To say that the Internet and smartphones have changed the way we operate would be quite the understatement. Nearly every industry has witnessed a total paradigm-shift with the introduction of increased convenience and new-found ease when it comes to ‘shopping around.’ In the travel industry especially, the way that people research, book and spend vacations has changed dramatically. And so, travel guides have changed too. Fewer people frequent the travel sections of their local bookstores and opt instead for downloading guides or creating lists, maps and documents themselves.
But, of course, the downloadable guides are often long and not customized, while lists, documents and maps can be cumbersome and unwieldy.
That’s where customizable travel guides and itineraries come in, and there’s a newly-funded travel planning app: CreateTrips. With $600,000 in seed funding, CreateTrips is aiming to expand its user base and increase the functionality of the platform.
CreateTrips uses content, tips and photos from users to provide a list of popular attractions in cities all over the world. After creating a trip in the CreateTrips app, users can peruse lists of popular venues, check out tips, look up directions, and save venues to their itineraries. The interface is sleek, simple and informative and gives users valuable information on everything from museums and coffee shops to bars and breweries. Then, after all of the ‘venues of interest’ are saved to the itinerary, users can save all of their locations to a map that can be purchased and accessed offline.
The features in the app are great and overall, CreateTrips provides some truly valuable information to users in a way that makes it easy to quickly assess the popularity and viability of certain attractions.
Because the content is created and curated by users, obviously the more travelers who are using the app, the better and more comprehensive and more valuable the information becomes. Hopefully, that $600,000 in seed money will help CreateTrips reach those new users.
CreateTrips is free in the app store (with the ability to purchase your personalized itinerary and map in-app), and already has my vote. Personally, I’ve used it to begin mapping out the details of my 3 month trip to Norway in August. The stress-free investigation methods for attractions, combined with the easy-to-use interface makes it a real winner for me, and the ability to purchase my personalized map for offline use (considering that I’ll be accruing overseas data charges) is a feature that makes all kinds of sense.
At its core, CreateTrips has nailed the heart and soul of what users want from a trip planning/travel guide app: It allows customization, provides some measure for quality in attractions, and gives users a practical idea of where attractions are located on a map of the destination. Now, with simple-to-integrate features like ratings, TripAdvisor links, public transit timetables and the ability to add details from plane tickets and hotel reservations, CreateTrips just might end up being one of the travel planning apps to top the ever-growing ‘travel tech’ game.