Foodies or wine lovers will often design their latest jaunt based specifically on the best spots to eat and drink - but few travel sites reverse engineer the search process.
This was the thinking behind one of the winners from the recent THack @ SFO event in San Francisco, where the team at Flights With Friends created a trip planning service with a food and drink search tool for destinations.
The process puts the experience in the destination at the heart of the trip, rather than whether the accommodation or flight is driving the reason to visit a location.
The hack, known as Concierge, won the category for two developers or fewer and used APIs from GeckoGo and Viator, alongside others from Yelp and Google Places.
In some respects the idea is quite simple - users enter the destination and dates and then let the GeckoGo and Viator APIs take over...
Ideas for places to eat and drink are listed in the location, with links to descriptions streamed via the APIs. Reviews of each product are then fed in from Yelp and Google Places.
But where Conciege gets really interesting is in the ability to add different activities to a user's timeline, effectively creating an itinerary for the user based on the original dates entered for the trip.
The system then works out the non-food/drink activities on offer in a destination and includes them as interesting "local attractions" that the user might also want to consider as part of their trip.
Once an activity is selected the user can also book directly with the relevant provider. The system is image-heavy (adopting the ongoing Pinterest-style user experience) and includes easy to find user ratings and reviews.
Kyle Killion, who presented the hack and is founder at Flights With Friends, says over the coming weeks a number of improvements will be made to various elements of the platform but the plan is to incorporate it in to its existing FWF service.
Chair of the THack @ SFO judging panel, Evan Konwiser, says:
"It was the elegance and simplicity of the solution, tackling an element of the trip planning problem, which impressed us greatly.
"Instead of adding complexity, Concierge took it away. This is a huge win for any wider product. And if you anchor a trip around food it will appeal to a lot of people! Kyle and his fellow developer took a cool insight and turned it into very something simple."