Biz Idea: Travel Deal Finder

Airplane Imagine if there was a site where you could enter in your home city, a set of travel dates, and a maximum spending price. Then you’d get a list of travel deals matching your criteria.

There would also be an option to find only airfare deals, or airfares + hotels, or the big three: airfares, hotels + car rentals.

Wouldn’t this be great for vacations and weekend excursions? You know you’re free on a particular set of dates (they’re inflexible), you know how much you want to spend, and you know where you live, of course. What you don’t know is where you want to go. But you’re open to suggestions. That’s what this site would offer. It’s part travel destination discovery, part price comparison shopping.

This idea came from my wife’s coworker. When I first heard it, I thought this kind of service already existed. They insisted it didn’t. Sure enough, after a few web searches, I discovered they were right. The large travel sites – Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, Kayak, etc – have similar functionality, but all require that you enter in a destination. And that’s the problem. We know our origin city and travel dates, but not our destination. We want this service to solve that for us by offering suggestions – then to book our selections.

Seems like an obvious idea, huh? So why haven’t the big travel services built this yet? Have they already examined this business model and found it to be unprofitable? Is there a lack of travel deals? And if this were built, what’s to stop the big guys from duplicating this feature?

This would be an awesome product, but I haven’t done any deep research to know how viable of a business it is. Sounds great on the surface, but may be a quagmire in the details. Or business defensibility. I’ve found lots of great deals on the big travel sites and the deals all seem to have a specific set of traits (dates of use, price, etc). So technically, this is doable. But I don’t know if there are business restrictions or requirements around the procurement or use of this data.

Still, if anyone wants to pursue this, let me know and I’d be glad to help!

Photo by: xlibber

Author: Mike Lee

An idealistic realist, humanistic technologist & constant student.

8 thoughts on “Biz Idea: Travel Deal Finder”

  1. It’s very interesting because I was lately thinking about a service like this and have already started gathering ideas on how it should/could be done.

    Daniel W.

  2. It sounds great! My husband & I now travel quite a bit. I am a special education teacher. He is an amazing web designer. I love researching travel and traveling. He loves to travel with me. I want to start a travel business but don’t know where to start. I am just passionate about traveling and finding great deals. I know my husband can help w/ designing the website so let me if you all know how to get started or want to brainstorm ideas.¬†

  3. If you’ve got some good ideas and need a designer, perhaps Herringmn’s husband (another commenter on this post) can help ;)

  4. I wish I had time to pursue this idea myself. Otherwise, I’d love to get your husband’s help. But if you both are interested, he could start with designing the site himself first, then perhaps shopping it around some programmer friends & colleagues to see if anyone wants to be a cofounder and help him turn this into a reality.

    Or, if you have the cash, hire someone from or to build it. Even a working prototype could help, as that could be used to attract potential investors.

    Just some ideas to ruminate upon. :)

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