ February 2020 | By Clint Fix ]

Valentine’s day is upon us! Now’s the time to start planning that romantic getaway. I want to make sure you have the tools to craft a seamless, memorable experience.

Often, when planning flights for a vacation, people tend to go to sites like Expedia. While they’re not a bad choice, you’d be better off going with a flight search engine like Kayak or Hipmunk. These flight search engines pull flight prices (including taxes and fees) from a variety of resellers like Expedia so you can make sure you’re getting the best price possible. Hipmunk also has a cool feature that rates flights by “agony.” In other words, it serves up flights that have fewer stops and less long layovers, making your travel less agonizing. Keep in mind, though,   that some airlines, like my favorite, Southwest, only allow you to book directly through their website.

Where you’re staying on your romantic night or vacation makes a major impact on the mood and experience, so you want to make sure you find a great place to stay. If you’re looking for a quality hotel, Hipmunk is a great place to look. Take a few extra minutes to pull up the property on TripAdvisor as well. Read through the reviews, whichi will give you a great feel for the property. Though hotels are great, I’d recommend trying something new: stay in an AirBnB. I stay in an AirBnB at least 75% of the time when traveling now. If you’re not familiar with AirBnB, it’s a trusted site for booking a stay in someone else’s house, condo, room, etc. If you’re traveling with a family or multiple people, it’s usually by far the most cost-effective option, while still being able to enjoy a great place to stay. Give it a try! You might not ever go back to hotels.

Don’t think I forgot about food! What’s a romantic getaway without a romantic meal? When you’re traveling to a new area, especially a larger city, I recommend downloading the Yelp app. Many businesses have a love/hate relationship with it, but as a consumer, it’s a wonderful tool for finding new restaurants, gauging their atmosphere and food, and finding excellent meal recommendations. It’s my go-to app when traveling to find interesting new places to eat.

The good news is that with a few key strokes and clicks on your keyboard, tablet, or phone, you can plan an entire vacation, from flights, to transportation, lodging, and meals. Even pre-book special sidetrips or buy tickets to events at your destination. It’s a digital travel-planning world out there.

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope these tips help you build a better romantic getaway! *

Clint Fix is the owner of FlashFix, a we-come-to-you iPhone, iPad, and Mac service and repair company. Learn more at FlashFixGJ.com