Tae Lee explains the newest travel planning tool and shows how it can help you fly through your next trip
EAs can spend anywhere between 30 minutes to over 4 hours per trip when creating a travel itinerary. And this doesn’t even include the back and forth that occurs between the admin and their managers over several days. Tae Lee, CEO and founder of event based trip planning tool TRAVO, was inspired to change this after shadowing his EA when she planned his travel. “Building a trip for someone else is much more complicated than I had ever imagined. My admin used at least a dozen different websites to make sure my flights, hotels, ground transportation not only reflected my preferences but also matched the timing of my meetings and events. When she was done, my last minute changes would force her to completely start over because everything is based on timing. And I just thought to myself, there’s got to be a better way.”
What is TRAVO?
TRAVO is an instant trip planning tool designed to help you plan trips smarter, faster, and easier. Simply enter the date, time, and location of meetings and TRAVO will create an end-to-end itinerary for your executive. Itineraries include flights, hotels, ground transportation, forecasted weather, expected traffic conditions, and so much more.
Figure 1: TRAVO landing page
What makes TRAVO different from other online travel agencies and booking tools?
Existing online travel agencies and booking tools only optimize for price and disregard the time sensitive nature of business travel. It isn’t just about getting to New York for the cheapest price possible; it’s a combination of finding the cheapest flight that will still get your executive there on time. Furthermore, because these existing tools don’t account for time, they leave a lot of the mental arithmetic up to the traveler. For example, if you have to book a flight from New York to New Zealand that gets you in by 2pm, you need to factor in flight time, time zones, AND your executive’s ability to stay awake at the meeting. TRAVO does all the mental arithmetic for you, so all you need to worry about is fitting your executive’s preferences into the trip. TRAVO will help you find flights that work for both your meetings, and your budget.
Figure 2: TRAVO flight selection page
How does TRAVO compare to “Artificial Intelligence” travel planning?
Many start-ups have delved into artificial intelligence travel planning with the goal of removing the need for human workers. These start-ups have made the critical mistake of underestimating the power of human intelligence. I truly believe that great people can never be replaced, and human intelligence paired with technology will win over artificial intelligence every time. My goal is to create technology that will enhance your inherent abilities so you can combine the knowledge you have of your executive with TRAVO to plan travel faster than ever. I’m not creating a robot; I’m creating Iron (Wo)Man suits.
Why do you need my meeting addresses?
TRAVO asks for specific meeting addresses so it can provide you as much data and information as possible. With these addresses, TRAVO can determine the most optimal hotel by comparing not just price and amenities, but also distance to events. After you choose the best hotel for your executive’ preferences, TRAVO will provide driving directions and expected traffic times so you can make sure they will always make it to their meetings on time and prepared.
Can TRAVO handle international searches?
Of course! To start, you only need to enter your meetings and events, in the local time zone, and TRAVO will automatically determine which flights will work for your schedule by comparing meeting times, time zones, and flight time. Then, we provide passport and visa information for all international travel. Lastly, you can easily convert all of your flights, hotels, and ground transportation prices into your local currency.
What if I need to plan for multiple people on the same trip?
TRAVO eliminates a lot of the repetition often associated when creating a single itinerary for a group of people. Simply enter the event or convention your travelers will be attending and the number of people, and TRAVO will find a flight with enough seats, and a hotel with enough room. Then, once you’ve created the full itinerary, you can print and export the itinerary with a click of the button and all of your travelers will be ready to jet.
Can TRAVO help me juggle different preferences for different travelers?
With TRAVO you don’t have to juggle different preferences for different travelers with individualized traveler profiles. Create a profile for each of your travelers and you can enter their timing preferences, hotel and airline brand preferences, and personalized addresses. Once a traveler’s profile has been created, TRAVO will automatically create trips from their work and home addresses and apply all their preferences to results.
My company already uses a corporate booking tool, can I still use TRAVO?
Yes! TRAVO was designed to work in tandem with your existing booking platform. If you have a corporate booking platform, simply take your finalized TRAVO itinerary and search for your given flights, hotels, and ground transportation. If you have a dedicated travel agent, use the TRAVO email function to send your itinerary to them for booking.
My company doesn’t have a corporate booking tool, can I use TRAVO?
Another yes! TRAVO has teamed up with some of the biggest names in travel planning to make sure you can get the best rates with the names you trust. Once your itinerary is finalized, head over to the checkout page on TRAVO and click “book now” on each leg of your trip to be redirected to your online travel agency of choice.
Figure 3: TRAVO checkout page
How does TRAVO work with my calendar?
Export your TRAVO itinerary to any calendar that you have access to with a simple click of a button. Our itineraries work with Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, and any other app that reads ics files. Best of all, when you export to these apps, all of your TRAVO notes will also be exported as well a link to driving directions for ground transportation.
Figure 4: TRAVO itinerary page
How much does TRAVO cost?
Free! And I plan on keeping it that way for everything you need to plan and book trips. I created this tool to help admins and want to keep TRAVO as accessible as possible. TRAVO’s goal and number one priority will always be to help you plan travel faster!
TRAVO is where it is today because of our incredible users. Every change we have made since the launch has come as a direct result from user feedback. If you have any suggestions on how we can make the product better for you as a travel planner, please reach out to us at [email protected] so we can continue to improve the product.