Sunday, December 6, 2009

Virtual Bulletin Board To Help Plan Your Next Trip.

Duffel is a new website designed to help you plan your trips. If you've ever tried to plan a trip with multiple people you know it takes a lot of emailing, calling, texting and organizing. Duffel takes all the hassle out of it while placing all the information in one place for everyone in your party to see.

To start out, register, you can make your itinerary public or visible only to those you invite to see it. After that, you enter your destination city (ie: New York, NY), travel dates and you can name your trip as well (ie: "Family Reunion", "Andrew's Birthday"). Then you have the option to "plan alone" or "plan with friends". If you choose the "plan with friends option" you can add contacts from Facebook, Email, and other Duffel users.

Once you've completed those tasks you are then presented with what looks like a typical cork bulletin board. Duffel automatically starts you off with a few suggestions for the city you're visiting, but you can alter them as necessary. You have different tabs to enter in different aspects of your trip which include: Food & Drink, Activity, Lodging, Transportation, Notes, Recommendations. For example, if you click on "Lodging" you'll see the image below and you can enter your lodging information for you and the people with whom you're planning your trip.

You can select "map view" to see a google map of your itinerary and see where everything is all at once.

Once you have an idea of what you want to do, where you want to eat, stay, travel, you can drag and drop your itinerary and links to the day planner on the left hand side of the screen. The one thing Duffel lacks is an hour-by-hour planning feature, but not everyone plans every minute of every trip. And perhaps they'll add that feature in the future.

Duffel seems to be a very simple and easy to use trip planning tool. It took me less than 5 minutes to prepare a bulletin board with a few ideas for an upcoming vacation. And when you're collaborating with friends or relatives, it makes it virtually hassle-free as everyone can put in their suggestions in one central location instead of various emails and text messages.

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