Finalist Q&A: Pandora Trips

Pandora Trips helps people make the most of their vacations by designing for them custom vacation itineraries. The customer fills out an online form indicating travel dates and a series of answers about his or her travel interests, goals, etc. Pandora Trips conducts research in order to find and pass along activities/venues that best match our customers' interests.

How did you come up with the idea for your business, and what, or who, is your main source of motivation?
I love to travel and have been planning and researching trips for my family and friends for a while. After leaving my job in the corporate world, while I sincerely did not enjoy, I thought it might be time to start making a living doing something I am passionate about.

What is a unique feature of your business?
At first glance, the company looks like a travel agency - a business that plans people's travel. The company isn't a travel agency, however. I have no contracts with hotels or airlines. The travel plan that I create for people is based entirely on the places and activities I think would suit my client (not on the providers I have contracts with).

What are your thoughts on the connection between small business and the local community?
Small businesses are the soul of America, I believe. Whereas in a large corporation the individual can feel insignificant and undervalued, having a small business allows people to express their inherent creativity, motivation and individuality.

In this case, my small business idea is to connect people not to their local community but to someone else's local community. By planning a trip where the traveler stays at small hotels and visits the lesser known establishments, I connect the traveler to the local community they visit. Hopefully it also supports the small businesses of that local community.

Why should the Idea Cafe regulars vote for you?
Idea Cafe regulars should vote for me first and foremost if they think that my business idea is a good one! As for the person behind the idea, I am smart, dedicated, compassionate and resourceful, so hopefully those things bode well for my business too.


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