Hands up if you love everything about travel except the planning part?
Self-planning that perfect family vacation can be tricky, especially when you have multiple family members to consider and varying ages and interests. Choosing where to go is only half the challenge!
Now we can’t help you make the final decision on your destination, but what we have discovered is the perfect planning tool once you do to get you and your family and friends completely organised for your dream trip.
Forget the emails back and forth, and hundreds of tabs open on your PC; wouldn’t it be ideal to do all your trip planning and documentation all in one spot?
Cue Roaming Duck Itinerary Planning Tool
Designed to help you plan, book, and execute your entire trip, let’s look at how an itinerary planning tool such as Roaming Duck can make life easier for your travelling crew.
Roaming Duck – How it Works
Roaming Duck can be used on both desktop and mobile, whichever suits your planning needs best.
We found it easiest to make a first plan of our itinerary on the desktop version first; then, when we were looking for feedback and input from other family members, we could share a link to our proposed itinerary, and they could all easily access it on their mobile devices.
The interface is super simple to use (so yes, even your parents will manage to get to grips with its capabilities!) – but to get full use out of the app, you will need to have everyone involved in your trip sign up with an account.
Roaming Duck eliminates the need to use different platforms and websites. Instead, you can keep all your documents, information, messages, and research on a single website that can be accessed by all your friends and from all your devices.
Only one user needs to “own” the trip; then, you can invite multiple users to view, comment and add to the itinerary.
There are interactive features that will guide you along every step of the planning process, from transfers and flights to your accommodation and activities.
Here’s how you start with a brand-new trip:
You can start planning on your own, adding any elements of a trip you may have already booked. When you need some help and suggestions, open your search tools which will appear for you on the left of your main planning map.
You can choose from activities, flights, and hotels or generally search on the web for what you want to add to the itinerary.
The in-built tools allow you to enter your search criteria and add the proposed route or event to your itinerary before sending you to third-party aggregator sites to lock in the best possible deals by comparing prices across providers.
For example, a hotel search on Roaming Duck will open you to a new tab for Hotellook.com where you can compare prices between online providers, such as Agoda and Booking.com
You remain in complete control and can add suggestions without actually booking straightaway – but the search results are kept there with a link if you “add to itinerary”; you can always go ahead and book them later right from the planning tool.
Map Function on Roaming Duck
One of the key features we love about using Roaming Duck to plan our trip is the map function. It really helps bring your trip to life so that you can see where transport connections are needed.
You can zoom out for the bigger picture and plan flights, while zooming in to see what’s possible for walking on foot or where a taxi or transportation may be preferred.
If you plug in your start and end point, it will even give you a pretty accurate estimate either on foot, driving, or by bike, exactly how long the journey will take – ideal for timing those connections!
Collaborations on Roaming Duck
It’s very straightforward to invite friends and family to use your itinerary and keep track of what still needs to be done.
Firstly, there’s a button called “Invite Friends,” which will generate a link you can copy to an email or messaging app to share with friends.
They have the option to sign up or only look at the itinerary. Note if they are accessing as “view only,” their changes won’t be saved. You really need everyone involved to sign up in a couple of short steps, so they have full access to all features of the itinerary planning tool.
Making the Most of the Interary Planner & Key Functions
We’d recommend starting with the itinerary builder in list view; even if you don’t know your exact dates and itinerary yet, you can start sketching out your trip details, including the airports people will fly from, and begin backfilling accommodation options, where transportation may be required and suggested activities.
If you double up booking two lots of accommodation or activities on the same date, it will alert you something is already in the itinerary – it’s OK to add multiple options if you’re still unsure about how you will split your time or maybe different parties are booking their own accommodation or tours.
Once you’re past the initial planning process and have ideas to share, the Roaming Duck itinerary planning tool has messaging functions to communicate to the rest of your group what is proposed and what is already booked.
Through these collaborative functions, you can also share the websites where you found the deals and to-do lists which anyone can add to or tick off as a task is completed.
Additionally, once something is booked, you can upload the final documents within the trip planning tool, and all members of your group can access this and print them, should they wish.
Adding Up Your Trip Cost
Once you’ve booked flights, accommodation, and transfers, those vacation costs can surely start adding up fast!
Luckily, Roaming Duck comes with a built-in calculator function.
Whilst you’re in planning mode and adding options and activities, it will give you a running total in the top corner of the map planning tool of how much your current planned activities will cost.
This is visible to all users, so if they’re adding activities, you can all see how the total cost changes. You may choose only to add costs for shared activities using this function.
Plan For The Weather Too!
Another nifty feature we picked up in our planning was the weather function. For each location you add to your itinerary, it tells you the expected weather that day, so you know if you need to allow for tropical rain storms (hello, Phuket!) or pack that extra cardigan.
You can also play around with your activity dates based on weather expectations.
Plan Multiple Trips With Roaming Duck
There’s no limit to the number of trips you can simultaneously plan on Roaming Duck. We always have at least 3 or 4 trips in the pipeline, and using an itinerary planning tool like this quite literally helps us keep our ducks in a row!
We can easily flick between our upcoming travel plans using the “My Trips” function.
Only those trips that you have shared the links to are accessible to others. You can edit, rename or remove the trips at any time.
Another great function is “Copy” – say you’ve got friends who want to replicate your itinerary and make it their own. Simply copy your original itinerary over and send them the invite friends link – they can then edit it and make their own changes to it.
What Does Roaming Duck Cost?
Unlike other itinerary planning tools and apps that charge a download or annual membership fee, Roaming Duck remains free to use for as little or as much of your itinerary planning as you need.
Each user will need to create an account to log in, but the only personal details you will need to hand over is an email address.
We love that it gives you complete flexibility to create your own custom itinerary how you want, using the search function or adding your own travel gems.
Ready to test out Roaming Duck for yourself? You can find them online at www.roamingduck.com
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