ecotto123 8 days ago

Hello, My name is Edgar, I’m the founder of Hoku. I launched Hoku about 11 months ago as the best platform to plan vacations with friends. Well during this time life happened and I stopped working on this product for a few months but we listened to all the feedback we got from our first launch. Some of the feedback was group chats, having more information on activities and creating your own personal activities.

We spent the last few months working on those features as well as making performance improvements to make the experience enjoyable. We have a ton more features coming soon so stay tuned and we appreciate all the feedback you have.

jbombadil 8 days ago

Hi Edgar!. One question/feedback that you hopefully take in the positive light it is intended: what is the differentiating factor of this app? How is this different (today) to a shared Calendar? I do see the beautiful UI, but to gain just that I have to overcome the hurdle of not just installing the app and signing up, but also convincing every member of my party to do the same. Whereas a GCal or something like that is something that most likely everyone already has. I'm the type of person who if I'm adding a new app on my phone (and worse signing up!), there's gotta be a good reason behind it.

I love the potential here. I can see adding some unique features, like keeping track of flights / hotels / rentals... adding a splitwise-like "share expenses", etc. I'd like to know what is your vision/priorities for this in the future.

  • scrumbledober 8 days ago

    I don't know what the actual website is, but the Dungeon Master for my DnD group sent out a link to a collaborative calendaring website and all we needed was the link, and we just put our names in and marked out our availability. This really only worked because we didn't have to sign in or create accounts, just have the link. There are probably other low-impact ways to handle the authentication, I would probably just use a sign in with google page.

    • ecotto123 8 days ago

      We currently have sign-in with google and apple but thanks for the suggestion of sending a link without a sign-in requirement. I do see how some people would like that better than downloading the app.

  • ecotto123 8 days ago

    I truly appreciate your response because this is the type of feedback and questions I'm looking for. If you take out the UI the main difference is group messaging which is a new feature but as I'm typing this I realized I haven't added this to the website.

    My vision is that this will be the app everyone uses to travel with friends. Some of the things in the near term I'm looking to add is travel booking (hotels, flights, cars), AI where you type the location and the type of things you want to do to create a customized vacation, and voting on vacations before they are planned for example to see if my friends are more interested in one location compared to another. Also a share expenses feature is also in the future

cheriot 8 days ago

This might be worth marketing to independent tour operators. I've noticed some travel bloggers started leading tour groups.

Planning tools are tough because people plan in different ways. And by the time I'm organizing a group trip I'm unlikely to remember this tool.

Good luck!

newaccount74 8 days ago

I go on group trips with my family every year, and I really don't see how this app would help at all.

It won't help in the planning stage, when we don't know the details of the trip yet. There is no way to collect ideas, except in the chat, I suppose, but then I can just use iMessage which probably works a lot better.

There is also no way to share documents and info (eg. booking codes for flights and hotels, contact phone numbers, driving directions, or check-in times).

A group chat or a shared note from the notes app would work much better for trip planning than this app.

reducesuffering 8 days ago

My friends' group trips involve a good amount of voting for: 1. Where 2. How long 3. When 4. Which Airbnb. That would be a great feature to include. Right now it's Discord polls

jschveibinz 7 days ago

Here is an idea to consider: what if some of the “friends” were actually “gig providers” that could offer their services at your destination, such as a special tour, a dining experience, a history lesson, a security provider, a translator, etc. by “inserting” them into a potential spot in the itinerary?

Just a suggestion that I’m throwing out there. That could make this a bit more sticky and possibly less work for the travelers.

Good luck.

ohashi 8 days ago

As someone who has organized many friend trips across the world over the last decade, I don't see the appeal.

Maybe it's the style of travel that doesn't fit? The trip is often as simple as, let's go to <place> and maybe there is <activity> we want to collectively do. But planning each day and filling it with activities sounds like an absolute nightmare to me. That just seems like work. Am I strange or is this how most people plan their group trips?

legitster 8 days ago

I can't speak for everyone, but planning group itineraries is easy. Finding dates and locations that work for everyone and are affordable is the pain in the butt.

If me and my friends and all of our kids can get to the same city at the same time and have some money left over, actually spending our time together is not that hard.

  • enos_feedler 8 days ago

    Thats why I just travel alone. I would love a good tool just for organizing that. Don’t even need to worry about solving for compatible dates and locations

satvikpendem 8 days ago

The worst part of group travel isn't the planning, it's actually getting people to come with you. That's why I usually travel solo these days. sums it up.

  • ecotto123 8 days ago

    hahaha I agree this is also part of the problem