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There are two kinds of travelers in the world; those that love planning a trip and those that hate it. I love the planning stages. I spend a lot of time researching the best routes, what to do, where to eat, and backup plans for each place we go. Sometimes however, I just don’t have the time or desire to do it – I just want to take the trip! After our summer visit to the US we’ve decided to spend a week in northern Europe; the Netherlands and Belgium to be exact.
Knowing I was just not in planning mode, I reached out to RoutePerfect to collaborate and put together this post on an amazing tool to help plan visits to Europe. First, I fell down a rabbit hole playing with this tool – it really is a lot of fun for the planner minded like myself! But, it’s also great if you just want to get an itinerary together as quick and easy as possible while taking your wants and needs into consideration. The best of both worlds.
The starting page is very easy to navigate. All you do is put in the basics around your trip. Starting and ending points, date your trip will start, how long it will last, and what kind of trip it is. I played with the different trip types to see what kind of results came up and they were different, so your results won’t just be standard picks but specialized to the type of experience you want.
The next screens will walk you through how the platform works in a very quick tutorial and then you’re off! To the left are toggle bars where you can adjust how much of each kind of thing you want. I moved mine all the way to the right for good food, to the left for night life and everything else somewhere in the middle. Adjusting these changes the destinations on the map.
On the right your city choices will appear. You can adjust the number of days you’d like in each. For example it gave us 2 days in Amsterdam to start with but we’ll be visiting Amsterdam on our way to the US so I changed that number to 0. I however wanted to keep it as our starting point as it is where we will land. RoutePerfect isn’t able to let you purchase train tickets on the site but does have a link in your itinerary to buy the tickets. I wanted to keep everything for the trip in one place so I kept Amsterdam as our starting point for this reason.
The cities listed are put in the order that makes the most sense for travel but you can rearrange them if you want. You also can exclude suggested destinations by clicking an “x” at the corner of the place name. You can see I excluded Disneyland Paris and The Hague from the suggestions. When you remove one, a new place pops up in your itinerary.
When you’ve got your route determined you can move into the booking stage.
This is really the part that impressed me a lot. I have spent more hours than I care to admit booking hotels. In our information, I put that I was interested in moderate priced hotels. RoutePerfect pulled up a suggested hotel for us (2 adults, 2 kids sharing a room) make sure to adjust your rooming arrangements correctly. It then gave suggestions for less expensive and more expensive hotels if we wanted to go above or below our original budget.
Having this in one place is so amazing. It also lists the hotels cancellation policy on the screen so you know without having to do more research. I think this is a really great feature.
Once I finished all my selections the right price populated at the top of the screen for the trip. This price includes hotels and any tours or additional add-ons. If you don’t have them yet, you can book flights from this screen too. When you’re happy with everything you simply click book your trip and input payment information.
But, I wondered was it really a discount??
I decided to compare the prices using the booking tool I normally do.
Hotel Van Walsum – 2 nights @ $179 = $358
Hotel Gravensteen – 2 rooms for 3 nights @ $131 = $393
The Panatone – 2 nights @ $115 = $230
Booking TOTAL Individually: $1374
Booking with RoutePerfect: $945.83
In this case there is a big savings, not to mention it would have taken me a long time looking up hotels and my time is worth something! If you book all the accommodations together as a package on Route Perfect you can get access to rates that you wouldn’t normally be able to. There’s always some ‘voidage’ in the industry i.e. rooms that hotels haven’t been able to sell. These need, to be filled, so hotels will greatly reduce the prices on them to shift them. However, they’re not allowed to undercut the big player sites so they can’t publish these prices.
I wasn’t really sure what to think of this site, having used several like it in the past however I am really happy with the results. If you’re planning to visit Europe and are a little unsure where to start try it. They also have itineraries that are ready depending on the length of your trip. If you’re ready to be your own travel agent than give it a try!
I’m happy to report that we’ve got a solid plan in place for our adventures. Hope you’ll love exploring these two countries with us in September! I’ll be sharing pictures on Instagram and Facebook of course!