Innovative apps offering personalized experiences
As travelers contend with airline chaos and an ongoing rental car 'apocalypse', folks are turning to technology to ensure their trips will be hassle-free and hyper-personalized once they (...finally) arrive at their destinations. Here we’re taking a look at several new startups that make it easier than ever to plan highly-individualized itineraries – like a travel agent in your pocket. Bon voyage!
Travel tech startup Brevity, which operates on a membership model, promises “personalized luxury travel” for the modern traveler. In the app, users are prompted to select a city, desired dates, and any personal travel preferences – and within 24 hours, it’ll present you with a customized itinerary. Each itinerary comes with an overview of a city, entry requirements, forecasted weather, and individualized recommendations for bars, hotels, and restaurants – all of which have been vetted by the Brevity team. There’s an emphasis on local gems that you might not otherwise come across, rather than suggesting the usual tourist traps you’ll come across on the internet. The app also asks members to rate all of their experiences, further affirming the quality of the recommendations.
Origin is a high-tech luxury travel startup that generates personalized trips combining human expert support and machine learning, taking into consideration a traveler’s interests and values. They even have a “Where Can I Go” feature that helps people decide where to travel based on COVID restriction preferences. They tap local curators for insider expertise and use machine learning to help travelers plan and book every aspect of their trip, from flights to hotels to restaurant reservations, and offer 24-hour support. The experience is a lot like having a personal travel agent – though the cost certainly reflects such a high-touch service, with starting prices of around $600 per person per day.
Founded by Cameo cofounder Matthew Rosenberg, the Welcome app – which bills itself rather brilliantly as “Tiktok meets Google Maps” – came out of beta in the last year to help travelers discover new places. Like Origin and Brevity, it taps into both real-life experts and technology, combining travel recommendations from friends and locals with artificial intelligence. (Unlike Origin and Brevity, this one’s totally free.) Welcome’s proprietary discovery mode uses real-time search, utilizing AI to take into account things like current season, weather forecast, and traffic to inform personalized itineraries moment-to-moment. The app is video-based (no surprise, given the founder’s background), and boasts more than 6.5 million listings in the database with 300,000 recommendations from around the world.