With so many travel planning apps and social media sites vying for your attention, it can easily get overwhelming. As travel bloggers, Scott and I are constantly bombarded with the newest apps and tools for travel, but we rarely find one that actually helps us plan our trips.
When Trover asked us to give their app a try, I had already heard good things about it from other people in the travel and photography community. After a couple of weeks of using the site on a daily basis, I was inspired to use the discoveries from Trover to start planning my upcoming trips.
Trover is a visual guide that helps travelers find hidden gems all over the world. We still love Pinterest for travel planning and inspiration, however, it can be frustrating when a pin doesn’t lead to any information about the location.
Trover is specifically geared towards travel — whether it be a place of interest or a unique restaurant. In order to upload a photo, Trover users are required to enter the exact location on the map. Trover also encourages people to write a description with their discovery and include a tip about the location.
The four stages of travel are: dream, plan, experience, and share. I’ll show you how to use Trover for each of these stages.
Step 1: Create an Account on Trover
You can either sign up by entering your email and creating a password or by using your Facebook account (if you don’t want to deal with another username and log in). If you sign up by clicking the Facebook button, it automatically pulls your current Facebook profile photo.
Step 2: Dream
You may not know exactly where you want to spend your next vacation, so now’s the time to get some ideas and inspiration from others. Once you are logged in, clicking the “Explore” drop down menu button will give you several options to search for discoveries. You can search by City, What’s Hot, Featured Lists, or just type the name of a destination or interest in the search bar.
Hovering over an image gives a short description of the discovery and clicking on the image takes you to a large photo, where you can click on the map or read the full description. Clicking on the heart icon under the description will thank that Trover user for their discovery. Clicking on “Save to list” opens a pop-up window, with lists you have created in your profile.
If you haven’t created any lists yet, you can easily save the discovery to any of the three default lists or click on “Create a new list.” At any time, you can change the name and description of your lists or delete or move the photos in your lists.
This inspiration phase is great for lists like our Vacation Ideas Near the Beach, Snowy Adventures, or National Parks in the US — basically anything that isn’t destination specific, but will give you ideas and bring you closer to making a decision about where you want to visit next.
I personally like to browse “Discovery of the Day” under “Featured Lists” for my dream phase of vacation planning. These discoveries are hand picked by the Trover team, which means they always have a unique tip as well as a stunning photo.
Step 3: Plan
Now that you have a basic idea of which destinations appeal to you, it’s a good time to start narrowing down your decision. If Scott and I can’t decide between a several destinations, we do a few flight searches from our home airport. Flight prices, hotel options, and ease of travel to a destination are all important factors when deciding where to visit next.
Once you have an idea of where you want to go, type in that specific country or city into the Trover search box to get ideas of things you don’t want to miss. Then, create a list specifically for that destination, like we did with our Trinidad & Tobago and Wales lists.
Each list will have its own map, which gives you an idea of where everything is located and how likely it is that you can visit every discovery on your list. If there’s a cluster of discoveries in one area, then that’s probably a good spot to search for a hotel for a few nights.
Step 4: Experience
Before you head off on your trip, make sure to download the app to your phone (this is much easier to do while you have fast internet). Now it’s time to explore! Once you are at your destination, find the list you created in the app and click on the map. All of your previously-saved discoveries will show up as pins and you can let the GPS guide you the rest of the way.
In the app, you can also use the “Nearby” feature to make sure you are not missing any new discoveries or if you didn’t have time to create a pre-planned list. If there are a lot of discoveries in a particular area, you can narrow down your “Nearby” search by clicking on the New, Food, Outdoor, and Arts categories.
Step 5: Share
If you find a new spot during your travels, it’s easy to share your discovery on Trover so other people can follow in your footsteps. Just click on the camera icon in the upper right hand corner of the app, upload a photo, and add a description with a helpful tip with information like when is the best time to visit, how to get there, or some other useful piece of information.
Trover is not only good for vacation planning; it’s also perfect for finding new places to try in your own backyard. I’ve created a Spots to Try in San Diego list, which is great for learning about new places to photograph and explore when I’m home!
Trover is still a fairly new app, so you may only find a handful of discoveries in less popular places, but it has so much potential and I’m excited to see it grow.
Make sure to follow us on Trover after you sign up — and leave your username in the comments so we can follow you back!
This post was written in partnership with Trover. As always, all opinions are our own.