The idea that customization defines true luxury extends far beyond haute couture and high-end handbags to service—and especially, to bespoke, one-of-a-kind journeys. Now, a new online outfitter is offering intrepid travelers the benefits of world-class travel advisory services, affordably and with a tech-driven twist.
Launched last summer, Tourist Journey aims to make the luxury of personalized travel planning quick, easy, and accessible to all. Using its “Create My Journey” feature, travelers can seamlessly build a completely customized itinerary in 19 countries across Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North Africa, inclusive of tours, experiences, and accommodations.
Usually, to create a truly personalized trip, you’d need to consult a travel advisor, or spend valuable hours doing research to piece it together yourself—with no real guarantee of success. Tourist Journey’s algorithm combines basic details (like where, when, and how many travelers) with questions that help the platform understand who you are, what you like, and what kind of trip you’re looking for (i.e., food & wine, arts & culture, rest & relaxation, etc.), to create a vacation tailored to your individual preferences—generating a bespoke itinerary within three minutes. You can then edit it (for example, swap one experience for another, or remove one entirely), share it with a friend, save it for later, or book it on the spot.
According to the company, because the algorithm optimizes the trip to make it as efficient as possible in terms of experience, time, and price, a trip booked through Tourist Journey can be 50% cheaper versus booking through a travel agent or doing all the legwork yourself. The platform’s technology means no two users will receive the same itinerary—and as more travelers create trips on the platform, the algorithm gets even smarter.
Unlike online travel agencies (OTAs) like Orbitz and Expedia—which bundle only flights, cars, and hotels—Tourist Journey includes pre-vetted, on-the-ground experiences. Another crucial differentiator: Every travel product available through the platform—from a street food tour of Palermo by bike, to a hotel in Mexico’s deepest jungles—has been hand-picked by the Tourist Journey team. Hotels and tour operator partners are invited and then have to opt in to be part of the platform.
The company was founded by travel-tech visionary Ben Julius, founder of Tourist Israel, the country’s leading travel service provider. Launched in 2008, it’s helped more than 10 million people plan trips in Israel, and provided experiences, tours, and packages to over 500,000 clients.
In recent weeks, Tourist Journey has reported a 200% uptick in itineraries created and “saved-for-later” bookings—a sign that travelers are keen to plan future travel, despite the ever-changing impact of Covid-19. Searches for Italy, Greece, and Iceland have particularly increased, with almost 70% of trips being planned by couples—evidence that those who’ve had to postpone honeymoons or dream trips due to Covid-related travel restrictions are anxious to embark on a long-awaited getaway in the new year.
Tourist Journey plans to expand soon to destinations including Cyprus, Montenegro, Thailand, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Bali, and Brazil—depending on how borders reopen and Covid restrictions continue to evolve. The company is also developing “Tourist Journey Preferred,” a special hotel program it hopes to roll out next year, that will include its seal of approval for certain hotel partners that opt in to extend exclusive perks to users.
To celebrate Cyber Monday, Tourist Journey is offering 10% off an entire customized itinerary created this week with the “Create My Journey” feature. (The discount does not apply to packages and one-off tours.) Personalized itineraries can be reserved for anytime, with no blackout dates, and must be booked with the code MYJOURNEY21 by Thursday, December 2nd.