The smell of barbeques and sun cream filling the air can only mean one thing: summer is finally upon us. For millions of people, it’s also time to get out of the city for a few days. But first, start jogging your brain for summer vacation ideas.
If you’ve not booked a vacation yet, you’re running out of time. So, what are you waiting for? Use one of these 15 apps and websites to find the inspiration for your perfect getaway (or go somewhere entirely random).
Cruises are renowned for selling out well in advance, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bag a cheap last-minute deal if you know where to look.
iCruise works with all the leading cruise operators (including Carnival, Cunard, Princess, Regent Seven Seas, and Royal Caribbean) to offer trips to Alaska, the Bahamas, Bermuda, the Caribbean, Hawaii, Europe, and the Panama Canal.
To find your perfect trip, head straight to the Advanced Cruise Search. It lets you filter by duration, destination, cruise operator, and date.
Travel and Leisure is one of the largest travel sites on the web. It publishes several articles a week, all of which are guaranteed to fill you with summer vacation ideas.
Make sure you check out the site’s World’s Best section. Ten minutes of browsing will provide enough ideas for a lifetime of vacations.
It’s also worth spending some time browsing the Trip Ideas section. As the name suggests, it’s packed with ideas that’ll help you come up with the right holiday to suit your passions. All the recommendations are packaged into neat categories for easy perusal.
When you’re booking a flight, it’s notoriously difficult to know whether you’re getting a good deal. The prices change as often as the wind. Thankfully, it isn’t that difficult to find and score cheap airline tickets.
But Hitlist makes our list thanks to its innovative Explore Lists. You can add destinations you’d like to visit, and you’ll receive a notification as soon as the price drops.
There’s also an interest-based flight search engine. Tell the app the types of activities you enjoy doing, and Hitlist will recommend destinations and flight plans to match.
Also, make sure you check out the company’s Wandertab Chrome extension. It replaces Chrome’s new tab page with a photo of a stunning location somewhere on Earth, along with how much it would cost to get there.
Download: Hitlist for Android | iOS (Free, offers in-app purchases)
One of the lesser-known apps of Google’s collection, Google Trips is the ultimate trip-planning companion.
Plug in your reservations, travel tickets, and other relevant information, and the app will automatically plan your days for you. All the data is available offline; you won’t get hit with an unexpected roaming bill when you get home.
Skiplagged specializes in finding “hidden city” trips.
A hidden city trip involves not boarding the last leg of a multi-stop flight. For example, if you’re traveling from New York to Dallas, a direct flight might be $300 while a flight from New York to Los Angeles with a stopover in Dallas might only be $200. The app will show you both options.
One of the best ways to see a country is on two wheels. You can get to places that are inaccessible by car and too far away on foot.
So, if you’re looking for some two-wheel based travel ideas, check out Western Spirit. It offers trips across multiple ability levels for families, couples, and individuals. Trips are available across the US.
Localeur offers recommendations from locals in more than 80 global cities. It will help you find the best places to eat, drink, sleep, and visit while you’re in a new land. Reading localized reviews is a great way to inspire a few vacation ideas.
If you hate the usual tourist trips, give this app/website a try.
Vacations don’t have to involve getting on a plane or boat. Most people have barely scratched the surface of the treasures to be found in their own country.
So, why not hit the highway this summer and plan the road trip of a lifetime? The Roadtrippers app will show you everything from local diners and roadside attractions to scenic points and national parks across hundreds of suggested trips.
The website offers advanced search features and a fantastic trip guides section. It’s divided into inspirational sections such as Camping and Road Trips, Scenic Drives, Classic American Trips, and Destination Guides.
Trekaroo offers family summer vacation ideas in the United States, the UK, Italy, France, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
Scroll down the website’s homepage, and you will see categories such as “Funky Fun Hotels Your Kids Will Never Forget,” “Wonderful Places to Enjoy Spring Flowers with Kids,” and “Take Learning on The Road!” Each section is packed with ideas.
Available on: Android, iOS
Traveling with young children can be a challenge. Toddlers are not easy to entertain and, depending on their age, you might need changing facilities, playgrounds, family-friendly restaurants, and so on.
Winnie helps you come up with summer vacation ideas by showing you which places meet your family’s needs.