I love traveling! I mean, most people do! Even so, traveling can be expensive and planning my travels can be painfully time consuming. For example, to plan any trip, I'm forced to run through a ton of different websites and phone applications. I have to use websites like kayak or cheapoair, in order to find the cheapest flights. Then, I have to look for a place to stay using sources like air-bnb, booking.com or hotel world. After that, I use yelp to find places to eat and lastly, I use lonelyplanet or trip advisor, in order to find points of interest. It's frustrating. It's time consuming. It's incredibly annoying to track. Because of the headache, sometimes I don't even want to travel!
If there was a way for me to simply input a budget and magically have my whole tripped planned... everything from flight, to living, from finding food staples or the top points of interest, then I wouldn't wait another second to plan my next trip.
What it does
Travel Chest is a mobile application that does just that. Travel Chest is the magic that allows you to input a budget and have your whole trip planned. All you have to do is set an estimated budget and from this, travel chest suggests a ton of places to you. After you choose from one of the suggestions, Travel Chest will: show you the cheapest round trip flights, suggest three of the highest-rated hotels for the buck, offer a list of notable eateries and lastly, present you the top ten points of interest any traveler should go to.
After everything is completed, Travel Chest will book the flight and hotel you selected and create an itinerary for you to follow day by day.
How we built it
We first thought of a problems that we personally had with traveling. But to make sure it had a positive impact, we interviewed students or mentors to see how they felt about our solution. And from there, we thought of all the tech based solutions that would essentially solve the problems. We used APIs from: Amadeus, Square, TripAdvisor and Yelp. Each API had a significant part of our application, from finding the cheapest flights to finding sweet eateries. From there, we drafted a wire-frame, established the functionality, and then built it. After building it we constantly ran test drives and user tests with each other, to make sure things were going smoothly. Lastly, throughout the whole process, we were looking to design the application beautifully.
Challenges we ran into
Communication was a huge issue. As a team of four, we split off into two teams and almost forgot to connect with the other team. Another issue our team faced was using Rapid's API. It turns out, that the API doesn't work with iOS. Also, time management and implementation of a good work flow needed improvement. We had a lot of trouble figuring out how long each part would take and didn't have a clear strategy. Lastly, we weren't familiar with the API's that were offered.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The application solves a problem! Application works seamlessly! Application appears bug free! Sexy UI/UX : )
What we learned
Be more prepared than a Boy Scout. Have time management schedules or strategies. New API's to play with.
What's next for Travel Chest
If you believe in us, Travel Chest will implement and solidify new features: -IBM machine learning for recommending trips -Accurate itineraries for user experience.. just more user testing and improvement of user experience -Implement hostel API for alternative more affordable housing costs -Look into travel distortion solutions ($60 billion dollar industry) and how Travel Cost can solve them! -*With funding, we want to provide our awesome users with travel chest prizes!