Technophile

Plan your trip to your liking

Dinakaran R | Updated on March 10, 2018 Published on June 28, 2017

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PickYourTrail will make your vacation a memorable one

There are travel apps and sites, but most of them operate like glorified travel agents. All we can do is to pick a ‘package’ from the list and pay up.

What if you prefer a different flight? What about a change in hotel?

There is not much you can do except to stick to ‘their’ plan. Period. And worse, there is not much redressal when you face problems during the trip — for instance, if you’re lost and have no clue how to get back to the hotel. This is where PickYourTrail.com comes in.

PickYourTrail founders Hari Ganapathy and Srinath Shankar realisedhttps://www.thehindubusinessline.com/specials/emerging-entrepreneurs/helping-you-plan-an-activityfilled-vacation/article9737634.ece

There was something wrong in the way personalised travel was handled and analysed over 1,000 completed trips. They realised there was a logic to how people planned vacations and trips and found there was a huge gap in what people wanted and what they really got from the travel portals.

The result was PickYourTrail.com. Starting from the registration – where customers are asked about their travel preferences – adventure trails, leisure or visiting cultural spots – Pick Your Trail ensures the trip is planned and executed as the customers would have done had they planned it. Based on the customers’ preferences, the site also suggests places to make it easy for them.

Says Srinath Shankar, “Flight and hotel bookings have been automated, but no company has managed to fully automate vacations.” And PickYourTrail has done just that. The entire process of booking a fully personalised vacation can be done without human intervention

Save money and time
PickYourTrail also has routing mechanisms that suggest the optimal route – even if it involves several cities – so that customers save on cost and time. Customers can even manage their trips to the last detail, including choosing cabs or hotels. The routing algorithm can even suggest a route based on the day’s prices. And everything, right from flight bookings to cab arrangements, can be done fully online. The email received by the customers details every part of the trip and allows them to keep track of confirmed or pending bookings.

Even in a rare instance of a customer facing some difficulty, a concierge application allows the customer to contact a PickYourTrail executive who will chip in to solve the issue. “Every traveller gets a ‘shadow traveller experience’ through our concierge service,” says Hari Ganapathy. Sometimes the concierge, who keeps track of the customer’s itinerary, may forsee a problem and step in to preempt it. For instance, the concierge may find that the itinerary includes a remote area where there is likely to be no mobile connectivity. The concierge alerts customers about it beforehand so that they are not taken by surprise.

The site allows the customer a level of granularity in planning the vacation or trip no other site has. Customers can choose places they wish to travel to, choose convenient flights or opt for hotels of their choice. The site even takes into consideration other conveyance choices — like metros or buses. If there is public transport that offers a cheaper and quicker option, it is automatically included in the itinerary, instead of a cab.

PickYourTrail offers a best rate guarantee because of tie-ups with big brands. And if a customer finds a competing service or site offering a better rate for a similar itinerary, PickYourTrail matches it.

PickYourTrail takes up only ‘India outbound’ tours and only markets that are totally online, says Hari Ganapathy. “This has helped us build a targeted audience and scale organically,” he says. The site shows the pricing break-up, so that the customer is aware of how much of the total amount is for flights or hotels.

With just 45 employees, PickYourTrail has managed to get a 4.8 rating on Facebook Reviews and 10 minutes per session on its site. Maybe this indicates that the company has picked the right trail.

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Published on June 28, 2017
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