Despite the travel industry undergoing a year of unprecedented disruption, a new app is about to be born
Writer: Sean Galea-Pace
Many people around the world maintain a passion for travelling and exploring new places.
But the process of turning that into a reality can sometimes turn into a time-consuming and arduous task. Luckily, helping to streamline the travel planning process is Trippers.
Trippers is a platform enabling seamless and remote end-to-end group travel planning. It is a bundled service which allows a group to prepare an entire trip, from the early stages of deciding where to go, to booking the best flights for everyone in the traveling pack, all the way through perfecting the itinerary to the point of deciding where to stop for coffee.
“We save travellers time, a commodity young generations value more and more, by optimising the travel planning process,” explains Charlotte Franzellin, CEO and Founder of Trippers.
“And we do so by putting personalisation at the forefront and allowing for 24/7 planning anywhere in the world.”
Having been founded in 2020, the inception of Trippers is an interesting story. Having just returned from the United States, Charlotte began to recognise the true value of Europe as a short getaway hub.
“I spent a few years juggling a nine-to-five job while harbouring an ambition to discover all four corners of the globe with my friends - I was spending all my free time planning the next trip. The more I planned, the more inefficiencies I found, and that’s how the initial idea for Trippers came to be.”
And so, Trippers was born. Unfortunately, as a result of COVID-19, the app’s launch was delayed until April 2021. The pandemic has disrupted all industries, but the impact on the travel industry was particularly tough. With this in mind, Charlotte reflects on the challenge of picking the right co-founders that would believe in her idea, particularly in a post-COVID world.
“The first test of any CEO/entrepreneur is being able to convince others of the potential of an idea, even when this idea seems crazy at first,” she explains.
“It is one thing to have people believe in you and your project in a business-as-usual world, it is a whole other thing to keep them believing in your project when the world as we know it disappears and a global pandemic hits. Working on a travel start-up in 2020 has not been an easy endeavour, but one we are certain we will get through stronger.
“As with most businesses this past year, we had to innovate and stay afloat. We’ve reconsidered time and time again our value proposition in a COVID world and have decided to focus Trippers on what we see our core market to be in the coming years, young millennials and Gen-Z waiting to reunite with their friends after a year of isolation.”
Charlotte believes she understands why so many trips fail in the planning stage.
“It’s a whole host of things. There could be a reduction in the initial momentum, lack of follow-up or leadership, all things we aim to provide with our bundled end-to-end solution,” explains Charlotte.
“Groups need handholding to get through the planning process, and nobody wants to have to do this for everyone else. We become the central platform managing everyone’s expectations, nudging when needed and narrowing down options to simplify the decision-making process.”
The app prides itself on two core features — its city finder and itinerary maker. It doesn’t just select cities based on taste and preferences; it combines what everyone likes with what is realistically feasible.
“There’s no point in us suggesting you visit Rome because you all love great food, art and want to go somewhere warm if flights for the dates you’re looking at are way out of budget or if one of you would only be able to get there a day after everyone else,” she says.
“With so many considerations to have when planning a trip as a group, especially if you all live in different cities, we’re analysing the flight options before we even suggest the right destination for the group as a whole.”
With the city finder considered a vital feature, Charlotte points to the itinerary maker as another key cog in the Trippers machine.
“It’s ultimately been created to save users time to enable them to make the most of the destination and the people they are travelling with,” she elaborates.
“We optimise the route based on opening days and time, where the group is staying and the duration of that stay. We also manage everyone’s wish lists, making sure every single person in the group is happy with the outcome. We take it one step further by providing flexibility for travellers to change their plans on the go. Don’t feel like visiting that museum anymore? Find other recommended activities nearby that would fit your existing plans!”
Trippers’ app would be impossible without artificial intelligence (AI). The intelligence behind Trippers is complex and comprehensive and requires the juggling of a number of variables, she comments.
“The algorithms powering Trippers are the result of more than a year of hard work perfecting them to reproduce in a much faster way what anyone would be doing when trying to plan a trip with their friends.
“They are the backbone of Trippers, which was born as a challenge to automate the entire travel planning process. We wanted to get rid of many painful repetitive tasks in this process, like finding suitable flight options, and the endless back and forth messaging with friends to understand needs and wants. With all automation projects, the promises are great but the work to get there is tough and we are very happy to say we’re almost there.”
With its launch mere months away COVID permitting, Charlotte and her team have had to sit tight and remain patient for its unveiling. “Flexibility is a word we’ve learned over this past year and we remain committed to creating the best version of Trippers until Europe is ready to travel again.”
And Europe isn’t the limit to Charlotte. Upon finally launching, she is already targeting expansion over the next few years. “After a first release for the European market, we hope to soon thereafter expand to North America, create a large group travel planning feature and explore avenues for the B2B sector.”
Interested in learning more about Trippers? Click here!