We are living in a world where we are paralyzed by the paradox of choice. Research has shown that when given too many options, we choose to do nothing. This has never been more true than in the modern age of information overload. We took this issue head-on with relation to the genre of vacationing. TripIt, TripAdvisor, and a million other companies give you so many options of where to go and how to stay that it seems impossible to choose any single option. We decided there should be a way to simplify this process, which is how Tailored Itineraries started.
What it does
Our application takes in simple parameters, such as price maximum, length of stay, and level of luxury, then outputs a sample itinerary built around your search options and constraints. You don't have to worry about which one of the 50 possible hotels is best, because our algorithm will pick the best option for you. Tailored Itineraries gives people the itinerary for trips they wouldn’t even think to know they wanted until presented with the perfect itinerary.
How We built it
The frontend was developed in the mobile app development framework framework called flutter. Flutter uses Dart as the main programming language. The backend infrastructure built using flask and hosted on a Heroku server. We collected 72 data points about the 6 demo locations and had to create a python algorithm to determine the best option combination based on your input.
Challenges We ran into
On the frontend, we had difficulty setting up the flutter application properly. After we had the environment set up, we had to learn Dart, which we did not know. On the backend, we had a lot of difficulty setting up the virtual environments to even run the flask on. Once we had the flask operating, we kept running into errors trying to push it to git for the heroku server to use it.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
This is the first hackathon that any of us have ever gone to, and we are amazed with the results. On the backend, we are happy we learned how to use flask and host a server, despite having never done it before. The frontend team had never built a mobile application before, so the ability to complete both portions and have them interface effectively is something we are extremely proud of.
What We learned
None of us had ever built a functioning application before, so we learned what flask is and how to operate a server. From that, we had to learn how to get data into and out the server using json. On the frontend, we had to learn to use an android emulator and run flutter to interact with the server.
What's next for Tailored Itineraries
This prototype is just the tip of the iceberg. Given time, and the ability to collect larger datasets, we could create more precise models for users. If features to automatically book hotels, flights, and restaurants were added, Tailored Itineraries could become a one-click, stress-free way to travel.