Since graduating from the University of Michigan in 2014, former Michigan basketball captain Jordan Morgan and former Miss Michigan KT Maviglia-Morgan have both lived in numerous countries throughout the world. Their mutual wanderlust laid the foundation for a business that helps less-practiced travelers plan their trips.
“We were keeping a list of all the places we went,” Morgan, 31, of Ann Arbor says of their journeys. “We got really good at finding great things to do. At a certain point, we said, ‘Let’s do something with this; let’s turn this into a business.’”
Morgan has played basketball overseas with nine different clubs since graduating, taking him to France, Greece, Slovenia, Turkey, Russia, and beyond. He says those experiences showed him how stressful travel planning could be — and how much time it can take up.
Maviglia-Morgan, who joined him in traveling for his work, agrees. The pair recently moved back to Michigan after living in Venice, Italy, for five months. Upon returning, they brainstormed a way to create personalized travel guides that would simplify vacation planning.
Their concept: On Arrival, a recently launched travel platform that does just that. The couple pitched it in early 2021 to TechTown Detroit, a business incubator that provides funding for small businesses and technology platforms. In December, they won a $1,500 grant that would make their idea a reality.
To bring On Arrival to life, the couple interviewed 100 tourists about their biggest problems with traveling. They learned people were spending 10 hours or more simply creating their travel itineraries — and that they wanted a solution to make the process easier.
Now, On Arrival aims to cut that time from 10 hours to 10 minutes or less. Users fill out a short questionnaire on their needs and interests, and the couple takes it from there, building folks a personalized trip complete with food, drinks, attractions, and anything else their clients might like.
On Arrival offers custom-made itineraries for nearly every major city in the nation and top international destinations. Morgan and Maviglia- Morgan work with all types of travelers, from those embarking on solo trips to those taking family-friendly vacations. Guides come in a standard size of 10 recommendations for $20 or a deluxe size of 20 recommendations for $40.
“We’re not a full-service travel agency, but for people planning their own trips, On Arrival is ideal,” Maviglia-Morgan says. “We’re giving you all the places; you just have to make the reservations or book the tickets.” Links to do both are included in the itineraries.
The goal, Morgan says, is to scale up On Arrival even further. The two plan to build out the platform’s infrastructure so travelers can get an instant guide or travel itinerary by logging in to their website — even if they wait until they’re at the airport.
“Once you come to On Arrival, you know where you’re going,” Morgan says. “We give you everything you need to finalize your plans. You simply get your guide, and you go.”
Want a taste of what On Arrival can do? We asked Morgan and Maviglia-Morgan to create an itinerary for winter activities in Michigan. Click here to read what they came up with.
This story is from the November 2022 issue of Hour Detroit magazine. Read more in our digital edition.