Travel junky that I am, I get my fix between trips, by planning our next trip. Prior to our last journey, I discovered Afar. You may be familiar with the magazine, which is lovely and awesome for getting destination ideas, but what I found to be super helpful for the actual planning of our trip was their website and app (and it’s free!).
We made 90% of our hotel and restaurant selects for our Portugal trip based on their recommendations, and there was not a dud in the bunch. We definitely felt like there were places we never would have found without Afar because they had insider/local tips that were less generic than your average travel guide.
Simply do a search on the site for your destination of choice, and you’ll get a list of recommendations that fall under the categories of Eat, Drink, Stay, Shop or Do. So if you’re looking for a hotel, for example, just click on the “stay” tab and you’ll get a list of just hotels. Then you can save the ones that interest you by creating a Trip Plan. Once you’ve got your list all set with where you want to stay and ideas for things you want to do, restaurants, etc, you can download your list(s) to the app and have access to everything, including all of your locations of interest pinned on a map, without having to rely on wifi.
This system was a game changer for us, and one we’ll definitely be using for all of our trips from now on.