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Can you believe I’ve only been to Canada three times and it was for only a handful of hours each time? It’s true! I grew up less than 250 miles from the Canadian border but we never went to visit. But, that is all changing this fall! Next month, MarocBaba and I are spending a week in Montreal to attend a conference for food tourism professionals and I am basking in the chance to spend serious time eating, I mean exploring, this great city!
One of the biggest challenges I have when it comes to planning trips like this is that all the planning falls to me. Now don’t get me wrong I do love planning trips BUT sometimes I’m just so stressed out with other things going on that I don’t have the time to invest in doing the research. I’m always on the lookout for tools that could make it simpler and more streamlined.
Relovate is a website that promises to help me do just this. So, being curious I decided to take a spin on their website to see how it works and if it would solve my issues. I was cautiously optimistic and soon discovered it has a lot of features I’ve always wanted to have but had never found.
We already had our flights booked but if you haven’t, this might be a good place to start. Like many flight aggregate websites, you can set up some possible flight options and then click “consider” to save them and compare between. I LOVE this feature. The screen was super easy to navigate and read with lots of options to narrow down my search like; flying time, layovers, layover length of time, and flying class just to name a few.
You can click to book from Relovate or you can save the searches and come back to watch prices if you’ve got time before booking. Either way, by going back to the Trip Planner, the main screen, you can research, save and book other parts of your travel with or without the flight reservation.
Hotels work much the same way as flights. You can see it in list or map form, zoom in if there’s a specific area you want, or sort by amenities and price. One thing I didn’t see was sorting by neighborhood which would be a helpful tool if you knew the neighborhoods you wanted to stay in.
I really have a very general idea of what we will do when we’re visiting so I was excited to explore the activities section. I was very surprised at just how much came up! There were many things listed that I hadn’t found in my own google research. Activities are broken down by categories, and again you can either book them or consider them. I’d suggest choosing as many that you’re interested in and then looking at them in the budget layout to see what works with your budget.
One thing that Relovate has that I have never seen on another platform is a budget tool. I think this is AMAZING for people who truly want to travel on a set budget (eek I need to get better at this!) You put in the figure that you want to spend and then you can see a full list of things you are considering. You’re able to pick and choose by simply clicking a box and the budget will subtract or add accordingly. Of course, things like food at restaurants is not going to be counted but activities, hotels and flights all are.
But, what if I wanted to add plans that weren’t made using this tool? Could I add them in? The answer is yes. It’s really easy to add any reservations or events you already have by clicking the events tab. Seriously, it couldn’t be any easier.
But, my favorite feature?
I have always been searching for a tool that let’s me organize the restaurants I want to try when I go somewhere new but have never found anything that did it in a way that made sense. I wanted to be able to search for restaurants and save them in a way that was easy to refer back to – Relovate does that. I can even choose food near the hotel that I choose (or use the food nearby to narrow down the hotels I’m comparing). I use TripAdvisor a lot to search and save food suggestions but this is much easier, and the visual component makes a lot of sense.
Oh, one more thing you can invite people to collaborate as well as share your itinerary. Planning a trip with a friend? Add them as a collaborator so that you can work together to plan things.
I have to say, I am really impressed with how this platform works. The next time you’re planning a trip, give Relovate a try to, I think you’ll love it!