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There are a lot of trip planning websites out there, so why am I writing about another one, www.tripfocal.com? Well, this one seems quite unique and could become a valuable travel tool.
Tripfocal is a user generated trip planning website, whose success is predicated on travelers around the world adding their trips to the site -“Real Trips, by Real People with Real Advice”, as the motto goes.
I spoke with the CEO Scott Greene who came up with the idea and his rationale was quite simple. While planning a trip to Europe with his family, he was looking for itineraries of how other families had traveled and couldn’t find anything particularly useful. There are sites that provide pre-set itineraries, but how did an actual family travel to Europe, or to the Caribbean or Asia? Accommodations, restaurants, activities, etc?
Tripfocal is designed to help answer all those sort of questions, as well as offer the little details and nuggets of advice that can help make a difference. The site is really easy to use – after registering (takes 30 seconds) you are brought to an “Explore” page with a “create a trip” button on the upper right of the page.
The first thing I noticed is that there is currently very little content on the site, except for some trips that the co-founders added. Scott told me that, “to be true to the objective of the site the trips need to come from travelers around the world”. Hopefully, as Tripfocal grows, there will be many more destinations and a lot more info on there.
Adding a trip yourself is simple – and it can be quite fun to recall the details of your favourite places and activities from your holiday, when you get home.
Google Places is utilized to make adding hotels, restaurants and activities easy. Even if you don’t remember the whole name, just enter part and it is sure to come up. Of course not everyone stays in a hotel, so you can click on ‘customize’ and add your Homeaway or Airbnb link.
You can book hotels through the site (via Booking.com), though I would obviously recommend doing a price comparison and clicking through from a cashback site, etc. There are also plans to integrate other travel and activity booking options like, Musement, Momondo and Klook.
To encourage travelers to add their trips, there are a couple of incentives currently on offer.
Add just two trips (but make sure they are complete) and Tripfocal will provide you with a 10% off code with Triple.co. ‘Triple’ aims to help tourists to feel like locals when they travel and discover hidden gems of a city with private activities and tours.
If you add three trips (so just add one more trip to maximize both promotions) and book a hotel with Booking.com via their site, Tripfocal will give you back their commission, up to $25. Note this is not instant – you need to pay for the hotel and actually stay there!
I like the look of Tripfocal and hope it builds the sort of mass membership that will make it seriously useful. Go and have a look for yourself and share your most recent trips!