Travel News: Japan Trip!

First, just some photos. I have to get all my info in order!

Travel Tools: Tripbase

How do you plan a trip? Do you set a budget first? Do you decide where you want to go first? Or, do you decide what you want to do, and then match that up with a place to do it? These are all important factors to consider when you're getting ready for a trip, and now there's a website to actively help you gauge these factors in order of importance to you, and presents you with trip plans that fit your specifications, based on the recommendations of other users.
So, I've set my scale as follows. Nightlife is not that big of a deal with me, and heading from club to club means mingling with people I don't know and putting yourself in a situation that involves an unfamiliar city and nightlife isn't high on the list. Dining is a must, but it's also pricey, I'll leave that at half. Shopping also, not big on my list, but some cities have great specialty stores that even if you don't buy anything, are fun to visit. Nature, I could take it or leave it, they make for good pictures, so I set that at low, too. The most important thing for me is sight-seeing: Museums, theme parks, local events, etc. So I set that really high.

I'm typing this out as I move along, so I just hit submit and I'm shocked! This tool is awesome- here's what I got. Fifteen travel destinations are presented to me. They are: Mexico City, Los Angeles, Paris, Singapore, Boston, Berlin, Tokyo, San Francisco, Sydney, Florence, Washington DC, Chicago, London, and New York City. Aside from including precisely the cities I've already chosen to visit based on my specifications, which I bolded above, each choice come complete with a cost per day amount, as well as little icons that denote what the city has to offer. Tokyo, for example, is set at $108 per day, and offers attractions [the most important thing on my list!], dining [the second most important], and lodging. Awesome! Ok, I'm going to click more!
More surprises! The next page is a pop-up, but you can't move it around, so if I want to go back to my list, I have to close the window. Good thing I don't have to go back to the list! As you can see from the image, there's a little box to the left that shows the current temperature, rainfall, and tourist season. The temperature is set to orange/yellow, I'm not sure what that means. It's not red, which I'm guessing is hot, and it's not blue/green, which I'm guessing is moderate? Great! Next, the rain drop is completely filled, some of them are half-full, so I know that Japan is in its rainy season, and the tourist meter says L, for low? I hope so, Tokyo already has 35 million people! To the right there are things to do, articles, pictures- everything you need to convince yourself that a second mortgage makes perfect sense, if it means you'll be on the next flight to Tokyo!
A lot of the information for highlighted places is missing, since the site hasn't had a lot of traffic, when I get back from Japan, I'll be sure to add all my info- The best part of Tripbase is that it doesn't sort or make recommendations based on what is important to you, but rather how important those factors are. The sliding scale is what makes this site awesome- so is the cost per day feature. However, it doesn't explain what goes into consideration in the cost per day, and the amount jumped from $108 on the results page, to $138 on the details page, with no explanation.

The worst part is, that as a part of an emerging web 2.0 travel industry, this site doesn't provide a venue for the developers, founders, and masterminds behind the application to inform its users of updates, new features or enhancements, and the like. That is what's great about other travel sites, the company blog and maybe forums.

All in all, Tripbase is a sweet little app with a lot of potential.