Now available on iOS!

As of today, TakeMeAway is now available for iOS! That means our app is available to download for most smartphone users. No more excuses not to download our app! To download the iOS app, click on the following link: 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/takemeaway-last-minute-travel/id1354456380

For any new readers, TakeMeAway helps you to be in great locations for the weekend, all within your budget. Set the amount you want to spend and swipe through destinations. Like something? Then we'll help you find and book flights and hotels. If you are an Android user, click on the following link to download:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=io.takemeaway.takemeaway

We'll keep it short for today and celebrate the beginning of a new chapter! We're excited to hear your feedback in using the app over the coming weeks. This will help us make TakeMeAway even better. Please email your suggestions to hello@TakeMeAway.io. Thank you to all that have given their ideas thus far.

Where do you want to be this weekend?

Junaid & Tom

 

 

 

 


Spring destinations this April

Spring is in the air, the days are getting longer and everyone is happier. Goodbye Winter! Cities across Europe are celebrating the turn of the season in many different ways ranging from festivals to flower shows. So why not spend a weekend away exploring how different cultures embrace spring?

We share with you a few highlights:

Amsterdam

We have to begin with the spiritual home of TakeMeAway, Amsterdam! It was here where we founded our startup and it’s also the place for Spring (in our very biased opinion!). So what makes the city ideal to spend a weekend in April? Let’s start with flowers, especially tulips! Visit the Keukenhof and breathe in the sights and smells of wonderfully crafted landscaped gardens. The Keukenhof is only open while the flowers are in bloom so make sure you catch them while they last.

If flowers are not your thing then take a boat trip down the famous city canals, a great alternative! Oh and one more thing, don’t miss Kings Day taking place on Friday 27th, the standout street party!

Copenhagen

The sakura trees and its flower the ‘cherry blossom’ are well revered in Japan. However you do not need to fly to the other side of the world to experience the event. A quick hop to Copenhagen for the weekend will make you think why you didn’t do it sooner!

The city comes out of hibernation and bursts into life as people fill out the city’s hot spots. Events include flea markets, street parties and gardens. Check out the top events here. Our tip - the Sakura trees in Langelinie Park.

Vienna

Classical music and Vienna may be a familiar association, but dive a bit deeper and you’ll find a rich, contemporary music scene. Take the ‘Blues Spring Festival’, running throughout April - the longest running blues festival in the world! Find out more here - http://www.viennabluesspring.org/

Bergen

Are you more of an outdoors person? Bergen is ideal for those wanting to mix nature and culture! ‘The Gateway to the Fjords’, April is a perfect time to book a cruise, go sightseeing or hike up one of the 7 mountains nearby; one thing is for sure you will not have a boring weekend!

We’ve only just scratched the surface of what Europe offers this April. Swipe through top destinations in our app and be inspired for your perfect weekend getaway! Where do you want to be this weekend?

TakeMeAway is available now for android - download today: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=io.takemeaway.takemeaway

Coming soon to iOS.


Available now on Android!

After 6 months of hard work and a few ups and downs, TakeMeAway is now available to download on all Android devices! You can download the app from here - Download the TakeMeAway app.

I would like to thank the team (Tom, Rob and Dina) for their fantastic work in getting the whole TakeMeAway concept to a point where we can share it with the world. Thanks is also due to our Beta Testers and friends who have been there to lend a hand and listen to our frustrations and questions over the past months.

This is (hopefully) just the beginning and we have a lot of work ahead of us to get the word out and improve on our product.

Lastly, we most certainly haven't forgotten about Apple users. We just need a week or so to get things fully polished! We'll also continue to discuss and keep you up to date with all the happenings via our blog.

Onwards and upwards!

Junaid

 

 


Travelling on a budget

What is important to you when you plan and book a holiday? There are many factors involved and of course everyone is different; but we were surprised to notice that the flight itself did not rank highly. Why? Because flying doesn’t excite us (ed - maybe different if you are fortunate enough to afford business class....).

Booking a flight ticket is boring and the effort required to get us to a destination is a nuisance. We want to get to where we want to be with minimum of fuss. Ideally as cheap as possible too (the holy grail!).

The flight ticket is the result after you’ve decided on a destination. When choosing, travellers either have a preconceived idea or they compare a few destinations before making a decision. Either way, the customer then goes to try and book a flight using a flight engine or via their favourite airline. But something frustrating happens at this point. They find the price of the ticket is more expensive than anticipated for their dates of travel. This is more likely with shorter trips where bookings are normally made less than a month in advance*. Annoyingly the user either has to exceed their budget (which leaves a bitter feeling) or repeat the cycle and find a new destination (which wastes time).

 

Fixing the user journey

Unfortunately it’s pretty difficult to always put you in the destination you want to be in at the time that is most convenient for you. Sorry! But can we tackle the problem from another angle? Let’s first go back to my original question - ‘what is important….’. The 3 biggest factors we observe are - the destination, the hotel and the total cost of the trip.

We could begin by showing you random (but awesome) hotels. Travellers don’t mind spending more on a place to stay if it ticks all the boxes - but without the context of knowing if you like the destination it feels a bit empty.  So we definitely need to agree on a destination before showing you great hotels.

What if we start with the trip cost? For shorter holidays (say less than a week) the amount we spend is much more sensitive than say our yearly 3-week holiday where we might splash out that little bit more to get the comforts we deserve for working hard all year. So beginning here is not be a bad idea, especially for shorter trips. But are we open to destinations that do not feature on our radar? Do we feel up to exploring new places? Europe’s diversity and history opens up some amazing cities to be in if we are.

Looking at the major travel sites, we see so many attempts to get travellers to spend more. The reasons might seem obvious, but it is nevertheless disappointing and in our mind frustrating for the customer. It also costs the user so much time in iterating searches to eventually find something they like and fitting their preferences; another undesirable result.

Can this user journey be changed to truly be budget driven? We believe so and hope that once we launch our users help us along the journey to accomplish this ideal.

Download the app today on Android with the following link - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=io.takemeaway.takemeaway

*TripBarometer 2016 by TripAdvisor

  

 


Where do you want to be this weekend?

Answering our tagline is the question that TakeMeAway wants to solve. But why are we limiting our ‘scope’ to only weekends? Why not provide an app that covers say week-long holidays?

We can use a key component of startup theory to answer these questions - what is the problem you want to solve. Last week we discussed the problems we saw with Travel solutions and thus a reason ‘why’ for building the app. But we really need to be more specific in narrowing down which part of the ‘travel experience’ has the most pains.

In 2015, more than half of the tourism trips that EU residents made (58.2%) were short - i.e. a maximum of three nights. On top of that 78% of Europeans make trips within the EU itself (you can have a look at the analysis here). We concluded that most likely these three nights would fall within a weekend and that due to the short distances European cities are a great place to be for the weekend.

But how far in advance would you normally book? If it’s for a special occasion you are likely to book a few months in advance to secure exactly what you want - we believe this market is well served. However we’ve seen a surge in last minute travel (especially for hotels). For good reasons too; there has been a paradigm shift where prices are actually getting cheaper the closer you get to travel.

This means weekend trips can be affordable last minute - especially if you are open to be inspired. And Europe is full of amazing places to inspire you!

We defined ‘last minute’ as ‘this or next weekend’ (for us, this is flying out Friday evening and returning Sunday evening). In a future article we’ll share some example deals of what is possible last minute. We’re excited once we launch to listen to what our users think of the experience. We want you to be in great locations with minimum fuss!

Which leads us nicely to setting the scene for our next blog post - what is important in providing a great experience and how we plan to go about this with our Minimal Viable Product (‘MVP’). Let us know if you have some ideas yourselves via hello@TakeMeAway.io!


Another travel app?

‘Does the world need another Travel App’? It is a question we get asked on a regular basis here at TakeMeAway; and our followers may have asked themselves the same thing.

Both myself and Tom consider ourselves seasoned travellers. We’ve used booking.com and Expedia ourselves (a lot) when planning travel - both locally and all around the world. We found the user experience wasn’t exactly what we were looking for - and so we built TakeMeAway.

We had two aims when we started developing the app:

  1. To make travel what it should be - an inspirational and exciting experience.
  2. To allow the user to set their budget and book their last minute weekend away safely.

In addition existing ‘solutions’ are cumbersome and non-transparent. Especially for last minute weekend getaways. We aim to revitalise the travel experience and inspire travellers to find their perfect getaway.

We’re careful not to use the word ‘revolutionise’ with our app - th. But we can certainly try to create an elegant solution that doesn’t limit and frustrate our users. Especially with an app focusing on the last minute travel. I sincerely hope we can live up to such ambition once our app is released!

Next week, we’ll discuss why last minute travel is so important along with why we’re focusing on only weekends.

In the meantime, think about your own experiences with travel apps and if you have any thoughts and ideas, please share it with us via hello@TakeMeAway.io