Welcome to our weekly Product Spotlight section! In this series, we will search, test and present you with exciting new travel products that you might not know about.
Our first feature is Eightydays.me, an app that calculates multi-city itineraries and lets you book them at a low price with a single click with the power of sophisticated AI! Let’s see how it works.
About the App
Booking multi-city trips can quickly get overwhelming, especially if they involve many different types of transport. Eightydays.me, a startup founded two years ago by a team of Belarusian entrepreneurs, solves that problem with an elegant way: it lets you become a mini Phileas Fogg with a click!
Using advanced AI and complicated algorithms that puny mortals like us would never really understand, the app lets you create and compare travel opportunities from your nearest airport and buy them on the cheap in a neatly organized package. Forget dealing with departure times, tickets, check-ins, connections and luggage allowances, as the app takes care of everything for you. Also, if you’re not a fan of waking up at 3 am to catch a flight, you can customize the trip however you see fit.
The app currently covers major cities across North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia and it can find you available flight, train and ferry connections that you can book with a click. What’s even better is that it does so instantly, so you don’t have to open a map and plan out your trip on paper like some kind of 19th-century explorer. In the 21st century, there is an app for everything.
The user interface of the app is pretty bare-bones, without intrusive elements. By pressing the “Start Your Trip” button, you will be asked to select a base airport (where your trip will start and end). Things start to get interesting in the “To:” sections since you can select up to six different cities in one trip.
At the time of testing not every airport in Europe offers the same itineraries. For example, you can currently book around the world itineraries from Paris, but London currently only supports travel within Europe. When you are done selecting dates, press “Design Adventure.” The app will come up with a suggested itinerary. If you are not satisfied with the results, you can always modify the filters and click “Shuffle” for a new plan.
The test: booking a summer holiday
For the sake of testing, we asked the app to find us sunny destinations around Europe between 15-22 July, starting from London. Suggestions included Barcelona, Mallorca, Milan, Valencia, Ibiza, and Bordeaux before heading back to London, all for $328 (for an adult without hold luggage and only one carry-on bag). Milan looked a bit off on our list, so we decided to edit it out. You can pick a new destination by clicking on the city you want to replace. The system will show you a list of alternatives and the extra costs of each (if any).
Although the results were not bad, we felt like six flights in seven days is not exactly the definition of a relaxing summer holiday. On a second try for three sunny cities, the app came up with Bordeaux, Barcelona, and Mallorca for $183. As you might have guessed, the prices do not include accommodation, although Eightydays has partnered up with Airbnb and Kiwi so that you can book that as well.
One thing we noticed is that there is a grey area regarding what the AI considers a “sunny destination.” Sure, Spain and Mediterranean France are awesome. But what If you want a taste of Turkey, Greece, Croatia or Albania in your summer itinerary? In that case, you should search for “Europe: Balkans”. Although this is a matter of taste, we feel that there is definitely room for improvement in the way the AI picks the destinations.
Thoughts on Eightydays.me
Although the app is currently in its early life stages and has some limitations, things look very promising. The friendly team behind Eightydays is working on some pretty cool features, such as dynamic user profiles, editing trips, activity tourism, unique themes and a very special “around the globe for $900” option.
Overall, Eightydays is a simple way to create complex and inexpensive itineraries. Take it for a spin by following this link. According to the developers themselves, the mobile app will be released in March 2019.
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