Travel Easy

Track purchases. Discover hidden fees. Travel stress free. A mobile application designed for a money-conscious traveler looking to track their spending and discover hidden fees.


Money conscious travelers find it difficult to keep track of purchases and become frustrated when they are surprised with hidden fees.


A travel app that keeps track of trip purchases and notifies travelers when a price listed on line does not match the price that was charged (hidden fee).


Individual Project


Adobe XD, Miro


3 weeks


UX Designer

Executive Summary

I conducted 5+ user interviews to investigate real world travel problems, frustrations and success when traveling and budgeting before and/or during a trip.

It was from these interviews that Travel Easy was born! This is a unique application helping money-conscious users build better spending awareness throughout their trip by tracking their purchases and discovering hidden fees.

Jump to Prototype

This project began with a simple bootcamp design prompt: solve a real-world travel pain point with a mobile app. Because of broad nature of this prompt and the 3-week time frame, I began with a hypothesis:


It's difficult sticking to a predetermined and accurate budget during a trip.

However, I couldn't operate on my hypothesis alone. To test my prediction, I interviewed 6 people over the phone and on zoom investigating how they traveled and budgeted.

User Interview Insights

I started this project by interviewing 6 people about how they managed money before or during their trip.

No Defined Budget

"I didn’t really have a budget when I traveled. I would describe myself as wary of spending money. But my goal is always to have enough money to have some flexibility when spending”

Hidden Fee Discovery Delay

"I ended up spending a lot more than I realized because every time I used Uber in X, I was charged an additional fee. It kinda spiraled without my knowledge”

Difficult to keep track of spending

There was a trend of individuals who experienced difficulty keeping track of how much they spent on a trip. While they did not have a strict budget, spending within their comfort zone was still important.

User Persona: Meet Travis Travler

After my research phase, I made sticky notes with key quotes and insights that I learned from my interviewees. These affinity groupings informed my user persona, Travis Traveler.

Rephrasing the Problem

Initial Problem

People want an accurate way to create a budget before traveling so they can avoid over spending.

Reflecting on my own travels and that of my friends', I initially assumed that creating a budget that took into account flights/transportation, food, lodging and spending money would be the most challenging and frustrating aspect of travelling. To address this, my first instinct was to design an app that helped people calculate their overall budget.

Revised Problem

I was wrong. Interviewee's biggest pain point related to traveling was not creating a budget but keeping track of their spending during a trip.

Interviewees quipped that they "didn't really have a budget", which made me realize my assumptions were wrong. Their goal on a trip was to have flexibility in their spending but avoid spending beyond their comfort zone. To do this, they needed a way to keep track of expenses.

How Might We...

Help  travelers build better spending awareness and make hidden fees less painful?

Solving the Problem: Turning Pain Points into Design Opportunities

To build better spending awareness throughout a trip, I brainstormed potential solutions that would increase spending feedback. My goal was to eliminate users guesstimating how much they spent, and the delay time between when a hidden fee occurs and when it is discovered. In other words, take out the “surprise” out of hidden fees, allowing users to adjust and  make more informed spending decisions.

Two features were chosen as Travel Easy’s MVPs:
  1. Hidden Fee Detector (speculative): compares the cost of a charged item against the price listed online. If the amount the user is charged exceeds the price listed online, Travel Easy would notify the user that a hidden fee occurred.
  2. Spending Tracker: tallies up total expenses in live time within the start and end dates of their trip by connecting with credit card.
Visualizing User Navigation and MVP Features

My goal was to create a seamless and cohesive user experience that would allow Travis to: (1) create a new trip and (2) view an existing trip's purchases, and (3) check hidden fees.

Wireframe Sketches
Digital wireframes and prototype

Sketched wireframes were built and prototyped in XD to test Travel Easy's MVP tasks: finding Seattle's purchase tracker, hidden fees and adding a new trip.

Usability Testing Insights & Iteration

The first experience I tested was navigating the spending tracker and hidden fee detector features. More specifically, could users quickly and easily discover the amount spent, the number of hidden fees, and how much in hidden fees they have incurred.

Usability Testing Discoveries
  • Icons don't make sense.
  • Didn't know pie chart was clickable.
  • Purchase tracker and hidden fee pages were hidden...people didn't use them!
  • Removed icons. Implemented color key + text instead.
  • Created a slider feature to view hidden fees. Decreased “hidden-ness” by reducing pages. Kept all spending information at a glance.
  • Scroll down to see itemized purchases with a sheet view option.
Challenge Deep Dive:  Refining How Users Create a New Trip

One of the most challenging tasks to design was the "create a new trip" flow. While qualitative travel interviews indicated people didn't travel with specific budgets, I felt this optional feature would provide an additional benefit to the user: a hands-free travel experience. This feature would allow users to spend with confidence,  comfort, and peace of mind. Only after reaching/passing their budget amount would users have to check the app’s spending tracker.

“What if users didn't have to constantly check the app to know how much they're spending? What if it could notify them when they reach/pass a certain amount?”

Usability Testing Discovery #1
  • “Add trip” made users feel the task was done. This was confusing and frustrating.
Usability Testing Discovery #2
  • Felt Random
  • "What is a hidden fee?" How does the app define it?
Usability Testing Discovery #3
  • “What is a spending limit?” was a common comment
  • “Tell me when” phrasing was confusing
  • Create a trip task flow reduced to one page
  • Copy adjustment: "Spending Limit" changed to "Overall Budget"
  • Slider used to indicate and customize when you would like to be notified on your spending.
Brand Design

The visual design was developed by iterating from a mood board and stile tile and finally to creating the first version of the style guide. Users of Travel Easy should feel the app is trustworthy, fun, and approachable.

I chose green as a primary color as I felt it represented money and ease of use and orange as a secondary color for its energy and enthusiasm (some of the feelings associated with a great trip!)

Hi-Fidelity Prototype

Travis, a money conscious traveler, opens Travel Easy to keep track of his expenses on his trip.

Because he is a first-time user, he creates an account.

After creating his account, Travis walks through the on-boarding process.

On the Travel Easy landing page, Travis can view his past, present, and upcoming trips.

Once a trip is selected, he can see can see a detailed breakdown of his spending.

Swiping right on the top box reveals hidden fees.

Scrolling down on this page reveals all of his purchases and the category they fall into.

When Travis adds a new trip. He names it, includes some trip info and enters an (optional) budget amount.

Here, he wants to be notified when he is X amount from his overall budget for the ultimate hands-free travel experience.

Try it Out! 

If There Was More Time...

Another round of usability testing and feedback would definitely be the next step! I would love to see if the information architecture iterations and high-fidelity design choices improved the functionality and enjoyment of the app.

I would also like to add some additional features to Travel Easy: