How do you pick a travel destination?
There are plenty of romantic ways to discover travel destinations (after browsing Lonely Planet guides for 28 hours over 5 bottles of red wine you may have finally decided where to go, or it could be that backpacking friend who after 5 beers finally divulges his best kept travel secret to you), but I don’t subscribe to any of them.
It’s probably my day job as a quantitative analyst in a big name financial institution that makes me like this. But I like to think that what we are dealing with here is an issue of information asymmetry in the travel industry and a less than clear presentation of data where it is made available.
There are endless travel blogs that give you new travel ideas every day, and every point of even the most minor significance in any small village anywhere in the world now has its own TripAdvisor page, just like every country on earth seemingly has a Lonely Planet guide. But how do you see the forest for the trees?
Travelindicator probably seems like your usual travel website. But while we may look somewhat generic from the outside, our real product is the data that drives the site. Over the past 1.5 years or so, we have taken a systematic approach to mapping worldwide travel destinations along no less than 23 travel themes. A travel theme can be anything from “beach and seaside”, “romantic” to “lakes and rivers”, and it is our philosophy that those themes are not a black or white phenomenon like they are on other travel websites. So we (and our users) score them on a scale of 1 to 100.
What happens next is that we couple it with geocoding of every travel destination and an average estimated hotel price, and in an instant we can tell you where:
- The nearest beach destinations to you are
- The nearest affordable beach destinations to you are
- The nearest affordable beach destinations which also feature some mountains to you are
- The nearest affordable romantic beach destinations which also feature some (but not a lot of) mountains to you are
- The nearest affordable romantic beach destinations which also feature some (but not a lot of) mountains, and where you can do shopping, go out and check out some cultural hotspots to you are
Now it is no longer a matter of spending endless hours reading up on travel blogs in the hope of discovering that perfect destination. With Travelindicator it essentially just boils down to a database query. No longer are there secret destinations you won’t know about, as with us they just become a line in the database. Not romantic, but a crucial service in a fast globalising world where more and more people can and do travel.
Of course we have a bit of a romantic side to us as well. So if the above still does not satisfy your thirst for travel inspiration, you may want to check out our newly launched side project Sixtripz. On loading, it presents you with 6 quick trip ideas on 7 travel themes. Loaded randomly from nearly a 1,000 destinations in 188 countries. A bit like every other travel blog.