Tuesday, August 26, 2014

AudioTrip: Get your story heard

I heard about AudioTrip through my blog`s Facebook-page, and I decided to write about them, because I am always glad to see real proof of it that the mobile tech revolution has finally reached also the travel industry. Not only museums and travel boards have websites which run properly on mobile phones, but besides travel blogs you can find more and more mobile apps which are available.

For me the best part in traveling has been always the people who I met on the road. I remember for example many friendly locals who gave me great tips about the places I visited, and when I think of a city these random discoveries are at least as good memories as the bullet points from my "I want to visit these and these sights and exhibitions"-lists.

Many times when I visited a place and we talked about it with someone before, I used to think about it during my stay how it would be when that person would guide me through that city. And when I followed the recommendations of friends, I always felt a bit as if I would see the city through their eyes as well.

AudioTrip connects exactly these two ends: the people who have stories to tell, and places to show, and those who want to see those places, and hear those stories, and are open to participate in an individual guided audio trip by using a simple mobile app.

Since I though that the app could be interesting for you, rather because you like novelties just as I do, and you might want to try a tour during your next trip, or you would like to create an audio tour of your own, I sent couple of questions to the AudioTrip-team. You see the interview after the photo.


A photo of the AudioTrip-team


This is what the AudioTrip-guys wanted to tell in brief about themselves:


We are an international start up, originally from Poland, with offices in Prague and London, thanks to some great acceleration programs by Wayra and London Accelerator.

We are passionate about new technologies and their use in tourism. We have been developing AudioTrip for one and half years dreaming about the amazing stories occurring in it. This project is something we've been working on for a long time developing our technology and networking. 


Q: How can people use your app?
1. Turn on AudioTrip. Register/sign in is not necessary, although strongly suggested.
2. In the catalogue you will find available trips, starting from the ones nearest to you.

You can also use the filter or search options to find the place you are particularly interested in. The trips listed are rather for free or payable.

3. After entering the trip you will find samples, photos, descriptions, the length of the trip (km) and audio files (min), plus some information about the author.
4. When you have decided for a trip you like, you can download it to your phone. It will show under "My trips" and will be saved to your AudioTrip-account.

Q: Which cities are in your catalogue so far?
  82 cities + 24 to come, you find the complete list under: http://www.audiotrip.org/trip-catalog

- When I browsed through the list quickly, these places caught my eyes first for example: San Franciso, London, Prague, Oslo, Helsinki and Alaska- comment by me-


Q: How do you decide which will be the new cities you add to your existing list?
We are an open platform where anyone (people and organisations) can upload his trips for free. Sometimes city councils ask us to create a trip for them. Besides this we shared of course also our travel stories, and asked some people who have interesting stories to tell to create trips for our app-users.


The Ultimate Guide to Europe is an initiative like this where people have been creating trips for us from all over Europe.


GETTING STARTED

If you want to watch a tutorial video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDq2fYxGV8E

or just read the description below and follow the steps:

You can download the AudioTrip-app for free from iTunes. Then you can start to browse their catalouge, and download trips which you can use later off-line as well while you are sightseeing (off-line is a great point indeed, since unfortunately we do not live in a world yet where you could enjoy free wifi everywhere while traveling- comment from me)

When you are a registered user (free registration) you can also create your own trips and share them with the AudioTrip-community. You decide, if you want to sell them, or give them for free.



Q: What are your future plans as a company? 
Further expansion on the global market is one of our goals (we already have some trails in the US). We are also working on our new interface and are continuously adding new content to the app. This means new trips, new places, trails focused around specific topics, and for the interface part some graphics design- updates.

 It's not official yet, but we also play with Oculus Rift technology, so you can expect new features soon.

Q: Anything else you would like to tell to the audience of the blog?
Keep traveling! Keep your eyes and hearts open for strangers as they are friends who you haven't met yet. Listen to their stories and share yours with them and if you like, what we do, please join our community and back our kickstarter campaign. Thank you for your time and comments!



Pack Your Luggage`s review of the app: I think this idea is great, because on one side I love to listen to stories about the places I want to visit/ am visiting, and as a blogger I also like to share my travel experiences with others. 

When I listen to my friends, or my co-travelers I see the same excitement, and joy on their faces while they are telling stories about the places they have visited and fallen in love with. Even if we travel sometimes alone, to share what we experienced is one of the best parts of traveling.

An other good point is that the app is connected to Google Maps, and the stops are marked on the map. Before starting you can already browse the route, estimate the time required, and use GPS while sightseeing and making the tour.

Also AudioTrip is an encouraging story for people who are part of the global travel community, and want to turn their passion to a project, or a company.



Sunday, August 24, 2014

Reindeer-socks re-unite





Probably you do not understand why this is such a big deal for me, but I will explain a bit :D. I bought these socks many years ago in Kuopio. Then I thought they were lost, and remembered them many times during this summer again, when I was on a hunt for reindeer-socks for my godson (and secretly also for myself).

And then what happened recently?! Two days ago I opened the closet door at my Mom`s flat to get a shirt for myself, and what do I see?? My favorite, adorable, fantastic reindeer-socks!!

I was so happy, because I really did love these socks. They are not only comfortable and hard to find at any shop, but the funny-looking reindeer always make me smile, and make me remember the great times I had in Kuopio.

Friday, August 15, 2014

You fight, you win.

In a world where everyone can have an iPhone 5 or an iWatch, it is hard to differentiate between social classes. Although there are still big differences behind the cover. Some people buy these items like others going to the shop to buy grocery, others pay it in detail or even take the loan to buy them (which i consider personally as a very stupid choice).

Travelling became a trend too, but it is a slightly different feeling if you pay your flight tickets and the accomodation  from your own salary, or someone else is paying for it and you travel only to kill the boring days somehow.

In the world of online reflections we live in this net of fake holograms. Photoshopped smiling selfies, happy faces everywhere, everyone travelling, eating good food and having FUN.

Thanks god there is something what money can not buy, and what can not be faked, and can only be earned through real work. It is the process of trying to achieve something, to really become someone, having a personality, and trying to be loyal to the people who are loyal to us.