You have a strenuous nine-to-five job and a demanding boss, three young children who need constant care and attention, and multiple appointments with your divorce lawyer to separate from your partner. You need a break. Bali, Madagascar, Stockholm, Paris... how you would love to escape for just a minute! But you could already imagine the stress of planning - where to go, when to go, transport time - that stress alone is enough to turn you away from traveling. This is where WanderLust comes in.

What it does

WanderLust provides consumers with a platform to go on vacation without stressing over the activity planning for their travel. By feeding in user preferences–including vacation destination, travel dates, and desired hours of exploration–the application utilizes the Google Maps API to select and schedule various activities located close to the inputted travel location. WanderLust comes to life as React Native and Amplify help combine the front end and back end pieces of the project.

How we built it

We focused on programming in Python to call from a Google Maps API, taking in a list of user-chosen locations and outputting an extraction of travel time data. This output is then to be sent over a Python server to the AWS Amplify on JavaScript, which would then use an A* algorithm to find the best schedule.

We used Figma to create the front-end user interface, focusing on simplicity and ease of use.

Given the time limit, we were successfully able to complete the Google Maps API calls and front-end interface, and would like to implement the rest in the future.

Challenges we ran into

When developing the front-end of the app with React-Native, we faced a lot of trouble connecting the backend python server with the JavaScript front-end. As introductory Computer Science students, our lack of experience with JaveScript made programming in React with Amplify very difficult despite all the libraries and tools that AWS and React provide. We also were very challenged by learning the entire concept and implementation of APIs.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud of successfully utilizing an API despite the lack of experience we have in hacking and computer science. We collaborated with one another and mentors to support and learn from each other. We also explored and experimented with new technologies and platforms such as React Native, Amplify, API’s, and Figma. We believe that this being only our first or second hackathon, we challenged ourselves to fully dive into an idea and take advantage of the resources available to us!

What we learned

  • React Native
  • Amplify
  • Python Servers
  • Zappa
  • Figma
  • Implementing APIs
  • JSON

What's next for WanderLust

We would next need to implement our search algorithm to produce the best schedule for the user. By learning more about JavaScript and AWS, we would want to implement an A* algorithm that prioritizes schedules based on average number of hours traveled per day and a minimized travel time. We would also need to integrate the front-end and back-end components. We also hope to add more customization, in which the user will get to filter schedules and shuffle for new ones.

Link to our Google Drive folder containing all components of our app:

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