Tag Archives: trip planner

Cost2Drive iPhone App FREE For The Holidays!

Our Holiday Gift to You!  Save $1.99 Through Jan, 1, 2012.

In case you hadn’t noticed, gas prices in the US are now at an all time high heading into the week before Christmas as the price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline has  remained stubbornly above $3.00.  In fact gas prices are a full 30 cents per gallon more than last year at this time which, combined with an unprecedented hike in toll fees, makes this Christmas travel season the most expensive on record.

Rather than curse the darkness we’re going to shine a light on what it will cost to drive places this holiday season by offering up our new Cost2Drive iPhone application for free for the remainder of the year.  Whether you’re planning a trip home to visit family and friends or planning that winter vacation to the Florida beaches or Colorado ski slopes the Cost2Drive iPhone app will help you budget for the trip by showing fuel costs and save you money by locating the cheapest gas at refueling points along the way.  The app also makes it a breeze to quickly compare the cost of driving different vehicles with a simple swipe of a finger and displays the cheapest airfare so you can see if its cheaper to fly or drive to your destination.

Quickly Compare the Cost of Driving Different Vehicles With the Swipe of a Finger

The Cost2Drive iPhone app contains fuel efficiency information on over 20,000 cars and light trucks in the US going back to the 1990 model year and lets you save up to 5 vehicles in the app.  It also provides the ability to enter your own custom vehicles making it useful for owners of RVs and motorcycles as well.

Manually Enter Custom Vehicles Like RVs and Motorcycles

So we’ve built alot of value into the iPhone app, but don’t take our word for it check out some of the great reviews the app has received, including this one from CNET TV.

Visit iTunes to download the new app today for FREE and let us know what you think.  If you don’t have an iPhone, you can use our Website application to begin planning your car trips for 2012.Apple iTunes App Store

We wish everyone a safe and joyous holiday and a happy and prosperous New Year.

Happy Driving!

Is It Cheaper to Fly or Drive? New iPhone App Provides Answer

Cheaper to drive or fly?New Kayak Integration Provides Quick Cost Comparison

UPDATE: The new Cost2Drive iPhone app was just names App of the Week by Love For Tech tech blog! Read the review.

Only 2 weeks after launching the revolutionary  Cost2Drive iPhone app it’s already getting some great reviews from such prominent brands as Autoblog and CBS Radio which helped catapult the app quickly into a Top 20 ranking in iTunes.

Cost2Drive iPhone App Top 20 Ranking iTunes

WOOHOO!  But we’re not resting on our laurels, and so today we’re excited to announce we’ve made the Cost2Drive iPhone app even better by introducing a drive vs. fly cost comparison feature.  With this recent update when you enter a route that’s over 200 miles in distance you’ll now see the cheapest airfare for that route as found on the leading airfare search Website Kayak.com.

CBS4 Denver Highlights our Flight vs. Drive Cost Comparison Feature

When we first introduced this market-leading innovation on our flagship Website our users immediately embraced it, and so we’re delighted to now have it fully integrated into the iPhone application so users can quickly see if its cheaper to fly or drive to their destination.

Download the the new app today in iTunes at our low introductory price of $1.99 and let us know what you think of this exciting new feature!

Happy Driving!Apple iTunes App Store

6ABC Philadelphia TV Segment featuring Cost2Drive.com

Wanna Widget?

New Trip Planning Tool Available Free to Travel Websites

Visit Tampa Bay Widget

Almost from the day we launched the site Cost2Drive.com people have been asking us for a widget version they could easily add to their own blogs or Websites.  In fact a number of tourism sites like Visit San Antonio, Visit Philly and California’s Redwood Coast didn’t bother waiting and already link off to Cost2Drive to help prospective visitors plan better car trips to their destination (and for this we are VERY appreciative!).

Today we’re pleased to announce that we’ve built an iframe version of Cost2Drive that Website owners can easily add  to their site by adding a single line of code.    This is perfect for travel sites that cater to the drive-in market and want to provide additional trip planning tools to their users.  With the average price of gas in the US still well above $3.50 a gallon transportation costs can easily eat up 20% or more of an entire vacation budget, so helping travelers better plan and manage these costs will give them another reason to visit your site, and more importantly your destination!

widget Results Page

To use the widget users simply enter the origin and destination of the trip (note, sites can insert a default destination as in the above example for Tampa, FL) and then their vehicle information.  After entering this information the user clicks on the Find My Cost to Drive button and our Galculator takes care of the rest, returning the trip costs based on real time gas prices along the route.

We couldn’t fit all the great features of Cost2Drive in this small widget so if the user want to see more details, such as a map of the route or where to find the cheapest gas at refueling points, they can click on the See Details button which will take them over to Cost2Drive.com for the full results.  For routes over 200 miles in distance they’ll also see the cheapest airfare so they can easily determine if its cheaper to fly or drive to the destination.

If you’d like to test out the widget functionality check out the live version on VisitTampaBay.com.  Many thanks go out to Jeremy Fairley @VisitTampaBay for working with us to help define the specifications for these widgets in preparation for launching them on the Tampa Bay & Co. Website.

We’ll be posting a self-serve page shortly where you can go to grab the code for the widget and add it to your site.  If you can’t wait and are interested in getting one sooner drop me a line at jim@costtogo.com and we’ll get you hooked up!

Happy Driving!

Route-Based Targeting; The New Frontier?

My route Obsession

Several years ago as I was planning a car trip for me, my wife and teenage son from Washington, DC to Sarasota, FL, I faced the all-too-common challenge of trying to figure out where to stop along the route.  Using Google maps I plotted out the route and then eye-balled some of the likely stopover points based on  the larger names that appeared on the map. Hmmm, Savannah, GA always sounded like a neat place to visit, lets make that one of the stops.  None of the other names incited any interest and so it took a good bit of research to finally settle on St. Augustine, Florida for our other stopover.  We’d stop at St. Augustine on the way down and Savannah on the return trip to DC.

I remember thinking that this was a rather inefficient way to plan a trip, and that there must be many great cities to visit and sites and attractions to  see along this route (besides of course South of the Border).

The problem then occurred to me;  driving directions have blinders on.  They don’t illuminate all the great possibilities along a route. Even though some sites like AAA TripTiks and MapQuest are attempting to solve this problem,  they have no sensitivity to distance so they serve up the same information whether you’re traveling 2 miles or 2,000.  This has implications on many fronts, and so it seemed like a very worthwhile problem to solve.  Thus began what I now refer to as my route obsession.

When you look at our flagship site Cost2Drive.com, you’ll see evidence of this type of thinking.  For example, when a user enters a route we surface the cheapest flight found on Kayak for that route, but only if its over 200 miles in distance (it’s distance-sensitive).  We also view routes not as simple origin-destination pairs (a very flight-centric view of the world) but as a corridor with many wonderful things to see and do in between.  For example, we plot out the refueling points along the way, not only to identify the cheapest gas prices at those points, but as a visual cue to users of where they’ll likely need to stop.  The trip-planning process logically unfolds from there.

This is all enabled by the Galculator, our route-aware technology that powers all of the C2G applications.  With hundreds of startups focusing on location-based targeting, we see a vast new frontier emerging in a related field, one that we call route-based targeting.  We feel we’ve only scratched the surface on this exciting opportunity, and as the peak summer travel season approaches you’ll see some more examples of how we’re feverishly working to remove the blinders from driving directions, both for travelers and advertisers alike.

Happy Driving!