What's your take on this startup idea?

Travel Forums Off Topic What's your take on this startup idea?

1. Posted by torge (First Time Poster 1 posts) 12w Star this if you like it!

Hey folks, a while back, this travel idea popped into my head, and I'm curious to hear what you think about it.

Check it out: In a month, I'm jetting off to Canada for a solid 2.5 months on Vancouver Island. I'm all about soaking up the real deal vibes and diving into some epic experiences. Instead of diving deep into forums, blogs, and videos to hunt down must-do activities, I'm thinking of this rad concept – a kinda Fiverr for travel planning. Picture this: I hit up the platform, find a local who's in the know and well-connected on the island. For a small fee, they hook me up with a killer plan for activities or maybe even the whole trip. This local guru knows Vancouver Island inside out, dropping tips and answering my burning questions. We'd hop on a call, I spill the beans on my rough ideas, and the local whips up a plan tailored to my vibes.

Now, spill the tea: What do you think of the idea? Would you give it a go? And, real talk, would you drop some cash to have someone plan your trip and share their wisdom? Lay it on me – no holding back!

2. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 6029 posts) 12w 1 Star this if you like it!

This isn't a new idea, I'm afraid. See e.g. Toursbylocals.

Frankly, I doubt any local in Vancouver Island would plan out your whole trip just for 'a small fee'. Would you do that for a stranger to your local area for a 'small fee'?

>would you drop some cash to have someone plan your trip and share their wisdom?

In certain circumstances I might pay someone (I would never 'drop cash')...and have done so on a couple of occasions...but I wouldn't expect to pay them just 'a small fee' for what would be an absolute minimum of several hours' work.

3. Posted by Peter (Admin 7207 posts) 12w 2 Star this if you like it!

As leics has pointed out, it's not a new idea. Have you made any attempts to find existing players in this space? A good place to browse through startups that have popped up over the years is on Travel Massive which is something of a hub for the travel industry. Perhaps join up there and spend some time going through the various travel planning startups. Here are a few similar concepts for example:

Ask a Local
Spotted by Locals
Baboo Travel

Actually, getting help from locals / people in the know was one of the first features of Travellerspoint over 20 years ago :) See our Travel Helpers. While plenty of helpers have signed up over the years, I wouldn't build a business around it or expect people to pay for it. It has been very helpful to get good responses in our forums though.

You're contending with many free alternatives that people have. Mostly if people want some advice from others, they will just post about it on social media or in forums like this and there are generally plenty of people willing to offer free advice.

On top of that, you now also have AI based options. Although they aren't perfect, they can provide a pretty decent trip plan for $0. There have probably been a dozen startups in the last year alone with that approach.

Hope it helps. Not meaning to bring you down on this - it's just better to be grounded in reality before sinking many years of effort into building up something like that!

4. Posted by Marigioshi (First Time Poster 1 posts) 12w Star this if you like it!

Keep developing your idea, and who knows, it might become the go-to travel planning solution!

5. Posted by goodfish (Full Member 324 posts) 12w 1 Star this if you like it!

Nope, wouldn't fly with me. Believe it or not, locals are not necessarily experts about their own area. They may never have stayed in any of the hotels, nor taken local public transportation. They may never have explored 'off the grid' or have a taste for the same sorts of activities or restaurants that I do. LOL, a few of the WORST places we've ever eaten were recommended by locals. I'd rather gather my info from a much broader selection of resources, including other travelers.

As well, and as Leics and Peter have pointed out, this type of service already exists for people who think they want a travel agent of sorts, and some of those services are free. With the amount of information already available on the net, including forums, it's so much easier to plan your own trip to your own specifications than in the past. Before the internet all we had to work with were guide books and/or agents!

AI content: oof, I'm seeing more of that garbage lately than I want to see. Much of it is right up there with blatant plagiarism of destination advertising material.

[ Edit: Edited on 30 Nov 2023, 13:25 GMT by goodfish ]

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7. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 2540 posts) 12w Star this if you like it!

I am not one of those people who thinks that it is a sin to plan for myself or have any pre-conceived ideas about what I want to do. I don't just go to a place without knowing something about it beforehand because the planning is part of the fun for me. So I would not want someone telling me what to do, and especially I wouldn't be paying them to do it.

My husband, and my son are perfectly happy to have someone else do the planning and they just go where my daughter-in-law and I point them. But I doubt if they would pay someone else to plan for them.

8. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1615 posts) 12w Star this if you like it!

True: "You're contending with many free alternatives that people have. Mostly if people want some advice from others, they will just post about it on social media or in forums like this and there are generally plenty of people willing to offer free advice."
I participate in several Facebook travel forums. One has 22,700 participants trying to see most, if not all, of the world's countries and territories. It's a useful forum that can help in searching for guides, local travel agents, accommodations, transportation, etc. Participants share their likes and dislikes.

I don't mind paying for advice and help. I do so by using local travel agents and guides to arrange itineraries to suit my interests and budget. I've done this in places such as Alaska, Belarus, Ethiopia, Iceland, India, Myanmar, New Zealand and Tasmania. A local travel agent in Alaska helped book accommodations in remote places, such as Katmai National Park, and arranged for flights on bush planes and float planes. She arranged ground transportation on the Dalton Highway from the Arctic Circle to Fairbanks.

9. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 2053 posts) 11w 1 Star this if you like it!

Local travel information? If someone asked me about Sacramento, I couldn't recommend a hotel or a restaurant. I guess I could come up with a couple sights to see but they'd have to like art, museums and railroads. Once someone asked me about transportation here and I spent an hour on the Internet looking up an answer for them. They could have done that themselves. We drive our own car so we don't know about trains and buses here.

We just don't go out much here at home except to the specific places that interest us. I'm much more comfortable sharing information about Paris because we go there to explore and are much more open about what we see and do . . . but we certainly aren't locals there. I can, however, give you local transport directions of the top of my head because we use it there and we don't have a car there.

We've gotten advice from local residents in many places we've visited, but they are people we've met there, talked to and found common interests and asked for recommendations, i. e. not travel advisors.

It sounds to me like you are trying to reinvent the wheel.

Post 10 was removed by a moderator