December 13, 2017

Using Plnnr to Quickly Create Your Vacation Itinerary

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When we take a vacation, or even when I take the kids into Washington, D.C. for the day, I want to make sure that we maximize our time to get as much out of the visit as we can. So I was excited to check out a fun travel-planning website last night called Plnnr, which generates easy-to-use itineraries for a variety of cities based on length of stay, theme (e.g., with kids, outdoors, etc.), intensity and luxury level (e.g., three star hotel).

From the get-go, I can tell you that this trip planning service won’t be useful to everyone. For one, itineraries are only available for 20 cities. Of these, only three are in the U.S. – New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. The rest are all in Europe and Canada. So I chose Washington, D.C. and kept moving with my itinerary planning.

Next, I let Plnnr know how many days I would be in town, so I selected four days, and Plnnr let me know that was the most popular length of stay. Thanks, Plnnr. Then, I needed to select the theme, as in whether I’d be with kids, preferred outdoor activities, wanted to check out the best of the city, or was looking to expand my cultural horizons.

I let Plnnr know I’d be travelling with kids, and then proceeded through the final steps, telling Plnnr I was looking for a moderately intense itinerary (i.e., no rush) and wanted a three-star hotel. Honestly, I didn’t need a hotel but I also didn’t have the option to not choose a hotel rating.

Plnnr then pulled up the itinerary and I was love. While I thought it was a little too aggressive for a “moderately intense” day of sightseeing (visiting five attractions in one day is a bit much for me, particularly with kids in strollers), I liked that it broke the day out by hours of the day (e.g., 8:40-10:10 a.m., visit the National Museum of Natural History).

In addition to breaking out the day by attraction, Plnnr provided me with descriptions and hours of each attraction, even a suggested timeframe. It also provided ratings, a slide show and links out to sources like Wikipedia and Frommers for more details. Unfortunately, it suggested I get to the National Museum of Natural History about 90 minutes before the museum opens, so be sure to call ahead.

Plnnr also provides flexibility as you finalize your trip itinerary. Just click the blue circle with a question mark inside to the right of each attraction to pop open a mini-box in which you can decide whether you definitely want to visit the attraction, make it optional or not go at all. You can even lock it in and tell Plnnr that yes you want to go and at the exact time it suggests.

What I really like about Plnnr is that it groups your activities by locations in the city, so that you’re not criss-crossing through town to go to different events and attractions. For each day on your itinerary, it suggests fun, age-appropriate activities that are fairly close to each other, helping you to maximize your sightseeing.

Once you’re finished configuring your itinerary, you can then book the hotel suggested by Plnnr if you choose. You can share your plans by email or with friends on Facebook or Twitter. Or, simply print out your itinerary, and each attraction prints with a pin on a map, the address, hours and website address.

I really enjoyed playing around with Plnnr, but again, I was able to plan an actual itinerary for one of the three U.S. cities. If you try out Plnnr for yourself, let me know what you think.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for this post. The views and opinions expressed here about Plnnr are purely mine. 

Comments

  1. Hi Erin, I think you could find useful the trip planner we have developed – Tripomatic.com. It offers similar functionality as Plnnr, but it covers more cities (and we are adding new destinations every month). Hope you’ll like it!

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