A quick look at the service offered by two start-ups that are using technology to enhance leisure travel.
These days people are using technology to enhance productivity in all aspects of life -- even leisure time. At least two start-ups -- RestQuest, in New York City, and Keehn on Europe, in Boca Raton, Fla. -- are using extensive computer databases to develop custom itineraries for the time-pressed vacationer. For approximately $20, RestQuest will draw up a customized travel planner for eastern destinations from Virginia to Maine, based on search requests as quirky as a weekend trip combining ponies, Picasso, and playgrounds. Meanwhile, Keehn on Europe sells its Windows-based databases to travel agents, libraries, schools, and consumers for approximately $250 each ($29.95 for individual countries); it boasts information on 40,000 different interests in 3,800 cities and 21 countries. "You don't have to know where you want to go, just what you want to do," says founder Sandra Keehn. Keehn's company was born of frustration: a Shakespeare buff, she had to wade through five travel books one summer before finding information on Juliet's house, in Verona. -- Alessandra Bianchi