Tripnary's CEO Abhishek Ghuwalewala and Head of Products Varun Goel
Bucket lists have made the big leagues. No longer do aspiring travelers need to write down a list of places to go/things to do on a notepad or the back of an envelope, or spend hours searching for the best priced flights. Chicago-based Tripnary is making the process much easier with its new app, released just a few days ago.
For Abhishek Ghuwalewala, founder and CEO of Tripnary, planning vacations with his wife was a pain. As an equity analyst focusing on tech companies, Ghuwalewala and his wife had vacation days to enjoy, but he needed help finding the best places to go, with the best prices possible. Existing websites weren’t cutting it; Kayak was great to find a flight if he knew where he wanted to go, but Ghuwalewala was flexible with his destinations. “It’s really cumbersome to fill in 20 different destinations and try to find something that fits your budget,” said Ghuwalewala.
Same with review sites: great if a user had the list in mind, but more difficult for discovery.
“Initially when we started, we had this general idea of a travel-planning product,” said Ghuwalewala. But the team had to refine that down and really understand what the traveler’s pain point was. By participating (and winning) the Lean Startup Machine Chicago over the summer, Ghuwalewala says they were able to quickly validate the idea. That meant when it came time for beta testing, Tripnary wasn’t terribly surprised by how their users reacted to the app.
Too Few Vacation Days
Unfortunately for Americans, we are strapped for travel time. “Travel inherently is something that people use only a few times a year,” said Ghuwalewala. For a travel app, it's a challenge to figure out how to make an app integral for common use, but the team at Tripnary is combating this by including recommendations for activities near and far. They are also targeting specific niche audiences that are likely to engage on an ongoing basis.
For a wanderlust, the app can be downright addicting. Open the app and users are greeted with beautiful images from around the world, worthy of any bucket list. Tapping on the heart icon saves it to a user’s bucket list, while swiping left removes the destination. Hop over to the flight page and all the destinations on a user’s bucket list are priced out from the user’s home airport (users can change the dates). Travelers can also use it to explore new areas, or their own backyard. It’s a like a having a personal travel concierge recommend the best activities, and then price compare them out for you, all in a matter of seconds.
So far, the customer response has been great. Ghuwalewala says people love the design and the ability to personalize their own bucket lists. Tripnary is excited to engage with their users as well, saying the feedback they are getting for future ideas is welcome.
Want it, Do it, Share it
Like anything fun, Tripnary is meant to be shared. Users can share their bucket lists with others via social media. That makes trip planning easy – just check out what your friend did over her last holiday. Those pictures you coveted so much on Facebook can now be on your page.
The team is reaching out to influential travel bloggers to get them to start using the product as well. Ghuwalewala thinks it's a great platform for both blogger and travel reader to learn about new places to go.
Cracking a Mature Market
While the travel industry is a massive and mature market, Ghuwalewala thinks “there’s a big change coming in terms of a move to personalization.” Apps like this are just the start.
Based out of 1871, Ghuwalewala is proud to be “filling in the gap between bookmarking and personal travel booking.”
For readers with extra holidays to take before the end of the year, Tripnary would like to help. Their main goal right now is to gain traction and help users have the best trips possible.
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