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Website/app to find cheapest way to destination

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Jaxsss

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Aug 13, 2021
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Hello,

I was just going to sleep when listening to a podcast and something came up to my mind.

I searched on Google, but didn't find any similar website.

So it would be a website/app to find the cheapest route to destination, it would choose between car, train, airplane or other possible ways. If the car is the cheapest, it will calculate the price of tolls, maybe even prices of gas on the way. I was also wondering there could be another app connected to the primary website/app for truckers or just normal people that could take hitchhikers for a small payment, the hitchikers will have reviews so the people are not scared by them. If going by airplane, the website would find parking lots by airport and the prices, or show you the way by train or bus.

Maybe even integrate function to find cheap hotels or night stays along the route if you want to stay somewhere.

It surely will help people, because I know how hard it is to plan the route. Even when you think your solution is the cheapest, at the end you will figure out that your car route was somehow more expensive than an airplane.

I don't know about income from this, from what I could get revenue? I don't want the website paid, because that will discourage people. Trivago too isn't paid, but they are getting their revenue based on the hotel people will book. Maybe it would work here also with airplane tickets, but not so much with car routes. Maybe with the hitchhiking app there could be some revenue.

Do you think this is possible to execute? I really don't know where to get this much information like tolls, gas prices, airport parking lot prices. I think it would be so much better if this data was 100% mine and shared only by the selected businesses, not to find it on some other websites and scrape it off.

I think the idea itself is helpful and valuable and people after corona will surely want to travel with not so big budgets.

What do you think about this?

Thank you for any insights
Mark
 
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Eudaimonium

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Jun 8, 2017
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You are talking about edge cases, where more than one type of transport is suspected to be feasible. This limits the use, which comes with both good and bad. If the good outweighs the bad, why do you think such a type of service does not exist? It's a neat idea, but in practice, it is seldom of use, as most people already have in mind the type of transport they seek. If they don't, and only care about the cheapest price, that means the customer base is frugal (red flag). Tight margins, commoditized travel.

Revenue would be from affiliate links through which to book air, train, bus tickets, car rental, hotel booking, etc.

The likelihood that you can provide better cost and time estimates for routes, than each individual provider of such data for each respective mode of transport, is extremely low. In other words, it would be an enormous task to recreate what others have already done multiple times. Likewise it will be hard to access every API needed, or to scrape this information on your own.

My idea would be to learn more about this industry first. When company A provides air travel info, and company B train travel info, why are they not working together? They may be competing for the same business in this type of edge case, though there are situations where their relationship is symbiotic. This means that a person could book a plane ticket and also a train ticket, that together will take him/her to the destination.

To accomplish this, try to work with the existing companies. How can you help 2+ companies cooperate and make a beneficial deal? What are the APIs they lack? What can they both gain from this? Who will manage it? How can your company help them create a link between the two transport information pipelines?
 

Jaxsss

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Aug 13, 2021
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It's a neat idea, but in practice, it is seldom of use, as most people already have in mind the type of transport they seek.
It could show them what the cheapest solution would be, then they would choose between comfort or price.

To accomplish this, try to work with the existing companies. How can you help 2+ companies cooperate and make a beneficial deal? What are the APIs they lack? What can they both gain from this? Who will manage it? How can your company help them create a link between the two transport information pipelines?
I agree with you, the execution of this idea would be very hard, and surely very expensive, but I imagine what it would be like to just use an app to fast travel somewhere.

When I was going to vacation with my friends, I needed to find the best route, because we were going by car, I had to search the price of tolls, then ferry etc. It would be great if I just got onto the website, typed where I would want to go, then choose between comfortability or price, choose the best hotel, and then just go with the prices calculated knowing how much I would spend, how long it will take...

I will think about it.

Thanks for your reply!
 

Itizn

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Sep 25, 2019
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Skiplagged did this for airplane travel, and was so effective the founder got sued by a few airlines.

His method was adopting an algorithm that found layover flights and just had your true destination be one of the stops.
 

Hitch-hiker

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Jul 23, 2019
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Azair.eu is also something similar but for airplanes only.
Blablacar.com is paid hitchhiking.

Your idea is great, but from programming point of view it requires tons of data, which will take a lot of time or money to collect.
 

CharlesFinley

PARKED
Nov 7, 2021
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You could do this for the US market easily. Just compare flights and estimated cost of driving. Ignore busses and trains completely, because 1 in 10,000 people take those.
 

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