As the summer backpacking season ramps up, travelers are making last-minute plans for their upcoming adventures. Planning a vacation with tech is a popular, and smart, idea! For some, it’s finding the right Eurorail tickets. For others, it’s locating the local festivals and events.
For Cori Sherman, who spent one month backpacking across Europe last year, last-minute preparation was all about locating the right accommodations. “We were still undecided about where we’d actually be going in Europe up until a few weeks before our trip,” Sherman said. “Once we finalized our list of cities, we used the AirBNB app to quickly find our hotels, B&Bs and hostels. We couldn’t have planned our trip without it.” Sherman and her friend, Jordan Stevens, both Cincinnatians, started their journey in London in May 2013. While traveling, she wrote her blog, Craving Spontaneity, to keep her family and friends updated back home. In total, they traveled more than 2,800 miles and hit eight countries. Sherman used the Wordpress app to update her blog on the go.
To stay organized while planning, Sherman and Stevens used Google Docs and its companion app for all travel logistics. “Google Docs was a life saver for us during trip planning,” Sherman said. “We used it for budgets, itineraries, activities, contact information and the list goes on. I’d say we spent a total of 40 hours planning this trip – and it paid off.” They also used TripIt to coordinate their travel itinerary and the Kayak app to purchase flights.
Sherman’s favorite city of all was the French Riviera. She loved the juxtaposition of the beach and the mountains, all the vineyards and the bicyclists heading from the mountains to the beach crowding the road. And her favorite memory? The time she and Stevens spent an entire afternoon lost in the Swiss Alps after a hike turned awry. “We didn’t really have a true destination on our hike. We realized this wasn’t the greatest idea when we heard an avalanche crash on the mountain across from us and a blizzard swept us quite literally off our feet,” said Sherman. “But the unsureness of getting back down the mountain to our hostel and having to rely on each other for encouragement will always be a lasting memory.” For Sherman and Stevens, May 2013 was the trip of a lifetime. It pushed them both out of their comfort zones, but in a good way.
They were craving spontaneity and they found it – and much more – in Europe. And, with technology on their side, Sherman and Stevens enjoyed their spontaneous travels while hopping from city to city in one, well-planned piece. Want to follow in Sherman and Stevens’ planning a vacation with tech footprints?