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The Website Encouraging Wanderlust

SmarterTravel

So, you have a few extra vacation days and the desire to go somewhere, but don’t know where to go? Fareness.com will figure out the cheapest and most compatible trip for you, depending on your budget, days of travel, and interests. Sounds pretty ideal to me. The Silicon Valley startup, founded by entrepreneur Scott Wainner, focuses on the spontaneity in travel and aims to simplify searches of budget travel. We caught up with the CEO and founder to see what’s next for the site.

Although the site has comparable features to other booking sites like Google Flights, Kayak, and Skyscanner, Wainner stresses that these sites assume a traveler knows where they want to go. Say I wanted to go to a beach destination at some point in September—Fareness tells me I could go to Ft. Lauderdale on the 1st for 5 days at $117 or San Diego on September 10th for $248 (both from Boston). What about Europe in December? Fareness found a $601 flight to Barcelona on the 1st for $601 or Dublin on Christmas for $620 (both from Boston). Kayak still requires hundreds of manual searches to determine the lowest fare by date, and Google Flights does have some exploration features, but they only allow searches for the next 30 days versus Fareness’s 190 days with multiple trip length options. Skyscanner does let you search “Everywhere” and has an adjusted date range but you can still only search one destination at a time.

RELATED: 10 Indispensable Apps for Last-Minute Travel

While the site caters to more spontaneous travel, there is a hotel and flight search for a specific destination, which yields results on a calendar to show the cheapest options for a certain date range. With no direct booking capabilities yet, the site does have some downfalls. Flight time specific searches and non-stop flight searches are not available and users have to book flights via CheapOair or Priceline. However, Wainner plans to add all of these elements in the near future, including specific airline searches.

I think the site has potential and has incorporated features from dozens of search engines and made a single platform for the flexible traveler. For example, I did a search for an upcoming trip to see a friend in Nashville from Boston. I have no exact date I would like to go, just a weekend in the fall at the cheapest price. In many ways this is how many millennials are traveling and the site caters to their travel styles. After trying out a few other sites, I feel Fareness was the easiest in determining the exact days I should travel, especially with the slider feature on the calendar. This way I could easily see if flying Thursday-Saturday was less expensive than Friday-Monday.

Related: Find the Cheapest Possible Flight with Fare Alerts

And the site doesn’t just do flights, it does hotels as well (also via Priceline). You can combine these searches or book individually. The hotel feature is a little more specific than the flights option i.e. you can search by rating, price and read reviews by other travelers.

While the site is limited by the databases of Priceline and CheapOair, Wainner swears by these providers through his personal travel experiences, and will continue to add booking and hotel inventory partners. Other exciting features in the future include an app, flight selection and booking, improved hotel inventory, and expansion of its destination categories.

All prices are subject to change.

(Photos: Fareness.com)

Ashley Rossi is always ready for her next trip. Follow her on Twitter @ashley_stravel for more advice about travel hacks and destination ideas.

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