My strategy when traveling is just to wing it, for better or worse. Last week I spent some time in Stockholm for the NordicAPIs conference, and even though I’ve been to the city a lot, I still didn’t know what I was doing, and I noticed I just go to the same places I always go. I probably should have checked out Oslo-based Stay before my trip, which has updated their travel app quite heavily since we covered them a year ago, now tweaking their social features and have now announced their Trusted Traveler program to provide unique guides to cities and scenes.
There are a number of travel apps out there, and they all seem to have a big overlap. What seems to be important is a big drill down into things to do, downloadable maps, and some social features. Stay seems to have a solid take on all of these, dividing things to do by different topics, like food, unique spots, favorite places to go for photographers, the city by bike, and fun things like that. You can create you to-do list through the web, and then shoot everything, like to-dos and vector maps, to your phone to download.
When it comes to social features, Stay focuses on groups of travelers. So if you and your buddies are going to London, you can all be synced to the guide you all put together, making it so no one person is the man with the plan. Addtionally you can ask your friends for favorite places, letting them search and send any place to your guide.
Their ‘Trusted Traveler’ program boils down to the familiar expert guides we’ve seen elsewhere. Stay has a nice twist though, allowing their trusted travelers to boil down scenes they’re living in. For example, barista Tim Wendelboe in Oslo covers the best places to get a fresh cup in Oslo, and Canadian celebrity chef Roger Mooking drills down into the best places to eat and see music.
Other guides can be more general, or searching a city like Copenhagen provides a number of lists and to-dos.
Stay is free to download, so it’s worth checking out the next time you want to get more out of a city.
Stay currently has more than 140 cities in their platform, and was one of Time Magazine’s 50 best websites in 2010.