How often do you travel, whether it be across town or across the continent? Daily? Weekly? How much could you save if you pre-planned those trips using an app that can optimise your travel for both price and time? What about what you'll do once you're there?
Chances are, you haven't really thought about it. Most people don't. Sure, when we go on holiday to visit mum or the Paris nightlife, we spend the time to hit all of the travel sites and get the best deals for our airfare, train and hotels. But those trips across London or from there to Birmingham probably aren't as well planned.
It just seems like a lot of work. Right? Maybe not.
If you use a good route planner or trip planner, you could potentially save ten, fifteen, or more pounds just on the driving or transit time, round trip. Add that up and in a year, you could have saved enough to pay for a couple of those trips. Or to pay for that trip to mum's on the weekend.
Here's an example. You're on your way to Birmingham from London and plan to take the M1. Using Rac.co.uk, however, you learn that you would save time and fuel by taking the M40 instead. You also learn that, along the way, petrol is a little cheaper if you can stop in Bicester. Round trip, you'll save about £8 in fuel since you'll be getting petrol cheaper and avoiding the construction mess going on in Luton.
That's just one way to use apps to save money. There are a lot of websites and apps for finding your way in the world.
What if you travel a lot for business and want to find something to do after you've made your meeting with the client? Try WhenTheMeetingsOver.com. One of the site's founders came up with the idea when he was on a business trip to Thailand, saw a fellow traveller with a tennis racket, felt like a game, and asked if he could join. Next thing he knew, he was eating lunch and discussing business, turns out, they were in the same line and, weeks later, a contract was formed.
Those chance meetings are unusual, sure, but the idea behind WTMO is that this can happen on a less spontaneous basis. The site is a combined social network (based on interests) and professional network. Think of it as CupidNights meets LinkedIn.
If you just want something other than the hotel's restaurant, then TripAdvisor might be your best bet instead. This site is best described as a "restaurant review overload" for those looking for real opinions on eateries the world over.
What if you just need an easy way to bring all of those electronic itineraries together into one iPhone app? Then Tripit.com fits the bill. This app lets you forward all of your emailed itineraries (plane, hotel, rental car) to one place where they're compiled and show up on your phone as an itinerary. All in one location, easily found, with all the info you need right there. The app literally scans your Gmail and finds trips for you and organises them. It is quite brilliant, give it a try.
These are just the beginning. There are a hundred and one ways you can use the Web (or apps) to travel.
Follow Craig Agranoff on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lapp