Ideas for a trip/vacation planner app – Part II

In the last 2 posts, I detailed the market needs, and the itinerary planner user story. Continuing with more features around maintaining content, creating a transactional marketplace for revenue generation, and finally some integration ideas to piggy-back on the success of others.

Content

  • Search public itineraries based on destination
  • System should suggest ‘hot’ holiday options – not in a salesy way – but genuine, recent itineraries that are verified for feasibility, cost estimate, etc.
  • Suggestions/searches should be based searches based on demographic information: age, gender, marital status, profession, origin city
  • Rate, review itineraries
  • Maintain places with linked information: map, entrance fees, best-time-of-day, visit duration
  • Maintain cities, categories, modes of transport, currencies, exchange rates
  • When creating my itinerary, similar itineraries from other users should be suggested – verified, promoted, voted itineraries on top

Marketplace

  • Directly contact agents on public itineraries
  • Agents can view & receive alerts for shared itineraries in their service area
  • Agents can submit bids that be reviewed compared side-by-side with included places/meals & merge itineraries or individual items [versioning]
  • Collaborate/negotiate with agents on a bid, and finally award
  • Allow agents to attach confirmations, visas, etc. – that remain private even when the itinerary is shared

Integration

  • Accommodation: get best prices from top 3 websites for the selected date location
  • Transport: get best prices to the destination, with “flexible dates” option, and suggest best transits worth a stop-over
  • Rentals: for road journeys, suggest available rental options
  • Traffic: use traffic information to estimate journey times between places
  • Fares: get entrance fees and estimated taxi fares
  • City cards: analyze entrance fees and suggest savings from city cards (e.g. iVenture card)

Strengths:

  • Solves a real problem for backpackers
  • Integration & market-place: lot of stickiness for a content + transaction website

Challenges:

  • It might be a while before there is enough content – itineraries
  • Ensuring simple design to handle required interactivity on all browser

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