Plan trips and find things to do with TripCart
Need to find a good way to put together a trip? Check out TripCart, a build-it-yourself trip planner.
For vacationers in the United States, time off is serious business. Most folks only get two weeks of playtime, and planning what to do and where to do it can be a serious pain. TripCart is a do-it-yourself trip-planning service that's a cross between Yelp and AAA's TripTik service. The site employs a mix of Google Maps, and local attraction ratings--user and editor generated--to let you browse and find interesting things to do. Instead of slurping in content from other services (similar to what Yahoo Local has done with Yelp), the reviews and ratings are site-specific.
The real killer application of TripCart is putting together your trip. Simply explore things you'd like to do on a list, or by browsing through them by genre on the map. To add them to your itinerary, just click the "add to trip" button. If you've logged in to the site, TripCart will keep track of your picks and let you edit and manage them in a separate section called "plan trip." Here, you can sort your picked items by item type or region, meaning that with one click you can figure out the best plan of attack for hitting each destination without zigzagging around town.
Best of all, there's a printable version that will take each of your entries in the order you chose and print them up with titles, addresses, and descriptions in both a summary and daily view. It's essentially a do-it-yourself guidebook.
Despite its dead simple concept, and great local results, it would be really nice to get some secondary recommendations about places from Yelp or Yahoo Local. There is something to be said about the wisdom of the masses, and it's quite clear of that when it comes to food recommendations. Secondly, the site is a little on the slow side, and I could see using it to add more than 40 or 50 destinations a little cumbersome. You're also limited to the United States, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, unless you're leaving the country. In the meantime, if you're looking for a well-designed and easy to use trip planner, TripCart is a really solid solution.