As a friend group, we like to go out together- whether that's an afternoon exploring Kitsilano, a weekend on Vancouver Island, or even spending our reading break in LA. In the moment, we have a great time, but what you don't see is that like many friend groups, we have a planning friend who takes on a lot of effort and time to craft our perfect day plan.

Planning an outing currently involves bouncing around several different platforms researching things to do, things to eat, and places to go- juggling a myriad of factors from preferences, budgets, travel time, and of course, places of interest. Not to mention that we’re often planning excursions to new and unfamiliar places, where our lack of local knowledge can result in bad route and experience planning, wasted time and energy, and overall bad vibes.

Finding fitting experiences, optimal travel routes, and managing a given budget can be a demanding task, especially when trying to maximize the value of a trip.

What it does

Enter Expawdition, your hassle-free smart trip planner. Expawdition takes away the mental burden of planning your next outing. All you have to do is answer a few questions about your destination and constraints like your budget, who you're going with, transportation methods, personal preferences, and accessibility needs, and Expawdition takes care of the rest by crafting an hour-by-hour itinerary.

How we built it

Expawdition is built with Next.js, Firebase, Express, React and Node.js, using GPT-3.5-turbo API along with Google Places and Google Routes APIs to generate itineraries. For our adorable UI, we used the Chakra UI library and some custom illustrations (like our raccoon mascot!) lovingly created by our designer, Alex. (can you tell who's writing this?)

Challenges we ran into

  • ChatGPT was a bit difficult to prompt to get consistent responses
  • First time working with AI!
  • Sleep deprivation
  • "I don't do frontend" - 3/4ths of our team (but we ended up figuring it out!)
  • Many merge conflicts

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • Everything we made!
  • Banger UI and branding (so cute right?)
  • Watching the sunrise

What we learned

Everyone on our team had a lot of experience in different technologies, but this weekend we each tried doing something new- using React for the first time, learning TypeScript, trying out front-end development, and creating our first project using ChatGPT!

What's next for Expawdition

We hope to make itinerary generation more personalized and accurate with user profiles, which will allow:

  1. rating previous itineraries based on accuracy/enjoyment, to inform future itineraries
  2. itinerary collaboration with multiple users and taking multiple users' preferences into account when generating an itinerary We also want to allow further customization of generated itineraries with a "reshuffle" feature, in case users aren't excited about their initial itinerary generated.

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