The Gamification Of Travel: A Fun Way To Earn Expedia Rewards

While I tote around an iPhone and an iPad, I definitely consider myself a bit of social media introvert.  I can spell Twitter and Facebook, and I have my fair share of Foursquare check-ins.  But other than that, a novice.  Despite that, I was definitely intrigued by an article by Stephanie Rosenbloom of the New York Times recently about some fun new apps associated with travel.

Stephanie brings up two things I think some of you will find interesting, one of which I’m certain to try.  First, she talks about an app from Stray Boots, an app that makes a game out of learning about different tourist areas.  You download the app to your phone and then it asks you questions about certain areas of town in an effort to get you to explore.  Along the way it teaches you things about the area you’re traveling in.  I could see this being a fun thing for families traveling with school-aged children, sort of a digital scavenger hunt.

For those that collect Expedia Rewards points, they’ve got an app coming out shortly called Around the World in 100 Days.  You earn tokens in the game by completing tasks:

The final step is registering for the game with your Expedia account information (or creating an account if you don’t have one). Tokens finance your avatar’s virtual trip to up to 20 destinations around the world. There are several ways to earn tokens including answering trivia questions (which might also get your name put on a leader board), downloading the Expedia mobile app and, of course, booking travel through Expedia.

The more cities your avatar visits, the more Expedia Rewards points you receive. A map of the world shows players where their avatar is on its journey, and an Indiana Jones-style graphic line between cities enables users to track their progress. There is also a weekly sweepstakes, where five players are randomly selected to earn 100,000 points. “A lot of people are surprised that Expedia has a loyalty program,” said Julius Lai, the senior director of loyalty marketing for He said that games like Around the World in 100 Days are just the sort of thing a digital company like Expedia would use to “engage people in a very entertaining way in order to achieve what is a very standard goal of a promotion.”

I don’t use Expedia to book my travel but I might spin up the game to have some fun with the kids when traveling to a new destination.

It amazes me how much I use my iPhone when I travel.  It’s an incredible resource in a foreign country, so much so for me that it was almost painful on our recent trip to Panama when I couldn’t get an internet signal.  It was my primary connection to work as  well as our principal navigation device for the trip.  Adding games to the mix sounds like a lot of fun.  I’ll just have to figure out where I’m going to carry all those extra batteries!

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