The rise of the intelligent agent for travel in 2017
Think about the last time you really planned a (short) vacation. The time that you knew that you probably were too late to get a reasonable flight ticket, or a hotel booking. For more clarity, take the one you are facing right now. The one you originally planned not to do… but…
Can I really go someplace for Christmas and / or new years?
You straddle between the procrastination (I am probably already too late), and hopeful (maybe there still is something available).
As you build the nerve to finally go in and check on your favorite online portal… (lets start with flights)
You intuitively knew this, but suddenly, your hope of doing anything just got dashed. Unless you leave on the 19th of December, you would need to pay between Rs. 4000 — Rs. 6000 for a one way ticket from Bangalore to Goa. (still have the guts to check for the return fare)?
Nevertheless, out of curiosity, if you look at the prices of a few star hotels.
As expected. Hotels that don’t have higher category rooms (or jack up prices) pretty much aren’t going to be available. Hotels that do, would have their prices pretty much at a different plane…
What really are the options that you can think of / where you stand right now
- You look at options that are still available / the home stays / the alternative accommodation. There is a huge supply of such stays coming up that you can see on Oyo, HolidayIQ, Stayzilla etc that can still be leveraged. Those may not be your original first choice, but heck, you can still get to Goa
- You book the higher category rooms (instead of buying that iPad you were planning to buy next year, well… this is important)
- You choose an alternative destination / that may be cheaper and kindof similar to the intent that you had. E.g. Chennai flights are not as crazy expensive, and Pondicherry still has a lot of nice beachfront hotels available for Christmas
- Or, curse yourself, sit at home this time BUT secretly wish that there was someone to really nag the life out of you to plan when the next holiday planning time arrives.
Take a step back, how did we get to here. We are all otherwise pretty good at planning.
How much of it really was behavioral (E.g. I still are 2 months left) combined with the intent ambiguity (I am not really sure I want to go).
And how much are the other factors
- If you knew flight prices typically go up by 18% (hypothetical example) between the Diwali and 2 weeks post that before the trip would that make you plan better
- In another travel scenario : If you knew that prices for all tickets for one particular airline shoot up by Rs. 800–100 on one sector exactly 7 days before the travel date, would that change how you book?
- And when you are genuinely too late / are there clear intelligent options which are provided to be that I can consider that definitely dont come to mind? (E.g. The Promenade Hotel in Pondicherry is right at the beach, and the flight plus hotels would be half of a similar Goa place)
This are just some of the scenarios that we go through. There are a hundreds of other cases, where there is a lot of information available : but the problem is to really synthesize them more clearly into my life. And my schedule. Can there be a clearer solution?
Watch this space for more