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Planning a vacation can be difficult, especially when you have to plan out and balance sight-seeing, fine dining, and entertainment. Minube is a website and smartphone app designed to streamline the trip planning process whether it is a business trip or a much needed family vacation. But can a single app really encompass all of the elements necessary to plan a successful vacation?
Minube is a social travel app oriented towards helping users plan their vacations. What exactly makes it a social app you ask? Well, users can actually post pictures and share their experiences when they visit locations, allowing other users to see the experience for themselves from within the app. This particular aspect makes Minube a unique app because it allows users to see the experiences of real, authentic people at vacation spots all over the world. It actually makes the app vastly more useful because one can actually gauge the quality of a location by what other real people say, and not strictly base it off as dry and faceless internet reviews. Minube also helps users plan their trips according to the kind of trip they want (i.e. relaxing, family, business, etc.). That feature alone makes Minube a useful app because it adds a personalised touch to the vacation planning rather than just suggesting the typical vacation hot spots (although those still show up).
HOW DOES MINUBE WORK?
Once you download the app (available on Android and iOS), users will create an account with Minube or create one through Facebook. Upon doing so, users can then post pictures and statuses about their experiences from anywhere in the world. Users will also be immediately treated to a search bar asking for your desired location. From there, you can type in the destination and designate how long you are going to stay. After that, the app generates relevant content other users have posted, and you will be treated to hotel, restaurant, and entertainment recommendations. On the iOS version (an iPad Air to be specific), everything is separated into individual tiles that allow you to browse the recommended hotels and restaurants. The best feature, though, is definitely the “The Best” section that highlights all of the must-see attractions in the area. “The Best” covers everything from restaurants, theaters, museums, and everything else one can possibly imagine.
My favorite aspect of the app, though, is the Inspiration section. At the bottom of the main screen, users will see a light bulb icon with “Inspiration” typed beneath it. This section will give you recommendations for vacation spots based on the style of vacation you want, how far you are willing to travel, the length of time you want to stay, and even what color you want to see when you go (No, I’m serious. It really does that). I absolutely loved this part, which really could have been its own stand-alone app, and I found myself playing with it just to see what results it would bring up.
Minube also gives users the opportunity to make money from the app. From the Minube website, one can apply to be an author for the app, which means they will essentially be paid to write travel guides that can be downloaded from the site and respective app stores. From what I understand, it’s a slim chance of being selected to do one, but just the fact that the app offers such a feature is pretty awesome.
All in all, Minube does some pretty great stuff. It lets users share their experiences with others, creating a community that can thrive and create value information about all kinds of potential vacation spots, and the Inspiration aspect will help you create the vacation that is just right for you. However, beyond that, there is very little the app does in terms of actually planning your trip. There is no in app day planner that will let you breakdown the trip day by day, nor is there any particular benefit from the app in terms of discounts from hotels and restaurants (the app tells you the price of hotels per night as according to hotel.com). That may just be nit-picking though, and that can overlook some of the great things the app does do. When it comes down to it, Minube is at least a fun app that will give you great ideas for vacations, though it will pretty much leave all the actual planning to you.