TripHobo is described as a revolutionary new idea in trip planning. We decided to check it out to see how it can help you to plan a perfect trip. Its innovative platform supposedly allows you to settle an itinerary in any of over 14,000 cities in the world in around ten minutes! This includes attractions, hotels, transportation, and tours.
How does it work?
You can either log onto their website, or on their mobile app (iOs or Android). Pick your destination, add the travel dates, and hit plan! You can then choose your attractions and restaurants, and finally book accommodation. There are many pre-planned itineraries for anyone ultra short on time, or planning a last minute trip. We clicked on their pre-planned 9-day London itinerary. As London travel experts, it would be easy to see how workable their plans are.
The hotel that they suggest is a Holiday Inn, mid-priced if rather generic. You can click directly through to Booking.com from their website to confirm a booking. It then suggests a forty five minute journey to the London Eye. It is a modern-day icon of London, of course, and a nice place to get some classic views of the city. However, the timings seem a bit out. It suggests allowing three hours for the London Eye, which seems a bit much unless it is peak season. Then, it has you travelling to the British Museum and spending four and a half hours there.
It is impossible to put a time limit on the British Museum. If you have the interest, it can hold your attention for weeks. For somewhere as truly inspirational as this, we always prefer to start the day there. By having no concrete plans until closing time, you will be under no pressure to leave before you are ready. Of course, this depends on how long your trip lasts for. It would be silly to spend a full day in the British Museum on a three day trip. For us, it is London’s number one attraction, however. We highly recommend allowing as much time for it as possible.
I don’t think TripHobo’s ‘travel experts’ are really experts at all
Another anomaly that is apparent straight away is that Big Ben is scheduled for three hours the following night. Firstly, what are you going to do for three hours at Big Ben in the evening? As British citizens, we have taken advantage of an ultra-rare tour of the clock tower itself. Even that wouldn’t take anywhere near three hours. Secondly, Big Ben is within easy walking distance from the London Eye. The London Eye is open, and more romantic, in the evening, so why not start at the British Museum.
Then, when you have had your culture fill, head to the London Eye. Afterwards, nip over the river to see Big Ben and the wonderful Houses of Parliament. It seems that the TripHobo Travel Expert who wrote this itinerary has just put a bunch of famous attractions together without considering the benefits of seeing attractions based in one area to save on both cost and time. Both of these are precious when you only have nine days to spend in London.
Of course, it all depends on your interests and travel style
The following day recommends three hours at the Tower of London. No way is that enough time to spend at this superb attraction. We have been every year for the last few years from opening to closing. We still run out of time to see everything we want to see. Admittedly, we are most definitely not the sort of travellers that like to walk in and out of a place without exploring every nook and cranny. Three hours would give you enough time to see the crown jewels and take a Yeoman Warder tour, at least, as well as get a rough overview of the rest of the site. Our main issue is that it then has you travelling over to the National Gallery, and then on to Big Ben.
A much better use of time would be to follow a trip to the highly recommended National Gallery with a trip on the London Eye, and then Big Ben. This would involve minimal transportation, as you could walk between the attractions. Even worse, day 8 includes three hours at the Palace of Westminster. Presumably, the ‘travel expert’ doesn’t realise that Big Ben is a part of the Palace of Westminster. You can’t exactly see one without the other!
If you are visiting over the summer recess, it is highly recommended to visit the Houses of Parliament. We recently spent a day there as a guest of our local MP. This involved a tour of both houses and Westminster Hall. We then got to see David Cameron’s last ever Prime Minister’s Questions, as well as a debate in the House of Lords. If you are visiting from the UK, contact your local MP to see what they can arrange for you.
Criss-crossing a city is definitely not a good use of precious time
OK, so now you can arrange your trip even better by combining the Houses of Parliament, with Big Ben, and the London Eye. In case you can’t tell, we’re reviewing this as we read it to get our first time impressions. We’re sorry to say that we are pretty appalled. Three hours on the London Underground???? Seriously? The range of attractions chosen do seem to be good options for the average first time visitor to London, however. Some glaring omissions include the Imperial War Museum, Westminster Abbey, and the Tate Galleries. Strangely, Holland Park makes the list twice, but Hyde Park is nowhere to be found.
On the plus side, Day 4’s combination of the Natural History Museum, Royal Albert Hall, and the Science Museum seems sensible. On the other hand, a day consisting of nothing but Holland Park and Camden Lock Market would be a gross misuse of time in a city like London. It’s not like they are even close to each other. The other main quibble is that the itineraries include nothing to do in the evenings. London is one of the world’s best cities for nightlife. Where is the West End theatre, or even an ultra-touristy stroll through Piccadilly Circus?
We will try to create our own plan using the website’s planner on another occasion. An initial play with it felt very clunky however. Accommodation pop-ups dominated the screen. When we get chance, we will come up with a much better itinerary than TripHobo’s ‘travel expert’ for you all, as well as reviewing the experience of using TripHobo to do so.
Have you ever used TripHobo? Did we just find a dud itinerary out of a sea of jewels?