Tailored trips to suit customers' travelling styles

Quotient Travel Planner co-founders Javiny Lim (far left) and Lim Hui Juan developed a website that allows users to pick from a list of basic itineraries and add on activities, day tours and trip extensions. After making their payment, a booklet with
Quotient Travel Planner co-founders Javiny Lim (far left) and Lim Hui Juan developed a website that allows users to pick from a list of basic itineraries and add on activities, day tours and trip extensions. After making their payment, a booklet with their travel tickets and a guide book is sent to them.ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN

Going on a holiday arranged by a travel agency usually involves waking up early and being shepherded from one place to another.

But at Quotient Travel Planner, customers can put together a package to suit their travelling styles.

Co-founders Javiny Lim and Lim Hui Juan, both 37, have developed a website that makes holiday planning akin to making a salad.

Users can pick from a list of basic itineraries and add on activities, day tours and trip extensions. After they have paid, a booklet with their travel tickets and a guide book will be sent to them.

Prepackaged tours with fixed itineraries do not work for everyone, said Ms Lim Hui Juan. "There may be people who want to go to Italy, but museums may not be their thing. But (all the available packages might take) them to museums in every city."

The basic itineraries include the sequence of travel - for example, whether the customer should go to Rome first, then Venice or Florence - so that first-time travellers do not have to spend time doing their own research.

The company spent a six-figure sum developing the website - which was launched in 2012 - and other working tools, with partial funding from the Singapore Tourism Board.

The packages on the portal are "definitely not the cheapest", said the two co-founders. The prices do not include airfares and so customers have the flexibility to book their own flights. Popular itineraries include a six-day package to Hokkaido, which costs from $4,108 a person, and a seven-day package to Finland, which costs upwards of $3,856. These do not include the costs of flights.

"If you plan the trip yourself, you can definitely do it cheaper," said Ms Lim Hui Juan. "But we have all the experience, we don't take any risks, and there is an emergency hotline which customers can call if, say, they lose their passports or get robbed."

Melissa Lin

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 05, 2016, with the headline 'Tailored trips to suit customers' travelling styles'. Print Edition | Subscribe