6 Resources Helping Travelers Get The Most Out Of Their Vacations

Planning a vacation can be time-consuming and stressful. From where to go, how to get there, what to see, and where to stay, you need all the help you can get making key decisions. Whether the goal is to see the world by bike, make a difference while learning about another culture, go on a self guided adventure, or take the kids along for some family fun, here are, in no particular order, some helpful additions for your vacation-planning arsenal.

Beginning the list at #1, Go Ahead Tours draws on over 50 years of experience and a rich network of local guides, historians, and experts to create one-of-a-kind journeys for curious travelers. Each trip offers a balance of carefully planned activities and free time to allow guests to pursue their interests at each destination.

In order to stand out in the industry, Go Ahead Tours offers something the company calls the Right Size Advantage: by traveling the world in smaller groups, guests are able to have a more personal experience. The team on the ground visits every single property the company uses to ensure quality and comfort.

Next up at #2 is Austin Adventures, which works to curate unique and enriching thrill seeker vacations, earning top accolades from Travel and Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, and other publications. This small, boutique tour operator is owned and run by the Austin family out of Billings, Montana.

Selected for their dynamic personalities and expertise in everything from history and geology to environmental science and marine biology, no two Austin Adventures guides are alike. They do, however, share one thing in common: a love affair with the great outdoors. The experience is designed to be a personal one, with a ratio of six guests for every tour leader.

Coming in at #3, Locomole is a travel guide app for Singapore. With interactive self-led mobile routes, users can employ their smart phones to explore at their own pace, helping them locate hard-to-find spots and highlighting the best of what the country has to offer.

One unique feature of the app is an augmented reality component that allows tourists to fully immerse themselves in street art and historic sites. In addition to its cutting-edge visual effects, Locomole also makes searching for local deals and coupons easy.

Our #4 pick is Discover Corps, a travel company initially created by a former Peace Corps volunteer to show the world to his kids in a meaningful way. It now strives to create vacations with a purpose that benefit the communities its tour groups visit.

Discover Corps offers trips themed around wildlife exploration and cultural experiences. These conservation and humanitarian-focused vacations are a good option for the mindful traveler looking to learn about the world while working among the animals and people living in the places they visit.

Taking the Kids is selection #5. Eileen Ogintz, a former national correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, began penning stories about the trials of traveling with young children after an incident with her toddler and a local kitten. Since 1987, an award-winning syndicated column and website have grown out of those stories.

Ogintz travels with her husband, their three grown children, and others in the extended family who serve as Taking the Kids' special team of contributors. Ogintz is considered a leading national expert on vacationing with little ones, and is often quoted in major publications such as USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times, as well as parenting and women's magazines. She has appeared on such television programs as The Today Show, Good Morning America, and Oprah.

#6 on the list is Trek Travel, a vacation planning company geared toward cyclists of every level, from leisure riders to avid enthusiasts. The tours on offer range from solo and self-guided excursions to larger group expeditions, covering locales all around the globe.

Package options can be explored by region, date, rider type, trip style, or price. Trek Travel was voted one of Travel and Leisure's World's Best Tour Operators in 2018 and even offers Tour de France packages to those who dream of biking like the professionals.