Trip Essentials is a web service that lets you easily plan and schedule upcoming trips, bookmark potential places to stay and discuss your plans with friends.
The service is designed to help you find and create that special break by comparing online offers, e-travel agents and accommodations and making it easy to save all the necessaries to specific ‘trips’. A trip, as you would expect, is a page where all of that particular holiday’s accommodation and travel options are available to you and your travel companions to plan, discuss, save, and share.
Trip Essentials is also designed to help highlight the chances of potential serendipity – the possibility that one of your network of friends will be at a location you will be. If, for example, two other people from your friends network also happen to be in London then (or thereabouts) TripEss will let you know.
On the gadgets and goodies front, the site provides a bookmarklet to let you browse the web for potential offers and hotels, then at the click of a button save them to your trip page. You can also post automatic Twitter updates to your followers, keeping them informed of your travel plans and destinations. Connecting Flickr sets relevant to a particular trip is also easy thanks to the site’s bookmarklet.
According to an interview with DutchCowboys, the company hopes to earn money via affiliate agreements with major travel organisations, as well as adsense on site and also the collecting of Travel Scan data.
The major player in this market place is UK based and well funded Dopplr, who have just launched their own iPhone app. Aside from the iPhone app however, Dopplr has been relatively quiet of late. Trip Essentials may be able to take advantage, but to do so they’ll need to really bump up the active user base. If the site can simplify the site a little and really target the mobile user with local but full featured versions of their mobile apps, that should get potential users excited. To succeed however, the Dutch Startup also has to contend with the likes of NextStep (created by two ex-Googlers), Offbeat Guides and TripSay, to mention a few.
Give it a try and see what you think, sign up is a breeze thanks to Facebook Connect and Open ID.