TravelMuse: Inspiring and Enjoyable Trip Planning
By Maggie Freleng
It’s that time of the year when you have had enough of the “real world” and decide to go on vacation. But what you thought was going to be a simple task winds up becoming another hassle. Fortunately, with TravelMuse, figuring out where to go, what to do, where to stay, where to eat, and coordinating the details with family and friends has been made easy, enjoyable and inspiring.
TravelMuse is a website, launched about a year ago, co-founded by Kevin Fliess and Eric Wood based on finding a solution to the travel planning space and helping people to find inspiration and ideas on where to travel.
TravelMuse is free to use. No more pricy travel agents. “We make money through advertising and a revenue share on bookings (air, hotel, car and packages) made through our anchor partner, World Choice Travel, a Travelocity company,” Said Fiona Ashley, Director of Marketing of TravelMuse.
The TravelMuse is a start-up company that empowers people to imagine, experience and share their travel ideas.
The TravelMuse planner helps you quickly create a personalized trip, even multiple trips at once all through one window on your browser. This may sound like any other booking website offering choices of hotels and rental cars with flights, but TravelMuse is much more than just hotels and rental cars.
TravelMuse personalizes your vacations helping you figure out the best options for your individual needs. In minutes custom-made trips are created and able to be shared with friends and co-travelers.
When you are finished planning your trip, TravelMuse lets you create a personal guidebook to take with you on your vacation. Your guidebook contains everything about your trip including your research, day-to-day schedule and a city guide to your destination.
Thought planning your trip couldn’t get better? Besides being an efficient place to plan your trip, TravelMuse can also help you figure out where to go.
“About 30% of people who are trying to plan a trip do not have a destination in mind. We thought it was important to help those people figure out where they wanted to go based on their needs,” said Kevin Fleiss, CEO and Co-founder of TravelMuse.
With the TravelMuse Inspiration Finder you can quickly learn about destinations that meet your traveling criteria.
Suppose you are leaving from New York in the fall for six days. You only want to fly a maximum of eight hours, with two people each on a $1500 budget to a place you can whale watch. TravelMuse takes this information and concocts your ideal destinations in seconds. Would you have thought Reykjavik, Iceland would be your ideal destination?
Where to Start
Choose a destination. If you are not sure, click “Inspire Me” for some help. Figuring out where to go is the hardest part of planning a trip. Once you have figured out your destination, the TravelMuse planner does the rest with just a few clicks of your mouse.
After entering your destination a brief intro to your vacation spot of choice is provided for you, and also added onto your itinerary. This is one of the perks to personalizing your vacation: being informed about your destination, especially when going abroad.
Next you have the option of searching for hotels, activities and restaurants. TravelMuse allows you to check hotel availability and book a hotel without having to leave the TravelMuse page.
By clicking activities, hotels, or restaurants you will be provided with more than 100,000 points of interest, 90,000 hotels and hundreds of city guides spanning the globe. Flipping through pages of possibilities is time consuming, and the exact opposite of TravelMuse’s mission. Therefore TravelMuse has provided you with options to quickly and efficiently filter your results by neighborhood, ratings, and things to do.
Is TravelMuse not providing you with exactly what you want? No problem, just click “From the Web” and browse the web for exactly what you want without leaving TravelMuse.
All the information and destinations you find on TravelMuse can be directly saved to your Tripfolio, even if it is from the web. Searching the web with TravelMuse is just like having a manila folder of all your research except it is a virtual manila folder.
Tripfolio is the central storage area for all your travel research. It’s the place where you save every detail of your trip that can be accessed at any point along to add, delete, and edit information.
You don’t have to leave TravelMuse and all your information is directly saved to your folder with one click to be added to your day-to-day itinerary later. Planning a trip could not be easier.
Itinerary and Tripfolio.
Once you have chosen your activities, hotels and restaurants you are able to organize and schedule your trip. A day-to-day itinerary is created from your Tripfolio. Simply open your Tripfolio and drag your activities into the day you would like to plan them for. Everything on your itinerary is also conveniently accompanied by its location on a map.
Once you have finished planning you can view, print, start packing, or plan another trip!
Another great perk is that any time something on your itinerary changes, for example hotel reservations, you and your co-travelers will be notified right away.
Sharing Great Ideas
TravelMuse is also a place for travelers share trips and ideas. When a trip is made the creator has the option of making it private, restricted, or public. If a trip is made public, anyone on TravelMuse can view it and get ideas.
If you go to popular destinations you are able to click on a destination and view popular trips. Like someone’s trip but don’t have time to browse for all the information and create your own itinerary? You don’t have to. You can simply click copy and the itinerary you are looking at will become your own where you are able to modify it to your needs and share it with your co-travelers.
You can invite travelers on your trip at any time by clicking invite and typing a friend or family member’s e-mail into the space provided. Each person on the trip will have access to the itinerary. Any time a change is made, everyone will be notified.
Planning a trip with TravelMuse is organized, time efficient, and convenient. Once you are used to the idea of creating a trip without the aid of an agent, planning will always be enjoyable.
Maggie Freleng is an editorial assistant at GoNOMAD. She is a student at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.