Cool Tools: Uptake travel planner

My sister and family are headed to Italy next week for a vacation with my three-year-old niece and have taken every book and video about Italy out of the library. Did I mention they are a little nervous about keeping a three-year-old entertained? They’ve referenced several online sites about traveling with kids in Italy, kid-friendly hotels, kid-friendly restaurants, kid-friendly ways to travel (train), and even tried out the BBC language course to teach her to say “Ciao, bella” and “grazie!”

Now, if they had run into a site like uptake.com, they could easily plant all their needs and desires into its search engine and the site would pop out an itinerary, list of hotels and activities tailored specifically for them. Which is exactly how this site works.

For example, let’s say Jon and I have all the time in the world this summer to vacation in Hawaii. Type in “budget hotels” in “Maui” and it returned two pages of hotels with a moveable bar for price and buttons for amenities, lodging type and vacation themes. The results come from 5,000 different search engines, including TripAdvisor, Expedia, BedandBreakfast.com, Orbitz, with reviews and ratings.  Then choose your preferred vendor to book. There’s also an  “Attractions” tab that will pull up all the possible Maui things to do. Narrow it down with a selection of categories, such as museums, zoos, beaches, wineries, spas, family, historical, etc.

Downside: this only concentrates on the U.S. right now, so my sister and family have to contend with their 15 books and videos from the library. But stay tuned – if they know what they’re doing over there, they’ll go worldwide soon.

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