Sunday, September 21, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Journey of UCD student is to help others ease theirs

The Bohart Museum of Entomology at UC Davis is just one of many local destinations that would appeal to travelers on a budget, says UCD student Ryan DeForest, who has created an online travel database, Bagonize.com. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

By
From page A9 | June 09, 2013 |

In days gone by, people generally wouldn’t depart on a journey without a destination mapped out. These aren’t those days.

With the Internet, wanting to travel but not having a destination in mind can be easily remedied. One can simply visit a website such as the one UC Davis student Ryan DeForest is developing, Bagonize.com.

DeForest, who established the beta version of the website himself last August, has created an online database that’s specifically designed for those who may not be set on exactly where to go. To this end, it uses a different set of parameters than most search tools.

“The aim is to take the old-fashioned travel search paradigm and flip it upside down,” he said. “Instead of having to input where to go and how long you want to go for, you start with just entering where you’re located, how far you’re willing to travel, how many you’re traveling with and what your budget is.”

From there, the website’s users will find a variety of destinations with activities that fit their preferences: from cost-free nature walks to moderately priced museums to thrilling but expensive theme parks.

The impetus for the creation of Bagonize.com was simple enough; DeForest and his roommates were bored as they sat in a Davis apartment on a lazy Saturday. The group searched the Web for something that was both local and cheap to keep themselves occupied.

“We had trouble finding a site that didn’t just have a list of like 200 different things,” DeForest said, “and that didn’t force you to click through 15 different things and refine your search a bunch to find something relevant to you.

“I felt like there was a big disconnect, and that’s when I realized that there was some room for improvement.”

A bit of trial and error and a whole lot of YouTube videos later, DeForest had learned enough about programming and web design to create a travel database and bring it online in a usable form.

To get the word out, he’s starting with — among other things — introducing it to travel agents. DeForest’s mother, who also works as a travel agent, has experience in how it can be used to bolster these services.

“One time she had a client that was coming from New York to San Francisco, where he was staying for a few days,” DeForest said. “He didn’t want to do the typical stuff, like Alcatraz tours or the Golden Gate Bridge.

“She used my site to find the Walt Disney Family Museum, and other stuff that not a whole lot of people know about. I thought, if she is using it, that’s a good sign.”

To further promote the resource, the startup received some financial support from the ASUCD Entrepreneurship Fund. That capital has been allotted to marketing.

He’s also talking with the Orbitz Worldwide Inc. development team about establishing further vacation-planning functionality, such as flight and hotel information, on Bagonize.com.

However, there remain some obstacles and benchmarks that need to be reached first, the first of which is having others understand the seriousness of his commitment to the business.

“I always wanted to start a company, but — as many do — I believed that I needed to graduate college first,” DeForest said. “When I tell people that I’m starting a company now, most don’t believe I’m actually doing it.

“Another struggle is that I’m over here working a day job at Unitrans as a mechanic, studying as a full-time student, trying to organize stuff with Bagonize and also working at Oracle. I’m juggling a lot.”

DeForest expressed a desire to focus more on overseeing the online travel website’s success in the future. He also had a few choice words for his entrance into this particular niche: “The online travel industry is the biggest, most profitable market, yet the least innovative. No one knows that, per se. That is, until you get a 20-something that comes into the field and shakes things up.”

— Reach Brett Johnson at bjohnson@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8052. Follow him on Twitter at @ReporterBrett

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Elementary school counselors: necessary, but poorly funded

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
     
    Bet Haverim hosts High Holy Day services

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

    Teams assess damage as wildfire burns

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Driver arrested for DUI after Saturday morning crash

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Help raise funds for juvenile diabetes cure

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Jewelry, art for sale at Senior Center

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Davis Community Meals needs cooks

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Send kids to camp!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Da Vinci awarded $38,000 for restorative justice program

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

    Hawk Hill trip planned Sept. 30

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    UC campus chancellors granted hefty pay raises

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    Outdoor yoga marathon celebrates community

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Wise words

    By Sue Cockrell | From Page: A12

     
    .

    Forum

    Awareness is key to this fight

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Where is this going?

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A6

    We’re living in the Golden State of emergency

    By Debra DeAngelo | From Page: A6

     
    Options for protection come with flu season

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    Are we there yet? Not enough hours in the day to goof off

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A6Comments are off for this post

     
    Archer will get my vote

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    It’s time for Davis Scouts to stand up for what is right

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Mike Keefe cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    Building something at schools’ HQ

    By Our View | From Page: A10

     
    Don’t sell city greenbelt

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Paso Fino project is flawed

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Paso Fino — it’s not worth it

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Speak out

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Maybe David can beat Goliath again

    By Lynne Nittler | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    .

    Sports

    DHS gets on its Morse to beat Edison

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    JV Blue Devils drop low-scoring affair

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B2

     
    Wire briefs: Giants rally falls short in San Diego

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Four local swimmers qualify for Olympic Trials

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

     
    Republic FC’s fairy tale season continues

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    ‘We’re a way better team’ than record, says UCD’s Shaffer

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B4 | Gallery

     
    UCD roundup: Aggie men pound Pomona-Pitzer in the pool

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B4

    Davis 15-year-old making a splash in European F4 series

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘Ladies Foursome’ adds shows

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    .

    Business

    UCD grad’s startup earns kudos at TechCrunch event

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    Styles on target for November debut

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A7

    MBI hires VP of marketing

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Taylor Morrison unveils new Woodland community next weekend

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    Rob White: What is an ‘innovation center’?

    By Rob White | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, September 21, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B8