Class Projects - Spring 2014

The Weekender

The Weekender builds custom itineraries for travelers in any city.

The Weekender is a proof-of-concept project that builds custom itineraries for travelers in any city.
What it does

The Weekender aims to make planning a vacation to a new city easier. Newspapers and other media frequently provide a curated list of things to do and places to eat and drink during a short break to towns around the world. Weekender seeks to provide a similar experience for any city, and tailored to the actual traveller.

The Weekender’s recommendation engine creates unique itineraries based on a series of questions answered by the user. Users to choose a destination, answer a few questions, and then get a list of attractions, followed by meal suggestions for them to choose from. If the user doesn’t like a specific suggestion, they click the “x” in the top right-hand corner of the suggestion box and a new one appears.

How it works

The recommendation engine at the heart of The Weekender site combines a series of publically available API sources and scrapers to create a rich database of information. The information in the database is tagged so that when a user answers a question on where they want to go, the recommendation engine provides relevant options. Users are first served attraction suggestions and after they have confirmed what attractions they want to see, the recommendation engine provides restaurants and bars that take into consideration the location of the attractions, meaning that the user wouldn’t be bouncing back and forth across the city during the day, but rather would get a logical, linear itinerary to follow for their trip.

On the suggestion pages, the attractions and restaurants are shown on a map, so users can see distances between places.

Next Steps
  • Better mobile compatibility.
  • Provide the ability to manage old itineraries and allow users to make changes to their trips based on social feedback.
  • Include time-specific live events, such as festivals or sporting events that people might want to visit a city for and build a trip around.
  • Include event duration into suggestions – e.g. visiting the Bronx Zoo would probably take more time out of a day than visiting the Empire State Building.
  • Add the ability to book hotels and reserve tables at restaurants right from the site.


 Student team: Collin Barnwell, Sean Gransee, Mike Murphy, Purav Shah

Faculty guidance: Larry Birnbaum and Rich Gordon