Every family has one: that person who, for whatever reason, is deemed the “travel planner.” In my family, it’s me. Just because I spend so much time online, my family assumes I have amassed all there is to know about looking for and booking travel – for multiple families, with children of different ages, in a distant location, where we don’t speak the language.
Designated travel planners like me (and even professional ones) need resources that make it as easy as possible to figure all this out, and -this is key- find something that pleases everyone. So I’ve rounded up a list of five travel-related plugins that, in an ideal world, my go-to website would have.
Before I can go, I need to know WHERE I’m going! What if you could help your audience figure that out AND earn some revenue at the same time? Created by Travelgrove, the Travel Search plugin provides a one-step travel search engine, that allows your users to search and compare flights, hotels, car rentals and vacation packages from a large scale of providers, including the biggest US travel companies, travel agents, aggregators and special negotiators.
The plugin allows you to create, customize and add travel search boxes anywhere on your sites, thus generating commissions with Travelgrove’s Affiliate program (Note: you must register with the affiliate program to receive commissions.)
You blog about great travel deals or travel destinations, tell your fellow travelers where and when to travel, and provide the Travel Search box as the searching platform, and you’re on your way.
Now I know where to go, but now, what to see? Your audience must be able to find popular landmarks and other points of interest easily and clearly. The MapPress plugin allows you to easily create great-looking Google Maps and driving directions in your blog via the editing screen; when you edit your post or page, just enter the address you’d like to map, and voila! If you’re feeling really fancy you can get the Pro Version for $30-$50.
If you’ve traveled a route before, and you want to recreate the experience for your audience, a plugin like LogMyTrip is key. With this plugin, your posts are plotted on a Google map as points on a route as you make your way to each. Clicking on a point icon can show a picture taken at that location if one is attached to a post. Hovering over the address when viewing individual posts reveals a map of the post location so your audience can visit there too if the mood strikes.
Maybe you run a website centered in a specific tourist destination and you have real estate group that offers alternative accommodations to tourists. Booking Calendar is a plugin you can use to allow visitors to check availability of apartments, houses, hotel rooms, or services you offer and make reservations with the ability to choose from multi-day, single day, or by the hour booking.
As wide-reaching as your website can be, and as many corners of the world as there are to see, you want to make sure that a wide audience not only has access to your site, but can read it in their native tongue whenever possible. With PolyLang, you write posts, pages and create categories and post tags as usual, and then define the language for each of them.
Now if I just had all of this in one place! There are so many plugins to choose from in each of these categories – do your research and read reviews before deciding which ones to use. If you are looking for more WordPress themes see this review of 30 single page WordPress themes.
But tell us: Do you have a travel site? If so, what plugins do you use? Give us your feedback below.