Trips and tours are awesome, but planning them isn’t. Yes, you can leave it to a travel agency to book you on a package tour and skip all the hassles of planning a trip but, package tours are just that – packages. They’re not customized to your taste as the agency has to satisfy the rest of the group too.
Wanderfly promises to expose you the true joy and thrill of travel, planning everything all by yourself, right from the very beginning. After jump, we will be exploring how far does Wanderfly measure up to making good on the promise.
Wanderfly answers the basic question every tourist begins with – “Where can I go?”. Wanderfly is a personalized recommendation engine that helps you discover new and exciting outdoor experiences, based on your budget and interests. Suggestions for more than 1,200 destinations worldwide are available and you can match them with thousands of activities.
Wanderfly helps you take charge and start exploring your options. With this web app, you can find, organize, share and book your travel, all in one place, to visit places you’ve never heard of amongst other famous tourist hotspots.
Wanderfly is currently in Beta and is a free service. Signing up is straight forward in juts two steps and is not necessary for using the web app. If you are going t plan multiple trips and save the plans, then you will need a Wanderfly account.
Planning a Trip
There’s no dashboard to speak of and, even after logging in, you’ll be taken to the trip planning options from the homepage. Select the place from where you’ll be leaving and the destination you’re planning to visit. In both cases, locations will start auto populating along with the country where they are located to avoid confusion. I am going to plan a trip to Las Vegas to visit our beloved editor and get to taste some exotic “flavored” ice tea he has been hoarding.
Use the draggable arrow keys to set your budget, when you’re planning the tour and the duration of the visit. Now, the location that you are planning to visit might have multiple attractions but, due to your budget or a tighter schedule, you might want to skip some places that aren’t on the top of your list. Wanderfly lets you select your interests by just clicking on them.
Now, why would I want to visit places of cultural importance when I am in Vegas of all the places in the world? So I selected casino, shopping, entertainment, party and just tuned out the rest. It’s time to hit Get Going and after a pretty looking status page, Wanderfly takes you to the grand tour plan.
The Tour Plan
Before getting into what’s displayed in the tour plan, let me just say awesome. Awesome. With all the inputs, I was expecting an endless page with links to some clubs, hotels and airline tickets. Instead, you have a page with a short description of the destination and a few images of places worth visiting.
Tucked neatly into their respective tabs is the ability to see which of your Facebook friends are actually residing there, so that you can drop by and say hello. Tabs showing the climate in the months of your visit and latest local news are also there. Reviews, travel tips and currency conversion options are on the way.
Below the tabs, we have the round trip ticket and the hotel to stay chosen based on the budget you have specified. There is a grand total of charges you will incur during the trip and when you change your tour plan, the grand total changes as well.
Taking into account the interests you specified earlier, Wanderfly shows a list of suggestions with tiny icons on the top left corner indicating the category it belongs to. If you select any of the suggested places to visit, Wanderfly automatically replaces it with another similar place. Nice Touch!
Finetuning the Tour Plan
Wanderfly’s ability to allow changes to the tour plan whenever needed is indeed a killer feature. If you aren’t satisfied with the flight or would like to upgrade to first class instead of coach, you can do so at any point in the planning process. The number of tickets, time of flight and even carriers can be changed from the plan.
In the same manner, you can change the hotel you plan to stay with from the one that was suggested by Wanderfly’s algorithm. Options to find a hotel based on their closeness to the city and star rating is an added plus. You can narrow your search by price per night of stay using the slider. All listed hotels have a description, an image, their start rating and the distance from the city centre.
Booking the Trip
Once all the planning and tweaking is done, you can go ahead and pay for the dream tour of yours. Wanderfly shows the complete break down of charges prior to submitting the details and making the payment. All bookings happen via Expedia and both hotel bills and airline tickets are paid for.
With Wanderfly you can plan and save multiple trips without having to have to pay for them until you’re ready to take the leap. Wanderfly’s USP is its brilliant design that doesn’t overwhelm the user. While using Wanderfly, I was more and more inclined in taking the trip, while I was not there in the first place to plan a trip. The simplicity with which you can fine tune all the details of your travel, to suit the budget and schedule is just mind blowing. Wanderfly is a breath of fresh air and I suggest all backpackers give this wonderful web app a try.
Share Your Thoughts!
What is your take on Wanderfly and its super easy tour planning service? Do you know of another great app just like this one? Share you thoughts in the comments section. Thanks!