The Next Generation Travel Site


The founders of rome2rio.com, Micheal Cameron and Bernhard Tschirren, are both former employees of Microsoft and avid backpackers who one day realised that sites like Kayak and Hipmunk simply don’t cut it for today’s globe-trotter.

“We started rome2rio because we were frustrated by the lack of good travel planning tools for surface journeys. Plenty of sites exist for viewing airfares, but we wanted a site that shows all travel options, by plane, train, bus, ferry and car,” Cameron told EXEC over email from Melbourne.

In addition to searching flight schedules for over 670 airlines, the site also covers intercity buses, trains and ferries across Europe, North America, China, India, parts of the far east, Australia and Northern Africa in addition to airport links and a few metropolitan transports like the London Underground.

This is impressive enough, but the site’s coup de grace lies in its extremely user-friendly interface, which helps the user take full advantage of the variety of options the site throws up and make an informed choice.

For example, if you searching for the best way to get from Bangalore to Stuttgart, the site presents you with six options arranged in the ascending order of travel time. If you pick a date, the option will display the prices as well (taking to into account airfare, train costs etc). You can see right away that flying into Zurich and taking the Swiss Railways to Stuttgart instead of flying in directly might take you three hours more but would cost `10000 less.

When you click on a leg of your journey that requires driving, the site zooms in on the map and gives you detailed driving instructions on how to get from point A to B. The site also provides excellent info on the hotels at your destination (with reviews consolidated from various sites like booking.com and hotels.com) along with the best deals available and the option to book rental cabs (although this feature isn’t working to its full potential yet, at least not in India). Bookings, be it flight, hotel or train, can’t be made on the site, however rome2rio.com automatically directs you to a relevant site from where you can do so.

Cameron also has an interesting comment for the Indian audience. He said, “Rome2rio receives visitors for all over the world but is currently more popular in India than anywhere else; around 43% of visitors to our site are from India. We are planning to launch Indian bus coverage soon.”

A Traveller’s Footprint

Another unique feature of the website is its Carbon Footprint Calculator. Micheal Cameron said, “Rome2rio displays the carbon footprint of each journey. You can easily compare the CO2 footprint of travelling by air, rail, bus and car as well as purchase carbon credits to offset the trip’s impact.” For instance, when you fly from New Delhi to Mumbai, your carbon footprint is approximately 0.35 tonnes CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) while the same journey undertaken by train will result in a footprint of only 0.07 tonnes CO2e. But the site doesn’t stop at guilt-tripping you, if offers you a way to make amends. The site has partnered with Offset Options which, lets you purchase ‘Carbon Offsets’ by supporting projects across the world like hydroelectric, landfill gas to energy projects that reduce carbon emissions, thereby ‘balancing’ the carbon emitted as a result of you travel.

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