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IN People ON 02 Dec, 2016
I hope you remember your summer vacations as a child? Being free from all the assignments and homework, seeing the world full of freedom and yummy food all day long.
Vacations are a healthier you; they are important for taking a break and relaxing your heart out. But as adults, we forget to have that time all by our self and our stress eats up all our vacation days. Every time that we think about a vacation, we for sure take out a pocket diary to jot down notes or a google spreadsheet to take suggestions.
Planning a trip is a daunting task. Where do you begin from? What should be the step one? It is definitely easy to get overwhelmed in the beginning but in the end all that you are left with is a checklist flooded with confusion. No matter how many times you have prepared a checklist and used it, every vacation demands different preparations.
Don't worry, you need not fidget anymore, we have an easy way out when creating a vacation plan for you, right here.
Inspirock, a free online service that helps vacation goers plan out where to go and what to see based on their interests in just a few clicks is a blessing. You can plan a soothing drive up the California Coast, or a week long plan in London & Paris or even a month of sightseeing across Europe. Inspirock takes you everywhere your heart wishes to travel.
Splendid, isn't it? Founded by two friends, Anoop Goyal & Prakash Sikchi, is free for travellers.
At Inspirock, anyone can build a plan for their vacation. To plan a holiday with Inspirock, users specify one or more countries/regions/cities, travel dates, travel preferences, etc., and get a personalised plan. The plan includes which destinations to visit, travel options, daily itinerary, maps, recommendations, and more. Inspirock's technology takes care of all the details such as how much travel time to budget for, what times are the attractions open, whether the activities are kid-friendly, etc. The user can do further research and customise their plan to get it "just right." A typical user saves several hours in just the first minute of using Inspirock, and Inspirock makes it fun.
Inspirock can plug-in to any travel website to power trip planning on that site. It powers dozens of sites for accommodation providers, tourism bureaus, online travel agents, travel bloggers and destination experts, etc.
The startup was founded by two friends Anoop Goyal and Prakash Sikchi.
Anoop Goyal has worked at Silicon Valley high-tech companies for more than 20 years, specializing in consumer websites and data systems. He has traveled to more than 25 countries and to every continent except Antarctica. Trip highlights include climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. "I like to be on the leading edge of using technology as a means to improve life," Anoop says.
Prakash Sikchi has more than 20 years of high-tech experience, specializing in machine learning, big data, and distributed systems; he holds more than 20 patents. At Microsoft, he led development on projects such as Bing Mobile and Azure Cloud. Sikchi has traveled to more than 15 countries and climbed Mount Rainier.
"Travel helps you connect with yourself, your friends, and the rest of the world," Prakash says. "Travel makes the world a better place," he adds.
While on one of their trips, Anoop and Prakash decided to launch a company that would use technology to make it easier for people to travel.
The company name commemorates the setting: we were perched high on a rock overlooking Inspiration Lake in the Eastern Cascades in Washington state.
It was the third day of our backpacking trip. Most of the peaks were snow covered, the lakes partially melted, and it was still early enough in the season that they would see more mountain goats than people. Perched on a rock, they were having a lunch of Clif bars, spiced jerky, and two squares of dark chocolate, which paired nicely with a view of Inspiration Lake, a few hundred feet below.
We're lucky, though Prakash, remembering the lottery they had won a few months ago that gave them a permit to visit The Enchantments. Not a lot of people even know about The Enchantments, but those who have been there saying it is the top backpacking experience in Washington. All the descriptions on the web are laden with superlatives. It is amazing that a place can live up to such high expectations.
"Most people don't get to see something so beautiful," said Prakash.
"So why don't they?", Anoop wondered aloud.
That led to a discussion of why it is hard to seek and plan a great vacation. Prakash talked about his recent family vacation, the planning which involved four guidebooks, several dozen websites, two local experts, and a Google Docs folder with a spreadsheet. No wonder people are discouraged.
Anoop remarked that planning has hardly improved since they first went with friends to Australia & New Zealand. It didn't make sense. Since that trip, there have been computers that can beat humans at chess, and cars are driving themselves. And yet, planning a vacation involves so much work. It is easy to get a ton of information about any little corner of the planet, but not easy to design. Planning a vacation should be fun.
There was no real answer to that one either. And the more they thought about it, the more it bothered them that there was this problem out there, for such a long time, begging to be solved. What if they were the first ones to solve it?
The seed had taken root.
That was in July 2012. A month later, both Anoop and Prakash found themselves working full time for Inspirock, writing the first lines of code.
While backpacking, the friends found themselves having lunch perched high on a rock overlooking the melting ice of Inspiration Lake in the Eastern Cascades. We decided it was now or never – the need for it was clear and the technology had matured enough to make this possible. The new website would sift through scores of online travel information (230 million factoids) to find the right combination of places to see and things to do to suit the interests of each traveller (from trillions of possibilities). Using a user-friendly interface, the site makes travel planning not only easier but also more enjoyable.
A billion international trips are planned each year. We felt that we could make them easier and enjoyable to plan.
We believe that travel helps you connect with yourself, with your friends, and with the rest of the world. Travel makes the world a better place. We saw the chance to make our mark in the world.
Inspirock was founded in 2012 to solve the vacation planning problem by Anoop Goyal and Prakash Sikchi, each with over 20 years of industry experience. The company built a team with deep technical expertise (big data, machine learning, consumer experiences), achieved multiple breakthroughs, and began user testing in Summer 2014. Inspirock secured venture financing in 2015. At this time in 2016, it has expanded coverage to 160 countries, powers dozens of sites, and has won the prestigious Brand USA innovation award from among 160 travel companies for its role in helping promote tourism.
We want to cover the whole world, plan a million trips a month, and reach international travelers wherever they may be on the internet to help make their vacation planning easier.
Well done! Let's just wish them all the best for their future projects.
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