Wandercast.TV is a new travel video website that lets you to “watch where you're going” before leaving home. We invited founder Alyson Flynn to introduce the site to FlipKey travelers who are planning trips!
For the past five years, I've planned a fantasy Parisian trip in my head. First, I'll rent a flat with a friendly chat and old world architecture. The apartment will be on the top floor and feature views of the city and a neighborhood vibe. It will be located on a street where I can pop over to a fresh market in the morning, sit in the café at noon, and stroll through vintage boutiques in the afternoon. I will sign up for cooking classes with a small specialty hotel around the corner and have a short fling with the chef. Within weeks, I see my waist shrink from an American size 10 to a French size four. Sigh—life is good.
The gap between what I visualize in my mind and how the vacation actually plays out could range wildly. A Paris trip experience could end up feeling like Carrie Bradshaw's Sex and the City, Chevy Chase's European Vacation, or Amelie. . . a lot closer to my dream. When it comes to travel planning, how can I get reality close to my fantasy?
Wandercast.TV aims to bridge the chasm between imagining a dream vacation and making it a reality. Wandercast.TV members share travel videos, experience and knowledge. Episodes are both amateur and professionally produced and range from 30 seconds to several minutes. All videos are geo-tagged on the world map and the content is carefully identified with keywords.
I first developed the concept behind Wandercast.TV in 2006 when browsing YouTube and podcasts on iTunes. Although those sites certainly have high volumes of travel videos, finding a video based on location was (and still is) difficult, and tags are often misleading. Searching for “Paris parks” on YouTube might garner one or two appropriate video results, with the remainder showing Paris Hilton parking her car in Bel Air. Wandercast.TV helps answer the question, “How can I find a video that gives me the experience of being in Paris?” Geo-tagging videos allows site users to visually move around the globe and zoom into a specific area, but also see the proximity of one video location to another.
To help keep travel planning and inspiration organized, Wandercast.TV members create suitcases. Currently, I have three suitcases I've named: Paris, Surfing Queensland, and Maine Christmas. When watching an inspirational travel video, I can save it to the appropriate suitcase. As the trip planning moves forward, the suitcase side column begins to fill with information about current special events, airfare, rentals and hotel rates, and coupons for that region. When it's time to book my flight, or rent the flat in Paris, the best rates are already advertised within my Paris suitcase. Eventually, Wandercast.TV will allow micro-advertising for small businesses to feature this week's events and specials.
Wandercast.TV helps customers and local businesses connect where their mutual interest lies, bridging the gap between the fantasy and reality. Few travelers start planning a trip by saying, “I want to stay at a Hyatt. Where are their locations?” On Wandercast.TV, Hyatt and small B&B's alike advertise only at the location of their establishment. Likewise, services like FlipKey are able to tag rental properties to a specific location—increasing the likelihood of booking while the viewer is “experiencing” the video.
Watching and uploading travel videos to Wandercast.TV is free. To save favorites in a suitcase does requires signing up. For exploration or planning a trip, Wandercast.TV is a great place to start your journey.
Wandercast.TV was founded in 2007 by Alyson Flynn, whose experience lies in graphic design, marketing, world travel and dreaming big. Although she experienced a few side trips along the way, Flynn followed Wandercast.TV until its launch in 2011. “Wandercast.TV lets you watch where you're going before leaving home—so dream trips become a reality,” says Flynn. Check out her own vacation video about a day in Ocean City, New Jersey, which inspired the creation of Wandercast.TV.