Travel Budget: Smart Tourism and IAJan 10
Smart tourism is a great activity. It takes some effort and time, but with a tight budget you really can have great vacations and travel lots of cool places.
I’ve been lucky to do this practice for some time now. This implies not only to read a lot of information about the place I’m visiting, search a lot of hotel deals and reviews, but essentially, combining low cost and discount flights analyzing the best departure and return dates (depending on my work constraints) and places to visit.
I can only speak for my experience, but I think most of people when deciding to have some vacations only have a very generic idea of what and where they want to go. This make the action of seeing where my budget can take me really important and probably the first step even before I decide where to go.
I can check what flights can I take having 2 or 3 places to visit.
This practice helped me have great vacations: Madrid + Lyon and Provence, France + Cote D’azur, France + Alpes and Genebra; London + Sardina + Milan; Kuala Lumpur + Singapore + Perhentian Islands; etc..
The trouble with all this is the actual work. Seeing hundreds of flight, having an excel sheet to combine all the information takes a lot of time and I’m not able to do it exhaustible as it would take millions of flight combinations and time I do not have to do it.
So, why not use Artificial Intelligence?
A computer, with a little of intelligence should be able to perform such a search and give me my best options in an exhaustive way.
Travel Budget is exactly this, Smart Tourism on a web application.
We already have a alpha version. Here is a video.
It uses some innovative search algorithms and is implemented with Scala and Akka so it can scale well (actually I was very very pleased with Scala and Akka).
At this point, I’m really impressed with the results. It was able to surprise me with almost every search I did. Probably the most useful travel tool I’ve seen in a while!