🚀 Mindtrip

This AI travel concierge could disrupt the entire travel space

Welcome to Wavy, a series where I pick an emerging brand and offer unique product, marketing, and content ideas for how I’d turn them into a household name.

Today’s post is about Mindtrip…a company that could completely disrupt the travel space. If you like traveling, you’re gonna love this one.


🤯 | Business: My case for why Mindtrip could become a $1B+ travel company

🔨 | Product: Killer features they should build

🎯 | Content: Viral content they should make to become a household name

What is Mindtrip?

Mindtrip is incredibly early (they’re in beta).

Today, their product is primarily an AI-driven travel concierge tool.

The core product experience is that a user specifies where they want to travel (Tokyo), as well as general travel styles (high end, outdoor adventures, etc.), length of trip, must-sees (Shinjuku, Ginza luxury stores), and anything else that helps define their ideal travel experience.

Mindtrip then begins generating a full itinerary automatically using AI.

They source locations (airports, restaurants, hikes, etc.), plot them on a map, and even build a drag and drop calendar view to show the sequencing for the trip. It’s pretty wild.

The AI engine then becomes a smart chat, where users can prompt with additional asks and fine tune the itinerary.

Maybe a user found a secret speakeasy on Tiktok and wants Mindtrip to include it. Simply ask and the chat will update the itinerary to include it.

The UI/UX has the feel of an Airbnb secret project.

And even though it’s early, nailing just this “AI travel concierge” functionality would be a huge value add.

But this alone is not super interesting to me as a “cult brand.”

Here’s where it gets interesting for me…

I can see a world where Mindtrip becomes the hub for all travel planning…combining the functionality of an Explore (Pinterest for travel) + Reviews (Yelp) + Social Network (Instagram) + Booking (Expedia) + Concierge (AI Travel Agent) all in one.

That’s a big a** TAM (total addressable market).

But before I go on…

If you’re a brand builder or business nerd and these are the kind of things you like to think about, you should subscribe to Blueprint (it’s free).

My breakdowns are either company-specific (like this one) or a weekly post-mortem of my creator learnings. Either way you’re gonna love it and there’s nothing else like it on the internet.

Okay back to the show…the huge TAM.

Let’s zoom all the way out for a second.

If you travel frequently, you’ll know that the process of dialing in your trip itineraries takes weeks…especially if you’re going somewhere super foreign.

You’re watching YouTube videos, searching TikToks, reading travel blogs, asking friends.

You then have to aggregate everything you find into one place, add a layer of filtering based on reviews and try to sequence the trip manually.

Some people make spreadsheets, some people have shared notes.

Inevitably, you either miss places you didn’t know about or have gaps because of unexpected complications when you get boots on the ground.

You’re struggling to navigate reservations, using multiple booking sites to find the best options, and stuck trusting Yelp/Google reviews from people you know nothing about.

The whole process might be “fun” (for type As), but is extremely anxiety inducing for most.

So the vision for Mindtrip to create a single place that aggregates all relevant information and builds a clean itinerary makes a lot of sense.

But if it stopped there…and all it became was the “itinerary planner,” then it’s not actually that helpful.

Because you’d still need to analyze all of those different inputs to find where to go (YouTube, Tiktok, blogs, Google search, etc.) as well as book all the places using traditional means.

But what if…

Mindtrip was the best place to discover where to go in the first place?

It was full of thousands of travelers (influencers that you already trust and follow on IG) and friends (that you know have similar taste).

And all of those travelers shared their full trip itineraries with super detailed reviews in one place.

You could then combine the input from these travelers with the utility of the AI concierge to build your full itinerary in the platform.

And then once you narrowed down exactly where you wanted to stay, eat, play, and explore, you could book everything (for the cheapest possible price) directly in the same platform.

That’s the vision for Mindtrip.

And as someone that loves to travel…thinking through the usefulness of something like this gets me super excited.


If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking the same thing…

“Yo Kallaway…all that sounds great, but how are you going to convince travelers to spend time creating their detailed trip itineraries on this new platform in the first place? Isn’t this a bit of a chicken and egg problem? It’s not useful until there are itineraries already on the platform and if people have already gone on their trip, why would they add extra work for themselves?”

And right you are…but this is where their killer feature comes in.

Before I reveal it, I will say…people share their travel itineraries freely all the time.

Travel is one of those things that people love to openly talk about and share recommendations, so even without this killer feature, I think you’d have sharing and posting happen organically, albeit slowly.

But how do you supercharge it?

Mindtrip is about to launch their “Creator Program,” which will pay travel creators to share their travel itineraries.

Let me say that again for the people in row 42 with their noise cancelers still on.

You go to Greece, you publish your itinerary on Mindtrip, other people on the platform see where you went and book some of the same restaurants/hotels based on your recommendations…you get paid.

And here’s how they’re doing it.

As the Mindtrip social network grows, and more and more travelers are using it for discovery, Mindtrip will have more leverage to go directly to hotels/airlines/restaurants/bars for bookings.

Just like every travel bookings business, Mindtrip will earn an affiliate fee from these establishments when anyone books through their platform.

They will then split that affiliate revenue with the travel creators that originally recommended the booking in the first place.

The numbers work because while booking.com has to pay a small fortune to Google to get the click for the booking in the first place, Mindtrip will pay nothing because the clicks will be organically driven from the itinerary recommendations.

It’s paid ad arbitrage (Booking) vs creator-led, organic content (Mindtrip).

So if you’re a business nerd like me, you’re realizing this is a super powerful viral loop.

Travel creators go on trips → they post their itinerary into Mindtrip → this seeds the Explore page with more things to look at → new users look up travel recs from people they follow on Mindtrip → they book the best ones → travel creator gets paid → and on and on

It’s a chef’s kiss from me honestly…I think Mindtrip could be huge if it executes well.

But do you hear that in the distance…

It’s me putting my hater hat on, trying to poke holes.

What would have to go wrong for Mindtrip not to work?

  1. The trip itinerary creation process is so complex and time consuming that the creator payment is not enough to compel travel creators to make them (there are ways around this…like paid curated creation from travel planners to seed content, but you won’t build a hugely valuable network if travelers aren’t posting)

  2. Mindtrip gets blocked from booking integrations, they can’t capture affiliate revenue, and therefore cannot pay travel creators (I don’t see this completely going to zero. At worst, Mindtrip would become an “affiliate” of booking.com or kayak.com and still earn that fee. There’s enough of those players that they won’t be blocked by all of them simultaneously until the CEOs from those businesses all read this post)

  3. The trip itinerary creation process isn’t materially better than the current solution so the average user doesn’t like using it

In the next section, I’ll list a few product features I’d like to see them build to help solve some of these gaps.

What other product features should Mindtrip build?

A lot of the things I mentioned above are pretty important pieces to making that flywheel spin.

Here are a few other things I’d consider building:

  1. 🎯 | Reviews - When’s the last time you bought a product and didn’t read the reviews? Almost never. With travel and hotel/restaurants, reviews are even more important…a critical part of the decision. If Mindtrip can figure out a way to become the most data rich travel review site on the internet, they will win. The key is tying the review (the what) to the type of person that said it (the who). Yelp reviews are only marginally helpful because you don’t know if you have the same taste as the person that wrote it. If Mindtrip is able to build a social network for travel, all of a sudden the reviews hold much more weight. This is less of a “product to build” and more of an incentive loop to engineer. How do you incentivize users to write deeply thoughtful reviews? Perhaps tiering the creator rewards to review detail

  2. 🧐 | Lenses - To build upon the point above, travel recommendations hold different weight depending on who is giving them. The ideal use case for me is to find 5-10 people with vibes I like and see where they went in a given city. The “lens” of the recommendation, whether foodie-focused, cocktail heavy, hole-in-the wall dominant, adventure-focused, etc. matters a lot. For Mindtrip, figuring out a way to tag users and therefore filter the itinerary recommendations by vibe/lens would make it extremely valuable as a travel resource

  3. 📣 | Local recs - When I travel, I enjoy going to the famous places just as much as the hole-in-the-wall spots that only the locals know about. These become very hard to find unless you have access to local recommendations. How can Mindtrip solve this at scale? It’s possible that these will be teased out by the collective eagle eye that comes from thousands of reviews on the platform, but maybe there’s a better way to bring these to the forefront of the product. Marketing against having the “hole-in-the-wall” list would be interesting

  4. 🏆 | Best of Trip - At scale, when there are 10,000 trip itineraries from Greece, it’s going to be difficult to wade through them to find “the best of the best.” When my friends share their trip itineraries, there are usually between 12-15 restaurants over a 5 day trip. I want to know what is their #1 spot. In other words, if you had to go back to this city for 24 hours, you’re going here. If Mindtrip can then aggregate the “Best of Trip” recs into the power list for “x” city, it will be super valuable

  5. 🔗 | Link Pasting - I know the team is already working on this, but being able to easily paste in a link from IG/Tiktok and parse out the information to quick add it to an existing itinerary is a must to help bridge people into using Mindtrip. Excited to this come to life to make it even easier to create trip itineraries

  6. 👋 | Spotify Wrapped style Visual Share - Most marketers know about Spotify Wrapped and how it became such a powerful growth tool for the company. Similarly, I’d love to see Mindtrip build some sort of clean visual “trip share” functionality that people actually love posting to IG stories. This would be another organic viral content loop

If I were running content for Mindtrip, how would I blow it up?

This one is a fairly simple content playbook because travel is one of the most inherently viral categories.

First, I would incentivize as many travel creators as possible to create organic content about Mindtrip.

This shouldn’t be hard, since creators are getting paid when people use their recommendations.

It’s possible the “pay for bookings” loop is so compelling that travel creators organically become little marketing machines on Mindtrip’s behalf, just to juice their travel earnings.

If this isn’t the case, I think the classic short-form influencer sponsorship strategy would work well here.

In this case, I wouldn’t target super large influencers, as those brand deals are usually not worth the ROI.

I’d focus on travel creators that have between 25,000 - 250,000 followers (mostly on IG and Tiktok) and would reach out to them with a pitch of, “Hey, we have this tool that pays travel creators to share their trip itineraries” with a quick 2 minute demo video testimonial of a travel creator they recognize talking about it.

Again, it’s possible that this creator pay offer is so good you don’t actually need to pay them.

If you do need to pay them, paying 50-100 to do it initially should get the flywheel rolling.

Also, the Mindtrip Creator Program waitlist is probably at several thousand eager people. You could start by emailing people just on that list.

The second content strategy would then be using the Spotify Wrapped style feature to create the viral loop for non-influencer users.

Once the platform is multi-player (again the team is already working on this), organic use will have a viral factor of its own, as the person who knows about Mindtrip and invites friends to co-plan on it will organically educate others about it.

The third thing I would do is create an “earn for access” model on the Creator Program.

If you immediately let everyone monetize their trip itineraries (as a Mindtrip creator), it will flood the platform with lower quality submissions.

Instead, make it invite or earn.

You invite the first few hundred people based on being existing influencers and then give any random user the chance to earn their way into Creator status either through friend invites to the platform or by sharing “X” number of reviews.

Again, this creates a nice growth loop. People will want to become Creator status so they can start monetizing their trips. To earn that status they’ll invite 5 friends, and the wheel spins.

As long as the product is significantly better than the existing experience, this content playbook should create a nice fire for free user acquisition.

We can revisit what to do from here after you have 10M MAUs.


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