There are travel guides and tips online, travel books like Fodors or the Rough Guide, even newsstand nested travel magazines with grandiose pictures of dream destinations. But, so far, no one has created the perfect online travel tool … and man do I love to travel!
A new startup I tested the other day, Stay.com, provides the opportunity to browse the travel guides of others, collaborate on travel plans, and lets you create valuable travel plans refined to your needs. Many tech blogs this week are saying the potential is unlimited, maybe because it is. Let’s take a look.
Stay.com makes simple what can sometimes be a circuitous affair in discovering and even listing the places one wishes to be on their travels – let alone making informed decisions. If you ever stressed over using the simple booking engines, got frustrated trying to figure out what should be simple online, Stay.com’s development team has made huge strides in providing simple navigation and an uncluttered experience.
The most refined feature outside clean design? A near perfect rendering of personal PDF personalized guides you can stick in your pocket. Many have attempted this seemingly simple task (what about Tripwolf‘s impossible leafy attempts?), but Stay.com seems to have the method, as below.
This platform makes use of many of the best features from a variety of super popular online travel sites. TripAdvisor to NileGuide, and on to TripIt and others, it appears this Norwegian company intends to either emulate or outright out build the major players in this travel niche. Relevance, simplicity atop valuable content is what any website should be about, this is true for travel sites too. Many do a great job of putting content in, but the ways in which it is accessed and organized are often horrible.
Image and object oriented, minimalist in design, and with great attention paid to aesthetics at every turn. Stay.com Beta seems to be a very thoughtful endeavor into “new age” social travel. All the “givens” are there – Facebook sharing, Twitter, and we are told complete mobile integration for which will allow for near real time travel help – on the go – from anywhere via today’s most advanced geo-centric tools.
This current release, like many beta startups, is short on the complex integrations we were told are upcoming, but very long on ideas and design for an early startup. Want to sun-bathe in Naples? Has a friend been there? Maybe he or she knows something you need to? You get the idea.
Refined tools like an intuitive booking engine which suggests based on what your trip is about add relevance where confusion or chaos exist elsewhere. The list of upcoming features is extensive, but for now you get an easy and explorative experience.
The release would have been much more powerful with the ability to upload custom attractions and images. We are told these are within a very advanced module. We’ll see on that, but for a clean travel exploration with plenty of simple features, you have to like what Norway sent our way.