When you’re in an unfamiliar country, and quite possibly using a different language, how can you easily plan your route between house sits or travel adventures?
For the past few years we’ve been experimenting with a journey planner app that is growing in popularity.
From the home screen of the Rome2rio route planning app, you simply enter your start and end locations. Then let this easy to use travel planner search for a variety of different routes. You’ll be given plane, train, bus, ferry and car (self drive) options. Better still it allows for route planning with multiple stops.
If you log in, you can also save your trips for future viewing. There’s also a web version if you don’t have a smart phone or tablet.
Not only does Rome2rio show you the quickest and cheapest routes by a variety of transport options, but it will even advise about popular sightseeing opportunities along the way.
I love how simple it is to use at each step of the way. Once your route is displayed you can view each stage independently. Then you simply link through to the transport operator servicing that part of the journey.
There’s an associated map that updates instantly each time you select an alternative route option. This makes it visually very easy to see which towns and cities your transport will pass through.
Links to flight, accommodation and hire car companies are also provided. We haven’t used these features as we still prefer to carry out our own independent research for the best online deals.
However, for planning an overall route, looking at transport alternatives and getting an idea of the cost involved, we haven’t found anything better, easier or quicker.
How up-to-date is the Rome2rio app?
There’s one small criticism that seasoned travelers might have. Rome2rio appears to overlook the smaller “chicken bus” operators that don’t always have their own websites.
For instance, on a route we know well from Bocas del Toro in Panama to San Jose, Costa Rica, part of the journey suggests an expensive $45 taxi ride. We know from experience that a local bus can be taken instead for just a couple of dollars.
The website states:
“Rome2rio searches a purpose built, unique repository of train, bus, plane, taxi, ferry, walking and driving routes. Our repository is constantly expanding as we add new data from sources around the world. Thousands of transport operators are represented in our database, making it the largest online repository of surface transport routes anywhere online.”
So while the database is growing, we would suggest that you do some comparative research online if you want to be sure that you are getting the cheapest or most convenient deal.
Of course these smaller operators are likely to change their routes and prices without notice, as we’ve found ourselves, so it’s understandable why these aren’t always shown within the Rome2rio app. They tend to recommend the most reliable operators and routes, which is what most travelers prefer! We know not everyone wants to travel by “chicken bus” and would be quite satisfied with the options currently offered by this route planning app.
None of this should put you off giving this app a go.
Rome2rio claims to make travel planning easy, and it seems that many others are happy with the service offered. They have a trust score of 9.5 on Trust Pilot.
How did Rome2rio work in practice?
We used Rome2rio for our extensive trip planning over eight months in Mexico and Central America. We concluded that it was a great initial planning app. It showed us potential options for our trips to and from house sits, and on our between sits travel adventures.
By using Rome2rio we also came across Interjet, a local Mexican flight operator. We booked a couple of low cost domestic flights, and another equally cheap flight down to San Jose, in Costa Rica.
But, we still found ourselves complementing our research by checking out other travel apps. Some of those included:
So we suggest initiating your route planning exercise with Rome2rio. However, don’t necessarily rely on it as your only option. Check out local operators that might not be listed, and be open to using it conjunction with other apps.
All of that said, we would certainly suggest trying Rome2rio if you need to deal with any logistical challenges when traveling around the world, or between house sits.