– How they’re flipping the travel industry around

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
Sep 07, 2011 / 0 comments

I recently was approached by Heddi, self confessed ‘Big Cheese’ founder of, a social travel gift registry.  The pitch was really interesting as they’ve not created yet another travel site or a better recommendation tool but have decided to dig into what frustrates us in travel, and fix it. This is a big step for a start up, competing against giants in travel yet after reading more about them, I think they’re onto something with their guarantee to make travel more time and cost effective.


And Heddi's an invaluable font of travel information - check back for her columns as our Social Butterfly Travel Editor! 


Here’s the interview with Heddi:

WE: Tell us about myTab and why you’re so unique...

myTab: What we did was tap into the core of the frustration with travelers, which is scrambling around for the best price and spending ages doing this. Do you know, on average, 52% of users spend 3 days looking for the best price? Did you also know that all travel sites have the same prices (excluding deals)? So if everyone has the same price, why are we chasing our tail? With this in mind, we created the first ever social travel gift registry.  Friends and family can gift each other travel cash towards a trip. They can set a trip with Facebook friends, save more travel cash and book their trip on myTab. They simply redeem the gifted/saved cash towards the trip. With myTab, the full experience is smoother and the user’s not focusing on the price. Is the same thinking as if we were given a gift card. The product is more important now, not the amount. And because we integrate with Facebook, users can shout out to their own Wall asking to be gifted, gifters can write congratulations messages on the user’s Wall and when the user’s booked their trip, they can post a thank you on their Wall. Social interaction is key.

WE:  Who would use myTab and ask for travel gifting though? Isn’t it a bit ‘brave’ to say ‘hey, can you put it on myTab and gift me travel cash?’

myTab: Absolutely not – just think of it this way. You have a wedding gift registry and you ask for gifts, on your birthday it’s ok to ask for something specific, fundraisers have no fear in asking for cash and students are always scrambling to budget pretty much everything (especially study abroad travels & graduation gifts). These are the main reasons why someone would ask for travel cash on myTab. Hey, also remember that by asking for myTab cash helps friends & family, who may not have a clue what to buy as a gift. Everyone’s a winner.

WE: Ah, that makes sense. So does myTab only work if everyone’s a registered user?

myTab: Nope, the ways to gift are really simple. If we’re Facebook friends, I can gift you travel cash on myTab and when you sign up to myTab, the cash is waiting for you. The cash amount and your Facebook ID link together.  Now if we’re not Facebook friends and you have set up a vanity, then I can gift you also. I don’t even need to sign in or up with myTab to gift you through your username. Vanity usernames are great for wedding gift registries, school fundraisers or actually any kind of group fundraiser.

WE:  How about Facebook privacy though? I’m not sure everyone likes sharing their Facebook friends information.

myTab: When users sign up with Facebook and import their Facebook friends, all we grab is their birthday, profile picture and name.  It’s safe and secure and absolutely doesn’t violate privacy. We’re taking the information from Facebook so we use their privacy laws, and the laws of the user.  And because myTab is safe & secure with our own security technology, we never share or expose our user’s information.

WE: I’d like to hear more about the other features.  I saw, from your website, you have quite a few and I’m especially interested in “Match myCash.”

myTab: Oh, we love Match myCash. It’s really simple. When you set up a trip on myTab, we grab the data on your destination, travel dates and gifted/saved funds. We can then email you a deal within 15% of the funds. So for the first time ever, we’re doing the hard work and you, as the user, are barely lifting a finger. Just click to confirm you want to take that trip and you’re set to book. We get the best deals because of this feature.

The other features we have are setting up group trips with Facebook friends so everyone plans together but saves & books separately. No more team leader stressing over the organizing or paying out the cash and trying to recoup it back. Everyone in the group is equally involved. And we’re introducing, this month, a fantastic feature for group trips. When you’ve booked your trip, myTab will email your trip buddies of your flight or flight/hotel so all they have to do is book the same travel.  Long gone are the days of reading huge multiple email threads from friends trying to coordinate their trips. We created the no-brainer version of group travel! This is fantastic for say bachelor/ette parties saving & booking their travel.

WE: This is so great. What an easy idea!  So tell us, what if I don’t want to use all your features from gifting to saving etc. Can I just use part of myTab, like you mentioned above?

myTab: Totally! Save and book, plan and book or just book. Have cash gifted, plan and book. It’s your choice. We offer the whole shebang as it’s a full cycle from start to finish but if you start ½ way through, that’s absolutely cool with us. And if you’re short of travel cash at the time of booking in your funds, just pay the difference through PayPal. Gifting, saving, topping up at time of booking and obviously, booking are all live instant transactions.

WE: I know a few readers will want to know, do you take a percentage of the gifting cash as revenue?

myTab: Gosh, no. That’d be a terrible business model and it’s your cash so we’d not take it from you. Imagine a baker giving you a birthday cake but taking a piece for himself? Awful! We make money from your bookings, by our travel partners, not from you. We also have other revenue streams but not one of these affect your own transactions or bookings. If I gift you $50 for your birthday trip, then you instantly receive the $50 in your myTab account.  All our transactions run with major credit cards so your funds re are 100% safe and can only be used for your travel. Our guarantee.

WE: Two final questions – when did you launch and tell us one final quirky thing about myTab...

myTab: We launched a few weeks ago, so are a summer born baby! We’re getting incredible feedback from users and the travel industry so we’re very excited. One quirky thing – hmmm. Our logo is called Kevin Bacon and he’s a kosher vegan pig. Every major holiday, Kevin will wear a theme outfit. Yes – it’s ridiculous but he’s the most versatile chunky gorgeous pig and needs dressing up. Wait till you see what he’s wearing for Halloween! Oh, sorry, we do have to mention though as a final point, myTab has ‘brilliant’ buttons instead of ‘confirm’ action buttons. We think everything our users are doing is an achievement and brilliant buttons are so much more fun. – a social travel gift registry. Gift, save, plan, share & book travel – do any of all of these.