Students and young professionals in Singapore have been hit by the travel bug, but they find their group trips bogged down by research and penny-pinching. To make trip-planning fun, social and super simple, brothers and Singapore Polytechnic engineering graduates Zheng De and Zeth Lee built a community-based travel platform cheekily named Packdat!
Founded on the desire to ‘empower the world to create truly meaningful and magical moments with friends, all while travelling,’ Packdat skips both the tedious planning that goes before each adventure, and marginally less tedious review process that comes after.
Just choose your destination and travel dates, then get your friends to join in the planning fun! Click ‘Pack My Trip’ to arrange your itinerary based on the best routes to and from your lodging, which saves money and time. You can even turn your itinerary into a handy PDF!
There are two ways to plan your journey on Packdat. The first is by grabbing links to each attraction, while the other is through ‘Discover Community,’ where each site is rated through emoji by users who have been there. The team also promises that they will soon allow real-time photo and video hosting, where you can experience a sneak preview of your adventure through content posted by other Packdat users. Amazing stuff!
The magic of Packdat is real: its vlogs (which are great for a laugh, here are some examples) and crowdfunding campaign on Thunderclap (which reached its goal just 3 hours after launch and closed with 221% hits) helped the concept take off. It’s showing no sign of slowdown either: after joining the 2017 Slingshot@SWITCH (Singapore Week of Innovation & Technology) contest, it has been shortlisted as a 2017 Accenture ConsumerTech Awards finalist for ‘improving travel and hospitality experiences’ as well as ‘increasing choice and improving customer service.’
As far as destinations go, Packdat is Asia-centric, although only standard holiday spots are mentioned. Neighbours Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia are featured, as are Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan farther east. Oddly enough, Australia is a getaway option, while Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and the Philippines aren’t. Packdat assures us that it’s only a matter of time (early 2018, to be exact) until more Asia-Pacific locations become available.
One point against Packdat is that it only accepts TripAdvisor links to date, making blog references a no-go for now. Another minus is that it will not let you plan a trip if you do not give it your lodging address. Still, it’s a promising start-up with much to build upon – after all, it fixes your travel plans so that you and the gang can get straight to the fun. Say goodbye to multiple tab browsing and endless spreadsheet fixing, get the Packdat app or log into the website, and have a great trip!
Authors’ Note: Look out for an interview with one of the Packdat founders soon!