First, the disclosure: I was originally drawn to Tripbase by its creative writing competition. I dig anything that can net some spare cash to help pay for my next great adventure. But regardless of my desire to walk away with prize money, I thought that readers of Kaleidoscopic Wandering, who have enjoyed previous posts offering six websites that inspire travel and then another one listing five more, would at least appreciate a review of the site that claims you can “travel your way.”
And now, the review …
So here’s the thing: I don’t always know where I want to go. What I do know is that I want to get away, preferably to somewhere new and interesting for a price that doesn’t break the bank. Tripbase meets my first requirement for any website that claims to inspire travel — it lets me choose a departure city without insisting that I already know where I want to go. In my case, I’d like to take a trip over the holiday season, but I don’t know much more than that.
Tripbase also asks that you enter your departure and return dates, but beyond that, the world is your playground. Are you looking for happening clubs and late-night entertainment? Is shopping high on your to-do list? Are you the kind of person who lusts for meals worth traveling halfway around the world? You decide what your priorities are as you rate the importance of nightlife, dining, shopping, nature and attractions on your next trip. I was a bit bummed that outdoor activities wasn’t a choice, but I figured that if I overcompensated on nature and attractions, I would find a destination that fit my requirement of having an interesting and diverse selection of outdoor adventures.
Tripbase gives you the choice to fly or drive to your destination, and, if you’d prefer to go by car, how many hours you’d like to drive. I haven’t come across another website that gives you the option to go by car versus plane. Once you’ve set your parameters (don’t worry … you can change them later), let Tripbase find a selection of destinations that fit your requirements.
Flexibility is key when planning a trip with few parameters except for departure city (and in this case, dates of travel). What if I decide I want to indulge in something other than the high degree of nature and attractions that I chose earlier? What if you decide shopping isn’t that important after all? No problem, says Tripbase. Just change your preferences on the second screen. This is also where you can plan a budget for the number of days you want to travel. I originally had mine set on “any,” and while the menu of options in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia are certainly appealing to my travel bug, they aren’t so friendly to my bank account right now. The good news is that this budget option includes flight, lodging and meals, so you don’t have to try to add the bulky cost of airfare to the trip. The bad news is that, even with this budget bar set, the selections that Tripbase returns may still run several hundred dollars above your spending preference, so buyer beware.
This is also the place where you can toggle the type of trip you want to take (budget, mid-range or luxury), choose from a (very limited) list of activities (the site notes that more will be added soon), select your preferred weather conditions and tourist levels, and eliminate any regions of the world that aren’t of interest to you. Hop back and forth between the listings and the map to determine where in the world you may be headed, and feel free to switch between the fly and drive options as your wanderlust considers the numerous choices.
I like the destination listings, which note the activities that are hot at any given location. Costs are also broken down by total cost per day, hotel price and flight, based on the type of travel you hope to do. Is your travel bug piqued by Tripbase’s selections? Mine is. Based on what the site has suggested for me, it looks like I should consider heading south for the winter.
At this point, you can continue to adjust your travel desires, or you can dig in even further by exploring the destinations in more detail. Search for hotels, flights and commercialized travel deals, flip through photos, find details on things to do and explore an archive of articles related to the destination. I would like to see Tripbase flesh out its collection of articles, which it pulls from a number of different websites, by providing more of a description of what I can expect to read if I choose to click off of Tripbase. The page listing things to do is also a bit bulky with its listing of activities filled with footnotes about ratings and reviews, yet I couldn’t find any actual reviews once I clicked on an activity. I also find the deals page to be a bit disconcerting; the hotel, flight, car and package deals seem to auto-populate and aren’t necessarily representative of the selected destination.
Like many websites that inspire travel, the inner details of Tripbase are a bit thin. For example, if I choose to drive versus fly over the holiday season, the Grand Canyon fits within my criteria. However, there’s no mention of how there are two very different vacation opportunities affiliated with the Grand Canyon — one on the North Rim and one on the South Rim. One of my suggested activities is to hike the North Kaibab Trail, which I agree is definitely a Grand Canyon must-do … if the North Rim was actually open at that time of year I selected.
As a website to inspire travel, Tripbase gets two thumbs up from me. It takes into account the many factors that help trim down the list of potential places I may want to visit. Once it gets into the nitty-gritty, detail-driven points of travel, however, travelers may be better suited to jump off and do research on other, more comprehensive sites. Like many travel inspiration sites, it excels in inspiring but doesn’t do such a great job at providing the back-up support to make a trip a reality. No worries, though. While Tripbase does a great job in getting your travel bug running and considering the countless vacation possibilities at your fingertips, other sites that aren’t as skilled in cultivating creativity can help sort out the logistics so that you can pack your bags and hit the road.
And as for me … I just may head south for the winter. Venezuela, Ecuador and Jamaica all sound quite appealing. Now, if I could just convince Tripbase to hand over the prize money …
If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:
- Travel Inspiration: 6 Websites that Inspire Travel
- Travel Inspiration: 5 More Websites That Inspire Travel
- Where I Find Travel Inspiration
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