When I plan trips, particularly family vacations, I write notes on scraps of paper, on my computer and on my iPhone. MiniTime offers a way to plan family vacations and keep track of all the info.
This new website, with smartphone and tablet versions in the works, has both trip tips by family travel writer Suzanne Rowan Kelleher and custom itineraries the vacationing family can use, both as a planning tool and as a vacation diary.
I love the drag and drop feature of the itineraries; if you see attractions you want to visit or restaurants where you want to eat, you just add them to your trip planner.
The site offers personalized recommendations based on ages of your kids. It goes from infant to teen (17), and if you have kids in different categories, it offers the full range of attractions.
You can also book kid-friendly hotels directly from the website, with family-friendly amenities like roll-away beds, cribs, pools and microwaves in rooms noted. You can also sort hotels by amenities that your family wants, like a fridge in the room.
Foursquare provides restaurant suggestions, but you can’t yet sort by things like vegetarian food or availability of high chairs.
I was able to create an itinerary for my upcoming trip to Portland, Oregon, but planning one for Louisville, Kentucky, was incomplete. MiniTime uses crowd sourced info and started with top destinations; as the site grows and more reader feedback is added, planning trips outside major tourist destinations will grow easier.
For now, I am happy to recycle all those scraps of paper.