People here trade travel itineraries like they do recipes back home. You know the drill: “Where are you going for the school holidays?” “Margaret River.” “You’ll love it! We were there last year.” “Oh! Can you share your trip plans?” Well, now you can – and in a much cooler and simpler way than before.
Does your stomach do a small flip when somebody asks you to share a travel schedule you spent weeks putting together? It’s not that you don’t want to give out the info; rather, if you’re like me, it’s not always all in one place, and it’s a chore to go dig it up from different places – a variety of emails, an Excel sheet that isn’t particularly clear, high-res photos that are tricky to send, and so on. All of which makes sharing our favourite travel plans a real challenge.
That’s where STRING comes in. This new travel app lets you build itineraries either by adding your own ideas, or picking and choosing from other existing itineraries. You can add photos, too – so, it’s kind of like Instagram meets TripAdvisor, only more personal. The best part? When somebody asks you for your Margaret River itinerary, it’s simple to share your plans and images. The modular itinerary builder allows users to take inspiration from other travellers’ itineraries and yet still have the ability to personalise their own. You can even “friend” one another and give recommendations.
STRING works while you’re on the road too. In the app’s “Wanderlust” mode, you can make plans and notes along the way. This also makes it a travel diary of sorts; you know, that one you always mean to put together when you get back home, but never do? Now, you can look back at your trip when those long hours at work are starting to get you down. (Something about looking at trip photos always brings a smile, right?)
The field test: Tiong Bahru
It isn’t only for extended overseas holidays that the travel app comes in handy. It’s great even for just planning a day out by using the itinerary builder, just as you would for a bigger trip. Here’s how I put it to use on a recent visit to one of Singapore’s more interesting areas.
- To get started, I can use the search tab or browse the social wall for ideas. In this case, I decide to use the “Food” tag. Hmm… there are lots of recommended neighbourhoods to explore: Kampong Glam, Keong Saik, Old Airport Road – the list is long. One itinerary catches my eye; it’s called “Exploring Tiong Bahru: The charming neighbourhood of old and new.” Sounds good, so I STRING it. Now it pops up under my “Itineraries” list. Easy.
- The itinerary suggests several places to eat, but I like the sound of Hong Heng Fried Sotong Prawn Mee. I might just give it a try. Cool! I also see that Foodie Market Place is listed – it’s one of my favourite shops for buying meat. So, I’m keeping that in my itinerary, too. I even add one of my own: Plain Vanilla Bakery. This place won our Review Crew’s Cupcake Challenge recently and my kids will shoot me if I go to Tiong Bahru and don’t show up back at home with cinnamon cupcakes!
- So, I now have a really cool day planned. All the addresses are right there on the app, complete with a mapping function. Once I’m at Tiong Bahru, I can take photos and add my own notes about the places I visit; and, if I find some new spots, I can add them in while I’m on the go. Then, after I’ve made those modifications, I can share my new expanded itinerary with others.
- After my yummy meal, I realise I have some time to kill before heading to Foodie Market Place and the bakery. I’m still a bit hungry, so I check out the itinerary for inspiration. How about some ice cream? There’s a café called Creamier Handcrafted that looks fab!
- Fully stuffed from hawker food and ice cream, I decide to just walk around a bit, but where? Ooh – maybe I’ll check out Tiong Bahru’s colourful street murals. I look up the murals on my itinerary, and then I just follow my map to see them.
- I’m hot after visiting the murals, and in need of ducking into a place to cool off. The itinerary suggests Books Actually, which is ideal, as it’s nearby and I haven’t been there before. After a browse of the books, I head off to finally grab my meat and cupcakes. I’ve had a lovely day – and a great record of my time to help me remember what I did, saw and ate. As STRING says, we don’t remember days, we remember moments!
This app is new, so it’s still mostly Singapore-based, but there are a few international trips already available, with more itineraries being added daily. The goal is to make it a travel app for people to use across the globe.
So, try it out. Build your next travel itinerary. Devise your perfect day in Singapore with the grandparents. Go back and add your favourite travel info from your last trips. And, when your friend asks you to share your itinerary to Margaret River, do it using STRING.
Three lucky STRING users will receive CapitaLand Malls CapitaVouchers worth S$150. Here’s how to be in the running:
• Download the STRING Travel app on either the iOS or Android app store.
• Create posts about places you’ve been, anywhere in the world. The more posts you create about different places, the more likely you are to win.
For further details and contest rules, check out http://bit.ly/el-string-sept.
Like this? Read more in our Travel section.
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This article first appeared in the September 2019 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue!