Travel to Live Blog

Stories of our adventures and updates about the site.

Category: How-to

Traveling With Friends Should Be as Easy as Swiping

We’ve been traveling a lot around the world and one issue comes up again and again: getting your friends on the same page is tough! We’ve created Google Docs, email chains, Whatsapp groups – you name it. This stuff is all so complicated but we believe that traveling with friends should be as easy as swiping.

A Familiar Situation

Traveling with friends is hard on whatsapp

Coordinating with a Whatsapp group can leave some feeling overwhelmed

Imagine you’re struck by that burning desire to travel. You need to go to Japan. But traveling with friends isn’t so simple sometimes. You start up a Whatsapp group. Let’s go to Japan!! Everybody’s in. So you start to tell all your ideas, typing and typing, as fast as they come out. But then… silence. What? But everyone wanted to go.

Fast forward a few weeks. You’re ready to book. Again, you take to Whatsapp and tell everyone you’ve found a great deal and you need their urgent approval. Again, nothing. You don’t get it. Don’t they want to go to Japan? They all thought it was a cool idea when you announced it.

Planners and Joiners

The problem is that there are planners and there are joiners. Planners are like you, very invested into making sure the trip happens. They do all the research and write down all the ideas. Joiners love to travel but they don’t like to plan. They like to give some ideas and they want to be consulted but they mostly just want to show up.

The thing is, when you’re traveling with friends, planners and joiners need each other! The trick is not overwhelming the joiners. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a better way?

There is a better way

We’ve been working on a way to balance these two groups.

Swipe right to travel with friends

Swipe right to agree. Swipe left to say no.

We have a simple itinerary for planners to add their input, which are sent to joiners in easy to digest stacks. Simply swipe right for the travel ideas you are interested in. We’ve tried it and it works great. We’re all walking around with our mobiles these days, so even if you’re busy at work, you can take 3 seconds to swipe a few travel plans. This gives the planners quick feedback, while allowing joiners to have a say.

Traveling with friends doesn’t have to be hard. If you want to make it easy, create your trip now on Travel to Live.

Collaborate on trips with your friends!

Plan, share, and collaborate on trips: that’s our motto! Last time we talked about how to add a trip widget to your blog, so that’s the share but what about collaborate on trips? We’re most excited about collaboration at Travel to Live. In fact, you might even say this feature is our raison d’être. Planning a trip with friends can be a frustrating experience. Where do you write it all down? How do you keep track of everything? It was that struggle that gave us the idea for the site in the first place. Collaboration let’s you plan and dream together.

How to collaborate on trips

You can collaborate on any existing or new trip. If you don’t have any, you’ll need to create a trip first. Once your trip is created, look in the itinerary (on the left-hand side of the screen) for the “invite collaborators” text.

Click to invite collaborators

Click it and get the one-time use code from the following popup.

It's easy to collaborate on trips - just share the URL!

Give the URL to the friend you want to collaborate with. Once they are signed into Travel to Live, they will be added as a collaborator. You need to generate a link for each friend you want to add. Just push the reload button or open the popup again to get a new code.

That’s it! You’re now collaborating. There’s just one last detail: you can always see who you’re collaborating with on the left-hand side of the itinerary.

See your fellow collaborators in the itinerary

You can also click on their pictures to bring up a link to their profile. Give it a try.

Start collaborating!

Now that you know how to collaborate on trips, get planning your next group travel adventure. And if you want to share your experiences on your blog, don’t forget to check out how you can promote your travel blog with Travel to Live!

Add a trip widget to your travel blog

Writing about your travels is a lot of fun but many of us are visual consumers of information. Who doesn’t like pulling out the map or spinning the globe, to see where that place is in the world? I know when I’m travelling, my parents are always at home with an atlas, trying to get a picture of where I’ve been or where I’m going. Our trip widget helps you do just that on your travel blog!

Our trip to Travel Tech Europe in London.

Adding Your Trip Widget is Easy

You don’t need to be an HTML wiz to use our trip widget. All you need is one little line of HTML – that’s it!

 <iframe src=”https://travelto.live/embedded/trip/AX6pz/”></iframe>

There’s nothing to it. Just replace the trip id above with your own and plug the code into your blog. It’s that simple. Here are some easy steps to follow to get a trip into your blog.

  1. Create a trip on Travel to Live.
  2. Once created, you’ll see your browser’s URL has changed to https://travelto.live/map/trip/xxx/. If you don’t know how to find the URL in your browser, look for the share button in the top right of the page. Click it and you’ll see the current link. Copy that xxx!
  3. Replace AX6pz in the above code with what you copied.
  4. In your blog editor, switch to HTML and paste in the code. Done!

Now you have your very own trip widget embedded in your blog. This trip widget will update as you update the trip on our site. You don’t need to do any more work or ever touch the code again. Easy right?

Advanced Users

There are a couple things you can do to customize the trip widget. Depending on your blog editor, you might be able to change the width and height. Our version of WordPress always sets the width and height of an iframe automatically but if you’ve got more control, you can change the appearance very easily. Just add width=”xxx” or height=”xxx” to the above code, as seen below.

<iframe src=”https://travelto.live/embedded/trip/AX6pz/” width=”300″ height=”300″></iframe>

Go ahead and set it to whatever you want. Switch back to Visual mode or look at a preview to see how it looks.

Another thing you can do is limit your trip to a certain day. Travel to Live allows you to add any number of days to your trip. To show only one of them, add ?day=xxx to the end of the URL in the code.

 <iframe src=”https://travelto.live/embedded/trip/AX6pz/?day=1“></iframe>

The above example would show only events on the first day of your trip. This way, you can show your readers only the stuff related to your latest blog post.

WordPress Plugin

We realize some of you don’t want to muck around with HTML. Although our trip widget is very easy to add to any blog that supports HTML, we also plan to make it even easier. In the future, you’ll be able to add the widget with a WordPress plugin, so stay tuned to this blog for future updates.

Get Started Now

What are you waiting for? Create a trip now or read more about how to promote your travel blog with Travel to Live. Then add a trip widget or two to your blog!

Planning my trip on Travel to Live

As I look back on the month and 2016, I wanted to take some time to talk about planning my trip on Travel to Live. When we were making our plans for our Vienna trip, my wife and I needed a place to share our ideas with each other: Travel to Live is such a great tool to do that. In the past, we used Google Docs because the most important thing for group travel or couple travel is that you have one place that you can all see. Improving on that experience was a guiding factor when building the site.

Getting Started

Everybody plans differently but, often, you don’t know exactly what you want to do. You have some ideas for some places you definitely want to go. There are some things you want to do. You know what area you’re going to stay in. Don’t you just want to start pinning them on a map, so you can get some idea of what you’re looking at?

Planning my trip on Travel to Live

All our ideas, unsorted

This isn’t quite what we had in the beginning. Originally, there were few connections between the points, with even more points than what you see now. It looks quite daunting, doesn’t it? Well, it has definitely given support to our future plans for sorting and tagging options. But, for now, you can already sort your plans into different Locations and Days. Sometimes you don’t know where or when you’re going, so you just want to list all the ideas. You can do that too.

Save your ideas on Travel to Live

This was actually the main section we used in the beginning. We just kept adding and adding to this list. Then, when we wanted to plan a specific day, we would look into this list or check their locations on the map to figure out what we wanted to do that day. The list can grow to be quite unwieldy but, as I mentioned, we are looking into tagging and sorting options, which will improve the experience.

Sorting your trip

Pin your ideas on Travel to Live

Day 3 of our Vienna trip

We actually kept planning the trip each night, while we were on the trip. Each night, we would sit down on the computer and think about what we wanted to do the next day. We’d drag the ideas into the next day or some future day and come out with something like the above. Sometimes we changed the plan retroactively, so we could share our true journey later. I think you’ll agree the above picture is much easier to read and understand. This picture is focused only on Day 3 and gives a clear overview.

Planning my trip provided many insights

As I mentioned in Eating your own dog food, it’s important that you use your own product. Testing is one thing but really using the product is something else entirely. I quickly found a variety of issues with the site, both in terms of usability and outright bugs. With our week-long trip to Vienna, it wasn’t long before we became overwhelmed by all our ideas. It wasn’t a problem because I know my way around the site and how to use the existing sorting options. Are new users able to use the site in the same way? Do they understand the sorting options? Do they even come to the point where they have so many ideas? These are all important questions that we need to monitor and address.

The site is already very easy to use and straightforward for planning my trip but there will always be improvements that can be made. If you haven’t already, try planning your trip now on Travel to Live. Give us some feedback on what features you’d like to see. Coming soon: the ability to collaborate on one trip with your friends!

Our Travel Planner Explained

We thought we’d write a little more about using our Travel Planner than is available in the demo. From the beginning, we wanted to create something that is easy-to-use and straightforward. To accomplish that, we needed a drag-and-drop and “it just works” kind of design. We think you’ll agree that we’ve achieved that goal.

Getting Started with the Travel Planner

Create your trip with our easy-to-use Travel Planner

Start by creating your trip. After a few short steps, you’ll be in the Itinerary, where all the planning takes place. Look in the bottom corner at the green button. Click it and you’ll be presented with some different options: Location, Day, Event, Idea. Locations are essentially groups; you can type anything you want here. Days extend the duration of your trip and are placed within Locations. Events are where you’re going and what you’re doing. They must correspond to somewhere on the map and are planned on a Day. Ideas are like events but are useful when you don’t really know all the details yet. Ideas can just be text, don’t need a day, and don’t need to appear on the map.

It’s Easy

Our Travel Planner has an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interfacePick the components you want to use to plan your trip and start dragging them into place in the Itinerary. The greatest part about our travel planner is that you can order and re-order your whole trip with these simple drags. Everything is dragged in place from the green button but you can also click to add too: simply click any option in the menu as many times as you want to quickly add more Days, Events, etc. This way, you can easily fill out the shell of your trip and then re-arrange it how you like afterwards.

Once you’re ready to start adding some more specifics for an Event, just click! When you click on an Event, you’ll see a new screen with some different fields, where you can fill out the nitty gritty of your trip. If Google has data for this location, you might also see some automatically filled out data, like opening hours, price level, website, rating, and phone number. We fetch it all from Google, so you don’t have to switch tabs so often.

Using the Map to Plan Your Trip

Use our Travel Planner to plan your European backpacking trip

Sometimes when you’re planning, you’re not sure what the names of the places are where you want to go. Other times, they’re in languages you can’t type with your keyboard! Don’t worry, our travel planner has you covered. You can also click on the map directly to add new Events and Ideas. Since events are automatically added to the currently selected day, pay attention to the filter drop-downs at the top of the map. If no day is selected, the travel planner will instead add your destination as an Idea. No pressure – you can change back and forth between Events and Ideas any time you like.

We hope you have a better understanding now of how to get started. Why not start planning your next trip?

© 2017 Travel to Live Blog

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑