Utrip, the free personalized trip planning technology, announced today it has launched Custom Items, designed to enable travelers to further personalize their trip experiences. The new Custom Items feature lets travelers add custom lodging and custom activities to their itineraries, which are personalized based on the traveler’s interests and budget. Custom items might include things such as an Airbnb lodging, a business meeting, or a visit with a friend.
The company developed Custom Items to complement recent travel industry trends. As noted in the DMAI Destination Next Report, travelers are increasingly seeking personalized experiences. The desire for a unique experience, coupled with the rise of the sharing economy, means more travelers are opting for Airbnb-style lodging. A traveler may now benefit from Utrip’s optimization of itineraries around geography, whether they are staying in a shared room, at an apartment or in a vacation rental.
In addition, Custom Items were developed to accommodate the growing number of “bleisure” trips, in which a traveler goes to a city for business, and extends their stay with leisure time. According to Hotwire’s recent American Travel Behavior Survey, just under half (49 percent) of full-time/part-time employed American adults who travel for business have tacked leisure time onto a work trip, with younger travelers ages 18-34 doing so more than their slightly older counterparts ages 35-44 (56 percent compared to 37 percent).
How it works:
- Custom Items were designed with ease of use for the traveler in mind. Adding a custom item onto a Utrip itinerary varies for custom lodging and custom activities.
- To add custom lodging, the traveler clicks on the recommended lodging, and selects the “Add My Own Lodging” option. A dialogue box appears, and asks for lodging name, street address, type and description. After clicking “Save My Lodging” button, the itinerary is updated to include the designated accommodations.
- A custom activity is added by clicking the “Add Activity” tab. Once there, a traveler clicks the “Add Custom Item” button and fills in the name, address, date and duration of their selected activity. When the item is saved, the itinerary will be adjusted for the new item. The custom item may then be moved using Utrip’s Drag and Drop feature in the week view.
“Clearly personalized experiences are what travelers are clamoring for,” said Gilad Berenstein, founder and chief executive officer of Utrip. “In 2014, Utrip revolutionized travel planning by using artificial intelligence to create personalized itineraries—in minutes. Today we are taking a next step forward, delivering access to personalized itineraries for all travelers – regardless of means or reason for travel. By incorporating custom addresses into our itinerary planner, we hope to enable the over 25 million guests of AirbBnb, as well as other like-minded travelers, the unique travel experiences that they have been seeking out.”