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Tools That Make Travel Easier

The competition between travel companies to make bookings easier is becoming more intense than ever before. With constant Groupon notifications about cheap holidays popping up on your iPhone, companies are being forced to do everything in their power to make travel easier for you, wherever you are. Room 77, ExpertFlyer and Uptake are three such offerings aimed at making travel, flights and hotels easier to arrange. These online tools are targeted and focused on making everything from arranging your travel insurance to your specific seat allocation as easy as can be.

ExpertFlyer

For all travellers who hate the middle seat on planes – Nab the best seats before it’s too late.

Seat allocations on airlines change on average at least once prior to take off. What ExpertFlyer allows you to do is to choose your ‘perfect seat’ down to an individual chair and it will notify you as soon as it becomes available. Searching for a specific seat may be going too far but it will allow you to choose any isle seat, any three seats together, or even the illusive front row seats with the extra leg room.

ExpertFlyer will allow you to view seat plans from as many as 100 airlines so that you will always be ready to grab the best spot. ExpertFlyer has been on offer for frequent commercial and business flyers for a long time but it is now opening up to a wider and more leisurely audience. Considering the increased premium for certain seats on many airlines, this application may not be worth the effort for infrequent leisure flyers, but it will certainly make it easier to grab the top spot if you so wish.

Room 77

Get the rooms with the best views and the shortest walk to the elevators with this handy tool.

Visiting a hotel is often a game of room roulette but this is not something you have to worry about with Room 77. Instead of being left guessing about the amenities which will be provided in your room, Room 77 will enable you to pick your room out based upon the things that really matter to you. Filters like ‘best views’, ‘distance to elevators’, and ‘WiFi’ will allow you to cherry pick the rooms in any hotel that you are visiting.

Whether you are making bookings at Malaysia hotels, American hotels, or hotels across Europe, Room 77 provides a comprehensive plan of rooms for the majority of three-to-five star offerings. Room 77 can offer you exactly what you want from a holiday but you will have to work tirelessly at determining exactly what it is that you want.

Uptake

Get the reviews that you really want to see.

The process of getting holiday reviews from people you know changed dramatically with the introduction of social media. Last year a Facebook status asking for information about any particular place would likely have generated numerous personalised reviews from friends. Unfortunately, such statuses are now merely ‘liked’ into obscurity or hidden behind a plethora of useless information about what your friends are having for dinner. Enter Uptake:

Uptake is a program designed to counteract this shift by targeting Facebook friends more specifically. By logging in with your Facebook details, you will be able to search for friends who have familiarity with any particular area. If I type ‘Sydney’ into the site, for example, it tells me that 36 of my friends have familiarity with the city; based upon a scan of their pictures, geo-location history and statuses. Uptake will then post (with your agreement) a message on each friend’s wall asking them a specific and targeted question. Uptake is an excellent way to make sure your questions about a trip reach the people who can actually help you without the message getting lost in the ether of Facebook notifications.

So the next time you are planning on booking a holiday escape consider these useful tools when you are organising your trip. It could just make it all the more enjoyable and much more of a stress free experience as well.

Kushal Tomar

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