Deciding Where to Go; No, the World Is Not Getting Smaller

29th October 2018

With all the recent talk in the media about going to Mars, have you ever wondered how big our planet actually is? Back in the day when I was a kid, it felt so much smaller. There was home, there was London and Big Ben (coz my uncle studied in England and we paid him a visit) and then there was the Eiffel Tower - posters of the Eiffel Tower were on the walls of travel agencies all over town. 

Fast forward to today, and boom, (almost) everywhere in the world is covered by seemingly endless pages on Google and then TripAdvisor, along with its 600 million+ "unbiased" traveller reviews. So say, if picking a travel destination was easy, and we decided to experience antiquity in Italy, how on earth do I decide where to actually visit during our precious 2 weeks of vacation time (before everyone is completely exhausted, of course)?

In recent years, the Internet and print has given us so much more in terms of travel information. Whilst that is good, it has also driven up FOMO (fear of missing out) levels in us like never before. What if, after spending thousands of dollars on our trip, only later to find out that we have completely missed a couple of epic places there? And so, I find myself, after long days of work at the office, increasingly staying up later at night to spend hours of my free time searching for places to visit and travel nuggets on Google, blog pages, YouTube, forums like Reddit (/r/travel), guide books, travel magazines, Instagram, social channels, etc, etc. 

There is so much travel "noise" on the Internet these days. Fake (paid) reviews, travel "experts" who freely put out their "loud" unsolicited opinions after only being to a place for one day, etc. All I really want is some quality time with family/friends in a foreign place, immersed in different culture and have some awesome memories. Is that too much to ask for?

We have been thinking about this for a while. This week, we are releasing two new features we believe will help. 

The first is the new Places feature. We have hand selected some of the best and most highly rated places you can visit in the world. We have also marked them with stars . With this feature, you will have at your finger tips a broad view of the best places our world has to offer. This should save some time, by quickly showing you the best places to visit via a quick word search or zooming in on the world map.

The second is the Custom Itinerary feature. With this new service, you can get, in exchange for a relatively small fee (versus the price we pay for mistakes when amateurs like us plan our own trips), your very own tailor made travel plan just for you. This means that you get the benefits of your very own personal virtual travel agent to plan your trip - without all the additional irks of hidden inflated up-sell prices and commission-based biases. For me, the best part is that you can get (priceless) information that only folks who live there or have travelled there extensively can offer.

I am excited to see how you find these features, and with your feedback, we will continue to improve them over time.

We hope that you enjoy using Travaa.

Take care & Awesome Travels!

- Chris

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