Posted: 11/4/2022 | November 4th, 2022
I love trip planning: outlining routes, researching things to see and do, reading travel books. While I always end up changing my plans on the fly, trip research gets me inspired about where I’m going and helps me know what options I have when I land, even if I change plans ten times over the course of a day.
Some of the info I find is on blogs, some is on social media or in guidebooks. I’m constantly having to jump between platforms to look stuff up and compare notes and suggestions. It’s not convenient.
Fortunately, there’s a new tool out there that can help travelers find the best things to see and do on their trips (and at home too). It will bring all your research together in one place.
It’s called Bestlist.
What is Bestlist?
Bestlist is a search engine focused solely on helping you discover the best of anything. Restaurants, beaches, activities, excursions, historic sites — you name it.
They crawl the web and aggregate millions of data points, reviews, and comments, and process it all with their proprietary machine-learning models. They measure popularity, sentiment, and more, providing users with the best options for each search query.
Whether you’re planning a trip and looking for inspiration and suggestions or just looking for a place to eat in your hometown, Bestlist can help.
Once you conduct a search on Bestlist, you’ll see that each result includes a short description and a link to an external site. You can then browse your list and save your favorite results to a collection. You can have collections for anything: websites, places to visit, restaurants, things to do, etc.
So far, I have four collections (they’re all travel related of course):
- Things to Do in Amsterdam
- The Best of Thailand
- The Best Travel Resources
- The Best Credit Cards for Travelers
The more you use the site, the more things you can add to your collections. Collections are easy to make, reorder, and expand too. (More on this below.)
Three features that make Bestlist stand out
Here’s a quick look at three other features of Bestlist that I think really help the platform stand out from all the others:
1. Voting: If you feel strongly about a search result, you can upvote or downvote the listing to voice your opinion. The more upvotes something gets, the higher it will appear in the search results (and the more downvotes it gets, the lower it will appear). When you vote, you’ll be asked to state why you voted, which gives other users better insights into the listing. This means you not only get to help shape the results but see why other people voted as they did. This makes the results much more transparent than simply a thumbs up or thumbs down.
2. Submissions: If you find that something is missing from a particular search result, you can submit it as a suggestion using a button at the bottom. Simply add the name and URL of the new listing, and it will be reviewed and published if it makes the cut. So, if there’s something cool from your hometown that’s missing, or you discover an awesome website worth sharing, you have the potential to add it to help improve the platform for everyone else.
3. Privacy: Your personal data is not shared with advertisers or other third parties. This is a big deal, because, as we all know, search engine data is full of personal information about you. I like this feature a lot.
How to make a collection
Here’s a quick overview of how to get started building your own collections on Bestlist:
Step 1: Once you’ve made an account, simply visit the homepage and search for whatever it is you’re looking for. In this example, we’ll assume you’re going to NYC and want to find some places to eat. So, search for “best restaurants in New York City” and choose the “list” option.
Step 2: Now that you have a list of suggestions, scroll down to browse. If you see a place that looks interesting, click the “Collect” option to save it to a collection. If you haven’t started a “Restaurants in NYC” collection, you can do so at this point.
On the right side, you’ll also see related searches. So, if you also want to look for museums or accommodations in NYC, you have the option to do so as well (and build collections for any of those results too).
Step 3: Once you review the results and save everything to your collection, you’re all set! All the restaurants you chose will be listed in your collection, where you can view them anytime (and also add more, rearrange, or delete some if you like). If you want to share this collection with your travel buddies (or the general audience on Bestlist), you can make it public. Otherwise, if it’s just for you, you can keep it private.
Bestlist is a new and easy way to search and store information — one that is particularly useful to travelers looking to build itineraries as they plan trips. Not only can you comb the website for awesome suggestions but, as you explore the world, you can add your own, contributing back to the community and ensuring that other travelers benefit from your experiences. So head on over to Bestlist and start searching!
Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner. It’s my favorite search engine because it searches websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is being left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as it consistently returns the cheapest rates for guesthouses and hotels.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
- SafetyWing (best for everyone)
- Insure My Trip (for those 70 and over)
- Medjet (for additional evacuation coverage)
Want to travel for free?
Travel credit cards allow you to earn points that can be redeemed for free flights and accommodation. They are what keep me traveling so much for so little. Check out my guide to picking the right card and my current favorites to get started and see the latest best deals.
Ready to Book Your Trip?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use when I travel. They are the best in class and you can’t go wrong using them on your trip.