Vacation travelers need a way to easily create travel itinerary because the trip planning process is currently tedious.
Vacations, holidays, and tours. These trips have become a staple in modern living. Today’s society is so focused on being “workaholics” and “grinding” that the need for “taking a break” and “resting” has become increasingly important. Traveling to a location outside of where one lives is a common way for people to recharge their battery. However, as serene as these trips may be, there is a tedious task that travelers must complete in order to enjoy these trips to the fullest extent: the tedious task of creating an itinerary.
User Pain Points
Using surveys which were posted on my social and professional networks such as LinkedIn and Discord, it was identified that the process of creating travel itinerary was a pain point for users.
Compiling the research data, over 50% of vacation travelers use a combination of negative words to describe their trip planning process. Words such as hectic, disorganized and tedious were used. 61% of users also don’t have a singular “one stop shop” application for vacation trip planning, which would explain why 44% of users listed “making an itinerary” as their least favorite part of a vacation. 78% of users listed a group trip as their most recent type of vacation, which is key to note as planning anything becomes more difficult when more people are involved.
Landing on the Solution
To target the user pain points, the product ItineWay was created. The solution focuses on building a collaborative itinerary builder.
The itinerary builder will allow users to book flights, accommodations, and vacations activities. Multiple providers will be available for bookings directly through the app, such as Air Canada, AirBnB and Viator. Once booked, the itinerary builder will automatically be populated with flight departure/arrival, check in/out, and activity start/end times.
Users will be able to add up to a total of 5 users to their travel plans. Any changes made by individuals, will be seen in real time by other members of the travel group. If a user is offline when a change has been made, the next time they log into ItineWay, the changes will be highlighted in the itinerary builder, making it easier to track.
There are many additional features that can be added to future versions of the app. Talking to users, a feature that should be prioritized is one that tracks the cheapest deals for specific itinerary items (ex. tracking the cheapest flights). This feature would also pair well with a price tracker or budget allocation system, so users can ensure they are saving money and spending wisely on a trip.
Users would also benefit from notifications of upcoming and completed items on the itinerary list (ex. Banner notifications when it is time to check into the hotel). Through interviews, it was also determined that another big factor of vacations are car rentals. Thus, an excellent feature would be the ability to book car rentals through ItineWay. Users also expressed their desire to be able to view link previews or videos (ex.TikToks) in the itinerary builder, so this feature will also be developed in later versions.
Finally, to make travel easier, ItineWay will adopt an airport map feature, allowing our user to easily find restaurants, washrooms, and gates whenever they travel.
Product Manager Learnings:
During the DTTPPM cohort, I was able to get some hands-on experience completing the tasks of a product manager. I previously had knowledge of what the role entails, but hands-on experience is the best kind of teacher. My main takeaway is that product managers focus mainly on the problem space of a product, while the rest of the product team handles the majority of the solution space. This is the best way for products that solve actual user problems to be developed.