Utrip’s “Featured Trip” in Rome.

Let the experts handle it.

That’s the pitch from Utrip, a Seattle-based travel company that today unveiled a feature called “Featured Trips” that allows experts in various fields around the world to plan your next vacation.

Utrip, a company we spotlighted last summer, already has a unique trip-planning process. The website offers 13 different categories to rate on how important each is to you — things like budget, shopping, culture, sports, nature, etc. — which helps cater a travel schedule to your liking.

Parterning with tour companies and other content providers, Utrip now has 15 expert-designed itineraries to choose from. The travel plans focus on a specific aspect of a given travel destination that someone may be interested in, whether it be food, museums or general sightseeing.

The Utrip team

For example, the Rome culinary “Featured Trip” takes travelers to the best Italian restaurants, local markets, and cooking classes to sample the freshest pasta to be found in the city. Furthermore, users can make additional tweaks based on other interests and budget limitations.

“We often look at the top ranked tours in each city and interview the creators to understanding their passions and interests,” Utrip marketing chief Lynn Chou said. “They help curate our data as well as create featured trips.”

Currently there are 12 European destinations to choose from, as well as several inside Italy and Spain. Chou said that the company is rolling out more destinations but decided to focus on Italy and Spain because they were two of the “most popular travel destinations.”

Utrip was founded in April 2011 by University of Washington grads Gilad BerensteinEdan Shahar and Yair Berenstein. The company of nine full-time employees has raised $400,000 in total seed investment and are looking at a formal series A this summer.

Previously on GeekWire: Turn your travel photos into a movie with Expedia’s ‘Find Yours’ app

Comments

  • Joe d’Coder

    Interesting service but they seem to be pretty narrowly focused on Europe – maybe they should change their name to EuTrip. No profile for me to fill in. Also, there seems to be no real social media element or, to use an old term, crowd sourcing. Basically, it’s just a bunch of canned trips. Seems like a web 1.0 editorial product.

    Basically, this is a feature that something like TripAdvisor should have. Maybe that’s their exit strategy but as such it looks labor intensive – 15 trips (I counted 18 on their site) built by 8 people. How do they get to 1500 trips? Doesn’t seem scalable.

    Still, there is a lot of potential here if they could just wake up to member contributions.

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