A great travel site that was featured on Time Magazine’s 2010 list of the Best 100 Websites somehow slipped our radar. Oslo based Stay.com is a travel website and iPhone/Android app that allows you to create your own personalized travel guide using exclusive information from 114 cities over the world. But Stay isn’t just some nice website with travel pictures; Stay.com’s cool feature is how easily you can access your sightseeing information offline.
The iPhone and Android apps, which contain all your travel information and maps, are designed to work unconnected. This makes Stay a great interactive resource so you can travel abroad and look up all your sightseeing information without adding up roaming charges to your cellphone bill. And if you don’t have a smartphone, you still can take advantage of their collection of 20,000 restaurants, 10,000 hotels, and 15,000 attractions by printing out a pocket sized guide of the sites you picked out.
If you don’t find the venue you’re looking for in Stay’s content, they also have a feature called “add your own,” where you can addyour own venue to your personalized guide. With this feature, users can keep all of their travel information together and add locations to their personalized maps.
In 2008 the idea of Stay first came to Founder and CEO Joachim Paasche. He was at that time running HotellWeb and saw the increasing competition in the hotel booking market closing in on him. At the same time he saw a gap in the market for travel guides on the web and thought that if customers had another incentive to visit his site rather than other hotel booking websites, he could bring into more users to HotellWeb. He began the process of purchasing the domain name stay.com. The project was clearly successful and in 2010, Stay was featured on the list of Time Magazine’s 100 Best Websites.
In the coming months, Stay tells us they will make it easier to get travel tips from friends by allowing social collaboration when creating guides. Your friends can suggest attractions, which you can decide whether to include when creating your guide. Further down the road, the app will also be able to sync with the web allowing your friends’ suggestions to be downloaded whenever you find a wi-fi hotspot.
Early next year their app will also become standalone from their website. Users will be able to create guides completely within their smartphone, and the app will store all of their text content so every city’s travel information can be accessed without the internet, regardless if you’ve saved it to your travel itinerary. Featured guides and guides you created will still store their photos offline.