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Archive for June 18th, 2010

LateRooms and Tripit

Posted by Brian Kelly (UK Web Focus) on 18 June 2010

In a post on Saving Money on Accommodation I described how I often use LateRooms when booking hotel accommodation. I described how this also provides details of the discounts that one has obtained and suggested that such evidence may be useful if there is a need to demonstrate how one is providing cost effective working practices.

AJAX Interface to Laterooms servicesI’ve noticed recently that LateRooms now provides an AJAX interface which can be used when selecting one’s preferred options.  I used this recently to find a hotel near Covent Garden which had WiFi available – and was pleased to find a room at £37 pounds per night rather than £150. Quite a significant saving for the two nights I stayed there!

Since December 2007 I have been using Tripit.com to help in the planning of my trips. I’ve used it for 64 of my trips, which includes many of my work trips (normally for those which involve an overnight stay) together with my holidays.

Although it is a Social Web service, by default others can’t see details of your trips.  There are people in my Tripit network who can see details of forthcoming and recent trips, but I ensure that these are people whom I have met and trust.

When I was away in southeast Asia couple of years ago I shared the details of where I was staying with UKOLN’s departmental secretary – so in case of any unforeseen problems (and I was in Thailand shortly before the airport was closed due to political unrest) it would be possible to see the hotels I had stayed at.

A nice feature of Tripit is that when you enter the date and flight number for a flight it will know when you are flying to. It uses this to provide a local map of the airport  and details of the flight status.

Tripit.com serviceAn even better feature is that, for many journeys, you don’t even have to type in the details. Instead you can simply forward an email conformation to Tripit and it will parse the information and add this to your travel details.  I used this feature for a train trip to London and the service automatically included the full details in my travel schedule, as illustrated.

As well as automatically including a map of your destination for flights the Tripit application also allows you to embed maps -again I use this so I have maps typically  showing the directions from the train station to my accommodation, my accommodation to the venue for my meeting and from the venue back to the station.

There is also an app for Tripit which I have installed on my iPod Touch so I have access to this information in my pocket.

Shouldn’t everybody who does a fair amount of travel make use of such services?  And are there other services which you’ve used which you find indispensable to support your trips?

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