Digital Booking Sites

SkiftSeedlings: Five early-stage travel startups tackle trip planning

@SamShankman

Jan 21, 2013 1:18 pm


This week’s SkiftSeedlings all tackle some component of trip planning whether it be searching for flights, discovering social activities, or creating customizable itineraries. These startups follow in the well-trodden footsteps of trip planning websites that have come before them and while some looked destined for failure before their launch out of beta, others will be surprise successes.

If you know of any early-stage travel startups that either you’re involved with or have seen on the web, drop us a note through our contact page or send us a tweet at @skiftnews.

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For all of our SkiftSeedlings collection, check out our archives here.

Quixplore

Quixplore is a discovery tool for social activities. Users follow friends, local organizations, and businesses to see what events are happening around them as they happen. Event postings can be liked, shared, or discussed with specific friends or the public.

SkiftTake: Quixplore is launching alongside many other location-based discovery and search apps, but its intent on making connections with strangers via discussions and shared interests sets it apart from search-only tools like Spindle.

TripTern is an India-based startup that takes travelers through the trip planning process starting with a destination and ending with a customizable itinerary including attractions and directions. Travelers then share their itineraries with friends for future trip ideas and activities.

SkiftTake: Similar to other inspirational trip planning websites, Trip Tern’s current business model will be unable to turn a profit unless it includes the ability to book hotels directly through the site. On the upside, it doesn’t push the inspirational component of it service as its driving attraction.

Darjeelin

Darjeelin is a French startup that wants to make aviation experts a little extra cash while saving pedestrian flight bookers a few bills through flight hacking. Users pay €20 for the service, enter their ideal flight information, and four flight search experts compete to find the best online offer. Experts including travel agents, travel bloggers, and frequent flyers have to apply and prove they’ve found great deals in the past to enter the competition.

SkiftTake: Darjeelin’s strategy to create closed contests rather than crowdsourced competitions will help gain the trust of users and the increase each expert’s odds of winning. Fifteen pounds seems like a low incentive, but the startup claims hundreds have already applied.

WuHu

Wuhu is a trip planning web app, in beta, that promises trip bookings in less than ten minutes, bookings directly via its app, and a service that gets better, or smarter, every time it’s used. Users will also be able to connect with friends during the dreaming, planning, booking and traveling stages of their trip.

SkiftTake: Wuhu has all the pieces of social trip planning site, but its vague reference to the service improving with several bookings is an interesting concept that hopefully takes a user’s prefences into consideration more than those of their friends.

Pintrips is a trip planning tool that allows travelers to search, save, and compare flights on a central dashboard. The site saves itinerary requests as travelers browse search engines, bookmarking their favorite options. The flights can be viewed side-by-side in a single place and prices are constantly updated on saved dashboards.

SkiftTake: Pintrips is unique in that it’s a tool that is as useful to the individual traveler as it is to a group. The ability to share a dashboard and discuss the options makes the site another contender in the group trip planning market.

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