Destinations are go! A sneak preview
- By Anila Babla
- 11th Sep 2012
We're about to launch a new section on Loco2. Get a sneak preview of the changes here and help us make the site even better.
When we launched the new look Loco2 website, this time last year, we showcased European cities in the Inspire Me section, and waxed lyrical about fun things to do in cities that can be easily reached by train. Later came the Engine Room, our concierge-style forum, in response to the queries we receive about how to book specific trains. All this was great, but it quickly became apparent that the most common customer queries were a variation of the same four questions:
- Where is the nearest train station to my destination?
- What’s the best route?
- How do I find the cheapest tickets?
- When is the best time to book?
Never ones to resist a challenge, we started looking for a way to answer these questions on the site. The result is our all-new Destinations section, which will replace Inspire Me and feature three new tools. At the moment the new section is in beta, and is only visible to logged-in users. That way, we can launch with just a few cities, get your feedback and share it with the world when we’re good and ready! If you haven’t got a Loco2 account already, you can now sign in with Facebook or Twitter. And if you have, (we love you) sign in, have a look around and let us know what you think of our brand new features:
The station finder does what it says on the tin. So if you’re not sure if your destination has a train station, or want to research nearby towns then give it a try. You can use the map to zoom in and out of a region, and at each zoom level, we’ll show you the main stations in the area. This was a tricky tool to build, and although we tested some parts when we launched our nearby station search earlier in the year, we’re expecting some teething problems once you get your hands on it. Please bear with us as we try to improve and give us much feedback as possible so we can make it better.
Train booking guides
We know that planning a route and choosing the right trains can be a challenge. For flights it’s easy (after all, there aren’t that many airports to choose from) but booking trains isn’t as simple for journeys beyond Paris. In our booking guides, we walk you through how to get to Europe’s most popular destinations by train, with information on the trains, stations, journeys and transfers, as well as the cheapest fares. At the moment there are only a few featured cities, but we’ll be adding lots more over the next couple of weeks.
Booking horizon helper
If you’re trying to buy tickets for a journey with more than one train it’s likely that each leg opens for booking at a different time. Booking horizons are a pain, but buying your ticket as soon as possible once they’re open for sale will give you the best chance to find the cheapest tickets. We want to take the hassle out of keeping track of when booking opens so we’ve developed a tool that lets you enter your planned dates, check if booking is open and if it isn’t, set up a reminder for when it goes on sale. With December’s timetable change approaching we’re not sure if the reminders will be foolproof, but we’ll keep testing them until they are. Your help is much appreciated.