Trip Republic makes travel more personal
These days, organising a journey abroad yourself is more possible than ever before. Now it’s time to cut down the time it takes to do so.
Traditionally, the travel experience is seen as everything that happens to occur between the moments of departure and return. Whilst here resides the lion’s share of sun-kissed memories, monumental photo ops and tacky souvenir accumulation, for many the time spent organising beforehand also forms a big part of the adventure.
“You spend a lot of time thinking about the trip before you leave and planning it,” states Trip Republic CEO Joen Schauman. “It’s part of the inspirational stage and gives huge value. One of the high points is anticipating something fun, which is as fun as the fun part itself.”
Nonetheless, while the Internet may have freed up the possibility of do-it-yourself trip planning, this can often be a time consuming affair spent juggling between different websites.
“I don’t see the limited search options that we currently have as really working,” Schauman continues. “I think this is a legacy from travel agents. Now everything is online, so you don’t have an agent, but you are still searching the Pegasus/Remedy database.”
All in the application
One-stop social travel planner and booking tool Trip Republic aims to remedy this by creating seamless travel experiences across transport, accommodation, sightseeing and activities.
“We have integrated a lot of travel supply which wasn’t possible five years ago,” Schauman says. “The whole idea is that travel should become more personal. You should be able to make sure that every traveller gets the right kind of information in front of them.”
And so, once users have created a Trip Republic profile, the service tracks their moves on the site in order to tailor future searches according to their preferences.
“Say someone is interested in going to Paris,” Schauman explains. “If they want a romantic experience, with a three-star hotel and some hipster stuff, we can also recommend going to this museum, and checking out that particular restaurant.”
Trip Republic’s roots can be traced to Friday Flats, the vacation rentals service that was snapped up earlier this year by Finnish serviced apartments provider Forenom. Once the deal was closed, the six-person team based in Helsinki and Tallinn immediately turned their focus to Trip Republic.
Propped up by a 200 000-euro seed investment from business angels, the free-to-use service has been continuously adding to its list of sports events, hotels, flights, transport, museums, tours and restaurants around the world. An app is also about to be launched, meaning added convenience is soon at hand.
One frustrating thing about travel is that try as you may, in time many details of your trip will eventually fade from memory. Not so with Trip Republic. The service acts as a concrete memoir of every journey that users take, down to the very last detail planned online.
Being as the Trip Republic’s focus is also social, alongside facilitating easy organisation of group travel, these memories are also shared by all of the participants of the trip.
“Members communicating with each other is where we are seeing the most interest,” Schauman states. “It’s seen as an efficiency tool, as you can invite people to contribute when planning.”
This personal touch is just the beginning. Looking to the horizon, Schauman believes that the next 10 years in travel will see huge changes.
“We are entering a new period where we see the pace getting a lot faster,” Schauman says. “It’s all about getting the right suggestions to the right people.”
Trip Republic, it seems, is planning to be right smack in the middle of this.
Text: James O’Sullivan