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I planned 30 trips in 3 years, and this is the app that kept me sane

Wanderlog is the travel planning app to end all other travel planning apps.
By

Published onMay 25, 2024

Around three years ago, my husband and I moved from Lebanon to Paris. Going from a country where we had to plan every trip months in advance to a country where we could hop on a train and go anywhere in Europe was life-changing. No Visa applications, no SIM card change, and no new travel insurance to buy — how could we resist? So off we went. One trip turned into another, then another, and another… And here we are today, with over 30 trips under our belt and one app to help us manage the madness: Wanderlog.

Now, before you think I’m made of money, I’ll be clear: Not all of these were week-long vacations. Many were short single-day trips to nearby towns or weekend trips. But I digress. We’re here to talk about Wanderlog.

There's nothing like Wanderlog. Trust me, I've looked.

I’ve already written about the app a few times, and I’ve mentioned it on podcasts and on Twitter to people who ask me about travel app recommendations — and to those who don’t ask me. I’ve been a Wanderlog fan since the day I stumbled on the app in the Play Store because there’s nothing like it. Trust me, I’ve looked. So let me perform some free publicity because this is one of the best Android apps out there, and it deserves to be known.

Before you start reading, I want to point out that Wanderlog is sometimes slow and laggy, especially when you have lots of places added to a trip. And it's very frustrating when that happens. I wish it weren't the case, but that's essentially the only thing I don't like about it.

Do you use a travel planning app?

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Exploring cities in Wanderlog is a time-saver

wanderlog android explore best koln breweries
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

The first time-saving hack in Wanderlog comes in when I start planning a trip. I just add the city or town’s name and the app will scour the internet for articles and recommendations, then list all the places there. Everything from the best brunch places in Barcelona to the must-visit attractions in Saint-Quentin, the nicest photo spots in Rouen, or the list of spas around Geneva — it’s all there.

It takes less than 10 minutes to make a preliminary plan for any trip.

I can simply tap to add a place to my trip, which saves me countless hours of planning. I don’t need to browse articles, manually type the name of a place in Google Maps, see if it fits the rest of my plan or is too out of the way, and then add it. I can do this inside the same app in a split second.

It takes me no longer than 10 minutes to get a preliminary plan for any trip. Now, I can use my actual research time to look for off-the-beaten-track things to do, like escape rooms, unknown attractions, and unique activities, instead of wasting it on the basic itinerary.

Personal lists vs. itinerary planning

wanderlog android map
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

The second feature I love the most about Wanderlog is how well it fits my travel philosophy. See, for any given trip, I have a list of things I’d like to check out and activities or places I’ve already booked. The former are fluid options; the latter are set in stone.

And Wanderlog allows me to have this flexibility. There is an itinerary for activities I’ve booked at a specific date and/or time, and then there are general lists where I can group the things I would like to do, secondary places to check out, good restaurants, local markets, escape rooms, and more.

I can save dozens of attractions or restaurants in my lists, but also keep a tight itinerary of pre-booked events and visits.

Every list or itinerary day gets a different icon and color. Plus, I can always show or hide these on the map to avoid crowding it with all the optional stuff.

wanderlog android time to travel
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Better yet, when I add places to the itinerary, I can tap to show the time it’d take me to go from one place to another by foot, transit, or car. Perfect for planning tight schedules!

Google Maps data, distance, notes, and more

wanderlog android bernabeu madrid place details
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Then there’s everything else Wanderlog offers that just pushes it further ahead of any other travel planning app I’ve tried. Sure, I can add my flights or train reservations, my hotel, and my car rental, if any, but there’s a lot more here.

Adding flights, hotels, trains, and rentals is just the beginning of trip planning. Wanderlog does the rest.

Wanderlog grabs Google Maps data like opening hours, websites, phone numbers, and photos for every place I add. Places have a card with my own personal notes, which I can format, add links or bullets to, and more. I use this a lot when I find a deal on an entrance ticket, specific information about the best time to visit an attraction, or really any other personal notes I need to remember on the day of the trip. There are also general notes to be added, which serve me well when I want to save information about local transit cards, specific customs, or local products to buy.

wanderlog android homescreen
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Wanderlog is available on Android (Play Store) and iOS (iTunes), including tablets, and on the web. I especially appreciate that any updates I make on my Android phone show up immediately on my tablet, computer, and everything else. This makes planning trips with my husband super easy. We usually sit with one laptop and one tablet or phone, and we both add and edit things as we figure out what we want to do. Oh, and you can easily share a trip with a friend. As a matter of fact, this is the first thing the app asks you about before creating your trip.

I used to get exhausted planning one trip a year; now, I can plan 10 and have time and patience to spare.

I’ve been using Wanderlog for three years and I’ve stuck with the free version so far. For approximately $5 a month, the Pro version adds a dark mode, an offline mode, Google Maps exports, and more — not features I really need. Closing a pop-up reminder for the Pro subscription every now and then doesn’t bother me much, either. But to be fair, given how often I use the app and how much I love it, I’m starting to feel bad for not giving it my support.

wanderlog android trips planned
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

If you’re looking for an app to help you plan trips, try Wanderlog. It is the travel planner to end all travel planners. It can easily replace lists in Maps, spreadsheets, Chrome bookmarks, calendar events, personal notes, and more. I used to get exhausted planning one or two trips a year; now, I can plan 10 trips a year and have time to spare. That’s how good this app is.

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