MIT’s Tours site simplifies the planning of multiple cities

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MIT's Tours site simplifies the planning of multiple cities

With the help of machine learning, data visualization and digital maps, the search engine helps users save time and money when planning trips with multiple stops.

5 tips for safety while traveling
Gone are the days when we have to fight for connectivity while on the road or even in the air. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

A team of engineers from the Senseable City Lab of MIT in Singapore recently launched Tours, a digital travel planning tool that allows users to make affordable multi-stop trips.

The platform functions as a search engine, allowing users to coordinate a trip using 25 filters, including weather, visa requirements, things to do, safety levels and prices, according to a press release.

“The purpose of the tool is to help travelers discover, plan and book cheap world hops in just a few clicks,” said Mohit Shah, project leader at Tours.

SEE: How to stay cyber secure while traveling for business: 6 tips (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

When users switch to other search engines via Google Flights or major airlines, the default setting is usually on single flights. Tours is optimized for simple multi-stop travel planning, in which users can adjust a tour using a drag & drop interface. With this interface, users can change the order of cities or the number of days in each city, Shah said.

“Our original search engine inspired users with a few destination trips, allowing them to save money on short trips,” Shah said. “We wanted to create something for people to help them plan their long vacations where they travel to multiple places.”

Shah outlined the following steps for the specific use of the site:

  • Choose your departure date and airport.
  • Choose the continent, region or country that you want to explore.
  • Tell Tours how many places you want to visit during your adventure.
  • Click on “search” and within a few seconds Tours will show you the cheapest flight routes that you can adjust.
  • Click on “book” to book all your airline tickets in one go.

Image: MIT

Image: MIT

Technology behind the tool

To make optimal travel plans, the tool uses data visualization, digital maps, and machine learning to generate routes that contain both the top destinations and the lowest prices, Shah said.

“For example, there are more than 100 million ways to travel to Europe in four cities, it is not humanly possible to examine them all,” Shah said. “We evaluate destinations based on various factors such as popularity, connectivity, variety, and user preferences, such as weather conditions, safety levels, things to do, etc. We then find the cheapest flight route to connect the destinations with. your origin. ”

All flights can be booked on one ticket by comparing the rates of different agents offered by Kayak and Kiwi.com, Shah adds.

“The tool is great for anyone looking for an inexpensive way to explore the best places in a country, region or continent,” Shah said. “We think it’s most useful for digital nomads, retirees or backpackers who just want to travel from one city to another without breaking the bank.”

Tours can also be useful for working professionals who often travel for work, especially if they have to visit multiple sites in one trip. Because employees use digital support more and more when planning trips, they think Tours could be a useful solution.

The site is accessible via desktop or mobile device.

For more information, travel for the holidays? Avoid these 5 technical errors on TechRepublic.

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