Planning a vacation? TravelWits has created a first of its kind search engine that’ll help travelers plan vacations while saving big.
Co-founder Maxim Likhachev had the lightbulb moment for TravelWits two years ago. Likachev, a research assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science, booked tickets for a holiday cruise in Florida for his family. The plane tickets were expensive so Likachev researched alternative routes to save money. In his search, he discovered he could fly to a city further from the port and rent a car, saving around $300 in travel per family member.
“It took a week of work and effort to find it [the travel plan],” explains Likachev. “It was nothing that couldn’t have been done by a computer.” And so TravelWits was born.
TravelWits’ technology uses real-time analysis to solve complex problems. Unlike other travel booking sites, TravelWits searches multi-modal transportation, including car rentals, parking fees, buses and planes to find the most affordable route.
Searches won’t just yield a variety of flights, they’ll also include an assortment of transportation modes to get travelers to their destination.
Using this technology, TravelWits finds affordable options for traveling, taking a matter of minutes to do what would take people a week to search. Since its release, TravelWits has helped around 30,000 users save an average of 30% on travel plans, says Likachev.
With booking travel under its belt, TravelWits recently released its beta-test for Vacations, a search engine to plan entire vacations within a designated budget.
At the moment, TravelsWits Vacations searches for all-inclusive trips. Visitors set a budget for the vacation, departure city and travel dates to reveal an all-inclusive destination.
“Our goal is to do a vacation within budget, creating a product that will look for combinations, merging hotels, transportation, parking and so on within the budget that people specify,” Likachev says.
If all-inclusive resorts aren’t your thing, stay tuned for an expanded Vacations site. “We are working hard to grow and have other options for vacations like skiing, city and nightlife.”
The team at TravelWits has a passion for the product and travel. Co-founders Maxim Likhachev, Alla Safonova and Arman Bimatov “are insanely committed to TravelWits and believe in their product,” says Marketing and Product Development Intern Joey Gibli.
“Co-founder Arman recently had his honeymoon and using TravelWits he found $300 per person savings by combining flying and driving.”