Travel Plans by Locals

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Thanks for checking us out everyone. You can use the promo code 'producthunt' to get a free plan - try it out!
How does this differentiate from all the other similar products like Vayable? This is a crowded space with very low retention, would love to know how products like this achieve sustainable growth?
@acondurache Hey Andrew! We differentiate ourselves by being as simple and hassle-free as possible. Vayable requires you meet with a person on your trip. On review sites like TripAdvisor or Yelp, you have to do a ton of reading by nature. (Over 11,000 restaurants with 400,000 total reviews in just NYC) With us, you can make a request for a plan in under 5 minutes, and not worry about it again until it's finished. Planning with a Localfu not only gets you a great, personalized plan, you'll also spend much less time and effort than usual to get it. We hope the combination of those two will keep people coming back.
@acondurache I don't think they play in the Vayable space. What they are trying to do is ask you to dump the online/offline guide books or automated itinerary planners and trust a local's advice. The function served by a local who helps you put together an itinerary and a local who takes you around on a guided experience of his/her neighborhood are quite different.
@rdgthree I literally was telling a founder to go explore this same direction last week. Neat product.
@acondurache I'm with you on this one. I like the idea, but have seen so many efforts in this space before - Fortnighter, Traveloti, Triptrotting, Tripology, Nezasa, TripBod, AgentPanda, TripShare, NileGuide, Libertrip, SideTour, and many more have all tried to monetize local guides. I think the perceived demand is much greater than the actual one. That being said, beautiful design, fun messaging... you never know.
I have chatted with the guys at Localfu and I really like their product. A few days ago I had a discussion with a friend about automation and how industries are changing. My friend thinks that automation will eventually reduce workforces and there will be a fundamental paradigm shift in human behavior, society, economy, etc. I think the part of the picture that my friend was missing is that human beings like and trust other human beings more than any machine or technology. We've seen how successful Etsy has been. People want something unique and personal. The DIY movement is strong right now because people are resisting technology to a degree. What I like about Localfu is that they are basically saying-- Sure, you could look on Tripadvisor and read reviews, but good luck figuring out if the person writing the reviews is similar to you or not! What if you want great vegan food in Miami, but the person writing the review is a carnivore who happened to eat the falafel and hated it? When I did user testing for aspectiva.com one of the things we found was that users *love* reading negative reviews because those are the reviews they trust! When someone says Philz Coffee in SF is the best (I'm sure it is @rrhoover :-)!), why should I believe him? Are his tastes the same as mine? Is he just giving a great review because they gave him a free coffee if he'd do it? The motivations for writing a good review aren't nearly as clear as the motivations for writing a bad review! Getting a travel guide, or any other product from a person you feel you can trust is helpful, and I believe there is a need for it. Bringing one-to-one personalization is something I love to see mixed with tech. I loved seeing Fiverr do this, and I love seeing Localfu doing it too! ...not to mention I'm a sucker for great web design...
@UXAndrew You bring up some interesting ideas, especially with the automation of human behaviour. I think I would agree with your friend on this one, humans will most likely not require human interaction to retrieve utility from products or services in the not so distant future, machines will do a far better job at maximising utility and eventually will probably "personalize" all processes involved in delivering a 'quality' product experience. However, that is probably in the future... As a frequent traveller I love the idea behind Localfu, it does a good job in bringing about social interaction with locals, which a great way to experience local culture and meet locals. I think that is where the strength lies in the social networking component, as for the 'plans' this is a side product, I personally wouldnt really value the 'travel plan' they provided but rather the interaction with the local and the 'insider knowledge', although thats just me. I am sure there may be a fair amount of demand for personalized travel plans , I just think the personalization aspect could easily be automated or replaced through an algorithm making it more efficient to scale in the short term.
@acondurache The personalization could be done through automation (I don't entirely agree, but fair enough) but what about personalized interaction? Localfu puts you in touch with someone on the ground. No machine can do that. Also, don't forget that there is a difference between customization (which could easily be automated) and personalization (which is far more fickle).
@UXAndrew Couldn't have put it better ourselves. Thank you!
Great concept, @rdgthree. I'm coming to NYC from London this Thursday, and have just ordered a plan.
@TomasRuta Awesome. You picked one of our best Localfu's. Make sure to leave a review!
@rdgthree Hey, a great plan and an awesome value for money. Feedback: I'd have appreciated a slightly more detailed plan. Are you thinking about introducing a premium option? Also I received "..has finished your plan" email 90 minutes ago, but got an "...is working on your plan" email just now.. Best of luck.
@TomasRuta We are actually! It's something we're working on now. We're going to allow the Localfu's to add options like premium planning for an extra fee - so glad to hear you say that. We appreciate the feedback! As for the email, we're pretty sure it was just an email bug. It may have something to do with the boost in traffic, so we'll look into it.
@rdgthree - this is a great idea. I was looking for this while traveling in Asia, but ended up finding only cookie-cutter guides from travel books. Does it allow for you to request input from different experts? I would want a foodie to recommend dinner spots, an adventure junkie to recommend zip lining etc.
@jasongurwin Hey Jason! First of all, thanks! We love hearing that. We don't currently allow you to request input from multiple locals in the same plan, so the best solution there is to just open multiple plans. We haven't built that feature because it complicates payment for Localfu's and complicates the process a bit for the traveler. So for now, we're trying to keep it as simple as possible. If you're looking to open two plans, send us an email at founders@localfu.com - I'll generate another promo code for you!