UK Web Focus (Brian Kelly)

Innovation and best practices for the Web

LateRooms and Tripit

Posted by Brian Kelly on 18 Jun 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 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. 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?

3 Responses to “LateRooms and Tripit”

  1. Sheila MacNeill said

    Hi Brian

    I use dopplr – but mainly because it counts my carbon use as well. Like trip-it it has iphone app with lots of local information etc. Am tempted by trip-it too.


  2. Chris Rusbridge said

    It would be great if these tools also helped you capture your trip expenses; not just the big bills for trains, planes and hotels, but also the little things like parking, meals etc. There’s a scanner that reads and parses receipts (the Dolphin uses it, I believe, and it’s been demonstrated to me at an airport), but it’s bulky and heavy. There are receipt apps for the iPhone, some of which allow photos of receipts, but these are just photos: useful evidence, but not a huge help in preparing a claim, so all the details have to be repeated by hand.

    An app on a phone with a decent camera (or maybe the next gen iPod Touch if that gets a camera) that will parse receipts like the scanner, and build them into a table for you, linked to the Tripit information, would be just REALLY useful!

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