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  • Aashish Gupta

What truly defines TRVLbud - Have Better Trips. Don’t Settle.

As I was reading Brian Chesky’s blog post on a re-branding exercise at Airbnb (a company I much admire), I began to ask myself, just like Brian and his co-founders did “What is our mission? What is the big idea that truly defines TRVLbud?”

On the surface of it, yes, we help you get expert advice for planning your trips.

Yes, we save you time and effort as you don’t have to do all the research yourself for planning your trips.

Yes, we save you money as our experts have better insights on finding the most cost-effective ways to travel.

Yes, we help you gain confidence that your cherished vacation is in good hands and your money will be well-spent.

Yes, we make trip planning more fun as you get to interact with a travel enthusiast who is probably even more excited about your trip than you are. (yes, I’ve seen this happen a lot)

All of that, yes. But when we dig deeper, when we really asked ourselves why we’re doing what we’re doing, here’s what we found out.

Make every trip better

Travel has become so dulled with cookie-cutter experiences, the “sameness” of it all, that the very purpose of travel to “explore, dream, discover” is being defeated.

And it’s not just the much-maligned “package tour” industry that is to blame. Even many who peddle so-called “experiential travel” essentially take batch after batch of tourists through the same “experiences” day after day. And you can buy these “experiences” quite literally, off the shelf.

Even independent travellers, who plan various aspects of their own trips, are not completely immune to the sameness - everyone uses the same hotel review sites, the same guidebooks, and the same itinerary planning sites to come up with their trip plans. How different do you think individual trips planned this way can be from one another?

This process is what is called commoditization. For the uninitiated in business terminology, I’ve pasted a definition of the term:

“Commoditization: The act of making a process, good or service easy to obtain by making it as uniform, plentiful and affordable as possible. Something becomes commoditized when one offering is nearly indistinguishable from another. As a result of technological innovation, broad-based education and frequent iteration, goods and services become commoditized and, therefore, widely accessible.” Source: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/commoditize.asp

Now plentiful, affordable and accessible are all wonderful things, but uniformity? That might be a good thing for other goods and services (though maybe not even there if you ask me), but certainly not for travel. Travel, whose basic premise is to get the traveller to “explore, dream, discover” cannot benefit from this form of commoditization.

*This* is what we’re here to solve. We are here to break the commoditization of travel. We help our users to be better travellers and not just go through the motions of travel. We help them truly connect with the places, people and their trip itself. And this is only possible when they know that they’re not just going on *a* trip, they’re going on *their very own* trip.

We are here to make every trip unique, not for the sake of uniqueness of course, but so you can have better trips. Don’t settle.