This week’s roundup of early-stage travel startups looks at broad trip planning platforms and niche booking sites. There’s a digital map that tracks users’ travels and a planning website that aids tourists without a specific destination in mind.

There’s also an app that lets users communicate in new countries via symbols and a home rental platform designed for Ivy League alumni.


» Symbolic App is an iOS app that provides travelers with more than 3,000 symbols to help them communicate in new languages. Travelers can search through images in 12 different categories that cover a wide range of items from bike shops to check dishes. The app is available in English, French, Chinese, Spanish, and Japanese.

SkiftTake: Smartphones have largely taken the place of notebooks so rather than scramble for paper, travelers can use this well-designed app. It’s simple but useful.

» Tripsidea is a trip planning website that helps users fill in itineraries with activities, excursions, and restaurants. Users can search a destination based on driving distance from home or select their own location. They then select proposed activities that they are somewhat interested in and Tripsidea’s algorithm builds a final itinerary.

SkiftTake: There are several bugs in Tripside’s itinerary builder, but the site’s layout is perfect for travelers who don’t have a specific destination in mind.

» Trippity  is a digital map that tracks and quantifies users’ travels. It shows users how many travels and miles they’ve covered, when they hit milestones like visiting every country on a certain continent, and how they compare to friends.

SkiftTake: This is the online version of a paper map covered in pushpins. It’s particularly fitting for travel bloggers who are able to embed a widget outlining how far they’ve traveled in comparison to peers.

» InTaste is a platform that connects travelers looking for local culinary experiences with the farmers, vineyard owners, and chefs. The startup’s goal is to protect local food traditions.

SkiftTake: Food is one of the primary drivers of tourism today making for a timely debut for InTaste. One of the startup’s main responsibilities be creating a beneficial and positive experience for tourists and local artisans.

» Ivylla is an exclusive home rental platform created for alumni from top universities around the world. The goal is to ensure a certain quality of home while providing a platofrm for networking or making friends.

SkiftTake: Who knew there were elitists who bemoan sleeping in the home of somebody who went to a state university? The site’s concentrated user base could lead to a strong community that Ivylla may monetize in the future with tours, trips, or meet-ups.

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Tags: booking, skiftseedlings

Photo credit: Symbolic App is an iOS app that provides travelers with more than 3,000 symbols to help them communicate in new languages.

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