Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Travel Planning Your Way: &

Links to two new travel planning website arrived my inbox in the last couple of months that I thought were creative and useful. They both help you decide where to go and what to do when you get their. has a nice ajaxy interface where you indicate your preferences and trip characteristics, and it gives you a list of suggested destinations, which you can then click on to get more information. You can also click to remove the most popular destinations, for those looking for alternatives to the beaten paths. Variables that you can adjust include Nightlife, Dining, Shopping, Nature, Attractions, Dates, Departure city, Budget, Type of trip (backpacker, middle, luxury), Desired temperature, and Continent.

The interface is clean and quick, with limited scrolling and new page openings. Resources include a list of starred must see attractions and links to online magazine articles and prominent webistes, such as There are also links to air, hotel and car rental reservations, though these did not work for me in the alpha-released website. Which kind of make me wonder how they are making money. is somewhat similar to TripBase, but makes its recommendations from a database of trips that have been saved by users. It has a very nice and easy to use interface for building a day-by-day itinerary for a trip, which you can make public or private. You can access and add suggestions for each day, and you give your trip tags which other people can then use to search the public database.

If you are searching for experiences, you can enter a trip name (destination and type) and receive a list of suggestions from the database. You can adjust your preferences by sliding Families-Couples, Luxury-Budget, Adventure-Relaxations, and Nature-Culture. The results change instantly as you change your preferences.

Some of the suggestions did not seem very real -- like an itinerary that included the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, Balboa Park and Mission Beach all in one day! (That itinerary was listed as a "Top Family Trip" -- I think my kids would kill me if I tried to make them do all that in one day.) Others, however, are very realistic and provide some great suggestions.

Interestingly, both websites make use of sliders as a way of showing preference. One big difference is that TripWiser is (currently) only for the US, while TripBase is international (yay!).

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Blogging in the Tourism Academy

I recently sent out a question to some 1000 or so tourism academics (professors, lecturers, graduate students, and other researchers) on email discussion lists, asking them "Do You Blog?" The purpose was to see how blogging is used by tourism academics. A summary of my findings can be found here:

The major categories or types of blogs that people told me about include:
  • Blogging about Tourism
  • Blogging for Classes and Students
  • Research (and) Blogs
  • Personal Travel Blogs
  • Podcast Blogs
  • Email Lists as Blogs
Click the link above for details. I have been updating these as new blogs are brought to my attention.

Friday, June 01, 2007

TalkShoe - Categories Listing - Travel

TalkShoe - Categories Listing - Travel

TalkShoe has become the destination for podcasters and podcast listeners who want to record live, synchronous, call-in episodes. I usually listen to these after they have been recorded, but if I were more on the ball, I could partcipate in them by either voice or text message. For both podcasters and podcast listeners this service is free, and although the content is entirely user generated, looking at their website they really do resemble a more formal podcast network.

The reason I bring it up TalkShoe here is because they have a Travel category that contains some interesting programs. You can listen to their most recent episodes and see when their next episodes are scheduled.

Not everyone is organized enough to schedule episodes in advance (I could never do that with my podcasts!), but some are. At the time of this mini-review, the following podcasts had scheduled programs:

  • Florida Travel Deals -LorenGray 15 minutes (each week) of information regarding destinations in Florid... Next Episode Time: 06/07/07 02:30 PM EDT Talkcast ID: 27267
  • PlanIt Podcast Live Call Ins - David Martin - Are you looking for the next great party or event location? Do you wa... Next Episode Time: 06/06/07 08:00 PM EDT Talkcast ID: 20394
  • The TRAVELERS JOURNAL - David Bear - The TRAVELERS JOURNAL is a series of 2 minute audio postcards delivere... Next Episode Time: 06/04/07 09:00 AM EDT Talkcast ID: 14057