Tech of the Week: Voyagic Solves That Itinerary Conundrum Instantly
Photo courtesy of Voyagic
Voyagic is extremely fun to play with.
That’s the initial takeaway from briefly using an app that is aimed at giving travelers an instantaneous itinerary to use on their trip.
How many times have you been in a hotel with a traveling companion when the obvious question gets tossed out: So what do you want to do today?
Obviously, many of you have researched and know exactly the itinerary you’d like to adhere to. But I don’t like to travel that way. There is something wonderful about the vacation coming to you as you organically set out to conquer a city.
Voyagic, available for iOS, helps in a tremendous way.
We had the pleasure of touching base with the insightful and passionate 17-year-old behind the app, co-founder Rod Matveev.
Matveev begins by explaining just how Voyagic may change your travel habits. Instead of poring over a seemingly infinite amount of suggestions on the Internet, you have an app that decides for you: “Let’s imagine you’re visiting Paris for the first time. You wake up in your hotel, having not planned anything in advance and you now need a way to quickly (over breakfast?) find the best places to visit and make your first day worthwhile. What website/app would you turn to?”
Matveev then explains a scenario that plays out in much the same way as when we fiddled with the app on a hypothetical trip to New York City.
Itinerary suggestions were compiled and spit out into a possible day you might like to enjoy.
When you sign up for the app you are presented with an option of eight cities to choose from.
Matveev hopes to add a city a week eventually. And the app promises a wealth of locations that are forthcoming.
At the moment, you can virtually scour the likes of Barcelona, London, Melbourne, New York, Paris, Prague, Rio de Janeiro and Rome.
As for that hypothetical Paris trip. You would click on the city and then choose which district you would like to explore.
After that you have your choice of possible adventure scenarios: Unmissables, Culture, Outdoors or Shopping.
Matveev explains, “Happy with your selections, you tap the ready button and 5 seconds later you’re presented with a beautiful timeline filled with carefully curated attractions, restaurants and nightlife all a walking distance away from each other. Each place has its own set of reviews, photographs and useful details to help you travel to it while restaurants even have menus so you get a preview of the food at each restaurant.”
We found that if you don’t like your itinerary, you can simply click the refresh button and you are given something different.
It’s a quick and extremely easy way to find some intriguing possibilities.
The co-founder explains how things work, which is a mixture of tech and good ol’ fashioned human advice: “Before releasing a city we go through a huge list of places returned by Foursquare for every district and pick out the best of the best. This includes really popular attractions, but also more hidden and quiet spots in the city. We also try to get as many local people on board who can offer expert advice on their city - we’re actually in the process of adding Tokyo, which is being curated by someone who’s lived there for over 10 years.”
Now you can make this experience as social as you like. Each trip can be shared across your various social media channels.
The interface is already fairly slick, but Matveev sees big things on the horizon: “At the moment our priority is to keep adding a new city to Voyagic every week, just to build up as much in-app travel content as we can. The ultimate goal is to create a platform for every kind of traveler and we’re looking at the possibility of adding a trip ‘upvote’ section during the summer which will consist of user-submitted day trips mixed in with trips built by travel experts. After all, the Reddit concept of upvoting to filter out the best content has been applied to a huge range of products, so why not use it for the travel sector to build a community where locals, travelers and experts can all come together?”
As for when the idea was borne, Matveev explains that it’s a relatively new concept for himself and his co-founder: “Voyagic was born in March 2015 when I was travelling around the Canary Islands, and the idea grew rapidly in the following months. I then met my cofounder Karim Dhalla in October; together with his travel expertise and my design and development skills we teamed up to release a first version of the app in April 2016.”
If you weren’t already amazed, consider how much time has been put into the app and the founder’s workload: “I’m actually surprised Voyagic was built in the end as both of us had a very limited time to work on it, since Karim has a full time job and I’m a student (17, so still in school) with constant exams.”
We aren’t currently on a trip. But this app also serves as something of an inspiration gadget. We can’t stop looking at various cities and what they have to offer in each category.
When you click on “View My Day,” you get the urge to actually fly to these cities, open the app and create a lasting memory.
Consider this a daydream machine that may actually serve as a trusty tour guide.
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