There are the travelers who have checklists of everything they want to see during their two-week trip to Europe with flights pre-booked, check-ins time-stamped and restaurants already preselected. And then there are those who just want to escape the hustle of their daily routines for the week of vacation they’re allotted each year and don’t want an itinerary, deadlines and bulleted items they need to see or else.
Every traveler wants the reassurance that the basics will be taken care of, such as trusted accommodation options and airport transfers, but the hour-to-hour schedule is where things start diverging. These five startups offer solutions to the traveler who wants someone else to completely take care of the trip-planning experience as well as the traveler who wants advice and guidance but can handle things from there.
>>TripChi is a mobile app that serves as an airport guide providing location, time, and personality-based recommendations to travelers. It is also a targeted marketing platform for airports and airport vendors.
SkiftTake: Airports are a good place for TripChi to test its proposed business model of targeted and personalized deals, but gathering enough data on flyers will be the biggest hurdle to making the platform useful for flyers and lucrative for vendors.
>>Exploring.is connects travelers with professional travel writers and other experts who tailor a trip experience to fit individual needs. Travelers first take a quiz that helps them get matched with the right expert for them.
SkiftTake: We like this idea a little bit better than getting matched with a local who surprisingly might not have as much expertise in their destination as someone like a travel writer who’s job it is to know the ins and outs.
>>TripScout is a mobile app for self-guided city tours from local guides. Besides audio tours, the app also offers offline maps, pinned points of interest and curated sites showing you what to do in your neighborhood.
SkiftTake: As long as travelers remember to put down their smartphones every once in awhile to enjoy the scenery around them, TripScout certainly sounds like it takes much of the hassle out of trip planning both before and during travel.
>>Nekst provides travelers with a curated list of recommended hotels based on their interests and tastes. It also compares prices at more than 60 online travel agencies and doesn’t charge a booking fee.
SkiftTake: It’s surprising that the major online travel agencies don’t do more in offering a product like this (some have dabbled in the past) since this is really what travelers want to know when searching for hotels. If Nekst can gain some traction it will add a much-needed voice to online travel.
>>Tripr helps travelers plan who they want to meet up with while traveling and lets them get local advice.
SkiftTake: This is ideal for solo travelers looking to make new friends and connections but must also come with a verification process that establishes identity and authenticity so that travelers’ safeties are ensured.