Digital

Five Travel Startups That Want to Make Users Smarter Travelers

@SamShankman

Jan 13, 2014 9:00 am


Frescape is a home exchange marketplace. The site verifies users who can then send or search through home exchange offers for a match.

ClaimAir is a mobile app that helps flyers understand their rights in the case of flight cancellations or delays, denied boarding, or baggage problems.

Gladitood is a platform that connects communities in need of humanitarian or conservation projects with travelers that want to volunteer and learn about a new culture.

Ramblen is a media site that curates and recommends information for health-conscious travelers.

TasteSync is a social search engine for personalized restaurant recommendations.

This week’s list of travel startups aims to make travelers smarter by giving them the information they need when they need it with live recommendations, curated suggestions, and case-by-case advice.

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>> Frescape is a home exchange marketplace. The site verifies users who can then send or search through home exchange offers for a match. Users can add references, leave reviews, and access a private messaging system.

SkiftTake: The site will appeal to a set of budget travelers looking to save costs, but the platform will also have a significantly smaller user set than a site with paid lodging. All users need to not only want to stay somewhere for free, but be able to offer their own place up.

>> ClaimAir is a mobile app that helps flyers understand their rights in the case of flight cancellations or delays, denied boarding, or baggage problems. Flyers use the app to determine their claim and contact the airline or airport.

SkiftTake: Most flyers don’t know their rights when it comes to flying so a mobile app that quickly and conveniently identifies the problem and solution will be a useful tool for any frequent or infrequent flyer.

>> Gladitood is a platform that connects communities in need of humanitarian or conservation projects with travelers that want to volunteer and learn about a new culture. The site is set to launch this fall.

SkiftTake: Travelers are increasingly looking for opportunities to volunteer and learn while abroad, but the platform will need to set up infrastructure so that the travelers add value and move the communities’ projects forward rather than becoming a burden on local resources.

>> Ramblen is a media site that curates and recommends information for health-conscious travelers. Users can find outdoor trails, fitness clubs, health stores, and restaurants in destinations. Ramblen only provides reviews of places that its staff personally vets and recommends.

SkiftTake: Health-conscious travel is taking off as travelers look for brands that offer better exercise and food options. Ramblen can tap into this growing trend by becoming a trusted resource for wellness-minded travelers.

>> TasteSync is a social search engine for personalized restaurant recommendations. Users describer their mood and cuisine preferences and the service connects the query with foodies that can suggest places based on their experience. The app also includes photos, menus, and reviews of restaurants.

SkiftTake: Providing live trusted restaurant recommendations at a moment’s notice is a large promise to fill. TasteSync will need to incentivize its users to provide recommendations as much as it encourages users to ask for them.

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