India-Based Startup Trip Tern Offers the Most Painless Travel Planning I’ve Ever Seen


For some people, planning a trip down to the last detail is part of the fun. Not everyone enjoys poring over guidebooks for hours on end, and for those people, there’s Trip Tern. Trip Tern is an India-based startup that automates the travel-planning process, giving you a daily itinerary that’s designed to fit your interests and maximize your traveling efficiency.

It works like this: you hop onto Trip Tern’s website and pick a destination from one of its limited list of cities. At present, there are only sixteen cities, but most of them are major travel destinations like Beijing, London, New York City, and Dubai. For some inexplicable reason, Liverpool is also in there, but as a Liverpool FC fan, I’m not complaining.

Once you have chosen a city, you choose from a list of hotels to stay in and set your check in and check out days. No fares are listed on this page, so you’ll need to have done your research already, but most cities have a good variety of options available for all budgets. Then you select from a list of interests — right now the only options for most cities are art, food, history, kids, and music — which is followed by a list of city-specific locations you know you want to visit. You can pick as many as you’d like, and then Trip Tern generates a day-by-day itinerary for you complete with a handy Google map:

Day 3 of my made-up trip to Beijing

If you want, you can further customize your trip by adding additional sites in on any given day or moving things around. You can also share your trips with friends via Facebook, although I’m not sure how interested any of your friends are going to be in the itinerary for a trip you haven’t actually taken yet.

The whole experience is very slick and the user interface couldn’t be easier. The site’s only problem at present seems to be a lack of choice. Only a few cities on offer, and within those cities the attractions available are limited to pretty traditional tourist stuff; travelers looking for a more unique trip itinerary are probably out of luck here. With that said, I would expect the site’s city and attraction offerings to expand as it grows, as it’s currently still in beta and has only been online for a couple of months (the site was first launched on December 15, 2012). According to a press release, the team is planning for an aggressive city expansion this year, and the site is also continuously aggregating information from the web automatically and using that to add to its offerings.

Trip Tern is also planning to launch a mobile app sometime in 2013.

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