TripHub, founded by former Expedia and Microsoft veterans, today announced the availability of its trip planning service, which offers the best place to plan, organize and share any gathering that involves travel. TripHub eliminates the headaches associated with organizing family reunions, vacations, getaways, bachelor(ette) parties, weddings, retreats, school trips, and more.

"Customers have told us that planning trips with extended family and groups of friends can be as pleasant as a mouthful of thumbtacks," said Josh Herst, CEO and founder of TripHub. "TripHub's free service eliminates the pain of group communications and decision-making and brings the fun and excitement of getting together with family and friends into the planning process."

Historically, the travel industry has defined "groups" as 10 or more people traveling on the same itinerary. TripHub extends this definition to include any trip outside a nuclear family -- if it involves more than one credit card, it's a group. This broader market definition encompasses both smaller groups of family and friends and larger groups traveling on disparate itineraries; representing tens of millions of trips every year. According to a Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell poll, almost 80% of active leisure travelers took at least one vacation with extended family or friends in the past five years, and this trend, known as "togethering," is growing.(1)

TripHub, available since March 2006, has already been used by thousands of customers to plan gatherings and events such as family vacations, birthday celebrations, bachelor parties, reunions, weddings, and cruises. These groups range in size from a handful of travelers, to groups of more than 50 and represent significant economic events, spending thousands of dollars per trip. Group planning cycles of up to 12 months create numerous opportunities for TripHub to deliver valuable and highly targeted promotions and offers to customers.

"Online travel agencies and meta-search sites have optimized the process of shopping for and buying plane tickets, hotels, and more recently vacation packages. Addressing the complex coordination requirements of group travel is the next frontier in online travel," said Josh Herst. "We have spoken with hundreds of customers and, based on their input and feedback, we have created a unique and innovative service to meet their needs and address the growing togethering market."

TripHub makes it easy for people to connect, communicate, inspire each other, and build excitement throughout the planning process.

Using TripHub, consumers can easily:
- Create a central "hub" for all trip information and discussions
- Invite people and track who is coming
- Research and discuss travel plans and activities
- Collaborate on decisions and keep people informed about trip details
- Create a shared schedule of events
- Share travel itineraries from any source or supplier

TripHub's newest features, Trip Blogs and Event Schedules, available today, further expand TripHub's lead in online group travel planning.

Trip Blogs enable discussions, announcements, lists, idea sharing, and decision-making within the context of a private trip. TripHub customers can discuss dining options, proposed activities, ground transportation, etc. This centralized history of discussions simplifies the exchange and recall of information and helps streamline decision-making. Trip Blogs also provide a fun and easy way to share trip memories post-travel.

Event Schedules provide a consolidated, shared view of all trip-related activities such as dining plans, entertainment, events, and tours. Event Schedules allow for easy communication of important dates, times and locations and can be printed so everybody has a portable agenda of what is happening, when and where.

TripHub Group Planning Tools Also Available at alaskaair.com

TripHub's services are also available through Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air at http://www.alaskaair.com/groups. "Groups of all sizes often face challenges in coordinating air travel plans and itineraries," said Steve Jarvis, Alaska Airlines' Vice President of Sales and Customer Experience. "Working with TripHub has produced valuable insight, particularly into smaller group dynamics, and has allowed Alaska Airlines to improve its service to customers traveling in groups."

Related Link: TripHub