As you read this post, I’ll be in Des Moines, IA having a little “couples weekend” with Hubs. And frankly, between you and me, we need it. We’ve had a stressful week and a half here at Casa de Snyder, so it will be nice to get away and reconnect sans kiddos.
One of the things Hubs and I love to do before we take any trip (even a weekend getaway) is to do research. He loves figuring out the best places to eat, shop, have drinks, attractions, etc. I can’t tell you the number of times that a little research has saved our bacon…and made a so-so trip, turn into a great one.
So without further ado, here are three websites we always use when planning a trip.
We’ve been using YELP for close to six years now. The first time we used it was in Austin, TX and during that trip we found the best food trucks, frozen yogurt and local pizza shops, EVER. Since that time we’ve used YELP for trips to California, NYC, Charlotte, Cincinnati, South Dakota, Florida, and more.
To be honest, we use it exclusively to pick which restaurants we will eat at when we are on the road. And YELP never steers us wrong. You can read reviews. See pictures of food. Know if it is local or a chain. Read the menu and see the prices in advance. Plus, about 50% of the time, you can “purchase” a YELP DEAL and get a discount on your food.
Its available via website and app (I strongly recommend the app)…so you too will never have to eat at Applebee’s two nights in a row when you are on the road.
2. Trip Advisor
We just started using Trip Advisor in the last year or so.
It’s like YELP, only it has a MUCH BROADER range of topics including hotels, attractions, best of city lists and more.
We love it to find some of the “cool things not on the radar” to do when we are traveling to a new city. It also does a great job of highlighting awesome local hotels that pride themselves on service (and usually don’t have the funds to advertise on Expedia).
This sounds so stinkin’ old school, but before every road trip, Hubs goes to AAA and picks up maps and guidebooks. (So I guess it is technically NOT a website, but you get what I’m saying.)
While I love having SIRI for in-town GPS navigation, sometimes you need an old-fashioned map to make sure those 50 miles to Moab doesn’t consist of driving mountain roads. Plus, the AAA guides are LOADED with information (probably gathered over the last 30 years) about hotels and attractions. Plus, it feels a bit like Route 66 in the ’60s when you have the windows down and are reading a map to get to your next destination.
And if you missed it, here are the new posts from the week.
What are you in love with this week? See past editions of I LOVE These Things.