Building Solo Traveler’s Platform for Tour Operator Submissions and Travel Deal Management

Solo Traveler is the world’s premier digital publication dedicated to solo travel, providing tips, advice, and a comprehensive list of tours and cruises ideal for solo travelers. They also host a vibrant community for solo travelers to share experiences, tips, and encouragement. To further enhance their platform, Solo Traveler needed a system that would allow tour operators to submit their company profiles and travel deals with ease.


The main objectives were to:

  1. Develop a custom WordPress plugin to facilitate the submission and approval of company profiles and travel deals.
  2. Create a comprehensive search and filtering tool to help users find and sort travel deals efficiently.
  3. Reduce the overhead associated with managing travel deal submissions.
  4. Enable Solo Traveler to track clicks and measure the effectiveness of different travel deals.

Process Overview

  1. Requirement Analysis and Planning
  2. Custom WordPress Plugin Development
  3. Search and Filtering Tool Implementation
  4. Testing and Quality Assurance
  5. Deployment and Training
  6. Ongoing Support and Enhancements

Detailed Steps

Requirement Analysis and Planning

  • Stakeholder Meetings: Conducted meetings with Solo Traveler’s team to understand their requirements and expectations.
  • Feature Definition: Defined the features and functionalities needed for the custom plugin and the search/filtering tool.
  • Project Planning: Created a detailed project plan with timelines, milestones, and resource allocation.

Custom WordPress Plugin Development

  • Plugin Framework: Developed a custom WordPress plugin using PHP, integrating it with Gravity Forms for form creation and Pretty Links for URL management.
  • User Submission Workflow: Created a workflow where tour operators could submit company profiles via Gravity Forms. These profiles required admin approval before the operators could submit travel deals.
  • Admin Approval System: Implemented an admin approval system for both company profiles and travel deals, ensuring quality control and consistency.
  • Travel Deal Submission: Enabled tour operators to add detailed travel deals once their profiles were approved. These deals also required admin approval before being published.
  • Editing Capabilities: Provided functionality for tour operators to edit their deals post-approval or submit additional deals.

Search and Filtering Tool Implementation

  • Search Filter Pro Customization: Customized the Search Filter Pro plugin to fit Solo Traveler’s website interface and accommodate custom post types and metadata.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Ensured the search and filtering tool was intuitive and user-friendly, allowing users to sort and find travel deals based on various criteria such as destination, price, duration, and type of tour.
  • Performance Optimization: Optimized the tool for performance to ensure fast and accurate search results.

Testing and Quality Assurance

  • Functional Testing: Conducted thorough functional testing to ensure all features worked as expected.
  • User Testing: Reviewed user testing sessions to gather feedback and make necessary adjustments.
  • Bug Fixing: Identified and fixed any bugs or issues that arose during testing.

Deployment and Training

  • Deployment: Deployed the custom plugin and search/filtering tool on Solo Traveler’s live WordPress site.
  • Training Sessions: Provided training sessions for Solo Traveler’s team to familiarize them with the new functionalities and admin interface.
  • Documentation: Created detailed user guides and documentation to assist both administrators and tour operators in using the new system.

Ongoing Support and Enhancements

  • Technical Support: Offered ongoing technical support to address any issues and ensure smooth operation.
  • Iterative Improvements: Continuously gathered feedback and made iterative improvements to enhance the user experience and functionality.


  • New Revenue Opportunities: The custom plugin created new revenue opportunities for Solo Traveler by enabling tour operators to advertise their profiles and deals more effectively.
  • Reduced Overhead: The automation of the submission and approval process significantly reduced the overhead associated with managing travel deal submissions.
  • Enhanced User Experience: The comprehensive search and filtering tool improved the user experience by making it easy for travelers to find and sort relevant travel deals.
  • Data-Driven Insights: The ability to track clicks on travel deals allowed Solo Traveler to measure the effectiveness of different travel deals and build informed advertiser profiles.
  • Positive Feedback: Received positive feedback from both tour operators and users, praising the ease of use and efficiency of the new system.
The development of a custom WordPress plugin and a comprehensive search and filtering tool significantly enhanced Solo Traveler’s platform, enabling new revenue streams and improving user experience. By automating the submission and approval process and providing robust search capabilities, Solo Traveler can now offer a more streamlined and efficient service to both tour operators and travelers. The project not only met but exceeded the client’s expectations, demonstrating the power of custom development in addressing specific business needs.