I'm Karl, the creator and owner of this new site - and I'd like to introduce you to the ideas that with will shape my plans for the future.
Travel has a lot of variables and it has a lot of players. I have been working in the Travel and IT Industries for over 20 years and will bring my experience of these two worlds together with Red Planet Travel. I hope to bring these to things together in different ways that have been done before, with interesting and beneficial results.
The first stage of the plan I can make public today: The concept of Total Trip Cost or TTC.
Total Trip Cost (TTC)
In order to calculate a particular journey or holiday's TTC you need to consider all parts of the trips right from the Orgin to the Destination, and beyond returning back or making further stops.
Drawing on the IT concept of TCO (Total cost of ownership) where IT services and hardware are considered togther rather than as separate entities, I want to introduce TTC as a concept of the trips as all parts of the journey and not individual units.
In IT for example you might find some free, open-source software that does what you need, and compare it to some paid application from a developer. Easy right? The free version is better. Not necessarily, because one needs to consider the TCO which then forces you to consider other factors, e.g. does the free version run on cheap commodity PC or need special hardware. What about the availability of staff? The "free" software might need highly qualified engineers to operate it, where as the "paid" software's administrators might be more easily trained and therefore cheaper.
The parallels in the world of travel are remarkable: In the last 20 years "low cost" carriers have sprung up all over the world with the deregulation of air travel. These flights are often very inexpensive, although travellers need to watch for headline rates that are only valid on certain dates, and "penalty"-charging for failure to play to the companies strict rules, designed to cause confusion and errors - resulting in high charges.
So on the face of it a flight with one of these carriers might seem like an excellent proposition. But then you factor in charges for luggage, extra time and expense utilising the far-off airports, delays caused by thread-bare staffing (e.g. no backup crews available in the event of sickness) and you see the picture changing.
This complete picture can only be gleaned by obtaining more data from the travellers themselves.
It is not limited to the flight example above: Consider hotels that charge to use the Pool/Spa, or resorts that on beaches that require you to rent sun-beds with access to because if you don't pay.
Point to Point
Red Planet Travel is offering a Point-to-Point search down to the nearest feet/metre and timed to the minute. This means you compare two or more journeys exactly in terms of time and money.
This a known as multi-modal or as I prefer to call it the "All Modes of Transport" search.
All Modes of Transport" search
This is search will form core of the first release of the website. I'm grateful to the Rome2Rio guys for creating a fantastic product that will be pleasure to add value to and enhance. They become our primary technology provider and are do the serious number crunching that forms the initial core product.
By downloading and collating data from thousands of transport providers, both surface and air, they are plotting the nodes or points on the earth and then using a node-traversal algorithim to best make use of this data, and allow us to show you alternative routes from where you are, and where you want to get to.
I have many plans and products in the pipeline for Red Planet Travel. Some are at the drawing-board stage of development, and others more advanced. Here are a few highlights that I can share with you at this time:
We will be developing a community of travellers who can contribute and benefit from each others, experiences, data collected and opinions.
Central to this will be a array of smartphone and desktop applications my team are developing to delight and amuse, capture and record and consider and analyse trips from our nacent community to help each other enjoy, plan and record new adventures.