Monthly Archives: October 2011

Budget Destinations from Singapore for Hari Raya Haji long weekend

With Hari Raya Haji just around the corner on 6 November 2011, its a great opportunity for a quick getaway during the long weekend from Saturday 5 to Monday 7 Nov. If you are one of those who have no plans for the holiday, or if you have a budget constraint, here are some suggestions to help you get started.

Based on the results from Flocations flight search, here are the top 5 budget destinations for you to choose from.

1. Kuala Lumpur for S$99
KL is a great place for shopping. Jalan Petaling, the Chinatown of KL, is a “pasar malam” or night-market styled place where you can find bargains for everything from fresh fruits to cheap clothes and imitation goods.

 Besides shopping, Jalan Petaling is also home to some of the best street food in KL. There are a whole host of Chinese and Malay food on pavements along Jalan Sultan and Jalan Tun HS Lee that are open until midnight.

2. Jakarta for S$120
If you are looking for a place for relaxation, the chain massage parlor Bersih Sehat Mayestik offers affordable massage and sauna services.


For other activities, there is Dunia Fantasi, which is one of several theme parks in Jakarta, or “Indonesia in Miniature Park” (Taman Mini Indonesia Indah) that features miniature islands representing different parts of Indonesia.

3. Kuching for S$153
If you are feeling adventurous, Rainforest Kayaking offers a variety of packages to paddle along Sungei Sarawak or to Semengoh Wildlife Center to see Orang Utans during their feeding time.

For sight-seeing, visit the Sarawak Cultural Village where the tribal houses showcases the various attributes of major ethnic population in Sarawak.

4. Ho Chi Minh City for S$194
For places of attraction, Ho Chi Minh City has various museums, such as the Ho Chi Minh City Museum, Museum of Vietnamese History, the Revolutionary Museum, Ben Duoc Relic of Underground Tunnels to name a few.

There is also the famous Củ Chi tunnels, a network of underground tunnels located 70km northwest from the city which was used by the Viet Cong during the war.

However, if you just want to hang around the city for shopping, visit Diamond Plaza, Saigon Centre, Ben Thanh Market and many more.
 

5. Surabaya for S$239
To explore around Surabaya, join the Surabaya Heritage City Tour which drives around Old Surabaya on board a sight-seeing bus.
 
On the other hand, if spending a few hours of driving and trekking uphill sounds fun to you, the Ijen Crater offers a stunning view of the biggest crater lake in Java.



Of course, if none of the above places catches your fancy, check out more places by increasing your budget: Return flights from Singapore for less than S$500.

Happy holidays!
From the Flocations Team

Note: Above prices are inclusive of return ticket. Prices are correct as at October 26, and will probably change as the dates become closer.
Source of information: lonelyplanet.com, tripadvisor.com, flocations.com

 

Six myths of air travel search on the web

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Great article on the travel myths. Well actually, it’s an article about what’s wrong with the travel industry and why, in the last 15 years, it still hasn’t innovated nor solved significant problems which all are related to one thing: user trust. How do you acquire a user’s trust so he can constantly come back and use your travel service and be presented with quality results each time he visits? Afterall, travel customers are fickle and will use several sites to find their best prices (I know I do) since all sites, regardless if you are hipmunk or google, will give you inconsistent prices or irrelevant prices.

Although the ways of solving it, as the article looks at it has been tried to solve via UI, such as hipmunk and powerful search, such as Google, that’s all it offers. Are these the only two variables in solving the user trust issues?

So here’s where Flocations comes in; although we try to innovate on both the UI and Search, as these are of utmost importance, we innovate on something that is not mentioned in the article; target market.

Unlike the big fish and little fish that are trying to swim in the ocean, Flocations wants to stick to our comfortable little pond. That is, we make it quite clear that we are NOT the place to go to for international travel. We strictly concentrate on regional travel. Making this apparent, we already start segmenting ourselves away from people that:
1. Know where they are going
2. want international travel
Which leaves us the small niche market of “people that want to travel nearby for vacation”. This means, that we build a product specific to the people that want to do this and there are certain consistent attributes that people wanting to do nearby travel have (such as the affinity towards lowcost carriers, hence, FLocations will never include legacy carriers). In other words, we know exactly what our users want because of the tiny niche we are trying to cater to and therefore, we can gain user trust faster than any other player simply because we pinpoint our clinetelle.

So coming back to solivng the user trust issue, Flocations solves this by adding one more elemnt aside from just UI and Search, but we segragate ourselves to one niche market and do it well.

Watch This Space | Airbnb Case Study

When Airbnb created a community marketplace for people to post, browse, and book unique accommodations around the world, it revolutionized the travel industry. To acquire customers for its unique marketplace, Airbnb needed to reach and educate users about how the service worked, and scale it globally.

Pretty nice case study that google put out about how AirBnb grew their transactions from 800,000 to 2Million through a campaign of education and re-education since AirBNB model was so revolutionary.

Since Flocaitons does a few things out of the ordinary when it comes to travel, there is a small learning curve for the user. Or I should say there is a hurdle; the user usually gets shocked by how our site is presented as they are used to the old text-based origin/destination input methodology. I suppose our challenge is to get them comfortable with the new interface straight away. Ah, the challenges of trying something new.

Tudor

WIT – WEB IN TRAVEL : THack @ WIT

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Thack event! The Flocations team is signed up to the Web In Travel and Tnooz 24 Hour Hackathon taking place on October 16! In anticipation of the WIT Conference, the Flocations team has signed up to drink beer and throw together some travel hacks… except for Tudor, he will probably just be blogging the whole thing. Anyways, fun times ahead! If you have some l33t skills, please sign up, it’s a free event!

Return Flights is Live!

So first, Flocations was like…

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Then, Flocations was like…

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Okay so this is supposed to be somewhat humerous and an indication that Flocations now offers return flights within southeast Asia!  Simply click on the calendar and you will be presented with a secondary, calendar to choose return dates!

Also, you will see that the sidebar now shows the cheapest flight to your desitnation and also the cheapest return flight.  Unfortunately, if the flights are from different carriers, you will have to book the flights separately (we will solve this issue in the coming month, so stay tuned!).

 

Feedback always welcome!  [email protected]

Tudor