It’s been 2 years since we launched chat-based travel to the world 🥳
As you’d expect, at times it’s been painful but there have also been some unbelievable highs.
We started packed (MySwft at the time) to save people the stress & hassle that often comes with booking a great holiday.
Today, the online travel space remains overcrowded and confusing, and there’s a dizzying array of options that’s enough to strain the most seasoned traveller.
Every day’s a school day
We launched with ski holidays to a great response before expanding into city breaks & summer holidays, and after the initial few months, we realised that the pain is felt most keenly by organisers of big group trips.
If you’re looking for a couple’s trip to Lisbon, easyJet & Booking have you covered. But if you’re trying to take a team of 20 away for a reunion or stag weekend, you’ve got your hands full.
Firstly, there's no easy way to know what everyone wants to do 🤔 (more on that later).
Secondly, if you are arranging a big group trip, nothing exists to assist you. Almost every site out there lets you book online for groups of up to 9, but any more than that and you’re expected to fill out an online form or send an email.
And you’re usually in for a 24-48 hour wait.
You then have the added hassle of chasing everyone to either pay you back or transfer you the money ahead of time. It’s clunky and awkward.
About 12 months ago we did a classic tech company “pivot” and shifted our focus towards big group trips.
These are the trips that everyone remembers but they’re often a real handful to organise.
We’ve spent the last 2 years arranging holidays like this (ski holidays, stag or hen weekends & company trips) by chatting to group leaders, understanding what their group needs are (one size definitely does not fit all) and presenting them with a selection of options via one easy-to-share link.
We then facilitate separate payments to remove as much hassle from the experience as possible. It’s dead easy and people love it.
So why the app?
Our experience helping big groups has taught us first hand that payment pains and hours of online research aren’t the only problems faced by the organiser.
Half the time, you can’t agree when or where to go and you get so lost in WhatsApp groups & email chains that many of these trips just never get off the ground. Which is a travesty.
So we launched the app to help 🥳
It’s completely free and will help you and your friends, family or colleagues:
⛱ Agree on dates, destination & anything else that matters
⛱ Gather important travel details (like full names, fad diets and dates of birth)
⛱ Discover great options wherever your heading
It’s a bit like Doodle for group holidays and it’s designed to help you sidestep the chaos of WhatsApp groups and email chains so you can make your holiday happen.
Our focus is now on helping as many group holidays happen as we can so if you know anyone planning a ski trip, a reunion, a big family get together, a sports tour, or a stag/hen weekend, do them a favour and please point them to the app!
Jasper & the packed team