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Itinographer - Travel Planner


#1

I’ve recently completed a travel planning MVP called Itinographer. The idea is that you plan your trip in the desktop web app and download it to the iPhone app before you travel.

I got into smartphones and GPS in 2004 when PocketPC Phone Edition came out. Over the years I made some apps that tracked multi-day mountain treks and plotted them on Google Maps. I was going to do an iPhone version but the first iPhones didn’t support background location tracking so I worked on something else. Last year I wanted to do another mobile app and so decided to go back to my interest in travel tech.

At this stage I’m looking for user validation. I’m trying to get users through paid advertising, though Google pulled my ad saying my landing page violated it’s policies, not sure why. I was a bit disheartened when I saw the Hacker News post saying that travel planning software is the most common bad startup idea.

I would be interested in what people think of my take on this software genre, what problems you encounter when planning trips and what software you currently use.


#2

Hi @markh! Looks interesting but I know nothing about the genre, really.

For the Adwords issue try simplifying the landing page a lot and just try a few ads and pages until something works. Maybe try Facebook groups. Try the “digital nomad” type people - those who make startups and travel around, since they would be fairly comfortable with new tech and could give you good feedback?


#3

Thanks for the advice @Richard.

Try the “digital nomad” type people - those who make startups and travel
around, since they would be fairly comfortable with new tech and could
give you good feedback?

That’s a good idea. I must try and find out where they congregate online.


#4

TropicalMBA is a podcast that is oriented around location-independent income.
http://www.tropicalmba.com/

They also have a community (paid-for):
http://www.tropicalmba.com/dc/

And then there’s Reddit:
http://www.reddit.com/r/digitalnomad


#5

Thanks for those links. I’ve come across Dynamite Circle before, though they have quite a high bar for entry - $5000/month revenue. I wonder how many people here are part of it. The subreddit looks promising. I’ve always been put off by the UI of Reddit but I must try and give it another go.


#6

Some stream of consciousness feedback (sick and a bit tired over here). Looks like a nice tool. I use TripIt myself, which isn’t quite a travel planner in the sense that your tool is. However, I find it does help me to plan the trip from the top down. My typical planning workflow looks like this:

  1. Book flights to and from destination. Check for “open jaw” itineraries as well.
  2. Block off days for each intermediate destination
  3. Book lodging at each location
  4. Research and book transportation (trains, bus, car) between each destination
  5. Fill in details: how to get from train station to hotel, buy show tickets, make reservations

I could see your tool helping with the initial stages. My biggest planning challenges are the intermediate travel days, as I have to figure out local train/bus systems via their websites, which are of varying quality. However, TripIt’s auto-import is a pretty killer feature. You could get this for your app via the World Mate API. The other issue is that I only need super in depth trip planning every year or two, so I don’t think I would subscribe to such a tool.


#7

That’s really useful feedback.

However, TripIt’s auto-import is a pretty killer feature.

TripIt and WorldMate have this and it was something I was planning to look into. That World Mate API could do me while the numbers were small, thanks for the link.

The other issue is that I only need super in depth trip planning every
year or two, so I don’t think I would subscribe to such a tool.

That’s useful to know. The business model is going to be challenging.


#8

It is pointless. Why you do not do a full-stop and find a niche without big competitors and with at least some minor user loyalty?