Five really useful travel websites

Including one that forges low-priced group deals on flights and hotels as interest grows in a destination.
Written by Mark Halper, Contributor
It's probably occurred to all of us at one point when we were in the market for something that we might get  a better deal - a volume discount - if only we could round up other people interested in purchasing the same product or service.

If you get that feeling the next time you're planning a trip, check out the website CarryOn. It detects when interest is growing in a certain deal or destination. It can then forge lower-priced group deals. It even facilitates group hub-bub through social media to help pull in more travelers - and thus more purchasing power.

CarryOn is one of five online groups that the website Skift has singled out in a short roundup of really useful travel sites and apps. Their services range from pricing, such as with CarryOn, to budgeting to customizable travel guides. Here's the list, lifted word-for-word from Skift (where, forgivably, the copy editor must have been off for holiday shopping):

>> CarryOn is a social travel planning site that lowers airfares and hotel rates as the number of users following the deal increases. The site uses the power of group pricing to decrease rates by up to 40 percent. It encourages users to share deals with friends via social media.

>> Jauntful is a platform where users can create and share printable guides with their favorite travel tips. Users can locations, add descriptions, and numbered bubbles point out where they are on a city map.

>> Butu is a trip planning platform where users can create their own trip itineraries or view and save elements of others’ trip reports. Butu keeps track of users’ past travel preferences to suggest similar activities for new and future itineraries.

>> Travees is a budgeting app for business and solo travelers. Users can measure spending against their budget and keep track of expenses. The app has not yet been released.

>> Jetpac City Guides searches though public Instagram accounts to create curated city guides. Photos are up voted and organized into top ten lists based on the user’s interests like foodies, music lovers, or outdoors activities. The app is available now for iOS.

If you go to the original article you can also read Skift's quick assessment of each site's strengths and weaknesses. Here's the link again.

Happy travels. 

Cover photo is from TKrueger via Flickr

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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