Online travel planners research. Part 6. Timescenery

Table of Contents

Part 1. Inspirock + its official response with my comments
Part 2.
Part 3.
Fancy apps: Sygic Travel, Blink (Tinder for Sightseeing), Google Trips (then: Google Travel)
Part 4.
Underdogs of online travel planning: Roadtrippers, Tripplannera, TripFactory
Part 5.
Utrip: the two-headed monster
Part 6. Timescenery
Part 7.
Overall conclusion

At the end of Part 1, I asked to suggest a promising service not initially included in the research. Timescenery was suggested and I decided to include it.

Founded: 2015
Social following: 2K on Facebook

6.1. TL;DR

  • You have to choose where do you want to go first. The main page doesn’t suggest destinations in general but features a Marketplace of Trips, i.e. random specialized trips created by the company and its experts (gastro tour to Portugal, tour to Twin Peaks locations in the USA, auto museums tour in Germany, etc.) However, there is a specific page to explore destinations,
  • Creating your own trip is not the most featured option of Timescenery. When you choose the destination the planner suggests you ready-to-use itineraries and only below you can find “Create Your Trip” option,
  • When you choose “Create Your Trip” no suggestions are given at that point (see June 15 and 16 at the screenshot below). You should open day after day to create itineraries for them,
  • To get suggestions you should adjust the map and select the area you are interested in. Does it mean that I should make the research first and get to know where attractions are located? Or should I select all the city not to lose anything interesting?
    I didn’t get this from the first time and was suggested to visit some places near a suggested hotel,
After creating a route the planner suggests its location. Sometimes with mistakes.
  • The suggestions are category-based rather than location-based. It is really strange because I have never seen a tourist that would be interested in the only category of attractions. But the very task of itinerary planning and sequencing suggests that getting from one place to another should be optimal,
  • For every planned day the map is centered at the suggested stay. I had planned a previous day in the city center, click to plan another day and then have to move the map back to the city center. Over and over again,
  • The number of categories is just 6. Compare to 12 of Utrip or 9 of Inspirock. Does the fact that the minimal number of days to stay should be not less than the number of categories interesting to me? Sounds ridiculous,
That is what you get after clicking at the area of an empty day
  • “Gourmet” category is particularly questionable. The planner suggests lunches and dinners anyway. That’s good. But what does choosing this category for the day mean? That I should visit places to eat out 11 (eleven!) times a day (3 of which are outlets of one chain)? That is even weirder than the previous fact. In my opinion, Gourmet is about quality rather quantity. Unless it is your job to check cafes and restaurants. But even in this case, I have strong doubts you will actually eat or drink even at half of them.
    I think this example is extra proof that category-based suggestions are worse than location-based one.
  • The service uses Google Maps and seems to know about my life there. 2 of the suggestions were starred by me. When I created the route not logged into Google these places weren’t suggested. I could say Timescenery coped with the task to prioritize my preferences better than Google trips (that was supposed to). That is where they get 1 point for “Real use of preferences “.
  • But generally, the suggestions were bad, worse than at any other planner. There is not so much variety in categories and creating a list of suggestions for 1 narrow preference is not a difficult task. But anyway, I chose museums and central Saint Petersburg and neither The Hermitage Museum nor The Russian Museum were suggested, let alone other most popular museums in the city. This time the service suggested hidden gems of the city to me (that Inspirock failed to). But I didn’t ask to. And I am dubious whether they are real gems given the overall quality of suggestions.
  • Are automatic suggestions bad because the service intends to promote man-made itineraries first? Suggestions in that plans were better. But routing wasn’t perfect (although it could had been tuned manually),
  • For every transfer (from one place to another one) different modes of transportation are suggested. In the Edit mode, you can easily substitute one for another. That is convenient. The routing is better than at most other services. But some bugs can still be found.

After changing modes 2 times (from pedestrian to driving and back) 50 minutes became 5 minutes.

  • The service features days instead of nights in duration. It seems reasonable first as it is mostly dedicated to daily activities rather than night stays. But it is really confusing to open a ready-to-go “3 days” trip and discover that Day 1 consist of 1–2 activities in the night, Day 3–1–2 activities in the morning. And thus the planned time makes less than even 48 hours. You can find a trip called “Weekend in …” and this very word could better describe the duration of the trip described above. But “Weekend in Saint Petersburg” started with checking in a hotel at 2 pm and lasted longer than that initial trip. Is confusion unavoidable?
  • The planner didn’t filter out suggestions that are not in default language. You may say: if the place is generally good and known only to locals why not to suggest it? I’d say that if you can’t interpret what is written about it by default you should not suggest it. And if you interpret you should provide the interpretation.

Are first 2 places the same or not?

  • This route was also noticeable by the strange time sequence.

Conclusion on Timescenery. It seems I didn’t get the service properly. I suspect most user would neither.



Founder&ex-CEO of a local B2B marketplace in a ready-mix concrete industry seeking the professional transition.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Pavel Nosikov

Founder&ex-CEO of a local B2B marketplace in a ready-mix concrete industry seeking the professional transition.