Ever been to a new city and felt that the local guide is more a source of amusement than information? Or, that you would like to know more about a monument but don't want to dig out the Wikipedia entry on it? To ensure that travelers are not stuck in such situations, two women have designed an app called TripMyWay.
Aimed at avid travelers, the app provides detailed audio guides with interactive maps and additional information about different cities. TripMyWay co-founders Nupur Aggarwal and Rachna Pande began working on the app in 2014.
"I and Rachna are friends from over a decade," Aggarwal told HuffPost India. "We met in Pune and later moved to different cities. About 6 years ago we became neighbors. Both of us are avid travelers. During one of my trips to Rajasthan, we felt the need of audio guides at a lot of places. And since smartphones were on the rise, we decided to make an app."
Aggarwal began the work in the US while Pande was in India. They started with Delhi where Pandey would go on guided walks arranged by the local INTACH chapter to better understand what a traveller desired. Later, Pandey began conducting walks herself as well. Parallelly, the duo began working with historians, tech teams and even travel bureaus in various cities. They set up TripMyWay in 2015.
The app lets you select a city and then the place you would like to explore. For instance, if you select Delhi you get options such as Chandni Chowk, Rajpath, and the Qutub Complex. After selecting a place, you can select a step-by-step audio guide while checking out the interactive map that highlights the site's noteworthy features.
The page also contains plenty of information, including bits of history and markers that indicate whether a place is family friendly, allows photography and more.
Once the tour starts, you will see an image on the screen with the audio controls below. There is a camera icon which lets you click photos without leaving the app. You can also switch to the interactive map mode.
"We have worked very hard to make these audio clips interesting," Aggarwal said. "Travellers wouldn't need a guide who is scurrying through the points. Anyone can play the clip over and over. Also, we have made sure that the clip is not more than 5 minutes long to keep the attention of the traveler intact."
"Our team started with Rajasthan as we are familiar with that place," she continued. "The Rajasthan Tourism and the government were very supportive. They provided us with contacts of historians, information about places, maps, and other resources."
The Android app currently includes experiences for 16 cities of Rajasthan and Delhi. The iOS app is under works. TripMyWay is keen to work on more cities in Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and other states.
The founders are eager to get funding so that they can add more features to the app. Besides audio tours, users can currently get info on how to reach a particular place, what they can shop for where and even contacts of relevant local authorities.
As Aggarwal said, "We want our users to have a holistic travel experience." You can download the TripMyWay app from Google Play store.