I want to go parasailing
I want to go to Punta Cana
I want to go to The Cove at Atlantis
I want to relax
We recently sent a text to a old friend of ours, Ranley, to ask a pretty odd question. Ranley’s a talented math tutor now and is working through the necessary certifications to become an actuary—of everyone we know, he’s probably the best at math.
Suppose there are 34 items on a menu. The minimum number of items you can choose is one. The maximum is seven. How many combinations of items can you choose?
Assuming order isn’t important, it would be the sum of picking out of 34 for 1-7. So it would be 7,055,731.
Wow…over seven million? This number seemed shockingly high to us.
Why did we ask such a strange question? Well, Tripfind has a “menu” of 34 items (or “attributes,” as we call them) in its Advanced Search, and allows you to choose up to seven per search. So there are 7,055,731 possible searches in Tripfind’s Advanced Search just based on the possible attribute combinations. The attributes are things that you would look for in a beach vacation—or more specifically, a beach resort. A seasoned travel agent helped us come up with the list.
Some attributes are activities, like Golf and Scuba Diving; others are more atmosphere-oriented, such as Relaxing/Quiet and Interactive/Social. Many have to do with quality—such as Beach Quality, Room Quality, Spa Quality, and On-Site Dining Quality. The Demographics category has three attribute options: Families, Couples, and Singles. A few attributes even assess the surrounding vicinity – such as Nearby Shops/Restaurants and Nightlife. And some are purely data-driven, such as Lower COVID-19 Risk; this temporary attribute is based on case and recovery data, updated weekly, in each of the locations that we rate beach resorts (at the island level in the Caribbean and at the state level in Mexico).
Let’s say you were looking for a quiet place for couples somewhere in the Caribbean or Mexico with world-class scuba diving, a top-rated golf course, and top-notch on-site restaurants. By checking off these five attributes (Relaxing/Quiet, Couples, Scuba Diving, Golf, On-Site Dining Quality) on Tripfind’s Advanced Search page and clicking “Apply,” you get search results that are strong in all five categories in just a few seconds.
Tripfind’s matching algorithm ranks resorts according to your preferences and assigns each result a Match Score. In this particular search, (which is, again, one of over seven million possible searches), there are four resorts with a Match Score of “A+”—and each is in a different location (Isla Mujeres, Puerto Morelos, Paradise Island, and Playa del Carmen). Going down the list, there are 13 resorts with an “A” Match Score, 23 with an A- Match Score, 45 with a B+ Match Score, and so on. The whole distribution of the ~500 resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico for this specific search looks like this:
As you scroll through the results, you see that there’s a healthy mix of locations. The 17 resorts in the A+/A range, for example, are spread across 10 different locations. To date, we cover 31 total locations in the Caribbean and Mexico, including virtually all of the major beach resort destinations in these two regions. As you can see in the distribution chart, the Match Score uses a 12-notch rating scale, from A++ to F.
If you saved that search (you can save searches and favorite resorts by creating a free Tripfind login) and went back and edited it a few days later by taking out Golf and Scuba Diving and adding Fishing, the distribution would now look like this:
Now you’d see an even healthier mix of locations. The 26 resorts in the A+/A range in this search are spread over 16 different locations. To see a chart like this for your search, click “Match Score” on any resort’s Resort Details page (you can access that page by clicking into a resort search result after you’ve checked off your attributes and submitted an Advanced Search).
The Match Score is the most unique thing about Tripfind—we allow you to search for resorts based on your interests. And we don’t ask you to select a destination before showing search results, as other sites do.
Overall Beach Resort Rating
The second unique metric on Tripfind is what we call the Overall Beach Resort Rating. It’s like a hotel’s standard 1-5 star rating (in that it’s an overall assessment of quality), but it’s specific to beach resorts. We took a look at our 34 attributes and asked ourselves:
Which are most important in determining the overall quality of a beach resort?
Which are applicable to virtually every resort in our database?
We came up with these five: Beach Quality, Room Quality, On-Site Dining Quality, Service Quality, and Pool Quality. The scores for these five attributes, along with the hotel’s standard star rating, are used to calculate a resort’s Overall Beach Resort Rating. To differentiate it from the Match Score, we use a different rating scale for the Overall Beach Resort Rating—with 16 notches, from Aaa to C. This scale is reflected in the chart below, which shows the distribution of beach resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico by Overall Beach Resort Rating.
Just 7% of the rated resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico attain a rating of Aaa, our top Overall Beach Resort Rating.
Why is the Overall Beach Resort Rating important? Imagine a five-star resort that’s first-class in every way—but it’s on a small, rocky, poor-quality beach. In terms of being fit for a beach vacation, is it really five-star? The purpose of the Overall Beach Resort Rating is to account for beach resort-specific factors like this. It also helps us calculate another metric on our site, called the TripValue.
The third unique metric on Tripfind is what we call the TripValue.
Relative value is one of the most important things to consider before making any investment. Wall Street traders have tools to perform relative value analysis when buying or selling stocks or bonds or other financial instruments; but we all do it, in some form or another, with every purchase we make. We all ask ourselves, Is this a good deal or not?
Our TripValue score helps to quantify relative value when it comes specifically to beach resorts. The TripValue compares a resort’s Overall Beach Resort Rating to its average room price (which we express as its Price-Implied Rating), telling you if its relatively underpriced (a positive TripValue), overpriced (a negative TripValue), or fairly priced (an Even TripValue) based on our assessment. For example, if Resort X has an Overall Beach Resort Rating of Aaa but is priced in line with Aa2-rated resorts (and therefore has a Price-Implied Rating of Aa2), its TripValue would be +2 (a positive number, indicating it’s a “good deal” on average), because Aaa is two notches above Aa2 on the Overall Beach Resort Rating scale. If Resort Y is rated Aa2 but is priced in line with Aaa-rated resorts, its TripValue would be -2. If Resort Z is rated Aa2 and also priced like a Aa2 resort, its TripValue would be Even.
The chart below shows the distribution of beach resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico by TripValue. As you would expect, there are just as many resorts below “Even” as there are above it.
We want to help you make better vacation decisions. Your vacation is an important investment—we know you only get so much time off each year. Our mission is to help you make the most of it.
As we grow our team and our business, we’ll continue to work hard to help you find the right vacation destination, and to save you time. We consider the quality, integrity, and candidness of our analysis to be our greatest assets; when it comes to ratings, we pride ourselves on our consistency and accuracy.
We’ve partnered with the Priceline Partner Network, which gives us access to best-in-class hotel room inventory and pricing from the top names in the industry—including Priceline, Booking.com, and Agoda. All hotel bookings made on Tripfind are via the Priceline Partner Network booking engine. While Tripfind is a new name in the travel space, this partnership will help our users book vacations with confidence.
While we’re starting with beach resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico only, we plan to expand to beach resorts in other parts of the world, and then to other vacation types entirely.
We hope this post was a helpful introduction to Tripfind, and we hope our site helps enhance and simplify the vacation research and booking process for you.
With our launch today, our journey is underway. As we all come out of COVID lockdowns and start traveling again, we hope to help get yours underway as well.
-The Tripfind Team