Six Travel Start-Ups to Watch in 2014

More and more, the world of travel is being dictated by the digital start-up. From apps that are designed to snare the best deals on luxury hotel suites to companies founded around the idea of providing your pooch with the perfect holiday, these six start-ups are highlights in a tidal wave of new companies that are busy changing the face of global travel. Keep that Smartphone handy, then – you won’t want to board a flight without it.


The Suitest, Venice Beach


Travel Start-Ups to Watch | The Suitest

Rank your suite options with The Suitest © takahashi_kei/iStock/Thinkstock


Let’s face it: we all enjoy some luxury treatment. That doesn’t mean, though, that it’s something we can all easily afford. Enter The Suitest. This California-based start-up has crunched the numbers on many thousands of luxury hotel rooms in cities across the US to give travellers tips on getting the best bang for their buck. Amenities are described, rooms are given letter ratings, and algorithms even predict if a room’s price is going to plummet or soar later on.


Peek, San Francisco


Travel Start-Ups to Watch | Peek

Get help planning your holiday itinerary and activities with Peek © extravagantni/iStock/Thinkstock


Figuring out when and where to go for your next holiday is one thing, but settling on which activities to do once you’re there is quite another. It can be daunting to try and plan a family trip from afar, which is where San Francisco-based Peek steps in. The start-up shortlists events ranging from classes and tours to adventure days, and even lets you book them in advance. Coupled with expert guides, Peek’s services will help you feel like a local in no time.


TripCommon, New York


Travel Start-Ups to Watch | TripCommon

TripCommon makes travelling with friends simple © Dangubic/iStock/Thinkstock


The prevailing theory behind TripCommon‘s Hitlist app is that it’s more fun to travel with friends. In order to help arrange that, Hitlist allows you to input where your friends live, regions you want to visit, and activities you’re interested in. Then, its clever algorithm figures out the best and cheapest itineraries: from affordable cities where you can meet up with familiar faces to the ideal locations for joint holidays.


Hotel Tonight, San Francisco


Travel Start-Ups to Watch | Hotel Tonight

Hotel Tonight allows you to book a last-minute room — for cheap © kzenon/iStock/Thinkstock


Last-minute types, rejoice. Gone are the days of scrambling to book a decent hotel room with no time to spare. Even if you’ve already landed in your destination without accommodation planned, Hotel Tonight does what it says on the tin: the app collects unsold rooms from hotels and makes them available on the same day, at accessible prices.




Travel Start-Ups to Watch | Bag2Go

Track your bag at every step of your journey with Bag2Go © shutter_m/iStock/Thinkstock


Wish you could keep an eye on your bag through every step of your travels? With Bag2Go, you can. Sponsored by Airbus, the “˜smart luggage’ is equipped with an accompanying tracking app that allows travellers to keep constant watch over their stuff. While the case is in prototype right now, it should be widely released soon.


DogVacay, Santa Monica


Travel Start-Ups to Watch | DogVacay

DogVacay means your canine friend gets to travel too © Kenny McCartney/iStock/Thinkstock


You get the chance to go on holiday – so why not your canine friend, too? DogVacay, based in Santa Monica, describes itself as the “˜Airbnb for dogs’. Owners can choose from certified nearby dog sitters who keep your pups safe and entertained in a cage-free environment for the duration of your trip. It’s only fair that you both get to enjoy some time off, after all.


Virgin Atlantic operate direct flights to a range of destinations across the globe. Book your fight today.


Have you ever used any of these apps? Which start-ups have made your travel experience easier? Let us know in the comments below.

Written by Claire Bullen

About Claire Bullen

Claire is a born globetrotter: before relocating to London, she spent time in New York, Paris, Philadelphia, Chicago, and San Francisco. When she's not in pursuit of the next exciting meal, she can be found haunting indie bookstores and sketching outdoors. Follow Claire @ClaireMBullen
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