Get It While It’s Free


When was the last time you calculated the entire cost of your vacation?

And by entire, I mean from the trip planning stage until the minute you pull back into your driveway following your dream getaway.

Many people neglect to tally the total cost of a trip. Consequently, they aren’t able to determine ways to save on their next escape. One of the best ways to cut costs when traveling is to utilize free trip planning services. The Internet is teeming with sites aimed to help you to get from point A to point B in the most convenient way possible, and they don’t charge you for the advice.

For example, provides visitors with personalized trip planners, including driving directions, hotel recommendations, and gas price tracking, at no charge. The interactive planning tools featured on the site are designed to provide specific route preferences and lodging options at various price points. All you have to do is input your information and you’ll receive a complete trip planner via e-mail.

Another free option is Yahoo Trip Planner. This no-cost trip planning site has you enter your desired destination and list any activities you are interested in participating in. Then, it comes up with several itineraries for you to choose from. In addition, you can also view other travelers’ itineraries and copy or customize them to meet your own needs.

Finally, if you have a favorite travel site you visit frequently, see if it offers a free trip planning tool on the home page. For instance, Rand McNally has a TripMaker Planning Tool that allows you to customize your road trip using its maps. You simply enter your destination, including any stops you would like to make, the tool then provides online maps, traffic information, and city and state guides to help you get there in the timeliest fashion possible.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.