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Old 06-13-2019, 11:48 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,096 posts, read 19,059,396 times
Reputation: 24222

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The biggest question isn't if people will pay for your service. The BIGGEST question (and barrier) Is how to market it. How to FIND those specific consumers who want and/or need your service.

Figure THAT out and you've got a nice side gig.
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Old 06-14-2019, 06:48 AM
 
Location: In the land beyond Ohare!
926 posts, read 475,910 times
Reputation: 2037
Another thing to think about, unfortunately, is liability. Is there any? What safeguards must you employ to shield yourself should something go bad, a accident, theft, robbery, personal injury, etc.. while on a trip you planned and charged for? Sorry to say, these events happen and lawsuits do too.
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:14 AM
 
2,134 posts, read 734,936 times
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I'd think it would be very hard to get people to pay for this, As others have mentioned, there's AAA for basic route details, and TripAdvisor and other sites for hotels and attractions, including reviews. Even if you created a custom itinerary for people based on their particular interests- say, driving Route 66- your itinerary could get re-used. Not with any vicious intent, but people post about the trip on FB or a blog and your work can be duplicated easily.

Would you be offering help along the way? If a bad accident ties up traffic and they miss an attraction or they show up at a hotel and there's no record of their reservation, will they call you and ask you to fix everything? That can add an extra layer of work.

You might want to develop a few sample itineraries with a particular theme, see how long it takes you, and see how marketable it is.
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:05 AM
 
1,017 posts, read 354,446 times
Reputation: 3274
Some people are travelers and some are vacationers. Find the vacationers and help them to become travelers through your service.

I am always surprised how many people travel and do no planning whatsoever. I was in Alaska a couple of weeks ago (cruise) and you would be surprised at how many people did zero planning. One couple said they just did not have the time. I see this happen fairly often.

One couple at our table did extensive planning. They rented a car and visited a lot of sights. Other couples remarked that they would have loved to do something like that, but did not know much about it. I booked only a couple of weeks in advance, so I was somewhat constricted by time, but I managed to pull off a great trip.

You could also target your product to international travelers. I have met a few over the years who said they would love to take road trips along the coasts of America.

I don't see how you would have any liability for making suggestions on routes, hotels, food, etc.
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
26,610 posts, read 63,070,403 times
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I like to do it myself. We have unique tastes and preferences. We prefer unique places with character over the vacation brochure type trip. If nothing untoward happens you will have little adventure and the trip will not be memorable. That is what many people want. A smooth trip with no memorable glitches, no necessity to change plans, no challenges. To me that is dull. I want adventures and being forced to deal with/rely on people along the way, people who are not nice to you only because you have a wallet. For that, you have to gt out of the comfort zone.

Also little things that sound uninspiring can be highlights of the trip, you never know. We stopped to see Pompey's Pillar in Montana on one trip. It sounded like a stop that would be interesting for five minutes based on the internet description. we stays for over three hours and it was a highlight of the trip. that meant we had to stay in a really grimey motel we found along the way because we were hours behind, but that hotel had free ice cream for the kids and the lady who gave it out was really interesting and talkative.

I also like to have alternate options. If we see something cool along the way and do not make it to this hotel, we can detour to town Y and stay there. Frankly I would prefer to just have no reservations, destination we need to get to at a certain time, or deadlines at all. However I am too old and stiff to sleep in the van or truck if we cannot find a hotel or campground. So, I have to compromise a little.

my family is accustomed to just relying on me to plan the road trip and find the cool things to see and do along the way. Often they just pack and get in the van and ask where we will go and what we will see on a day by day basis. It is fun to surprise people.

.
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:13 AM
 
630 posts, read 210,590 times
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I feel that the market for that is pretty saturated. There are sooooo many resources online in addition to AAA and travel agents.

The only time it was helpful for me was when a Disney nerd planned an itinerary for my family. No fee, no reservations, but gave an hour-by-hour account of which rides to visit when based on constantly updated wait time data, fast pass locations, etc. Even included breaks for naps, food recommendations, avoided rides that my kids were too short for, listed which would be open in case of rain, etc.
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:56 AM
 
2,134 posts, read 734,936 times
Reputation: 5472
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnaGWS View Post
I don't see how you would have any liability for making suggestions on routes, hotels, food, etc.
I worked in property-casualty insurance my entire career. While the OP is not the same "deep pocket" a hotel or restaurant chain might be, he/she could be liable for a lot of things. If the client is injured in a Ziplining expedition the OP recommends or gets food poisoning from a restaurant the OP included in the itinerary, or is mugged in the parking lot of a hotel the OP suggested... the lawyers would be out in full force.
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Old 06-14-2019, 01:12 PM
 
9,727 posts, read 4,582,107 times
Reputation: 12647
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaybee View Post
The second part of this is how much would I charge someone for this service. I'm thinking a set rate/day of the trip. It wouldn't be expensive, I thinking perhaps $20/trip day to compile the info into the final report.

So, what do you folks think? Do you think there would be enough interest out there to sustain a part time business organizing road trips for folks?

I think you'll find a lot of people would like this service but few would pay for it. We live in an era where we expect information to be free.
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Old 06-14-2019, 01:36 PM
 
12,329 posts, read 18,441,839 times
Reputation: 19246
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaybee View Post
I've always enjoyed researching and organizing our vacations. I can easily spend hours on this site and others looking for attractions, motels, museums, restaurants, etc. that we might encounter along our roadtrips. That research pays off with (nearly) flawless itineraries that anticipate and mitigate issues deemed likely to arise on the road. For the record, my background is Land Use Planning and Geography. I'm am a real map Nerd.

A few weeks back, a family friend was asking how I went about organizing our trips. She said that planning was the hardest part for her and her husband. She then told me some details of a trip they're planning-a loop of about 2,000 miles. I told her that I'd do some prelim itinerary work for her. I ended up spending about 15 hours putting recommendations together for her.

Afterwards, it occurred to me that others may have the same need for trip planning help. And perhaps there might enough folks needing help to sustain a part time business. I'm retired and have some time to dedicate to such an endeavor. What I have in mind is not a Travel Agency. I would not do any scheduling or reservations. Instead, given a desired destination and trip duration, I would put together some suggestions as to routing, overnight waypoints, attractions, events, restaurants, etc. Upon completion, I'd forward the report for the travelers use in putting the final itinerary together.

The second part of this is how much would I charge someone for this service. I'm thinking a set rate/day of the trip. It wouldn't be expensive, I thinking perhaps $20/trip day to compile the info into the final report.

So, what do you folks think? Do you think there would be enough interest out there to sustain a part time business organizing road trips for folks?
I seriously don't think there would be to much demand for such because:
1.) I know you are excluding reservations, but it's still to much travel agent-like, which is pretty much a dying industry because...(see #2)
2.) Internet - all this information is already readily available via a few clicks. Maybe two decades ago it would be useful.
3.) As the responses show, to many people enjoy there own planning. I do as well.
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Old 06-14-2019, 01:53 PM
Status: "Send HIM back- to Queens!" (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Eureka CA
8,281 posts, read 11,139,693 times
Reputation: 12607
Quote:
Originally Posted by pikabike View Post
I like planning my own trips, but for route advice, especially during roadwork season, AAA does a great job. No extra cost beyond membership.
^^^^^^^^^What they said
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