The story of Travoo began when we were planning a trip to the Caribbean. We wanted to go to an all-inclusive, but we didn’t know which island or resort to choose. We did some research online using the various travel review sites, but we quickly realized that the reviews gave us very little information. All of the major resorts had good “star ratings”, and we had no way of evaluating the people that wrote reviews to determine if we were like-minded.
What we really needed were recommendations from our social network. We vaguely remembered that we had seen “posts” from our network on social media over the years of friends travelling to the Caribbean, but there was no way to search back through those sites to find who it was or where they had been.
What we wanted was an app that allowed us to search all the places in the Caribbean that our network had traveled, view their trip logs, and read their reviews and recommendations. We searched the internet and app store for a solution, but, surprisingly, we could not find “an app for that."
While there were several great apps and websites that could help with booking or logging travel, a social network exclusive to travel specific shared content that was searchable by location, activity, or person, and included recommendations from our valued network did not exist.
Here is what we found. The existing market fell into one of the following categories:
Social Networks (Facebook, Instagram)
Review Sites (TripAdvisor, Yelp, OpenTable)
Wishlist boards (Pinterest)
Travel Logging/Journal (Bonjournal, Polarsteps)
So, imagine you were taking a trip to Boston.
Using current technology, you could begin by looking at travel booking and review apps like TripAdvisor, Yelp, and OpenTable to provide guidance. But these sites only provide reviews from strangers. You’d prefer trusted recommendations from your network of friends and family to help you make the best trip planning decisions. Their recommendations are far more trustworthy and valuable than those of random people. And since you know their personalities, you can better determine if your preferences align with their recommendations.
You could turn to your social networks, but you can’t search past posts. You could also try posting requests for recommendations on your social networks, but most of your trusted friends and family will likely not even see your requests. So, you use the limited information you can gather from these unconnected searches and hope that you make the best choices for your trip.
But what if you could open an app, enter “Boston” in the search, and see all of your connections that have visited Boston? From there, you could select the connection and view their entire itinerary; the activities they did, what hotel they visited, and where they dined. You could also view pictures, videos, comments, and, most importantly, their recommendations. Now, you can plan your trip with the guidance from your friends and family network. This is the experience we wanted to create.