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July 31, 2008

Let's Triporama!

Let me introduce you one of my favourite webtool - Triporama!

Triporama is the free trip planner & travel guide for groups.

I found this one day when I was searching for a program to organize my coming Phuket escapade at download.com. All the while I never really faced trouble with travelling because all my previous trips only involved my dear & myself, our family members, close friends/coursemates (the staying near to each other ones), or my colleagues.

This Phuket trip is causing me headache because it involves 3 couples staying in different places! Hmm...Firstly Ethan/Michelle, although also staying in Penang, but due to Ethan's job (heavy travelling), we seldom have chance to meet up, and the last time I saw him was during his wedding; then Philip/Angela, this 2 are my friends from Hong Kong, and the last time I met Philip was back in year 2005 when we went for a drink at Knutsford Terrace when we were in Hong Kong! So it's really tough to be able to really have an organized discussion, even through email you'll find it hard to update and record everything. MSN? Yea, we're using that all the while, but it's only to finalize and confirm things on the spot. But luckily I have Triporama to the rescue!

Ok, cut the craps. This is how it works:

1) Register a new account, fill up your details.

2) Click on "Group Trip Planner" and click "Create a new group trip".
Group Trip Planner Features:

  • Store and share travel research

  • Create an itinerary

  • Manage invitations

  • Organize and assign tasks

  • Conduct a date poll

  • Post and review messages

  • Coordinate travel details

3) Follow the instructions, fill up all the information and then click "Create Group Trip". And this is how it looks like when you're done...

4) Now you can invite your trip mates to join and from this Group Profile page, you can check the RSVP/Status of your trip mates. And the good thing is, this tool will send reminder to those who didn't respond.

5) And if you still have not set the date of the trip, you can generate a poll by clicking on the "Date Poll" bar. You can choose to send reminder to trip mates when the timeline is over.

6) Go to "Itinerary" to select the start-end date if everyone has finalized on the date, or draft an itinerary for each day of your trip.

7) Next you can use the "Topics" tool to raise questions about the things that need attention from all. Here you can talk about accommodations, budget, activities, etc..

8) Then assign tasks to the people in the group by clicking on the "Tasks" bar.

9) I like this "Bookmarks" tool a lot, because whenever you surf the website for related information, you can actually bookmark the page right away without having to search from the "Favourites" in your Browser. And it is so convinient because everyone in the group can share the same information. It eases decision making!

10) To install the Bookmarks tool, click on the Add Button to Bookmark "On The Fly" and follow instructions given. When it is done, you will see this button in your Browser under "Favourites".

Example for bookmarking a page to your Triporama page:

And the page will appear in your Bookmarks list as shown in #9 above.

11) Lastly you can proceed to post "Messages" to your trip mates. Subject can be chosen. I usually post things that we have agreed and confirmed for everyone's attention. It can be a discussion board for the group, and also act as a record for desicions made.

Planning a trip is easy if you are going alone, but it is a big headache if it involves people from different places. I'm so relieved now as most of our items are done, and we just need to click on the booking buttons to pay for our reservations! And I can't wait to be there sOoN!

A two cents advice: it is always better to plan ahead for accommodations and your itinerary before departure in order to save time and avoid paying even higher price for walk-ins. Especially when you are travelling in a group, looking for a suitable place to stay during your trip may not be that ideal. If you did not do earlier reservation, you might end up having to move from one place to another everyday. That will drag your time in searching for another one, and also wasting time on packing and unpacking; worse comes to worst, missed the schedule for your activities.


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