Road Trip Assistance: Kukunu Helps Plan That Last-Minute Summer Vacation

July 28, 2010


Need one more run at the beach before autumn arrives? How about a quick trip to the mountains with your rafting buddies? Or maybe a simple road trip to the nearest outlet mall. There's still plenty of time to do any and all of those things -- but how to begin planning?

You could, of course, kick off a confusing volley of emails, but who wants to read those? You could also let one person take charge of booking the whole trip, but that can be a load of work -- and who's to say that the planner's Ritz-Carlton tastes are a match for your Days Inn budget? This is where Kukunu comes in.

Kukunu is an online service that's somewhat similar to the Caravan Track recently tested on the Ford Fiesta or the Caravan feature on the recently updated Trapster. In a nutshell, Kukunu allows a group of people to make trip plans collaboratively. Users sign up for a free account (or log in with Facebook Connect), then tell Kukunu where they're heading and when. The service walks users through the remainder of the itinerary, including travel, lodging, and sightseeing.

The service works especially well for multiple-destination trips -- if, for example, you were planning to visit Dauphin Island, Alabama, Pensacola, Florida, and Savannah, Georgia, all in one go. Kukunu allows you to plan and edit each segment separately, sparing travelers a lot of confusion.

There is, however, a major drawback: Kukunu, like Yelp, Urbanspoon, and a lot of other online services, rely on user-generated reviews and recommendations to populate itsĀ  Activities, Restaurants, and Events sections. That means that until more folks take advantage of the service, there will be no restaurant or bar listings in Pensacola, no landmarks in Savannah -- or anywhere else that Kukunu visitors haven't traveled. We can only hope the developers partner with another service -- Examiner or Chowhound, maybe? -- to offer more varied options.

Furthermore, there's no way we can see to plan a driving route -- a major failing for car fans. Surely, a clever match-up with Google Maps could solve that, hmm?

If you're interested, have a look at this video, which explains the process more thoroughly:

[Kukunu via TheNextWeb]

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