Why FarCloser Travel…?
***Post Updated August 7, 2018 — Site it now live! Visit the web app at FarCloser Travel ***
Is FarCloser Travel yet another travel site? I’m glad you asked (and many of you have). We all know there is no shortage of travel search websites out there vying for your business so I want to take a quick minute to let you know what we’re doing here at FarCloser Travel and why you should care.
Neglect of Organized Travel
Trivago, Booking.com, Expedia.ca, AirBnb, SkyScanner, Travelocity…I could go on but you get the point. There are countless travel websites in existence and most of them are wonderful. They can help take the time and frustration out of search for things like flights, accommodation and rental cars but that’s typically where their focus ends. When you are planning on taking that multi-day tour or cruise of a lifetime, your options for websites that compare trips in a meaningful way are pretty limited. There are some sites that do give you a head start in your research like Cruise Critic and TourRadar but we feel they could be doing a better job.
Destination is Number One
We’ve talked to many, many people who are about to or have done some travel in the ‘organized travel’ sector (meaning on a cruise or pre-packaged tour) and nearly every single person listed the destination as one of the top three criteria when choosing their trip. I think most of us can relate. We get excited about an upcoming trip and tell people “I’m going to Europe” or “I’m taking a cruise to Alaska”. Very few people I know start with, “I paid $2,499 for my vacation”. Why? Because at the end of the day, where we go and the people we go with or meet, is what makes travel so rewarding – not the price tag.
Why is it then that so many websites lack the ability to compare WHERE trips go? I don’t know about you but seeing a route on a map is much more meaningful than reading through a list of cities. And don’t get me started on the headache of trying to compare where two different trips go. For such a geographically based industry, there is a severe lack of intuitive mapping going on. At FarCloser Travel, we plan to change that.
Change the Way You Search
Organized travel is quite a bit more complicated than flights or hotels. We are talking about multiple cities, different inclusion levels, various pricing categories and variations between operators’ values and offerings. It’s not really a surprise that combining all of this information in an intuitive way hasn’t been tackled before – it’s a bit of a dog’s breakfast. We know the frustrations involved and decided to accept the challenge. We are now working on bringing you a better way to search for organized travel.
Our plans include your typical (and some not so typical) filters to narrow down the choices to only the ones that suit your needs but also some new features that we hope will make your lives much better:
- An interactive map showing all of your options. Instead of trying to compare images in brochures or lists of cities, we are going to put each route that meets your filters on ONE map so you can see exactly where each one goes and how it compares to the next.
- We’ve changed the typical travel business model so that you can browse in peace and without any sales pressure. We want you to find the best trip for your needs. Period. In order to do that, we have taken ourselves out of the booking process. We give you the ability to search and compare trips to your heart’s content. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, we will provide the connections to either book directly with the operator, find a travel agent who can help complete your booking or give you the ability to share the information with your own travel agent. We’ve taken this route for a few reasons but most importantly, it allows us to give you an impartial platform that you can use knowing there is no ulterior motives in play. Since most sites generate revenue from a commission of each booking, sometimes there can be some bias introduced such that you might get ‘persuaded’ one way or the other. With our model, you get the options that best suit you, not us.
Get Early Access to FarCloser Travel
In a nutshell, if you are thinking about taking an organized trip, we want to make the planning stage easier and have you looking forward to your trip sooner. Even while we finalize development of our first version, we want to know which operators and regions you are most interested in. This will allow us to prioritize who we get into the system and where we focus our efforts so leave us a comment or send us a note and let us know. You can also sign up to get early access to the FarCloser Travel application once it goes live. Just go to our BETA site and enter your email address.
We can’t wait to hear about your upcoming travel plans.