7 destinations to discover this Summer!

We’re celebrating a 1000 downloads! It's a landmark we’re proud to hit and to celebrate we’re adding more destinations to the app, increasing the total number of getaways to over a 100! There will be new additions over the coming weeks so keep an eye on the app!

First up, if you haven't downloaded app, why not!?! TakeMeAway gives you inspiration for your next getaway. And the best part? It's all within you budget. So go ahead and download the app (we'll wait!)

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The core of our philosophy is to inspire you, and the new destinations contain countries you may not be entirely familiar with. These include Slovakia, Slovenia, Bosnia and more. You will get more for your budget and experience sensations that may be entirely foreign to you! Plus, you get the chance to be the trendsetter and lead the way in exploring new lands...

Here we showcase our favourite 7 weekend getaways from the new destinations. Find something you like? Why not see if they are within your budget, you could well be surprised!

Belgrade, Serbia

Belgrade’s troubled past may be etched in the mind, but the city is alive with a newfound passion for life, no more present than in its ever-changing culture and nightlife.

Plunge head-first into the urban jungle and witness a emergence of resilient spirit, or find a tranquil relaxation in Jevremovac Botanical Garden. The after-dark activity is another new heart beating in Belgrade, with a collection of clubs, bars, casinos and cabarets enticing you in. Visit Belgrade and be on the cusp of a changing city.

Ohrid, Macedonia

Peaceful, tranquil and just downright stunning, Ohrid is the largest settlement on Lake Ohrid. The lake itself is one of Europe’s oldest and deepest lakes and this importance was crystalised when it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The old city contains lots of architectural treasures, but we prefer laying by the side of the lake and taking in the breathtaking views.

Oh random fact - In 2010 NASA named one of Titan’s lakes after Lake Ohrid.

Marrakech, Morocco

We’re adding our first non European country with Morocco! Despite being on a totally different continent, it’s still close enough to have a great weekend away. Here we recommend Marrakech - take in the sights, sounds and smells of the souks in a city which is constantly buzzing and bustling. And if you’re a foodie, prepare to have the taste buds tingled with exotic spices and flavours. Yum!

Mostar, Bosnia

Situated on the Neretva River, Mostar is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and we reckon the prettiest city in Bosnia. The reconstructed Stari Most (Old Bridge) is the standout (just look at it!), but the old city is full of architecture sites worth exploring.

Bodrum, Turkey

It was about time we added Turkey and we have Istanbul and Antalya joining Bodrum. We think Bodrum gives you that authentic Turkish experience, with a range of bazaars, an old town full of history and wonder (especially the huge ampitheater), Hammam baths to relax and finally great Turkish food. And when you need some time to unwind, the beaches provide ample opportunity to kick back and relax!

Tirana, Albania

Albania tourism is going from strength to strength. Travel north and discover the mountainous landscapes; stay around Tirana for long sandy beaches or go south for a more Mediterranean vibe. A long weekend in Albania will have it all!  

Sarajevo, Bosnia

Lastly we pick another city from Bosnia - the capital Sarajevo. Situated on the Miljacka River and surrounded by the Dinaric Alps, Sarajevo has risen from a war that left the city devastated and is now fully restored to its former glory. Be sure to try the Cevapi - kebabs served in somun (a Bosnian pita bread) for an authentic street food experience!

We hope you enjoy the new locations. Let us know your favourite destination by sharing you pictures on Instagram (follow us here) and swipe to find your perfect getaway!

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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

  

 


Counting down and the road ahead

First off apologies for the lack of communication, but we’ve been busy with many things! For those new to us, let me give you a recap of what we aspire to. TakeMeAway helps you to be in great locations for the weekend, all within your budget.

In the first series of posts we discussed the reason why we believe our travel app fills a gap in the market, the excitement of weekend travel and finally our desire to create a great experience. As ever if you have thoughts on our articles please lets us know!

So what have we been up to over the last months? Lets break it down:

  • First and foremost getting our app ready for launch! Last week we started our Beta testing for Android and we’ve already got some excellent feedback from our testers. We thank them for their work so far! We hope to get our iOS Beta ready in the coming week. If you would like to get involved in testing for either platform then please email us at hello@takemeaway.io
  • Speaking of launch, I am pleased to share our Android app will be ready to download 1st March. The iOS version will be available a week or two later (we have to navigate through some extra Apple store requirements…) and I’ll let you know when we have a firm date.
  • We’ve also been building our social media presence, giving our followers ideas and inspiration for the locations they could be in for weekend getaways. If you haven’t already, Follow and like us on Instagram and Facebook!
  • You may have also noticed our blog site here has also undergone a full revamp. We’ll make some adjustments as we progress, but I hope you like the changes we’ve made so far!

As we gear up to our release (and beyond), we will continue with sharing our thoughts on the Travel industry, the new features we implement and just general interesting stuff related to travel.

Thank you for reading the blog!

 

 


An experience you will love

Over the past few weeks we’ve been sharing some of our thoughts on why we’re starting TakeMeAway. Naturally we also need to make sure the app is fun to use and something you come back to again and again. Our app is designed with these four principles in mind:

  1. Inspiration and excitement - Like what you see? Swipe right and we'll find you somewhere to stay.
  2. You are in control - Pick your budget and we'll find you somewhere you could be next weekend.
  3. Book your weekend away safely - our partners are trusted companies in the world of travel. We’ll talk about them another time, but we are serious in keeping you safe.
  4. Save you time - no need to waste hours comparing hotels and flights and checking if it fits your budget. We do the work to provide you with a hassle-free and fun experience.

How do we know that these four things are what the user wants and if we’re delivering on our promises? We are relying on you!

In the short term we have a select group of beta testers who will using the app in anger to see if things are working properly. Closer to the launch we will open up a public beta to get your feedback.

Stay up to date by subscribing to our newsletter and as always if you have any thoughts, shoot us an email - hello@TakeMeAway.io


Hello and Welcome!

Today we publicly launch our brand TakeMeAway and begin sharing our journey with you! We have come far in the last few months, making great strides not only in our app development, but also our branding; and we thank all those who have given their help so far.

What have we set out to accomplish? TakeMeAway helps you to be in great locations for the weekend, all within your budget. We aim to make travel what it should be - an inspirational and exciting experience.

Over the coming weeks we will be building up to our Android release on the 1st of February (don’t worry iPhone users, an iOS version will be released soon after). We will be sharing our ideas and thoughts on why we think this app will help you be in great locations and how far we aim to take our ideas.

We are super excited and want you to join us on this adventure! If you haven’t done so already, sign up to our newsletter at www.takemeaway.io - you can also follow us on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.

Where do you want to be this weekend? #TakeMeAway

Junaid and Tom

p.s - if you want to get hold of us directly, email us at hello@TakeMeAway.io.