After an inspiring but at times complicated adventure in Latin America, the founders of a Kansas City startup are aiming to ease the burdens of traveling to exotic locales.
During a Central- and South-American tour of more than 5,500 miles, Nomad App co-founder Juan Campos said his team realized there are common logistical challenges for travelers abroad. Language barriers, sporadic internet access and finding bus or train routes prompted the group to tackle the obstacles by creating Nomad App, which helps travelers more efficiently plan a trip.
Nomad App centralizes booking and travel information into one place, enabling travelers to spend more of their time exploring a destination rather than planning to see it, Campos said.
“We’re really scratching our own itch with this,” Campos said. “We fell in love with traveling but had a ton of pain points while traveling through Latin America because inconsistent internet access made it really hard to plan a trip. You take it for granted when you have internet. You check between seven and 30 websites to plan one trip and it takes hours to do it.”
The company recently partnered with Kansas City-based Pinsight Media+ to develop their app, which will be available in three months. Once available, the app will allow users to select travel interests, set a budget, book flights and plan with friends. The app — which also will feature city-specific travel options such as bus or train routes — will then produce an itinerary for quick reference.
Campos said the app will be particularly well-suited for travelers interested in visiting developing nations.
“Sites like Expedia and Priceline will get you to developing nations, but they’re not good at helping you move around the country,” he said. “Our solution brings in different modes of transportation like trains, busses, ferries and air travel, and takes into account your preferences because you aren’t familiar with the place you’re going to. You’re able to really quickly find a perfect destination based on your budget and preferences.”
Nomad App co-founder Luisa Salcedo Vásquez said that ultimately Nomad App wants to help people learn more about the world around them. Vásquez’s passion for traveling and learning, she said, is what helps motivate her and the company’s other co-founder, Eva Reder.
“When you go outside into the world you start to see something that’s completely different,” said Vásquez, who’s Campos’ cousin. “How people eat, how they think and how they lead their daily lives are all totally different around the world. And when you decide to go outside and travel, there’s that powerful knowledge that you can’t learn from books or videos. We want to help share that knowledge and give it to other people — that’s what we’re passionate about.”