Use discount coupon "TWB2016" to save $50 on packages over $500.
In 2014 we spent most of the year travelling around Europe via road and rail (with occasional flights). Although it was a dream journey, exploring the most beautiful cities, eating delectable foods and ticking off items from our bucket list, it was also a monumental organisational feat (especially considering we’ve got 2 young kids). This involved hundreds of hours researching hotels, road routes, rail timetables, flight schedules, visas, and more.
I just wish someone could help make it all easier.
So you can imagine my relief when I discovered RoutePerfect. I was relieved that some smart folks created a tool to save hours planning and researching travel, but also angry that I didn’t have access to it for our previous European trip.
What is RoutePerfect?
Before I get into the nuts and bolts, it’s important to understand what RoutePerfect is. This is your one-stop planning AND booking tool to organise a trip around Europe (more countries and regions being added in the future). It’s like your own personal travel agent. It helps you decide on an itinerary, finds the best hotels and car hire and then books it all with 1 simple form. And best of all you can save up to 20% of regular rates.
I’d like to help you avoid the same frustration I experienced organising a trip around Europe the ol' fashioned way. So here’s a few tips on how to get the most out of RoutePerfect.
1) Decide what type of traveller you are.
Do you prefer someone else to take care of all the “thinking” and you can just go along for the ride? Or do you like having control of every aspect of the journey?
If you want a hands-free experience, take a look at the top itineraries that have already planned out. You can simply filter the list of suggested itineraries by 3 factors: country, vacation type (romantic, friends, family, solo), and number of days. Done. It doesn’t get any easier.
Or if you want to tinker with the itinerary, you can either edit an existing one or build your own from scratch.
2) Set your budget
RoutePerfect can cater to different types of travellers: budget, moderate and luxury. If you’re willing to spend a little more for nicer hotels, shopping around has been done for you with just 1 click. If in doubt, you can create multiple potential itineraries and save them in your account to compare later.
3) Compare transport options
There’s more than 1 way of getting from A to B. If you want the simpler and more flexible option, you can lease a car or purchase a Eurail ticket. But RoutePerfect also provides pricing for other options like buses and ride sharing services which can be surprisingly cheap (as little as €9).
Things I Like:
1) Step by step help
When you first open the Trip Planner, handy inline help is displayed which explain all the tools at your disposal. And sensible tooltips explain icons in more detail. I love the zero learning curve.
2) Interactive map
I’m a visual sort of guy. I like to see where the cities on are located on a map in case there’s anything in the region that also strikes my fancy. Colour-coded flags for each stop on the itinerary makes reading the map very intuitive. And digging into a detailed hotel view will show the hotel location on a map so it’s easy to see how far it is from train stations and attractions.
3) Preference sliders
This is probably my favourite feature. It allows you to play around with itinerary options as if you have the expert knowledge of a local. Want more beaches? No problem. Seeking a vibrant nightlife? You’ve got it.
4) Lock in specific destinations
When planning an itinerary you’ll probably be like us and have several non-negotiable stops, while others are flexible. You can lock in specific destinations with a single click while flexible ones change depending on your preferences. What about switching one destination for another? That’s easily done too.
5) Slideshow images
Quickly get a feel for a destination by looking through relevant photos pulled in from Flickr. The overlaid captions are helpful and interesting. If you really like a photo, the convenient “pin it” button will fill up your dream board on Pinterest in no time.
6) Built-in transit times and costs
Transit times and distances are shown between each destination and can be set for public transport or private car for added flexibility. Clicking the “transportation” link at the top of the page will display context-relevant transport options and pricing from 3rd party providers.
7) One-click car hire
Once you’ve narrowed down your itinerary stops, RoutePerfect intelligently pre-fills a price check for car hire. You can review prices from different providers, and easily add it to your booking form so it’s all paid in one transaction.
8) Integrated reviews
Find out what other travellers thought about your selected hotel with detailed reviews from TripAdvisor.
9) Share and collaborate
If you’re travelling with family, friends or a group, the built-in “share” button makes it simple to share your itinerary with fellow travellers. Or if you like the feel of paper, your itinerary can be printed easily.
Things I Don’t Like:
1) Tours and attractions still have to be booked separately
But this is already being worked on. RoutePerfect will roll out more features soon (including integrated train and flight bookings) so watch this space. In the meantime, TripAdvisor links make it easy to find the top attractions in each city in your itinerary.
2) It’s only covers Europe
Again, since RoutePerfect is relatively new on the travel scene, it is continuing to grow. After the rest of Eastern Europe has been added, you can expect to see Australia soon after and I'm told down the track there are plans to add East Asia and the Americas.
The Bottom Line
I really like what RoutePerfect has evolved into within a relatively short period of time. The team behind it are experienced travellers and their deep understanding of travel is reflected in the user-friendly tool they’ve created. Once the remaining shortfalls are filled in over the coming year you can expect to see a lot more travellers using RoutePerfect from all over the world. In the meantime your next European getaway has just become much, much easier to organise.
Use discount coupon "TWB2016" to save $50 on packages over $500.
Price: Free to use
Where to find: www.routeperfect.com
Discount coupon valid until 1 March 2017
Reader Comments..."I respond to every comment by direct private email. I look forward to your feedback" - Josh Bender
i have been planning an upcoming trip to Italy on route perfect, and I agree a great planning tool. Did you book your hotel accomodations through them, or just used it as a planning tool. I really want to know if anyone has booked hotels through them, or is that portion just a scam. please advise how you used their site.
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