MY TOP 5 FAVORITE TRAVEL PLANNING TOOLS
Planning for any sort of trip can be overwhelming. Here are some of my favorite travel planning tools.
Google My Maps
Create custom maps
Access: Google Drive
App Store: Google Play
Cost: Free with personal gmail account
Google My Maps is a map planning tool that let's you categorize, layer, and filter saved locations all in one convenient view. It's a free app on Google Drive for those who have a gmail account. You can share and collaborate with fellow travelers to streamline travel plans or create reference maps to download for offline use in foreign countries.
I'm a huge fan of this platform because it keeps my travel research organized and allows me to familiarize myself with places I am unfamiliar with. You can properly plan where to stay in relation to the activities you want to do - or vise versa depending on what you wish to prioritize. I also use Google My Maps to make custom travel guides and reference maps for my readers.
Featured map: IKON vs. EPIC
The Outbound Collective
The Outbound Collective is a community sourced travel website where outdoor enthusiasts can find everything from local activities, how-to guides, and lodging options around the world. Written for adventurers, by adventurers. You can create lists, save travel guides, and share your experiences with other like minded travelers.
You can search adventures if you have a specific destination in mind or you can browse the stories section to get inspired on where to travel to next.
Adventure is more fun with friends. Join the community!
Cost: Free (Pro version available)
Explore hiking, biking, and backpacking trails with trail info, maps, detailed reviews, and photos. Search with filters based on experience level, trail length, elevation gain, and many others. Get GPS directions to trailheads, create custom lists, and log your hikes.
I use AllTrails a lot when I travel, especially if I am hiking solo or unfamiliar with the area. I've discovered new hikes in my own backyard that I would have never known about otherwise. It's especially helpful if I am hiking with the pup and need to find a dog-friendly trail or I'm limited on time and want to find a hike close-by. AllTrails is a great resource for any outdoor enthusiast.
*Pro Tip: They offer an upgraded version (AllTrails Pro for $29.99/year) with access to more features and map layers but the free version is all you need.
Personal weather forecaster for the mountains
Cost: Free (All-access version available)
OpenSnow gives you access to weather forecasts, storm trends, snow reports, and live mountain cams for over 2,000 mountain locations. Get a custom forecast report and compare snowfalls across your favorite mountains. See hourly forecasts for up to 3 days and daily forecasts for up to 10 days. Being able to see the predicted snowfall per hour gives you a better idea of when (and when not) to be on the roads.
OpenSnow is a must-have travel tool. You don't need the all-access version, the free subscription is more than enough for most travelers. However, if you are like me and like to geek out on weather then I highly recommend the All-access subscription ($19.99/year).
Get $5 off OpenSnow All-Access subscription!
Discount code: RC427EEE
Summer service providing precipitation, lightning, temperature, and wind forecasts for the 1,000 highest and most notable mountains across the United States. OpenSummit is currently only an iPhone app but they are working quickly to get a full website and Android service up and running.
A map showing real-time road conditions including chain controls, snow plow locations, and live cam views.
*note this is for California only. Each state has their own department of transportation - check to see if a similar app exists for your state.