I’ve been working on placepinner exclusively lately, to the expense of my other web property, ZoomIn. ZoomIn is still making a little bit of adsense revenue though, so it’s ok just to tick over in the background.

So since I’m investing so much time in my trip planning website (since that’s what placepinner will eventually be), I thought I should do a bunch of research on other trip planning sites and learn what they do well, what they lack at and try and work out exactly where the niche is that I want to occupy with Placepinner. I’d love to build the be-all singing-and-dancing trip planning tool from nam that did everything to everyone, but I’m one guy working 20 hours (one full day plus a few evenings) a week, so I have to be very particular with what features I’m going to try and implement. So, here’s a run down of a few sites that do trip planning and what I think of them.


Great site, doesn’t deal with bars, museums, restaurants, ‘things-i-might-do’. It’s only for confirmed things that have dates or reservations. Great tool, people love it.

Kayak trip planning

Very similar to TripIt, doesn’t have the ability to add places i might-want-to-go-to.


Great site. Has gone for the pinterest-of-travel angle. It has a bookmarklet for grabbing photos off website and create a travel wall of places you might want to go. Doesn’t seem to be widely used to bookmark what I’m focussing on (eg bars, galleries, cafes, public spaces). Doesn’t do much with their geodata, eg no ‘what’s nearby links’, no iphone app for exploring the places you bookmarked when you’re actually in a city. This seems like my closest competitor, since they do actually gather geodata, and it would be easy for them to pivot to creating personal city guides based on their data.


This is a great iphone app that has a really good bookmarklet. The bookmarklet is actually better than placepinner in that it looks really nice, and handles multiple places in one webpage (eg reading an article listing places to go in bangkok, rather than the foursquare venue page for a restaurant in bangkok) - but it’s worse than placepinner, in that it doesn’t automagically grab the map location or address on pages that have the address. They also don’t have any web front-end, or ability to edit places and add notes about places. Editing places and adding notes is something that’s coming in the next version of their iphone app, and they have become very popular on the iphone app store. They also have a business model, in that the app is a paid-app (99cents on special at the moment). Great competitor, they’re not in a hurry to go android, so maybe I’ll just duplicate them for android. ;)


Just linking these guys because they got a bit of press recently. Haven’t tried out their app since my ipad doesn’t run ios 6, but it looks like a nice tool. You can’t add places by name (searching via google places or foursquare), so it’s not hugely useful as a trip planning tool, but it’s got a nice looking interface, and they understand the potential as a trip planning tool so you can’t discount them.


Wanderfly is an ajax-heavy web app for planning your trips. However, it falls in the trap that a lot of trip planning sites do, in that it only recommends places that already exist in it’s database. It has no easy way to add new places to your trip. It does a good job of recommending places, but a lot of sites do a good job of recommending places, and I still think there is a need for an app that easily lets you grab all these recommendations and jam them together onto one map. Wanderfly doesn’t do this yet, but maybe it will.


The almighty foursquare. With an awesome venue database, a bookmarklet for saving places (that’s not quite as good as the placepinner one, but is pretty good), and good mobile apps. Foursquare could totally own trip planning, but it’s not their sole dedicated focus at the moment, so they don’t solve it that well. eg, viewing places on my todolist on mobile isn’t that easy to do. To be honest, you could most of what I’m imaging placepinner to be as foursquare add-ons, eg a list of cities in which you have places to-do and not visited,