Everyone wants their travel to be more about memorable experiences and less about the logistics of getting there. Here are four travel services and apps that could make the going easier.
The pack hack
Why decide what clothes to bring on vacation when someone else can do it for you? Enter PlanIt Trek, a startup that puts together a pre-selected wardrobe for three days (Five pieces, $125), a week (10 pieces, $175) and 14 days (13 pieces, $250).
Pick what sizes you want for individual items online, and they arrive in wrinkle-free packing folders you slip into your suitcase. You also receive a digital style guide that shows you how to mix and match. It’s a great way to cut down on overpacking too.
“These are basic pieces you can then integrate into your own wardrobe,” founder Melissa Staley said. Website launches Sept. 3. Info: PlanIt Trek
Best time to fly
No matter where you are going in the world, Kayak can tell you the best time to go. The newly released digital Flight Hacker Guide crunches data that will guide you on the least (and most) expensive time to fly to your chosen destination.
You also might want to map an itinerary to one of the top 10 stopover cities (Lisbon, Toronto and Reykjavik, Iceland, among them) and get two vacations for the price of one.
Other hacks include booking two one-way tickets instead of one round-trip ticket, which could save up to 16% on your flight. And the best part: The guide is free. Info: Flight Hacker Guide from Kayak.com
RVers tired of the usual campgrounds can spend a night at a bucolic winery or farm for just $49 a year, not a night. That’s what Harvest Hosts charges RVers for an annual membership that allows them to stay at one of 600 locations across the country, including breweries, wineries, dairy farms, botanical gardens, museums and even an alpaca farm.
The idea is to have a more authentic experience (don’t expect electrical and water hookups) in an unconventional camping location, which include many options in California and the West. Members are asked to support their hosts by buying something made on the site, such as a bottle of wine or an alpaca scarf.
Stays at individual locations are limited to one or two nights, but there’s no limit on the number of sites you can visit. Info: Harvest Hosts
Room to save
If you love last-minute mobile apps to reserve a hotel room, here’s one that recently upped its game. HotelTonight introduced a Daily Drop, which features rooms more deeply discounted than the app’s usual prices.
Users “unlock” the deal by swiping and have just 15 minutes to decide whether to book it. I tried it out and found a room available at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in New York’s Chinatown for $126 the first night and $117 a second night, excluding tax and fees. Rooms at the hotel usually start at $208 a night on the same dates.
You are limited to one Daily Drop per day; the app is free to download. Info: HotelTonight app