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This week’s roundup of travel startups looks at companies that help travelers research destination and accommodation options based on their budget, interests, or group size. The search tools are specific for ski vacation, weekend getaways, long-term goals, and shopaholics.
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>> True Currency calculates what products are cheaper to buy abroad based on currency conversion rates and industry nuances. The website currently calculates the cost difference of products for travelers leaving from or going to the U.S., UK, Germany, France, or Italy. The products include cameras, handbags, jeans, sunglasses, perfume, and watches.
SkiftTake: This is a lightweight fun trip planning tool, especially helpful for tourists planning to shop. Its detailed down to specific brands, but needs to add more countries to attract a wider use base. The concept will also work well as an app.
>> Waygo is a translation app for travelers struggling to understand the Chinese language. Users point their mobile phones at a Chinese character and the app translates it into English. Internet connection is not necessary for an accurate translation. Waygo’s iOS app can be downloaded for free for a limited number of translations, or users can pay $6.99 for unlimited translations.
SkiftTake: Although the number of visitor arrivals in China remains low, it is becoming an important business travel destination. The app’s translation to English makes it a tool that can be used by travelers that can speak English no matter where they are from.
>> Mountago is a trip planning tool for skiers and snowboarders. It helps users find hotels, restaurants, and ski shops based on search filters including location, ski experience, and travel group. It provides all locations on a map and user reviews for mountains and resorts.
SkiftTake: The website’s UX still needs some work as it is easy to get lost in the mountain of search filters and information provided for each resort. Mountago will have to drive users directly to booking at the resorts in order to close the purchase cycle and get a piece of the booking profit.
>> Bucketlistly is a community of travelers that help each other reach their goals in real life. Users create a “bucket list” of achievements to accomplish or adventures they’d like to have, they ask others for advice or ideas, and keep track of which items they’ve checked off.
SkiftTake: It takes a certain user to want to share their dreams with strangers and be dedicated enough to follow through on the goal and follow up with the community. Giving users more than community is key to longterm growth.
>> WanderWe is an online travel site focused on two to four day getaways. Users can search trips 60 days in advance based on budget and interests, browse through suggested hostels, restaurants, and activities, and book directly on the site. It suggests hotels, restaurants, and activities. Users can share trip itineraries for future reference or share it with friends. It currently only suggests trip ideas for the east and west coast of the U.S.
SkiftTake: The user experience still needs work with search not as beautiful or fast as the young business travelers who the site is aimed towards will want. This is a lucrative market in theory, but its execution needs to be smoother and more helpful.