Travel planning can be nothing short of a hassle.

Luckily, the market is full of new tools to improve your experience. The problem is finding the products that really work.

As early adopters of technology, Millennials can help you sort through the hordes of new tools out there to make your travel experience more enjoyable.

Discovery, Curate, Share

When you travel to a new city nothing beats finding those hidden gems like that hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant that has Anthony Bourdain salivating.

Yelp and TripAdvisor are go-tos, but their low-quality photos and opaque rating system has left many--especially Millennials--wanting more.

Spot is a good example. It's a travel app that feels like a hybrid between Foursquare and Instagram, aiming to fill that void and offer users an experience that goes beyond reviews.

I've always loved telling people about my favorite places, especially in my hometown of Santa Barbara. Previously, I'd compile a list in notes and send it to anyone I knew who was planning a trip there. But, these lists were rather unexciting with scant info.

Spot allows users to easily create lists and share them directly with friends or on social. Users can also add tips, photos, and new locations to the app--like those out-of-the-way places that the average tourist would never find.

Elevate Your Travel Plans With Last Minute Tickets

I was sitting on the tarmac in JFK for a last minute work trip. With a couple free nights in New York I decided to see if the Mets or Yankees were playing at home since I had not been to either stadium.

Turns out the Mets were playing my SF Giants. Within minutes I pinged a friend and decided to snag a couple tickets to game. That night we saw Chris Heston toss a no-hitter on a perfect night at Citi Field for less than $10 a piece.

The app I used to see the schedule, buy the tickets and then text them to my friend was Gametime. It is a relatively new app that quickly earned a spot on my phone when it was recommended to me by a group of friends who laughed at my request to find a printer. 

I have used the app several times when I have ended up in a random city for work with nothing to do. I have also gotten tickets for as low as $5 a piece by waiting till after the game started, a unique feature to Gametime. 

Another cool app for the price conscious ticket seeker is SeatGeek. This app offers what they call Deal Score, which calculates how good the price is based on a number of criterion. 

Let the Bots Do the Planning

Chatbots are popping up everywhere as a way to disseminate accurate info immediately to users after they make a request. They ran into early controversy as Microsoft launched their chatbot, "Tay" on Twitter and watched the tech world cringe with every inflammatory tweet.

Despite the controversy, Zuckerberg (as well as other leaders in the messaging space) remains bullish on the future of bots. The majority of chatbots entering the market today are powered by artificial intelligence and assisted by human interactions. This allows companies to hedge against potential controversy while creating streamlined efficiency and instant gratification that the Millennial generation loves.

One brand that was early on this trend was OneRooftop which provides personal travel assistance for vacation rentals. All you do is text or Facebook message the service your destination, dates, budget and number of bedrooms needed, and it sends back several options.

As someone who is not afraid to dedicate an afternoon to searching for the perfect waterfront cabin, I was shocked at how easy the process was and the quality of the options. The service also lets you level up your travel game with unique options like private yurts and  beach houses equipped with a private boats. 

Other travel companies like Kayak and Hipmuck have also embraced the potential efficacy from chatbots with new products that aid booking and answering customer's questions around travel. 

Published on: Jul 26, 2016