Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Web Buzz: Plan your trip at tripomatic.com

What it does: Helps you plan a day-by-day trip itinerary
Cost: Free
What's hot: I love the idea of making a day-by-day itinerary and then downloading it as a PDF when I'm done, as well as being able to access it from my smartphone or iPad. But after testing the app on my iPad, and also checking out the website, the latter is the way to start. Go to the home page on the website and look for a suggested trip plan such as "3 Day Trip to San Francisco or "Paris in One Day" and click on the Modify Trip Now button to make it your own. Once you're done modifying an itinerary, use the Add Your Own button to place specific restaurants, shops or addresses on your map and itinerary. The end result, as a PDF, is beautiful and book-like.
What's not: Where are the restaurants? When I tried to plan a trip to San Francisco, most of the pins marked places of interest. The few times I did find something food-related, it was usually a place to party or grab a beer.
Worth it: Yes, but there are stumbling blocks, and it requires patience. For example, when I went to the website and it told me to choose a destination, I typed in "Las Vegas, NV," and got the reply, "Tripomatic has yet to cover Las Vegas, NV." But there on the home page was a list of popular destinations, and Las Vegas was included, with maps, a free guide, suggestions for what to do and tours to buy. Go figure.

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