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.
TripBase.com 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 Wikitravel.com. 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.
TripWiser.com 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!).