Planning for a trip is difficult for many people. Planning trips often require extensive researching on Google and sometimes it's just difficult to decide on where you want to go. Planning activities to do for a day is also difficult. This leads to a decrease in physical activity too. We wanted people to go out, discover, and explore so we decided to make a website that helps users quickly plan routes to attractions in the area they want to explore and reward the users for visiting the sites.

Challenges we ran into

With TravelFanatic, we ran into the challenges of needing to learn how to use APIs and finding a backend to support our web app. We had the issue of finding a way to host our website without having to write our own backend from scratch and used Microsoft Azure to host our web app. The process was a learning experience as we worked to make the idea come to life by learning to use MapQuest’s API and integrating this code with our initial template use of a WordPress website. We also had difficulty finding a way to incorporate every feature needed in the web app together, such as the MapQuest API and use interface, and ran out of time to fully develop TravelFanatic and its features.

What our website does

The user inputs the amount of time s/he wishes to travel and areas the user wishes to travel to. From the inputed information, our website creates an optimal route for the user to follow. It takes into consideration the travel time and the time expected to be spent at the location. The user is able to collect points for every attraction s/he passes by along the route and the points can be used to redeem rewards at local businesses and restaurants.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are most proud of our implementation of an interactive map on the web app and the larger idea presented by TravelFanatic. Coming up with the idea of creating a trip planner loaded with predetermined routes based on user preferences on destination and the amount of time they had to spend alondside incentives to acquiring redeemable points at local businesses with each trip made on the app is the main accomplishment we are proud of at LAHacks. While TravelFanatic is not fully complete, we are proud of what we have so far and hope to continue working on implementing the entirety of our idea onto the web app.

What we learned

Through this project, we learned how to use the MapQuest API and how it could be integrated into our web app. While it may have been a simple follow-the-instructions provided by MapQuest, it took a larger part of needing to understand how we could implement it with the current HTML and JavaScript we had for the site. We learned that MapQuest’s Directions API could be easily supported with their Leaflet Routing Plugin. In the end, we learned through trial and error that the MapQuest API supported a simple method of implementation that could be added to the HTML and JavaScript of our project and this has been our first use of an external API with an attempt to use WordPress — which ended with a recompilation of the HTML code and creating a new file which included the proper use of the MapQuest API as we learned that WordPress did not support the larger works of HTML and JavaScript editing.

What's next for TravelFanatic

  • User is able to input their own routes for other users to use. Other users can rate those routes.
  • Develop into an app
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